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my, earth really is full of things

maura @ 9:26 pm

Merry Xmas! Yes, things have been quiet around here. Because we are all playing with our toys! And eating too many cookies! And hanging out with friends new + old!

It’s a video game xmas here in our house. Gus got an old game (Kirby and the Amazing Mirror) for the Game Boy and he’s been really really into it. And I scored a secondhand PlayStation 2 for Jonathan off a neighborhood listserv.

“Wait one dang minute,” I know you’re thinking. “Don’t you already have several game consoles? Mostly made by Nintendo?” Well, yes, we do. But Jonathan’s had a few PS2 games on his wishlist for a while, and then folks went and bought them for him, but no one’d gotten him the system, and then this secondhand one popped up, so it seemed like a good time to bring yet another game console into our happy home.

While there have been a few ace PlayStation games, I am in general not a fan of the system. So let’s get the complaints out right now: the PS2 is pretty heinous, design-wise, compared to Nintendo. It’s this huge heavy brick of a thing, nothing like the lithe little Wii or even the chunky yet attractive GameCube. I guess it does have a DVD player in it, but whatever, we already have a DVD player, why do we need another one? Also the controller is needlessly overcomplicated: 2 joysticks! 8 buttons! Aiieee!!!

Phew, glad that’s out of the way. Because one of the games we have for this thing is completely incredible. The first game that I’ve really wanted to play in a long long time. You all probably know it by now, it’s been out for an age: Katamari Damacy.

OMG, it is too much, like the essence of Japan in video game form. It’s a gorgeous amazing colorful work of art, seriously. The music is insanely good — Jonathan told me that the songs were recorded just for the game by famous j-pop stars. It’s been in my head for days now, but it’s not making me crazy!

The plot of the game is that you are this little green prince and your dad is the king of the cosmos and he did a mess of trippy dance moves in the sky and broke all of the stars. So you need to make new stars for the sky for him. You do this by rolling a sticky ball (your katamari) around on the ground and picking up objects until the katamari gets big enough to be released into the sky. (Yes, you roll with BOTH joysticks, and it isn’t even that annoying! Probably because you don’t need to use any of the buttons.)

It’s completely hilarious and fun: you start off rolling up small things like thumbtacks and caramels and mahjongg tiles, but as the katamari gets bigger you can pick up bigger things. Most amusing are the living things you can roll up: butterflies, mice, cats, even people. They wiggle and scream when you grab them! When the katamari gets huge you can roll up cars, trucks, buildings, etc. Oh, the power!

So obsessed am I that the other night I was going on and on to Jonathan about the game as social commentary, how there is so much stuff in the world and here is this otherworldly being wanting to pick it all up and take it away from us. Wishful thinking? Anticonsumerist? Who’s to say, I am probably letting my admiration take me too far.

And yes, dear readers, it IS a cleaning game. Of COURSE I am obsessed with a cleaning game. Unsurprising, no?

one comment on “my, earth really is full of things”

mauraweb!» archive » planning for grumpiness (7 February 2013 at 9:27 pm)

[…] to play: Journey, an arty conceptual wandering figuring things out game; and Katamari Forever, more rolling up cleaning up […]

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