Weekly Game Music: Katamari on the Swing (We Heart Katamari)

Lets add in some lyrics in this one, shall we? Today’s song is from We Heart Katamari, Katamari on the Swing, composed by Yu Miyake and Yoshihito Yano, and sung by Shigeru Matsuzaki. This song is easily one of my favorite video game songs, trumping well over the more popular theme music — Katamari on the Rock — due to a better singer and lyrics.

If We Heart Katamari was summarized in one word, it’d be “weird”. Coming from a newcomer game developer, Keita Takahashi, We Heart Katamari acted as a direct sequel to the sleeper PS2 hit, Katamari Damacy. In fact, from the story standpoint, it even makes references to this. We Heart Katamari starts directly after Katamari Damacy ended: once the stars in the galaxy were restored (long story), the first game had such a huge fan-base, The King of All Cosmos and his son, Prince, decides to fulfill their many requests and favors.

To say We Heart Katamari is a surreal game is really under-selling it. The game’s objective is to roll a Katamari, a gravity ball that can pick-up objects smaller than itself, and make it as big as possible within a time limit. The more junk the Katamari picks up, the bigger it becomes. Consequently, the Katamari is able to pick up larger objects, allowing it to grow in size exponentially. Therein lies the charm of the game: it can pick up anything and everything. No ifs or buts. The art direction is certainly worth taking a look: it makes numerous jokes and references, including things like King Kong, Godzilla, Ultraman, etc. To take the words from another reviewer, We Heart Katamari is a game telling a big, hilarious joke with a stern, serious straight face.

While We Heart Katamari is a old game for the PS2, which may not bode well for many of the audience, its sequels are available on iTunes, Xbox 360, PS3, and the PSP. I definitely recommend giving it a shot. It’s an innovator that redefined the gaming landscape.


Extra!

Title: Katamari On The Funk (Senor Coconut’s “Katamambo!” remix)
Game: Katamari Forever
Composer: Yu Miyake, Naotaka Higashiyama
Remixer: Señor Coconut
Vocals: Katamari Soul Train

Title: Overture II
Game: We Love Katamari
Composer: Yu Miyake, Asuka Sakai


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