Katamari Amore Hands-On Preview

We’ve just received a few more details on Katamari Amore. The version we played at E3 was extremely choppy, and we could only use one control scheme (tilt). Namco has since provided us with their explanation.

According to Namco, Katamari Amore will have three control schemes: tilt, one-stick touch controls, and two-stick touch controls. Also, Namco tells us that the version we played had a low frame rate because the size of the game had to be increased significantly in order to finish the demo in time for E3. The final version, we’re told, will not have this problem.

We’re hoping that by the time Katamari Amore hits the App Store, it’ll be a snap to control and the frame rate will be smooth. But that’s just our hope– the E3 demo was a disappointment, so we’ll just have to wait and play the final product to find out for sure.

Katamari Amore is the second Katamari game for the iPhone and iPad. The first, I Love Katamari, was a bit of a disappointment. Although we love the series, we worry that this upcoming sequel might be more of the same.

In the Katamari series, you play as a tiny space prince who rolls a sticky gravity ball everywhere he goes. The goal is usually to make your ball as big as possible by running over smaller objects, and Katamari Amore adds more objectives, like exact size requirements, on each stage.

Katamari Amore is controlled entirely by tilt, and we didn’t see any options for touch controls or tilt calibrations. Unfortunately, like the last game, we didn’t find the tilt controls to work very effectively, especially compared to other ball-rolling games like Super Monkey Ball 2.

Plus, the game still suffers from a lot of slowdown. Even though the high-res Retina graphics look nice, the game didn’t run smoothly, and froze almost completely when “leveling up” to a bigger size.

We’re still holding out hope for a quality Katamari iOS game, though. We liked the inclusion of bonus levels, like a run through Pac-Man‘s maze, complete with power pellets and ghosts. But if our hands-on is any indication, maybe this is a series best left to home consoles. Katamari Amore will be available soon.

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