Hello and welcome to the first Cygnus Destroyer review of 2019! This year marks my seventh anniversary on YouTube and I’ve decided to celebrate that good luck anniversary by tackling some of my all time favorites & filling in some of the massive gaps in my gaming history, so to kick things off, I’m bringing in one of the big guns from the latter category. Of all the franchises that I’ve yet to experience, few have left me in a state of awed wonder as Katamari Damacy. This Bandai Namco series has grown to an almost mythical stature to me since I first heard of it, but for one reason or another, I’ve never gotten around to checking it out, so it’s perhaps an oddly coincidental twist of fate that a new entry was just released.The fittingly titled REROLL is an HD remaster of the original Katamari Damacy produced for the PC & Nintendo Switch to tie-in with the 15th anniversary of the beloved PS2 era gem. The premise is simple, but bizarre as all get out…we play as the prince & are ordered by our father, the King of All Cosmos, to clean up his mess. In his reckless haste, he went & wrecked all of the celestial bodies in the sky, so it’s our job to fix the damage with the help of the titular ball. There are 9 stars to reconstruct & a number of constellations, including the big C itself, and they each entail a variety of requirements to do so.We start off having to build a 10cm Katamari & this low-stress tutorial-esque stage offers a great opportunity to get used to the unorthodox controls. As with the majority of 3D action adventures, Reroll takes full advantage of the two sticks, but unlike the rest of its peers, Bandai Namco’s cult classic hit ditches the traditional left movement, right camera format in favor of a synchronized dual analog system. Pressing a direction on the left & right sticks at the same time will make the prince travel towards it, and double clicking down will make him halt in his tracks & alternate mashing them will result in the Charge ‘n’ Roll attack. These controls have been met with some harsh criticism from disoriented rookies & I myself was admittedly turned off by them on initial impressions, but I eventually figured out what I was doing wrong & I really started to appreciate REROLL for the eccentric wacky ride that it is. Before sitting down for my capture session, I was passingly familiar with the Katamari Damacy brand, so I thought I knew what to expect, but REROLL went well beyond what I’d imagined in a wonderfully spectacular manner.As mentioned previously, our main objective is to gather material to build balls big enough to refill the empty void of the space neighboring our bright blue orb & we have to collect whatever it takes to complete this task. At the beginning of a level, when the Katamari is at its smallest, this usually means running over thumb tacks, dice & bananas, but when the ball grows to a suitable size, the types of targets that can be consumed increase & we’re eventually able to tackle people, vehicles & even buildings. The ensuing monstrosity is quite a sight to behold & tons of fun to control, but be careful not to get snagged on any of the hurdles surrounding the enormous environments. One wrong move can lead to significant shrinkage, so it’s best to stick to safe terrain & pray that the goal is reached before the clock strikes zero, because the punishment for failing to do so is severe & super creepy.King of All Cosmos related unpleasantness aside, REROLL offers an overall relaxing experience that is complimented by a top notch presentation. The graphics remain true to the original game, but they’ve been given an upgraded sheen that looks great on modern TVs. The vibrant color palette of the cute cartoony visuals are the perfect antidote for the winter blues a lot of us are currently feeling & they’re equally matched by the quaintly quirky soundtrack. In a bold move to retain its off-kilter vibe, Bandai Namco did very little to tailor Katamari to its American audience beyond translating the text & adding subtitles. This of course led to many WTF moments, but it also enhanced the appeal on a personal level & contributed greatly to the franchise’s signature tone. The cutscenes rewarded for finishing each stage are Japanese to the core and pretty much impossible to localize without losing the charm, while the undubbed musical accompaniment is hooky in a unique way that worms into your psyche in spite of the language barrier.If you’re like me going into this video & you have the barest minimum of knowledge about this series, then chances are that you’ve at least heard “Lonely Rolling Star.” That song has gained a life outside the boundaries of its source material & become a part of gaming culture in a way that only the Marios & Zeldas have. The upbeat chiptune backing & hauntingly beautiful vocals are an eye watering combination that brilliantly sets this Bandai Namco oddity apart from the competition & I was delighted to finally listen to it in the game itself. As endearing as the song is & as captivating as the core mechanics are, REROLL isn’t without its share of flaws. The barebones narrative is nonsensical, the penalty for losing mass can be overly unfair & the learning curve is a bit too tight. As we progress through the available missions, the objectives ramp up in unison, with one requiring a 1.5M ball & another calling for a 6M before swiftly doubling it for the next.While this by itself is far from a herculean feat, the strict time restraints placed on this task ensures that it becomes quite a challenge, and when you factor in the limited amount of level variety, the novelty starts to wear off during prolonged playthroughs. With that said, though, all of these blemishes are minor in nature & they don’t stop Katamari Damacy REROLL from being the goofy adventure I was hoping for. I had a blast being berated by the moody bastard King as I crushed innocent bystanders to the melodious tones of some surprisingly emotional songs, and this was made even better by the Switch allowing me to engage in this hilariously destructive action as I casually kicked back on my coach.Long story short, Bandai Namco did a fantastic job of bringing this PS2 classic into the current generation, and I’d absolutely recommend checking it out whether you’re a greenhorn like me or a seasoned pro. Anyway, now that I’ve checked off one of the games I’ve been meaning to try for years now, I’ve got another Patreon request to work on. Be sure to come back for that, but until then, this is Matt a.k.a. Cygnus Destroyer signing out! .