Katamari Damacy will very probably end up among the best PS2 games ever made. Either way, it is certainly among the best never released here. Its sequel - more of an intelligent remix - did appear, but in limited quantities quickly absorbed by fans. So, for an audience of Xbox 360 owners no doubt struggling to believe their luck at scooping Beautiful Katamari, why are these games so revered?
The answers are many. The simplicity of the original Katamari Damacy concept is the most obvious - so captivatingly gamey! Starting off with a pocket-size adhesive ball, your job is to push it around a room rolling over objects small enough to stick to its surface. As your ball - the titular katamari - gathers more and more objects, it grows in size and the scale of the world subtly adjusts so that things that previously deflected you become trivial enough to stick to the outer layer. The obvious potential - to start off on the carpet and come back later to roll over the house - is later realised, and the joy of watching things you've collected wiggle and squirm as they roll over the top of your creation is magic.
The first game's charm, however, was equally dependent on other elements. It was in the King of All Cosmos, a pompous caricature of infallible theocrats (with a delicious dash of regal syphilitic madness thrown in for good measure), who dispensed your goals; it was in the deliberately angular graphics, and the way objects burst with colour and sound when they joined the katamari; it was in the physicality of every object, and the way the ball's movement characteristics changed depending on the shape of the things stuck to the very outside.