When I first heard about Catherine i thought it was just a really really weird Japanese game with some sexy boxart. And i wasn’t far off, but as time went on many gaming sites started talking about the game and showing that it was more then just a blond bombshell with some boobs. Catherine turned out to be one of the single most interesting and different games i have played this year, if not this decade.
Catherine is very hard to sum up, and its going to sound really weird. And it is, but trust me for its weirdness Catherine is not to be missed.
The game revolves around a guy named Vincent, he is 32 and has a girlfriend named Kathrine (with a K). He likes life the way it is, just coasting along. However Katherine wants to get married and start a new life with Vincent. Soon after Vincent starts having terrible nightmares, and cant get much sleep. Not long after all of this starts Vincent wakes up next to Catherine (with a C) a smoking hot blond girl. He cant remember what happened but he knows hes in deep trouble.
That is the plot of Catherine (the game), its adult, deep, engaging, and fun to watch. You will be invested in many characters and their problems and its your choice of how to handle them.
The story is also very good, there are many times where my jaw dropped and i didn’t pick up for a good ten minutes.
Catherine has 2 main game play types, when Vincent is in the bar and when he is in his dreams. The nightmares make up the core game play, with Vincent having to puzzle platform his way up towers of blocks while said tower crumbles beneath him. The mechanics are deep and fun and you always feel a sigh of relief when you make it to safety.
After so many stages you must also race against bosses who will effect the tower in many ways. Each boss is very unique and some are downright scary.
Now this is something you must keep in mind. Catherine is HARD. And i mean HARD. I played in Normal and this gave me an infinite ”undo” command, and even still i had to bump down to easy. And on Easy i died….alot. Now while this game is hard it is almost never unfair, and while i screamed some F bombs towards the end it made it all the more satisfying to make it to the top and to get Vincent to the next story point.
Once you wake Vincent begins the second game play mode, and this is where the story is told. You will follow Vincent as he goes on dates with Katherine, and goes to the bar with his buddies. While you can do much when Vincent is speaking in cut scenes you do get more control in the bar. Once giving control you can get up and talk to other people in the bar. You will also receive texts usually from Katherine and Catherine and you chose how to respond. Depending on what you say to people, your texts, and special decisions made in the nightmares you will alter a karma slider. Be a good guy or bad, its up to you.
You may even get a naughty pic of Catherine form time to time, which require you to go to the bathroom to view.
In the bar you can also talk to people, and drink. Talking to people will advance time a bit and as the night goes on patrons will leave and new ones may enter. Many patrons have personal problems you can hear about, and how you respond to them may determine if you see them again. You have 3 levels of intoxication and the higher it is the faster you will move in that nights nightmare sequence
Catherine is a very unique looking game, the cut scenes are told in an animated anime style and game play is a cell shaded anime style. The soundtrack for the game works great, and will have your heart pumping during the nightmares.
Replay Value and Game Modes
Now its not hard to see some obvious replay value, Catherine or Katherine? Good or Bad? Those are 4 endings right there. However without giving anything away towards the end of the game you are given a new set of options, between Chaos and Peace. These choices wont effect your progress on Catherine or Katherine or your Good or Bad slider, and bumps the total endings to EIGHT.
If that wasn’t enough there are special game modes, the tower of Babel and Challenge mountain game types. The Challenge mountain lets you and a friend Co-op solve the games puzzles. And the tower of Babel lets you take on even more challenging towers alone or with a friend.
This gives Catherine immense replay value.
This game is weird, i know. But its also great. Its one of the games that has real adult material, and that isn’t afraid of its weirdness. The plot has such good twists and turns there where times i had to pause, and put down the controller to take in what just happened.
This is also a game that breaks the mold. Its unique, its artsy, and its pushing the video game industry further. I encourage you to check out this title and its games like this that will help the industry grow.
I gave the game a 9 out of 10