• Author arn
  • Posted On2008-12-18 14:54:52
  • News

Last week's initial enthusiasm for the Namco's I Love Katamari [App Store] iPhone port was quickly tempered by reports of major performance issues.

I Love Katamari has been rather well received by our readers, but some accurately note that as the katamari increases in size, the framerate of the game dips to a rather low level, making for sluggish gameplay.

We've heard that the framerate problem is "well known" by Namco, and can only assume they pushed to get the initial release out before the holidays. They are, however, said to be scrambling to issue a software update. The patch is said to be almost ready and will hopefully address these performance issues.

So existing customers should be able to look forward to some relief, and those still waiting in the wings could see a reason to make the jump.

  • tosui

    I'm glad they're addressing this problem, but of course you have to be pissed at the obvious greed of releasing it with known issues!

    And, man, if they "appease" people by dropping the price this early, I'm gonna be really PO'd, cause that would basically just punish the early adopters (like me).

  • tosui

    I'm glad they're addressing this problem, but of course you have to be pissed at the obvious greed of releasing it with known issues!

    And, man, if they "appease" people by dropping the price this early, I'm gonna be really PO'd, cause that would basically just punish the early adopters (like me).

  • NotYou

    This is good news. I was holding out on buying this until it's been fixed.
    It's good to know they're concerned enough to fix the issue. I really wasn't sure if they would or not.
    I might just ahead and get this now since they're already working in a fix.

  • NotYou

    This is good news. I was holding out on buying this until it's been fixed.
    It's good to know they're concerned enough to fix the issue. I really wasn't sure if they would or not.
    I might just ahead and get this now since they're already working in a fix.

  • http://www.fftrealm.com Noah

    Sorry, but dropping the price is never punishment for early adopters. You get your value out of using the application during a time period where others do not get that luxury.

    You buy a 2008 model car for 25k... the next year it's only 15k used. Do you feel cheated? You shouldn't, you got a year's use out of the car.

    The same principal applies here.

  • http://www.fftrealm.com Noah

    Sorry, but dropping the price is never punishment for early adopters. You get your value out of using the application during a time period where others do not get that luxury.

    You buy a 2008 model car for 25k... the next year it's only 15k used. Do you feel cheated? You shouldn't, you got a year's use out of the car.

    The same principal applies here.

  • NotYou

    @Noah
    I agree with you. Somehow, most people seem to look at the app store differently than most markets. If you buy a game from a regular store and goes on sale a week later, you just say "dammit" and forget about it. Most people wouldn't go writing the developers to tell them off.

    In the app store, most people seem to think doing that is normal for some reason.

  • NotYou

    @Noah
    I agree with you. Somehow, most people seem to look at the app store differently than most markets. If you buy a game from a regular store and goes on sale a week later, you just say "dammit" and forget about it. Most people wouldn't go writing the developers to tell them off.

    In the app store, most people seem to think doing that is normal for some reason.

  • Jamie Poitra

    Something about the web gives us a sense of entitlement. Its kind of weird the things people will say and do online that we would never do in real life. A developer doesn't change the price of their app to piss you off. They do it to make money. What the hell is wrong with that?

  • Jamie Poitra

    Something about the web gives us a sense of entitlement. Its kind of weird the things people will say and do online that we would never do in real life. A developer doesn't change the price of their app to piss you off. They do it to make money. What the hell is wrong with that?

  • http://www.elecplay.com Victor Lucas

    This site is terrific! I'm a huge fan of iPhone gaming and we're covering developments and titles in our shows regularly now. I bought Katamari almost the second it dropped and like others was so bummed to see the slowdown. Hopefully that patch hits soon. This will the place I'll probably find out about it. :)

    Keep up the great work at TouchArcade!!

    Happy Holidays!

    Victor Lucas
    Electric Playground

  • http://www.elecplay.com Victor Lucas

    This site is terrific! I'm a huge fan of iPhone gaming and we're covering developments and titles in our shows regularly now. I bought Katamari almost the second it dropped and like others was so bummed to see the slowdown. Hopefully that patch hits soon. This will the place I'll probably find out about it. :)

    Keep up the great work at TouchArcade!!

    Happy Holidays!

    Victor Lucas
    Electric Playground

  • SalsaMD

    @Jamie

    Cyberspace rage is a well known frontal lobe release phenomenon...

