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Xbox 360 Impressions: Beautiful Katamari Demo

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It was never going to be made. Then, it got announced for the Xbox 360 and PS3. Then the PS3 version died and the rumors of a Wii version popped up. While we still might not know what will happen with Beautiful Katamari in the future, we do know that it’s coming to at least the Xbox 360, and 360 owners recently got a taste of what to expect.

So far, judging from the short, three-minute demo we got on Xbox Live Marketplace, Beautiful Katamari is shaping up to be more of the same old fun, but in a much shinier case.

The basic game play and controls are still the same. Guess what? You’re still rolling up everything in sight to make stars, planets, etc. because the King of All Cosmos screwed up. The jump from the DualShock controller on the PS2 to the 360’s controller is nearly flawless, mostly because it has dual analog sticks, but also because no new controls really seem to be added to the game. But I guess if it worked so successfully every time before… why make big changes?

In this brief demo, you get dropped off in the middle of town, and with three minutes on the clock, your job is to just make a katamari of at least 80 centimeters in diameter. While it’s certainly no BioShock demo, it’s enough to keep you interested and wanting to play the demo over and over again, just to explore the stage you are in and see what kinds of crazy stuff Namco Bandai chose to include this time around. The demo actually helps you out in that regard, as it drops you off randomly in one of the several pre-determined starting points. Even once you’ve explored everything, there’s the fun of trying to make the biggest katamari you can in only three minutes by finding the best line to take through town.

What is new is the graphics, which maintain the same art style as before, but with a noticeable difference in how the game looks. Compared to the original PS2 games, the new one looks much crisper, clearer and vibrant than past Katamari titles, the last of which is an incredible feat. The graphics and art style might be rather simple, but that doesn’t take away from the sheer beauty of this title. Honestly, it’s one of the better-looking titles I’ve seen on the Xbox 360.

While its demo is pretty short, Beautiful Katamari is lining up to be a wonderful title and a fine addition to the Katamari series. It’ll be a long two-month wait until the game drops into retail stores on October 16th, but it certainly looks like the wait will be worth it.

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About Brian Szabelski