A less than steller entry in the series
The only other game I can compare this to is We Love Katamari, which is a game I had for the PS2 that is also part of the Katamari franchise. I did not play the original Katamari Damacy, so I can only compare We Love Katamari to Beautiful Katamari. I will say that I think We Love Katamari is the better game, with more original ideas and better gameplay.
Beautiful Katamari is a short game if you play to win. Roll up things to make your katamari bigger under time limits, or with special conditions. After each stage you are judged based on how well you rolled up your katamari, and each katamari is used to specifically fill a role in the solar system, although this time it's specific roles, such as each stage will inform you which planet you're making. This is different from We Love Katamari wherein you could roll up just about anything by the time it was thrown up into the cosmos it could have been anything. The overall goal of the game is to roll up enough stuff to clog up the hole in the galaxy. When that's done you're given a nice minigame at the ending that is kind of a 2D version of Katamari Damacy, which is pretty good, but after that you're informed there's one more task left to do.
Some of the issues I had with the game: controlling the Katamari is much more difficult with the Xbox 360 control, doing things like dashes is too cumbersome, the game is really short, it seems that you have to buy the Xbox Live marketplace content to get some of the achivements for the game, and the later levels all take place in the same areas which gets repetative.
The Xbox Live Marketplace has so many downloadables for this game at 200-400 points a piece I was kind of flabbergasted. It seems like most of it was put on the disc at release and left as locked content to pay for. Levels, items, and cousins for sale? It all seems like this game was originally much longer and that the online is used primarily for nickling and diming people who, like myself, were left a little unsatisfied and wanting more.
I'd recommend getting We Love Katamari instead of Beautiful Katamari, unless you want to specifically play online. I did not try any of the online.