Catherine was a cult hit when it first arrived for the Playstation 3 and while it didn’t get the same acclaim as other ATLUS titles, it still made a mark. A very memorable titular character whose looks alone made her a symbol for a game that belies a bizarre, complex story whose play value and enjoyability falls on how much a player enjoys the narrative of the story or just like puzzle games. Yes, Catherine is a puzzle game.
Catherine is back and ATLUS is offering more with an update to the story that may bring in older fans of the game. This is along with new endings, new levels a new *atherine love interest as well as some new content. Its hard to compare Catherine to other games except for itself but if you ever played any Persona titles, the art style and story telling may be familiar and interesting but given the theme of the game, this is a Rated M title and we mean mature not just in the traditional swearing, violence and sexual content, Catherine serves up a different kind of mature by tackling mature issues like sexuality, marriage, et al. all served up in an unsettling presentation through gameplay and storytelling.
Catherine: Fully Body is a richer and more satisfying than the original with its extended story and brings also a slew of options to the game that we’re not present before. Its a more satisfying game in terms of story but again, for those just looking for pure gameplay this isn’t the game for you. And I’m saying that now just in case you’re expecting a hentai puzzle game, and if you’re looking for adult content instead, you could simply go to sites as Babestation to find the best webcam girls online for your entertainment.
You Gotta Go Up
The core gameplay of the Catherine: Full Body are the nightmare puzzles which the game frames via its storyline that should anyone fall in their dream, they die in real life. This goes to bizarre extremes in the main character Vincent’s nightmares. As the game progresses, every night as Vincent sleeps he’s taken to a nightmare real where everyone is a sheep, including himself. You see him differently but the game says everyone are just sheeps. Anyway, the main goal here is to climb up. Vincent must navigate through different kind of boxes throughout the game, each level introducing more difficult puzzles to navigate through. The game can feel unforgiving even on early stages but those who may not be ready for quick-time puzzles, may feel a bit overwhelmed. Catherine: Full Body offers multiple difficulty settings that players can adjust to suit their capabilities.
Stages contain tiers which Vincent must finish within a certain time limit to finally awaken. The last segment of each stage introduces a boss battle of sorts where Vincent must not only deal with along with traversing the tower as well as the falling blocks. The bosses are representation of fears that Vincent has and these are designed to be very disturbing. If this is too much for some and just want to advance the story, an Easy mode is available to advance the story.
There rest stops in-between levels where Vincent can interact with other people… or sheeps. Some sheeple (we’ll call them sheeple from now on) will have roles like the climbing strategist pair which shows you multiple climbing technique that you may or may not know. Dialogs may also bring up contexts for the game as whole on who the sheeple are in real life. You will meet other sheep in the puzzle themselves and you may or may not contend with them in humane ways. If a sheeple is blocking your ascent to the top of the tower, you can attack them or use items.
The puzzles themselves are not limited to single solutions and there are numerous ways to ascend the tower. Climbing and box stacking techniques are a must-have knowledge here to efficiently climb and rack up points. Items are also available in the towers as well as the rest areas.
Finally, Vincent will usually be asked a question after every nightmare and this brings up the Order/Chaos meter which basically says what your moral compass is based on numerous questions and how you make Vincent treat other people especially the *atherines.
Daily Life with Vincent
Choices matter in Catherine: Full Body and while not solving nightmare puzzles, you’ll spend most of your time in the RPG-esque section of the game in the Stray Sheep. The Stray Sheep is a bar where most of the game’s storytelling takes place with Vincent and his friends. The bar is manned by Boss, the bar owner, and Erica, the waitress. The new story also introduces Rin into the bar. Rin is saved by Vincent and plays a significant role in the story as she is the new *atherine in the game, specifically Qatherine. Vincent’s cliq will be with him mostly during drinking sessions. Catherine, the title character, is also introduced in the bar. Vincent’s girlfriend, Katherine mostly sends text messages at this segment.
As mentioned earlier, the game features an order/chaos meter which is an indicator of your moral compass during the game. Its not a meter of good or band but still presents a black and white indicator if you’re in favor of chaos or order. The game will present questions as well as actions during the game that will swing this meter to and from each other.
The bar also has other patrons you can interact with as well as arcade mini games. The Super Rapunzel mini-game is similar to the main puzzles of the game but implements a simpler puzzle but has limited steps.
Life is Complex
Catherine’s main draw is its story and for non-visual novel fans, the puzzle segment may not be as rewarding as it may sound. That said, its as simple as that. Catherine’s adult-life theme mixed with bizaaro world things, presented in a beautiful art style like only ATLUS can and bridged together by puzzles that require players to think on their toes. This is Catherine in a nutshell and nothing new for the game, Catherine: Full Body is just a modern take on this cult classic and the game stays true to its PS3 version.
As a whole, Catherine dives deep into the psyche of people and their search for true freedom. Its gameplay may not best communicate this but the struggle is there and the narrative helps in organizing this story into an enjoyable experience for those that enjoy the storytelling of ATLUS masterminds.