We're just outside of Tokyo, Flynn and I, taking a day after TGS to explore Kamakura—a city famous for its temples, and of course, the Great Buddha. After a spontaneous, mislead and treacherous hike through the deserted wilderness, we pop out on the side of a busy street loaded with bus caravans. We'd arrived at the Great Buddha.
And when we finally laid our eyes on the 93 ton, 700+ year-old statue Flynn said, "Never in my life did I think I'd see this. I remember rolling it up in Katamari..." It was a special moment.
Hit the jump for our Frankenreview on Beautiful Katamari for the Xbox 360: every review you ever need on a game from a franchise famous for rolling up the Great Buddha. Gamespot Beautiful Katamari doesn't look much like an Xbox 360 game. If anything, it looks like the PS2 game engine upscaled to the brink of exploding...we hoped for visuals that represented some kind of significant advance over those in previous games. The world and things that dwell within it just look kind of fuzzy up close, and while there are plenty of colorful backdrops and square-shaped people, again, all of it seems ripped right out of the PS2 games. Gamepro Beautiful Katamari suffers from some of the same goofs that plagued the other titles. You'll still get stuck in tight spots because the camera swiveled behind a wall or table, co-op control still amounts to pretending you share a single uncomfortable body with a twin, and a few of the levels are filled with frustrating opportunities to abruptly end your hard-won progress because you ran over the wrong item. Gametap ...for Mars, you've got to roll up a katamari that hits 10,000 degrees. The katamari is continually getting cooler, and if you roll up cold things, the temperature goes down even more quickly. And then there are the environment hazards to watch out for, like those panicked fireman who might throw water on you and put out the katamari completely. It's a fun new twist on the katamari levels. Gameinformer This installment is also void of the wacky human-based story, and the King of All Cosmos seems to be bored and doesn't have the witty one-liners you know him for. 1up The big addition to this Xbox 360-exclusive title is online versus play (as well as some future downloadable content and online leaderboards). Here you jump in a match with three others and compete to nab the most of a certain item in the given time. The big change-up from single-player action is the addition of a lock-on button that allows you to target opponents before dashing into them, knocking items off for the taking. This mode offers nothing more than forgettable fun, though, at best... Hmm, I really hoped for this to be an HD feast for your eyes, even if the mechanic was getting a bit stale. Sounds like a pass if you've played the games before and aren't craving more Katamari.