Strange, but addictive. That's the best way to describe Beautiful Katamari.
You, as the Prince of All Cosmos, are assigned the task of rolling around a ball, or katamari, all the while picking up objects scattered throughout the stage. The more you pick up, the bigger your katamari becomes.
You have to do this because your father, the King of All Cosmos, caused a black hole with a wayward tennis serve (don't ask), and many planets and stars were sucked in. It's up to you to follow his instructions and make katamaris to replace planets, moons, satellites, etc.
The king gives you instructions, such as to roll up only fun things (games, balls, candy) in a stage that is a giant toy store. How well you follow the instructions determines how many points you get for your efforts. Stages range from stores to airports to racetracks and cities.
It's all very strange, but slightly addictive and fun. The characters and stages are bright and colorful, and the music is a mix of techno and infectious Japanese bubblegum pop. There's nothing offensive for the elementary school set, either. In fact, the kids might enjoy watching it as much as you enjoy playing it.
PLATFORM: Xbox 360
PUBLISHER: Namco Bandai
THE VERDICT: *** out of *****