First things first, Katamari is a fantastic game and one of the best little gems of gaming history ever created. We Love Katamari on the PS2 was criminally unloved (but they didn't release the game in huge numbers so perhaps that's the excuse) and this new version of Katamari is simply top-notch.
So why only four stars, you might be thinking?
Well... the fact that it's really all based around one giant level just isn't really enough in my eyes. Granted, you can roll up the entire world and then the universe and it's nice that the levels are all connected... but after a while you get that horrible feeling of repetition which is quite off-putting. If anything, on the designers point of view, it's actually remarkably lazy. We Love Katamari had a dozen or so levels or rolling-up goodness and we're kinda stuck in the middle of one big level.
Where shall we roll today? Inside the house? Or outside the house? *sigh*
(For the record, there is downloadable content at a cost but I haven't actually looked into whether this is for a new level or what... or whether you get to play some of the levels from the older games...)
BUT. Despite this let-down, Beautiful Katamari is still an awesome game. To be honest, it defies description but let's just say that you use your katamari (it's a sticky ball to those who don't know) to pick up everything in the level that is smaller than you in order to grow and roll up bigger things. You have set goals within the levels, usually to get to a certain size within the time limit. Again, the main problem is repetition as pretty much ALL of the levels are the same thing over and over again. 3m in five minutes. 1m meter in four minutes. 10,000km in 18 minutes (but you get to roll up all of the countries of the world for that one!!!).
But it's such a charming game, how can I give it less than 4 stars? Watching as all the people in the city run away in utter shaking fear of you rolling them up is always brilliant, finding the 50 cousins spread throughout the levels is brilliant fun and the humour in the game is so blindingly brilliant, it will never fail to raise a smile. The King Of All Cosmos is without a doubt the funniest character in the history of gaming.
It might be a little too quirky for some. It might be a little too Japanese for some. It might not make the most sense in the world. It's a videogame, it shouldn't have to. If you fall in love with it, I wouldn't blame you in the slightest. It's a breath of fresh air on a console filled with First Person Shooters.
GO. Try it at the very least.
But then go and buy it.