Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Catherine Review

Catherine is a 2011 video game developed by Atlus Persona Team. This psychological horror yet romantic video game is comprised of both puzzles and dating like format it is this unique combination that helps give this game it's uniqueness and is guaranteed to be a game like no other.


Catherine begins with a framing device. It starts off with a woman named Trisha introducing us to a TV show called the "Golden Playhouse" in which we follow our character Vincent Brooks, once introduced we then follow him through the TV screen and take control of him.

Vincent is surrounded in a neighborhood where residents die in their sleep due to some sort of curse, this curse only targets young men, this then spreads as rumors, as people say that those who died fell in their dreams and did not wake up before they landed, and as a result they died both in their dreams and in reality.

Vincent meets up with his girlfriend of five years Katherine McBride who drops hints that they should get married but he tries to put it off, it then fast forwards to him at the bar when a new comer named Catherine comes in and starts talking to Vincent, Catherine turns out to be his type of girl, after the gap we see that Catherine somehow got together with Vincent as she lies in bed with him.

After these incidences Vincent begins to experience rather strange nightmares that he cannot remember in the morning, it is these nightmares that he believes are the same ones all those who have died have also had, however he is not alone in this world as people from the real world have also gotten into this dimension but they all appear as sheep and think they are the only human ones present.

This is all I can really say about the story without ruining it, but even the first half an hour that I have explained is very unique and is enticing you to know more, the story for Catherine does not lose it's grasp on you, once the plot has became interesting to you it will stay like that until you have completed the game.


There are two main parts of this game, the nightmare stages and the bar. When Vincent is in the nightmare it consists of various floors, each floor requires Vincent to reach the top, whereas the final floor for that night will consist of a boss, but it will still involve climbing.

To climb in this part of the game players will have to push, pull and slide blocks to create a stairway to reach higher parts of the tower, however players cannot take all the time they want as the floor breaks and falls away one block layer at a time, the speed of which they fall varies on what stage you're at, some stages will have the floor fall fast while others move much more slowly, the boss is pretty much the same but you will have to out climb them, the bosses will be a lot bigger than you and will attack you doing various things, some bosses require you to stand under shelter, while others may only change blocks to make some unmovable. In between each floor in each night, you will be at a sanctuary where you can talk to the other humans/sheep there, by doing this you can learn new techniques and save some of the people's life's, after this you will go into a confessional room where you will be asked a question and you will have to answer, such questions are:

you're naked what do you do: quick hide/ i have nothing to hide 
you're partner is into baby play how do you feel: I'll try anything once/that's a deal breaker
what's more cheating: an emotional tryst/one night stand

you're answer to these questions will have an effect on the bar that appears at the bottom of the screen, this bar will determine what ending you get.

The second area in this game is the bar named "The Stray Sheep", from here you can get drunk, talk to the other customers and have a choice in how you'd respond to them, play an arcade game which is like the nightmare stages only alot harder and the stage doesn't fall so you can take as long as you need, and also reply to texts, every now and then you'll get a text from both Katherine and Catherine, you can reply to these by simply pressing the action button to get a line of text, if you like it press the action button again to get another line, if not then press back and press action again for a different line, usually you'll have three different options which will chose where the needle moves to on the bar, once you're done at the bar simple leave and move onto the nightmare stages again. 

The game also comes with two other modes, Babel and Colosseum, Babel is consisted of four stages, each stage requires you to climb to a certain level however it will always be randomly laid out so you could keep on playing this and it'll be different each time, this can be played solo, or co-op, Colosseum is a mode for two players, it is every stage in the game and is a race to see which player gets to the top first. 


The cutscenes for Catherine vary in length some only a few minutes while others can be twenty minutes, either way you will hang onto every word that is being said. The game has two styles for cutscenes, the cinematic cutscenes have gone for an anime style of animation and will seem more like an actual anime than a video game (not that that's a bad thing), this style is very rarely used in video games and is really bold to go with it, as for the in game cutscene it uses the same style as the one gameplay uses with 3d characters and environments.



+ great story

+ innovative combination of gameplay

+ brilliant soundtrack

+ can play babel again and it will be different

- lacks a creation kit to make your own towers




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