  • SalsaMD

    @Jamie

    Cyberspace rage is a well known frontal lobe release phenomenon...

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    I agree with those who have expressed that for the iPhone to realize its potential as a gaming platform, people are going to have to be willing to occasionally pay more than $10 for a quality title. Look at the shelf price for PSP and DS games.

    I just bought, as a PSN download, Super Stardust Portable for the PSP for $10. It's a superb game. But it's the cheapest PSP game I've ever bought. There's room for apps at many pricepoints. I think ng:moco has a wise philosophy at present with their "fast apps" for cheap versus the higher paid apps like Rolando.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    I agree with those who have expressed that for the iPhone to realize its potential as a gaming platform, people are going to have to be willing to occasionally pay more than $10 for a quality title. Look at the shelf price for PSP and DS games.

    I just bought, as a PSN download, Super Stardust Portable for the PSP for $10. It's a superb game. But it's the cheapest PSP game I've ever bought. There's room for apps at many pricepoints. I think ng:moco has a wise philosophy at present with their "fast apps" for cheap versus the higher paid apps like Rolando.

  • Pingback: SimCity, Rolando。とか言って置いて昨夜は7 cities TD! iPhoneニュースと世相斜め読み 2008/12/19 ver 1.0 : iPhone AppBank

  • David Solberg

    I'm tired of buying applications in the middle of their development. When the iPhone App Store first appeared, I didn't mind it as much because it was just fun having applications on my phone. However, with the good selection of games currently available, I'm not buying an application until it's "finished" as evidenced by the lack of people complaining about it being slow, crashy, and hard to control. I so badly want to purchase SimCity, but I'm not going to until (if) it gets fixed so it doesn't crash phones and isn't slow to respond.

  • David Solberg

    I'm tired of buying applications in the middle of their development. When the iPhone App Store first appeared, I didn't mind it as much because it was just fun having applications on my phone. However, with the good selection of games currently available, I'm not buying an application until it's "finished" as evidenced by the lack of people complaining about it being slow, crashy, and hard to control. I so badly want to purchase SimCity, but I'm not going to until (if) it gets fixed so it doesn't crash phones and isn't slow to respond.

  • Chad

    @ Noah
    Noah Says:
    December 18th, 2008 at 3:41 pm
    Sorry, but dropping the price is never punishment for early adopters. You get your value out of using the application during a time period where others do not get that luxury.

    You buy a 2008 model car for 25k… the next year it’s only 15k used. Do you feel cheated? You shouldn’t, you got a year’s use out of the car.

    The same principal applies here.

    This is ridiculous. The concept does not apply. First off, a used car is used - a game is new regardless of when you buy it. Furthermore, a game is often updated or improved and then sold at a lower price - the car is just used and at a lower price.

    Someone failed logic 101

  • Chad

    @ Noah
    Noah Says:
    December 18th, 2008 at 3:41 pm
    Sorry, but dropping the price is never punishment for early adopters. You get your value out of using the application during a time period where others do not get that luxury.

    You buy a 2008 model car for 25k… the next year it’s only 15k used. Do you feel cheated? You shouldn’t, you got a year’s use out of the car.

    The same principal applies here.

    This is ridiculous. The concept does not apply. First off, a used car is used - a game is new regardless of when you buy it. Furthermore, a game is often updated or improved and then sold at a lower price - the car is just used and at a lower price.

    Someone failed logic 101

  • tosui

    Hey, sorry to open a can of worms. I think there are valuable points to each side.

    All I meant was that if you *know* you're product is defective upon sale, you usually *add* value to existing customers. (E.g., MobileMe added extra months to existing customers). To sell a broken car at full price, and then fix the problem and sell the better-working car at a discount is a slap in the face to existing customers (you know, the ones who have already paid!) If this was done by Ford, we'd be hearing about it on CNN.

    I have no problem with price drops - I paid knowing what I was paying, but apparently the devs knew that I wasn't getting the whole deal. That is what I find annoying - the premeditation of an unfinished release, especially by a big dev. Of course price drops down the line are fine - it's the price we willingly pay for getting an app earlier.

  • tosui

    Hey, sorry to open a can of worms. I think there are valuable points to each side.

