Hey everyone, today I will be reviewing Catherine on the Playstation 3, a Xbox 360 version of the game is also available.
I’ve spent a lot of time playing Catherine, I’ve put 19 hours into my first play-through of the game, and when I finally completed it, I felt a feeling of satisfaction, and I was overall happy with the way the game ended that doesn’t happen very often with games that I play. After I completed Catherine, I couldn’t keep the game off of my mind, it was always in the back of my mind, and honestly no other game has done that, no other game has left such a strong positive impression on me like Catherine did.
Catherine was created by most of the people that work on the Persona games over at Atlus. As such, the story is amazing, if you’ve ever felt like you want to play a game with a very mature theme and story, well Catherine is the game for you, the story has a mature feeling to it, and that to me felt very refreshing to me since most of the games I’ve been playing recently have been Japanese role playing games, which tend to have silly stories in them. The story of Catherine stars Vincent Brooks, Vincent likes spending his days hanging out with his friends over at the Stray Sheep Bar and oftentimes gets drunk, which later in the game gets him into a lot of trouble with his girlfriend of a few years, Katherine. You’ll notice right away that Katherine stresses Vincent out since she’s all about settling down and starting a family with him, but Vincent is confused and he isn’t sure if he wants to commit to marriage, yeah Vincent is a very confused man.
One night Vincent decides to go out and drink at his favorite bar, he then gets drunk and a girl named Catherine starts talking with him, things quickly escalate and the next thing he knows, he is waking up in his bed with the beautiful and naked Catherine right next to him. Vincent isn’t proud of what may of taken place and throughout the rest of the game he tackles his doubts of marriage and commitment to Katherine, he also struggles to decide on what to do with the other Catherine.
Over the course of your journey within the world of Catherine, you will be faced with different choices you are forced to make, these choices will influence the type of ending you get once you complete the game, so you have to plan on what you want to do, do you want a relationship with the other Catherine, or do you want to stay faithful and commit to your relationship with your girlfriend Katherine. Something else that I thought I should mention are the choices you make in the game, is the fact that once you make a choice the game displays the choices that other players made within Catherine, and I just thought it was a nice touch, also it just displays the choices they made from their first time playing the game, so that removes whatever choices they made on their second play-through of the game.
Now let’s get into game play, Catherine is a puzzle game and at first it starts off very simple, the game does an overall good job at teaching you its controls and game play mechanics. The goal of the puzzles in Catherine is to move blocks and arrange them correctly so that you’re able to reach the very top of the level you are playing, it sounds simple but trust me when I say that it gets much more difficult the more you progress in the game. You don’t randomly get thrown into puzzles, the whole reason behind these puzzles and how they appear is connected to a string of nightmares that Vincent starts having, mainly due to the guilt he has from cheating on Katherine with Catherine. Before these nightmare stages start, you will first visit the Stray Sheep Bar every night, and from the bar you can interact with your friends and with other people that often visit the bar. The more you talk with your friends, the more you’ll end up learning about them, and some of the dialog you have between your friends can be very funny! I enjoyed having conversations with everyone at the bar.
You’ll meet a few different characters while you’re climbing the different stages in Catherine, these characters often have their own personal problems that they’re dealing with. The game gives you the option to help these struggling characters, and if you decide you want to keep helping them, you can actually save them from dying within the game, I don’t want to give away too much, so I won’t name any characters.
Other things you can do while at the Stray Sheep include drinking beer, sake and other drinks. After you drink a certain amount of beer or any other drink on the menu, you will get useful facts about the drink you just had, and I found this to be pretty cool honestly, I found out certain things that I honestly didn’t even know. Within the Stray Sheep you can change the background music by using the jukebox, the game does have a decent selection of tracks to choose from, but I oftentimes used the track “Alone” from the Persona games. Okay so after you successfully complete a stage in Catherine, you’ll wake up in your room and be able to continue with the story. Sometimes you will wake up with other Catherine in your bed, and it was really entertaining watching Vincent get nervous and watching him decide on what to do next. The game does have a few animated cut scenes, and they look beautiful! I was happy every time I saw one, and the animation is very well done, it made me think that Catherine would actually be a really good anime.
Okay so in closing I want to say again that Catherine is amazing! It’s easily on my top 5 list of the best games I have ever played, it really is that good. What I liked most about Catherine was its unique story, you just don’t see games like this at all, and I’ve certainly never played a game like Catherine before, it’s just a shame that Atlus never made a second game, they could have done another game with a different cast of characters, I would have loved to play more games like this, and I think a lot of people out there feel the same way. Anyway if you’ve never played Catherine before, I highly recommend you go and pick the game up, it’s around 17 dollars USD and you can find it cheaper used sometimes, it’s also available to download on PSN, so if any of this sounded interesting to you, then pick the game up and I know you’ll enjoy the wonderful story that Catherine has to offer.
One last thing I feel that I should mention. The game can be brutal, I lost count on how many times I’ve died on certain stages, I had to switch over to the games easy difficultly, but even that proved very challenging. Players that just want to enjoy the story and not constantly rage at the game, I highly recommend that you drop the difficulty to easy, don’t worry it’s still a very challenging and rewarding game at that difficulty level.
My final verdict on Catherine is a 9.5/10 This game is a must buy.