[GAME MASTER]Katamari Damaci

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[GAME MASTER]Katamari Damaci

Have you ever felt that sometimes video games are becoming too realistic, and don’t feel much like games anymore?
Well, with “Katamari Damaci,” there’s no need to worry about that. It’s of a genre that’s been dubbed “romantic stick action.” As might be guessed from a category with a name like that, “Katamari Damaci” is anything but serious. Once you get a look at the King, one of the game’s main characters, you will understand that it was designed strictly with fun in mind.
As the game opens, it’s explained that a drunken king has blown up all the stars in space. The universe is now totally empty and black. Nevertheless, the earth still exists ―don’t ask how. And so does a guy with a green tube as a head. But don’t judge him by his looks ― he happens to be a prince of the cosmos.
This prince, son of the drunken king mentioned earlier, has been sent to earth to roll little baby stars around until they’re big enough to launch into space, replacing the stars that the king destroyed in his intoxicated state. (Don’t expect any of this to make sense ― just go with it.)
Your father, the king, drops you on earth ― in a house, or on a street ― and you grab a baby star, which looks like a rainbow-colored ball. Then you start rolling it. It’ll grab everything near it with its gravitational pull, and it’ll get bigger. You’ve got a limited amount of time to get the star up to the size the king has specified.
One thing you’ll have to keep in mind, though, is that for the star to pick up an object, the object has to be smaller than the star itself. If it bumps into anything larger than itself, a lot of the objects you’ve already picked up will fall off, and you’ll be back to where you started, or at least you’ll have a serious setback.
The variety of things that will stick to your star is unlimited; it includes anything in the room or in the streets that is smaller than your star. Forks? Chocolate candies? Knives? Butterflies? Mice? Go for it. Anything that’s near you will do, as long as it’s smaller than the star. Once it gets big enough, you can roll it onto a house and it’ll stick.
You’ll get different missions as you approach different stages. For the first few rounds, you can get used to maneuvering the star and trying to make it as big as possible. But before long, you’ll get specialized missions ―such as making a “crab star.”
To make a crab star, you have to roll the star onto as many crabs as possible, but you have to catch the right-sized crab at the right time. The king will decide whether your star is crabby enough, just as he decides whether every star you’ve created meets his expectations. For a guy who’s just destroyed the universe in the midst of an alcoholic binge, the king is awfully judgmental.
The king is a lot bigger than the prince is; the prince looks like a tiny dot by comparison. The king will carefully examine your star, and if it doesn’t meet his expectations, it will turn into dust and blow away. Then the king will start childishly complaining about how sad and disappointed he is in your star-making abilities. But if he likes it, it goes up into space and gets a name based on its contents. If your star was made mostly of cakes or candy, for instance, it will be named a “dessert star.” This is a pretty weird game, but it’s really hilarious to play. I still don’t see where the romance comes in, though.


by Joe Eun-hye

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