    All I meant was that if you *know* you're product is defective upon sale, you usually *add* value to existing customers. (E.g., MobileMe added extra months to existing customers). To sell a broken car at full price, and then fix the problem and sell the better-working car at a discount is a slap in the face to existing customers (you know, the ones who have already paid!) If this was done by Ford, we'd be hearing about it on CNN.

    I have no problem with price drops - I paid knowing what I was paying, but apparently the devs knew that I wasn't getting the whole deal. That is what I find annoying - the premeditation of an unfinished release, especially by a big dev. Of course price drops down the line are fine - it's the price we willingly pay for getting an app earlier.

  • David S

    i do hope they're able to address the performance issues. i had high hopes for this game!

  • David S

    i do hope they're able to address the performance issues. i had high hopes for this game!

  • tosui

    @David

    The game itself is actually very fun! If you're unsure about it, wait until the update comes out and keep checking this site for reviews on the forum. On the other hand, I find that playing it in the free mode (so you don't have to worry about time) is fine, if you don't mind a little slowness when you size-up. But it's a very fun game! If they fix the slowness, it'll be a killer game!

    And between Katamari, Rolando, and SimCity (to name a few recent goodies), it's a good thing that people have time off over the holidays!

  • tosui

    @David

    The game itself is actually very fun! If you're unsure about it, wait until the update comes out and keep checking this site for reviews on the forum. On the other hand, I find that playing it in the free mode (so you don't have to worry about time) is fine, if you don't mind a little slowness when you size-up. But it's a very fun game! If they fix the slowness, it'll be a killer game!

    And between Katamari, Rolando, and SimCity (to name a few recent goodies), it's a good thing that people have time off over the holidays!

  • Obiter

    @ Blake Patterson

    The price for iPhone games can be lower because of the much cheaper production, distribution and licensing costs. Apple has created a distro model that allows more of the money to go straight to the developer who can pass the savings on. It's the "iTunes of gaming". Apple is shaking up the games market and challenging the crazy distribution control of the likes of Nintendo and Sony. You should change your expectations as a consumer.

  • Obiter

    @ Blake Patterson

    The price for iPhone games can be lower because of the much cheaper production, distribution and licensing costs. Apple has created a distro model that allows more of the money to go straight to the developer who can pass the savings on. It's the "iTunes of gaming". Apple is shaking up the games market and challenging the crazy distribution control of the likes of Nintendo and Sony. You should change your expectations as a consumer.

  • Omnithrope

    For some reason I don't have a problem dropping $30 on Beatmaker, but find $10 too much for a game.

    I guess I know that something like Beatmaker will continue to be useful/used for a long time, while Katamari will only provide a limited bit of fun.

    /shrug

  • Omnithrope

    For some reason I don't have a problem dropping $30 on Beatmaker, but find $10 too much for a game.

    I guess I know that something like Beatmaker will continue to be useful/used for a long time, while Katamari will only provide a limited bit of fun.

    /shrug

  • steve

    I just dropped $10.50 to watch "The Day the Earth Stood Still". Excellent film,but it was over after 2 hours, and I had to leave. And if I want to see it again, it's another $10.50!!

    A decent ipod game should give you much more than 2 hours of fun. People should stop whining and compare it to movies, dinner, or a couple of drinks.

  • steve

    I just dropped $10.50 to watch "The Day the Earth Stood Still". Excellent film,but it was over after 2 hours, and I had to leave. And if I want to see it again, it's another $10.50!!

    A decent ipod game should give you much more than 2 hours of fun. People should stop whining and compare it to movies, dinner, or a couple of drinks.

  • james

    @Noah

    You buy a 2008 model car for 25k… the next year it’s only 15k used. Do you feel cheated? You shouldn’t, you got a year’s use out of the car.

    The same principal applies here.......

    I STRONGLY disagree with this in this particular situation. It's more like buying a new car and finding out that the windshield wipers work only half the time, the gas pedal constantly sticks, and the transmission has major issues. The car company admits it released an unusable car and then apologizes and promises to fix it with next years model for half the price.

    So did I get "use" out of this vehicle before "next years" model came out? Absolutely not considering the original model couldn't even be driven!!

    The problem isn't on the side of the buyer ( the game does not have a demo) and some would like to argue that you should wait till you read reviews before you buy. Well, reviews come from, you guessed it, early adopters! Early adopters were slapped in the face by buying a game that was obviously known to be broken by the manufacturer.

