Tuesday, October 18, 2005

 

Katamari Daisuki


I love video games.

I am astonished at the amount of creativity, care and thought that goes into creating certain classic titles. In another life, I would love to work in the gaming industry.

Now there is word the Stephen Spielberg is developing 3 games with EA. And the Sunday NY Times did a spread about Rockstar's new game. (I just love the fact that the Times considers video games an art; I mean they are an art). This is a growth industry if I ever saw one.

In movies we are often passive, watching actors work out a plot. Novels are mystical -- the scenes all take place in your imagination. But in a really good video game, you are an actor, experiencing all that happens around you.



Last year I went to the Tokyo Video Game show and saw the new PSP. I missed this year's; it would have been fun to see the XBOX360. But I did get to look at Halo 2 last year, and at Bioware's Jade Empire (both of which are great games by the way).



This year I did make it a point to go to the Sony Center in the Ginza to check out Katamari Damacy 2 (I think that "katamari" comes from katamaru which means to gather into a ball). Essentially, "you" are a little prince with a sticky ball which you must roll around, gathering up increasingly larger pieces until you have a super-sized ball that can be cast into the sky to replace missing stars.



(Who's the better gamer here in the Sony Center?)

Katamari Damacy is a completely original video game. It reminds me a little bit of Tetris where you start to look at objects in the "real" world and imagine how they would fit into the Katamari world. However, the Katamari world is definitely 3-dimensional -- you can roll the ball all over the place with no real preset path. In other words, the designers have given you a complete world to explore. There is no fighting, so you don't mash buttons trying to kill some kind of enemy. The words most often associated with Katamari Damacy are "strange," "original" and "fun." I think that sort of sums it up. I also look at Katamari and think that it is a very Japanese game; it shows you what happens when a basic form of entertainment is interpreted slightly differently in another culture.

My copy of Katamari Damacy 2 is on its way. I'm looking forward to getting started.

Comments:
Of course the little one is the better player of the two. Why? The big one is TRYING to play the game but the little one IS playing the game. This is a great picture you took. By the way you always post not only beautiful pictures but also very meaningful. I just wanted to let you know. I am looking forward to reading the next article in your BLOG.
 
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