We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverie

Video Game Review

I would argue that the sixth generation of video game consoles were some of the gaming industry’s most creative. With storage capacities measured in gigabytes rather than megabytes, a significant improvement in hardware capabilities, and it being before the “AAA Gaming” era we have often seen major development studios focus on, we got to see some prized-talent at big-name studios produce some out-there gems. In 2004, Namco released a little puzzle-action game known as Katamari Damacy on the PlayStation 2 and is one of the first franchises that come to mind when I think of a surprise cult-classic game with lasting appeal, that was released at the right time to gain mass popularity. In mid-2021, Bandai Namco re-released it onto current-gen consoles as a remaster, which while emphasizing the limitations of the series’ first outing and some odd glitches, was still a fun and enjoyable experience. Now almost two years later, its sequel, We Love Katamari, has been released onto consoles as the lengthily titled We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverieand delivers peak Katamari Damacy zaniness.

As with the original Katamari Damacy, the storyline of We Love Katamari is negligible and easily skippable for those just after the gaming experience. However, for those that choose to follow its variety of vignettes, you are rewarded with an entertaining and simplistic tale with ample levels of mid-2000s quirkiness. Following the events of the previous game, the King of All Cosmos has gained popularity among the residents of Earth, so he once again sends his son and their various cousins to the planet’s surface to fulfil their individual, mostly inconsequential requests and wishes… While mostly the original narrative, as players progress through the missions, new missions will unlock which follow a younger King (or, the former Prince) as he endures challenges thrown at him by the Great King. This is nothing that revolutionises the original experience but was nice to see them introduce a bit of new content, and perhaps signs that with newly developed levels, may come a new 202X instalment.

At its core, We Love Katamari plays similarly to its predecessor. As the Prince or one of his various cousins (acting as little more than different skins), players are tasked with collecting random junk from a specific location which can range from minuscule trinkets on a table up to the surface of the planet. But how do you collect all these items? By scooping them up with your tiny hands? A giant magnet? Nope! You do so by rolling the titular Katamari ball around. As with the previous instalment, most of the time your missions will consist of rolling up enough items to make your ball a specific size in X minutes. You incrementally grow the ball from its original size by rolling up more and more objects, increasing the variety of items you can pick up until you can grab gacha machines, buildings and even whole landmarks and landmasses. While size is the most common mission type, We Love Katamari zhush things up with a much larger selection of unique once-off or twice-off mission types, from having to roll a Katamari of a specific size without knowing its exact measurement, collecting a specific type of item before taking it back to the NPC in question or being only able to roll at a tremendously fast speed. These are minor deviations from the standard gameplay formula, but this variety is what adds an extra layer of fun to the challenges, and enhances replayability. 

Progression is the same as usual. You complete missions with the resulting Katamari given to the King who promptly turns it into a planet, satellite, comet or other object in the cosmos – with different results serving as a gauge of how well you performed and the types of items you collected most. Not shy of voicing disapproval at your speed, the Katamari size or whatever other mission objectives you were faced with, I found myself genuinely wanting to impress the King in place of getting a middling or negative response. As per my comments on Katamari Damacy Reroll, they have a pretty good level of difficulty which means you can never truly relax and usually feel like time is against you, but none of the challenges feel unfair… except the campfire levels… where success could be easily snuffed out by a single wrong move… or droplet of water.

We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverie is mostly considered a remaster, with its main additions being remastered visuals for last and current-generation consoles and a few enhancements to its offline multiplayer. But there are a few noteworthy changes in this release – none of which alone would justify buying the game” – but adequate features nevertheless. First off are the Royal Reverie missions, a set of five new challenges following The King of the Cosmos during his childhood. These are decent fun challenges but felt like an afterthought and more like bonus mini-challenges for pre-existing levels. More of the king is always a good thing though! A more notable inclusion is the introduction of Eternal Mode, a feature of the first and third games which was for some reason left out of We Love Katamari’s original release. It is very cathartic to bid farewell to the timer and just roll things up at your own pace. Also introduced is a small set of accessories and music DLC, available as part of the game’s digital-exclusive Special Edition or a standalone purchase at a surprisingly high $29.95 AUD price point. In my opinion, unless bought as part of the aforementioned special edition, it is not worth it. The music they have on offer is decent, and I would love the opportunity to play every track with Katamari on the Swing (SEXY-SYNTHESIZER ALL ABOUT namco Mix), but the 25 tracks come in at more than $1 AUD per track… and especially when they are missing Katamari on the Wings… it is too much to ask.

With its anime-esque cel-shaded art style, the aesthetics of We Love Katamari still hold up today, complemented by the work that made the visual quality appropriate for modern-day televisions. Fortunately, as well, none of the bugs I raised in my review of the original remastered release reared their heads this time around – whether due to a better source game or better remastering – was very welcome. The camera was still a pain in the backside to navigate at times, leading to some awkward controls, but at least I wasn’t trapped between objects very often, and not losing seconds if not minutes of progress as the game tried to get me unstuck.

We Love Katamari continues to showcase why the Katamari series is a cult classic of its time, and it is great to see Bandai Namco Entertainment take the opportunity to introduce the original releases to new audiences, rather than keeping the hard-to-find PlayStation 2 releases on Ebay listings and retro game store shelves. This is one game in the series that truly enjoyed to be enjoyed by all. Although easily completable in a single afternoon, We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverie offers a well-rounded assortment of stages that makes it an ideal release for both fans and newcomers alike, with some solid quality of life changes, catchy music and the satisfaction of going from a 1m ball to something towering over people, cities and entire continents.

However I still maintain there would be more value for money if they remastered all the games as a set, perhaps containing Katamari DamacyWe Love Katamari and the PlayStation Portable exclusive Me & My Katamari which has yet to receive a Reroll Remaster. Bigger and more complex games have received the 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 HD collection treatment in recent years and this would have been a suitable fit. 


This review was conducted on a PlayStation 5 native version of We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverie, and factors in updates up to those released on launch day. This review does not factor in any post-launch content. A review code was provided by Bandai Namco Entertainment Australia for the purpose of this review.

We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverie is now available on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.

Founder of The Otaku's Study. I have been exploring this labyrinth of fandom these last fifteen years, and still nowhere close to the exit yet. Probably searching for a long time to come.

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