A portable, full 3d Katamari game with achievements? Sold! It's rather expensive as far as WP7 titles go and it's not without it's flaws, so if you're on the fence, we'll try and answer some of your questions here.
Check out the bottom if you want a short summarized list of pros/cons, and my advice on buying.Gameplay
For those of you unfamiliar with the way games in the Katamari series work, it's refreshingly simple. You roll a ball (Known as a Katamari) around in environments of various sizes, such as a park, inside a house, or even over entire continents, and any object which is smaller than your Katamari will stick to it and increase its size, allowing you to roll up larger objects.
This style of gameplay is retained in its entirety for the mobile version of the game, however the controls have changed significantly. The mobile version primarily uses the phone's tilt sensor in order to direct the Katamari, which is a great idea, but it has been rather poorly implemented. There is only a very small deadzone in the sensor which makes coming to a stop, fine movement and turning accurately quite difficult.
Also holding the game's controls back is that the tilt-sensor isn't adjustable, which means that you pretty much have to be sitting up in order to play it, so if like me, you're a fan of playing WP7 games in bed, then you might want to give this a miss.Story/Content/Progression
The Katamari series is known for its short, absurd and silly story lines, such as the King Of All Cosmos destroying the universe by creating a black hole with a "Particularly powerful tennis serve". In I Love Katamari the King Of All Cosmos has a head-on collision with the moon, and suffers a bit of amnesia, and being too proud to simply ask for his forgotten definitions of words, he asks you (The Prince) to roll up these items to jog his memory.
There are six levels unlocked one after another by completing the previous level's story mode request. Each level has four modes and is varied slightly for each:
- Story Mode - Roll up a particular item.
- Time Attack - Roll the largest Katamari possible within the time limit.
- Exact Size - Without a size counter, roll up a Katamari of a particular size.
- Eternal Mode - Roll freely at your own pace with no time limits.
Levels are typically a bit smaller and shorter than the game's console counterparts, but certainly still a reasonable size, considering the platform.Aesthetics
To anyone who isn't well versed in the Katamari series already, the graphics may seem blocky, simple and underdone, and indeed they are, but it is a constant for the series and is unlikely to change any time soon, and given the mechanics of the Katamari, this keeps gameplay smooth and without frame loss.
Music is the normal assortment of J-pop including some songs from previous games, and the sound effects are again very classic and very simple. The noise from the Katamari stopping might grind on you after a while though.Achievements
13/14 of the game's achievements involve rolling up certain items, a couple are tricky because they require the Katamari to be a large size before being rolled up in levels with time limits, but the rest are simple. The last achievement requires you to roll up one of every item in the game, which will come to no surprise to players of Beautiful Katamari.
The surprising thing however that this achievement is worth 110 of the game's 200GS so if you're buying I Love Katamari for the achievements, then you should be prepared to play it though to completion if you want to get a decent amount of GS from it.
To 200/200 I Love Katamari, you should expect to put in about 10 hours with the use of guides, possibly 15 hours if you intend to complete the collection on your own.Summary/Price
At $9 (AU) I Love Katamari may seem like an expensive game as far as WP7 games go, but for a mid-length full-featured 3d katamari game, $9 is a bargain, so it really depends on what you see it as.
Should you buy it? If you are a fan of the Katamari series try out the demo, and if you can handle the controls, go for it, you'll love it. If you haven't played a Katamari game before, then I suggest trying to pick up Beautiful Katamari
for the 360 instead. It's not expensive, much longer and much easier to get used to.Pros
- Gameplay almost identical to console counterparts.
- 10-15 hours of gameplay for all achievements, plus lots more to complete the game's other goals afterwards.
- Good visuals for the platform.
- Good-sized levels.Cons
- Controls are tricky, and at times frustrating.
- No character customization.
- No Presents or Cousins.
- Almost impossible to play while lying down.
If I've missed anything important, or you would like a question answered, ask in the comments section and I will reply as soon as I can!