Katamari Damacy originally rolled out for the PlayStation 2 back in 2004. It got a few sequels that were enjoyable in their own right but none of them were able to top the bizarre magic of the first game. This is something the team must have been aware of as the original was rerolled onto Nintendo Switch a couple years ago and now again for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, right as those consoles are about to rolled up into the sunset to make way for their next-gen successors. Katamari Damacy Reroll is now available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and while it doesn’t offer anything new besides achievement and trophy support, it’s still a game that’s worth checking out.
Most information about Katamari Damacy can be found in the links listed above to our review and retrospective Member feature, but for those looking for the super short version of what this game is about here you go. The glorious King of All Cosmos goes on a bender and destroys the solar system, as is prone to happen during such events. The royal patriarch is hungover and realizes what he did, so he sends his pint-sized son to repair all the damage his drunken hijinks had wrought by rolling up whatever he can find on Earth to send up into outer space. The King of All Cosmos is one of the all time great video game characters and he just doesn’t get the attention his highness deserves.
The introduction to the King is when the intro music is loading up and his ridiculous visage and headdress appears. He floats off, up into the sky only to return strumming an acoustic guitar as the animals are all singing in unison. He seems like a benevolent ruler, one who exists in harmony with nature and enjoys the simpler pleasures of life. But as we soon learn he has even more in common with hippies and their love of mind-altering substances. The King clearly recognizes his party hard attitude led to the destruction of the solar system, but the King of All Cosmos can’t be bothered with trivialities such as fixing the universe he destroyed himself. Instead he passes to the buck to his pint-sized, five centimeter tall son the Prince.
In order to fix the problem, his solution is to send the Prince to Earth and rolling up everything he can into a katamari to launch into space to replace whatever star or other celestial body his drunk escapades destroyed. What the King is tasking the Prince with is actually horrific, as the Prince is not only rolling up little bits of debris that we’d sweep out from behind the fridge but actual living animals and people, along with buildings and cars when the katamari starts to get big. One might say this is an act of environmental clean up by removing buildings, automobiles and other man-made things from planet and turning them into space garbage, but any flora and fauna that could benefit from such things are also going into space, which is an unkind environment for anything living. I suppose that is a human thing for the King to do: wipe out of the civilization and life of those he considers beneath him to conveniently cover up his own reckless behavior. Essentially doing it with forced labor only makes a greater embodiment of humanity’s darker tendencies. A night of drinking destroyed the Cosmos, but harvesting lifeforms and objects from earth will restore it. The katamaris will light up the night sky to other worlds who are blissfully unaware of the death and destruction that made them.
So I guess the King of All Cosmos is kind of a jerk since he is rolling civilization up into a giant ball to launch into space. This is kind of a problem, but this shouldn’t be surprising when one analyzes the way he talks to the Prince. He does have a certain sense of whimsy in how he speaks, using the royal we and often subtly degrading the Prince. The real tongue lashings occur when the Prince fails at the goal and the King laments his sorrow over the poor Prince’s less than princely performance. A favorite line he said is it’s not your fault, it’s our fault for believing in you.
Come to think of it, the King of All Cosmos is kind of a terrible father, despite his amazing fashion sense and perfectly-manicured facial hair. He’s extremely self absorbed and narcissistic, and clearly has a low opinion of the Prince. He sends the Prince to essentially turn Earth’s civilization into chunks of space garbage because he’s too lazy to properly restore the solar system he destroyed during a drunken stupor. Still, even though a proper response to the King’s existence would rally Godzilla to battle against, it is hard to deny the charm and charisma of the King, and view him as one of the greatest video game characters of all time. First 4 Figures made a Prince statue, but they would get all the pre-order money if they made a figure of the King of All Cosmos.