(Namco Bandai for PS3)
By Mike Delano
In the Katamari games, your character rolls around a big ball that sticks to everything in the environment. As your ball collects all manner of debris, it becomes bigger and bigger until a clock runs out and you’re scored based on the size of your mobile heap. It’s a quirky concept from Japan, but really, it scratches a universal itch. People love to collect all kinds of crap, and they also love to eliminate clutter (see: late night infomercials). When you see all of this trash scattered across a Katamari level, your urge is to clean it up, an urge intensified by the need to compulsively collect things like life is one big blank check shopping spree. Gamers have this compulsion even more than others. For decades, we’ve been pillaging treasure chests and humping walls in RPGs just to accumulate items that we may or may not need. Even the recent Borderlands is a lootfest masquerading as a shooter: Your character spends as much time rummaging through piles of trash for money and prizes as he or she does blasting aliens. Katamari Forever simply distills the need to collect to its simplest form. And you thought you would never enjoy a vacuuming simulator.