Beautiful, just beautiful

Re-releasing a three year old PlayStation 2 game on Xbox 360 under a new name and with very few improvements of note sounds like a catastrophe in the making. But when that game is Beautiful Katamari? It’s something magical.

Not everything has been recycled from We Love Katamari – there are new levels and music tracks, along with a new hub – although they do all seem a bit slapdash and not up to the quality found in previous Katamaris. Should you care? Not really, no – it’s still a brilliantly addictive game with all the fun intact. On 360 there are no loading times mid-level and there’s also an online multi-player mode where you have to collect more objects than your rivals. It’s quite easy to unlock the achievements too if that’s your kind of thing, although you have to download new levels to be able to unlock them all.

Despite the extra grunt the visual style remains the same – the objects the Prince and his quirky cousins have to roll up are of an incredibly low polygon count, which ads to the charm. This time round the King creates a black hole in space after a too-powerful serve in a game of tennis. Now it’s up to the prince to create new planets. Most levels have goals – Saturn needs to be made of round things so plenty of bikes, donuts and tyres need to be collected, while Mars has to be made of hot things. Roll up too many ice creams and such and the King throws a tantrum. Gears of War 2 this ain’t.

Because nobody bought it when it was released a couple of months ago, online retailers have already cut the price. Currently it’s £17.99 at both Play and Gameplay. If you missed Katamari on PlayStation 2 and PSP then make sure you don’t miss this one. It’s not as if Namco can get away with releasing another Katamari with just a few bells for a fourth time.

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