Mobile Games Roundup • Page 3

Springs! Katamari! Food! Zenonia! Minotron!

I Love Katamari

I always loved the idea of the Katamari games more than the actual execution - mainly because I never could quite get my addled head around the controls. On a smartphone, though, it makes perfect sense to tilt your Katamari in the direction you want it to roll.

That said, you might recall Namco Mobile made a complete pig's ear of the game for its original iOS release in 2009. Far from taking advantage of what smartphones had to offer it was a stuttering, unoptimised mess - until it was patched to reach some sort of respectability.

You might imagine, then, that WP7 handset owners would end up with the ultimate version, free of any of the problems, and with perhaps smoother, sharper visuals to sweeten the deal.

Naa. Nana-na na-na na-na, Katamari Damacy.

Sadly, this is the kind of sloppy, loveless port that will test the patience of all but the most undemanding fan. Bizarrely, the frame rate still leaves plenty to be desired, and the long load/resume times and poorly textured environments make the whole project seem like a hapless rush job.

If you're a Katamari diehard that can live with all of that, the game's reasonably good fun by virtue of the far more logical controls, but you'll rip through it in no time. And then there's the eye-watering price: at almost twice the cost of the iOS version, you'd have to really love Katamari to consider paying that.



A couple of years on from its initial launch, Gamevil's acclaimed RPG hardly qualifies as a new release. However, its gradual proliferation to practically every handheld system out there suggests it's got something going for it. High time we found out what.

Anyone who still hankers after games in the spirit of classic SNES-era, top down, hack-and-slash action RPGs will fall for Zenonia approximately 4.2 seconds after starting the game.

As far as homages to the past go it hits every mark you can think of. A gorgeously evocative 16-bit visual style, simple combat style and sharp writing all helping to drag you in to the promise of an epic 40-hour plus adventure.

Out of time.

The premise of a young boy avenging his father's death is hardly groundbreaking, but this isn't the place to come if you're after sparkling originality. Having been sent out on an undemanding bunch of fetch quests, you'll feel yourself settling into a familiar pattern of monster slaying, looting and exploration and you'll fall for it all the same.

It's a well worn formula that continues to entertain. Once you get your inevitable rewards and start levelling up, you'll inevitably want to see what happens next. And before you know it, Zenonia will have claimed its latest victim.


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About the author

Kristan Reed

Kristan Reed


Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.


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