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I have 'Katamari Damacy', and love it, except I have an extremely hard time controlling the rolling ball. It always feels awkward to me, and when I settle into playing, my thumbs quickly begin to ache from all of the strain that results in rolling-ball-direction-frustration. I'll openly admit that I tend to think that I have to move both sticks in the direction I wish to go, to perform that action. Can you offer any tips?

Also, when playing Katamari, the higher levels, I feel like in order to pass the level, I have to memorize the locations of objects in order of size and to win, to zip from one site to another like an alphabetical shopping-spree. Can you offer any advice or tips there? Am I doing it wrong?

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Katamari do your best! –  Beska Jul 9 '10 at 17:25
    
I don't think that the health tag belongs here. –  rlb.usa Apr 17 '12 at 16:01

3 Answers 3

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If I start playing it after a few months of not playing it, my thumbs get sore too. After a few hours I stop playing it and maybe the next day or so when I play again, it hurts less. You might just be needing some rest for your poor thumbs. If you start feeling pain you should definitely give it a rest - don't keep playing until your thumbs literally fall off, right?

You might also want to consider trying out different controllers - there might be a model which has less resistance in the thumbsticks, which would make things easier to move.

In terms of strategy, I noticed that I do try to go for the same patches of clustered objects that are just barely grab-able - this helps me grow the katamari the fastest. Things like sunflowers, desks, and especially trees tend to clump together - once you can get one, you get like 20 in the same area. Same with boats, buildings and the open-sea fishing pens (although if you can get to that size you probably have the hang of it). Fences also seem to help it grow fast but they can get annoying with their odd shapes.

Also, look for things that are actually a collection of inter-touching objects, like a stack of lego-type blocks, or the red mailboxes in the town, or a wall of bricks where each brick is a separate object - you can gain size pretty quickly with those also.

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I would try to be a bit more conscious of how you're holding the controller and how much pressure you're using. Are you sure that your thumbs become sore from the pressure you're using, or is it possibly the position of your thumbs on the joysticks for an extended period of time? I know some people who have larger hands have difficulty playing in the double joystick position if they play for a long time.

If it's seriously affecting your ability to play, I'd do what "they" recommend, and try taking a 15 minute break for every hour you play (which none of us gamers ever do, I'm pretty sure, haha). It's better to take a break once in a while then have thumbs that are killing you.

In regards to the higher levels, which levels in particular are you having trouble with? Don't beat yourself up trying to get all the presents, all the cousins, the biggest katamari, and the shooting star goal in one playthrough of a level. It's pretty much impossible at the higher levels. Especially if you're having trouble with sore thumbs, you don't want to put that much pressure on yourself. Do a run for the present, a run for the cousin, and so on.

Knowing what objects are where does help a lot, but you don't necessarily have to do it perfectly. There are many walkthroughs and guides out there that have specific tips for each level that can help you! I don't know which ones you're having trouble with, so I can't give any specific tips, but in general, don't worry about picking up every single piece in one go when you are rolling. For example, you see a row of 10 erasers and you roll and only grab 8. In general, it is faster to just keep rolling onto the next item then to maneuver yourself around to grab the 2 you missed. Just roll right into the cookies or the thumbtacks and keep moving, as that will be much faster in the long run. If you're in an area where you're going around in a circle, just pick them up on the next lap. If you're in a level where you need to pick up specific items (crabs, cows, women) and you miss one or two, again, just keep rolling, you will find more. There's never really a case where you will run out of what you're looking for without growing to another size, so mobility is the key!

Don't forget about the quick-turn, where you press the joysticks down at the same time to do a quick 180. Doing that is way faster than turning around if you are stuck in a corner.

Hope this helps! Apologies for the long-windedness, but I'm a big Katamari fan. :P

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A 180 and cousins? This game only gets better and better! –  rlb.usa Jul 9 '10 at 20:38
    
The only reason you'd need to know exactly where a specific item is would be for 100% completion: sometimes a certain item can only be reached when you are between certain sizes (too small and you can't pick it up; too big and you can't reach it to pick it up). However, you'll pick up the vast majority of items simply from playing the game over and over ... once you get to the point where you're in the 90s, you can start worrying about where item X is. –  Dave DuPlantis Jun 4 '11 at 15:13

Yeah, sometimes your thumbs can get sore, and I've found that I don't have to press the controls as hard as my instinct is to press. My thumbs got less sore after that.

Also, yeah, in some cases, you have to move all over the level to get the pieces you need, but usually there are some more-optimal paths. Maybe you can skip one piece in far away if you pick up a couple more smaller items along the way.

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