MSNBC: 'Beautiful Katamari' is fun, but lacks freshness

This third sequel maintains the first game's breezy spirit, but admittedly lacks freshness. There is a definite formula to the "Katamari" games - simple graphics, ridiculous settings and crazy soundtrack - and "Beautiful Katamari" for the Xbox 360 does not stray. However, that doesn't harm this first excursion for the series on the console, which rings up at $40, cheaper than most Xbox 360 games. For one thing, this is new stuff for the "Halo" crowd. And second, if it ain't broke...

The rated-E "Beautiful Katamari" also fills a woefully neglected niche on the Xbox 360: Families. Sure, there are a few family-friendly games on the Xbox 360, such as "Viva Pinata," but the system is largely dominated by hardcore racing games or violent shooters. Anybody can pick up this game and "get it" within seconds. Using just the two control sticks, players roll the balls (called "katamari") like a tank. Pressing both sticks forward rolls the ball straight ahead. To turn the katamari left, press the left stick forward while pulling the right stick back. Casual gamers and young children can immediately have a god time.

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