Touch My Katamari is an action game developed and published by Bandai Namco for the PlayStation Vita. It released as a launch title in February 2012. I played it in 2020.
Awkward nomenclature aside, Touch My Katamari is the bright, bizarre Katamari game we all know and love. After discovering Katamari Damacy: Reroll (a remaster of the original PS2 game), I moved on to this one, the most recent game in the series. I see that little has changed, even after several sequels. If Keita Takahashi were dead, I’m sure he’d be rolling in his grave.
I know that I’m betraying Takahashi’s vision of the original game by buying a sequel (he hated corporations for pumping out sequels, hence why he made Katamari so unique in the first place). But I’m still so in love with the original’s core mechanic that I don’t mind.
The point of Katamari is to roll your “lump” around an area, collecting stuff to make your Katamari bigger. The bigger it gets, the more you can roll up. The biggest change to that core formula is the ability to morph your katamari with the Vita’s back touch pad. You can make it skinny to reach high objects, or flatten it like a steamroll to scoop up lots of small objects. There are Curios to find and an Endless Mode to encourage you to replay the levels, but for the most part, what you see is what you get. As only the second Katamari game I’ve ever played, I think those small additions are just right. But for a long-time fan, the formula may have started to wear thin by this point.
The “story” (if you can call it that) is also pretty aware of its unchanging mechanics. The King of Cosmos falls into a rut from losing fans, and it’s up to you, the Prince, to win people back by rolling up impressive katamaris. Most levels involve a certain theme where you make a katamari with items in a specific category — food, musical instruments, and even children. Your performance affects how many “fandom points” you get, which you can then spend on various odds and ends in the shops.
It was a fun time, but I’m not sure how to move the series forward from here. It’s probably why (outside of Reroll) the Katamari series hasn’t gotten a new game after this one. Touch My Katamari is the most approachable the series has ever been, thanks to tighter controls and improved physics, but this might be the end of the technicolor road for our Space Dad and Little Prince. After this I’ll try and go back to earlier games, and perhaps play Takahashi’s other games such as Wattam once it releases on Steam.