Katamari Damacy picks up network mode

Sequel to cult classic (well, in as much as 90 per cent of the small number of folks playing it love it to bits) to benefit from four-player online mode according to report.

Namco's Katamari Damacy follow-up will be called Katamari Damacy Oni and will feature four-player online multiplay, according to a report picked up on by The Magic Box this week, remaining on PS2 exclusively.

But of course, there are probably plenty out there still wondering just what the hell the original is or was, given that it has yet to see a Western release (despite a positive response at E3). So: the player controls a little princely chap, who rolls a sticky ball around various environments picking things up, gradually outgrowing each environment and being able to roll over and absorb bigger and bigger objects into the ball. The scale runs from drawing pins to, well, football stadiums...

It's a peculiar concept, but it's universally appealing (according to a poll of boozed up girlfriends at a recent gathering, anyway) and it cuts a fine balance and deserves credit for being much more than just a good concept. Credit we'll be lumping on it shortly, for the record.

Anyway, as we told you yesterday, Namco's Japanese Katamari Damacy website is currently promising more information soon on a possible sequel. However, a snippet on The Magic Box goes into more detail about the announcement - believed to originate in the Japanese Nikkei newspaper.

According to the report, the game will be released in Japan this autumn, after the original sold more than 100,000 copies (including one or two to Eurogamer staff), and the biggest new feature will be online support - the prospect of which already has our minds racing.

Specifics are non-existent at this point, but we're already speculating excitedly whilst humming along to our copies of the original soundtrack CD (did we mention it has the finest proper soundtrack we've heard in years?). Perhaps it'll be 'first to roll a certain-sized ball wins', but we like the idea of trying to roll a big enough ball to roll over other players.

Expect to hear more on Katamari Damacy and its newly announced sequel in the coming weeks, presumably when Namco confirms the contents of the Nikkei piece itself.

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