The cutscenes between levels in Touch My Katamari show an otaku of the worst kind. As he shuns his geeky self, he becomes more successful and happier in life. But what message is that sending to us geeks playing the game?
CJ Melendez at the site Rely on Horror sees Katamari as a game specializing in psychological horror:
What Touch My Katamari has done is break the fourth wall in order to send a message to the player: that they are losers. Why would this game outright show you a geek gamer can make something of himself if he quit his hobbies? Because this game wants you to hate yourself.
Additionally, the King of all Cosmos is frequently unhappy with players’ performance, emotionally abusing them continually.
The berating is so subtle, so muted by the game’s cheery theme that it successfully burrows into the back of your mind and allowed to spread like necroses. Something as simple as the mission complete screen targets the player’s self-esteem. Instead of being given the option to exit or say no to replaying a successfully completed mission, the King asks if you would like to retry or quit. The word quit is powerful as it implies that the Prince did not do well enough. You did not do well enough. No matter how well you did on that mission or what praise you had finally received, the King will not allow room for you to feel like you have accomplished enough; he demands more and more from you!
And yet, when I played this game, I found the King’s neuroticism amusing and his abusiveness harmless. Maybe a little self-awareness is good for us.