    If the price is going to be lowered after the fix it would be smart to refund early adopters the price difference. It would be good PR for the company and would encourage even more early adopter in my opinion. Please note that I DO NOT feel that most apps fall into this category but this one certainly does because it was obviously VERY broken on release.

  • james

    @Noah

    You buy a 2008 model car for 25k… the next year it’s only 15k used. Do you feel cheated? You shouldn’t, you got a year’s use out of the car.

    The same principal applies here.......

    I STRONGLY disagree with this in this particular situation. It's more like buying a new car and finding out that the windshield wipers work only half the time, the gas pedal constantly sticks, and the transmission has major issues. The car company admits it released an unusable car and then apologizes and promises to fix it with next years model for half the price.

    So did I get "use" out of this vehicle before "next years" model came out? Absolutely not considering the original model couldn't even be driven!!

    The problem isn't on the side of the buyer ( the game does not have a demo) and some would like to argue that you should wait till you read reviews before you buy. Well, reviews come from, you guessed it, early adopters! Early adopters were slapped in the face by buying a game that was obviously known to be broken by the manufacturer.

    If the price is going to be lowered after the fix it would be smart to refund early adopters the price difference. It would be good PR for the company and would encourage even more early adopter in my opinion. Please note that I DO NOT feel that most apps fall into this category but this one certainly does because it was obviously VERY broken on release.

  • http://www.touchsports.com Handheld Games

    IMO... Its probably a case of... It plays well on the iPod touch 2G..... But when consumers started complaining that frame rates on slower devices like the iPhone 3G, iPhone and iPod touch 1G... Someone finally took notice.

    Lets hope pubs like Konami and... Cough... Cough... Gameloft.... And well hopefully EA.... Lets see if there are any frame rate problems on NFS when it ships.... Start shipping games that can maintain a minimum of 24FPS locked - across all devices. 30 is ideal. But running somewhere between 10-15 has never been acceptable on any platform.. Why should it be on the iTouch platform?

    Lates!
    HHG

  • http://www.touchsports.com Handheld Games

    IMO... Its probably a case of... It plays well on the iPod touch 2G..... But when consumers started complaining that frame rates on slower devices like the iPhone 3G, iPhone and iPod touch 1G... Someone finally took notice.

    Lets hope pubs like Konami and... Cough... Cough... Gameloft.... And well hopefully EA.... Lets see if there are any frame rate problems on NFS when it ships.... Start shipping games that can maintain a minimum of 24FPS locked - across all devices. 30 is ideal. But running somewhere between 10-15 has never been acceptable on any platform.. Why should it be on the iTouch platform?

    Lates!
    HHG

  • crabbababbla

    No idea what they're talking about it runs like butter on my overclocked iPhone.

  • crabbababbla

    No idea what they're talking about it runs like butter on my overclocked iPhone.

  • Steve

    I'm glad to hear they're fixing it; it took Sega forever to get their act together fixing Super Monkey Ball's angle, despite it raking in a ton of money for both Sega and Apple over months.

    Honestly though, to me, the slowness in the current version doesn't make the game unplayable by any means.

  • Steve

    I'm glad to hear they're fixing it; it took Sega forever to get their act together fixing Super Monkey Ball's angle, despite it raking in a ton of money for both Sega and Apple over months.

    Honestly though, to me, the slowness in the current version doesn't make the game unplayable by any means.

  • FatsoPilot

    Hasn't this dicussion of price drops been discussed before? I could of sworn I have read all these same arguments before. About a million different times. Give it a rest already . . .

  • FatsoPilot

    Hasn't this dicussion of price drops been discussed before? I could of sworn I have read all these same arguments before. About a million different times. Give it a rest already . . .

  • http://populationstatistic.com/ CT

    If it's possible to talk about the actual game...

    Anyone know how this one compares with Snowball Runner? SR looks more fun, and cheaper. But I understand it's got some bugs itself.

  • http://populationstatistic.com/ CT

    If it's possible to talk about the actual game...

    Anyone know how this one compares with Snowball Runner? SR looks more fun, and cheaper. But I understand it's got some bugs itself.

  • sturgidson

    To address the issue at hand [i.e., the state of the game itself]-
    the UPDATE is, in my opinion, an absolute success.

    1. It has significantly addressed the way the game calibrates the accelerometer controls in terms of sensitivity and the horrible issue of forgetting its calibration. No more worries about playing this game upside down, or about to fall off your chair.

    2. It also makes some appropriate adjustments to the 'rolling speed' of the katamari, which makes it play smoother. It doesn't go too fast when you're tilting forward, and you KNOW how fast it CAN go, so no need to keep tilting forward to make it go faster.

    3. The update also noticeably, in general, improves the speed and quality of the gameplay; what most people have called the "framerate," although it probably is just general sluggishness. It's not the fastest version of this game, but it is completely playable now; which on its own merits is a drastic improvement.

    This update makes it a completely viable game now, so if you were hesitant, it seems like it is worth it. There are still things that can be improved, but it is much much better than the release version.

    I'm playing it on a fully-loaded first gen iPod Touch, so, if it's playing slowish on mine, you may see huge improvements on your spanky new iPod Touch. just FYI.

  • sturgidson

    To address the issue at hand [i.e., the state of the game itself]-
    the UPDATE is, in my opinion, an absolute success.

    1. It has significantly addressed the way the game calibrates the accelerometer controls in terms of sensitivity and the horrible issue of forgetting its calibration. No more worries about playing this game upside down, or about to fall off your chair.

    2. It also makes some appropriate adjustments to the 'rolling speed' of the katamari, which makes it play smoother. It doesn't go too fast when you're tilting forward, and you KNOW how fast it CAN go, so no need to keep tilting forward to make it go faster.

    3. The update also noticeably, in general, improves the speed and quality of the gameplay; what most people have called the "framerate," although it probably is just general sluggishness. It's not the fastest version of this game, but it is completely playable now; which on its own merits is a drastic improvement.

    This update makes it a completely viable game now, so if you were hesitant, it seems like it is worth it. There are still things that can be improved, but it is much much better than the release version.

    I'm playing it on a fully-loaded first gen iPod Touch, so, if it's playing slowish on mine, you may see huge improvements on your spanky new iPod Touch. just FYI.

  • DA360

    Supprised they can't get this working at full speed considering this pretty much looks like an enhanced port of Katamari Damacy Mobile, a game that came out for older style 3D phones in Japan awhile ago (There's a video of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMl9XVZVhTQ ). Though that game always ran at a slow speed on those phones, which made sense for the platform its running on.

    But this, it makes no sense what-so-ever why its running so slow on the iPhone. I agree with some that maybe they rushed this out of the door to get it out before Christmas and they would patch it up later (sadly, some console games today suffer from this too).

    But I would love to play this game, Katamari was always a very fun (and very weird) game and I would love it on my iPhone.

  • DA360

    Supprised they can't get this working at full speed considering this pretty much looks like an enhanced port of Katamari Damacy Mobile, a game that came out for older style 3D phones in Japan awhile ago (There's a video of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMl9XVZVhTQ ). Though that game always ran at a slow speed on those phones, which made sense for the platform its running on.

    But this, it makes no sense what-so-ever why its running so slow on the iPhone. I agree with some that maybe they rushed this out of the door to get it out before Christmas and they would patch it up later (sadly, some console games today suffer from this too).

    But I would love to play this game, Katamari was always a very fun (and very weird) game and I would love it on my iPhone.

  • DA360

    Correction, Katamari Damacy Mobile isn't out yet, and its supposed to be coming to Japan's DoCoMo's Mitsubishi 904i phones. It also controls the same way, by using tilt sensing by oddly using the phones built in camera to detect motion (not sure how well that would control, I am sure it would be more ackward than the controls in I love Katamari here), however it also offers traditional control, something they need to put in this game (like a touch joystick or something). But it looks like piratically the same game as I love Katamari here, just toned down.

  • DA360

    Correction, Katamari Damacy Mobile isn't out yet, and its supposed to be coming to Japan's DoCoMo's Mitsubishi 904i phones. It also controls the same way, by using tilt sensing by oddly using the phones built in camera to detect motion (not sure how well that would control, I am sure it would be more ackward than the controls in I love Katamari here), however it also offers traditional control, something they need to put in this game (like a touch joystick or something). But it looks like piratically the same game as I love Katamari here, just toned down.