Release Date: 7/26/11
Catherine is a quirky Japanese/Anime style puzzle game at first glance. But, if you dig deeper and continue playing, you’ll discover it’s much more…Hit the jump to see what the community says…
Alright, for this community review, I’ve grabbed some reviews and linked them below after the plot details, and most reviews seem to rate the game positive, which I would be inclined to agree with. Catherine is a spectacular title.
The plot in Catherine is fairly unique. In the city, it’s all over the news that there have been deaths occurring in Vincent’s town. All of which are young men who have died in their sleep. In Catherine, the main protagonist you play as, Vincent, is a 32 year old underachiever. Vincent has no goals or ambitions when it comes to his relationship with his girlfriend, Katherine (with a K). Katherine, however, expresses one morning that she does not feel the same way. She wants to progress their relationship, and this troubles Vincent. Vincent does not want to get married, or have a child, he’s perfectly happy with his life as is.
Later on that evening, Vincent is drinking at the local bar hangout and main location of the game, “The Stray Sheep” with his buddies. After a few drinks, and a lot of discussion about marriage, and if he is “truly” happy with his life, his friends leave and go home. This is when Catherine appears, a mysterious beautiful young lady who sits down beside a lonely, drunken Vincent.
The next morning at Vincent’s apartment, he awakes to find himself laying next to Catherine in his bed. And every night since then, he has been having nightmares of climbing up a tower of blocks with his own personal demons chasing him. The risk here, is if he falls and dies in the dream, he dies in real life. Now, as his dreams and reality begin to mix, Vincent must not only try to survive 9 nights of this horror, he must choose between Catherine or Katherine.
Here’s what the community has to say:
Joystiq – Like any relationship worth having, Catherine takes effort, but the end result is worth it. – 4.5/5
The Escapist – Catherine gets everything right. Unless you absolutely can’t stand puzzles, or don’t want to answer awkward questions from your significant other, grab this game as fast as you can. – 4.5/5
1UP – As puzzle games go, Catherine is really good – A
360Sync – If you enjoy anime, extremely hard puzzles, and ample fan service, you’ll probably enjoy Catherine.
Now, here’s the buzz around the community:
“Catherine is such a hard game, it’s actually fun!” – Jankpeg via Gamespot forums.
“Catherine is the most morally frightening adult-themed game I’ve ever played. It hits so may adult male dilemmas it’s scary. Great!” – Arliman via Kotaku
“Catherine is a very unique puzzle game” – McTricky via The Escapist
To sum up my thoughts on Catherine, I’ll go into a few things I enjoyed and disliked. Catherine truly excels in plot, I would hurry and try to get the puzzle sections over with as quick as possible so I could get another peak at Vincent’s next moments. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the gameplay. The gameplay is very good, and does the puzzle genre proud. It can be ridiculously difficult in some parts, and that will surely be one of the main downsides of Catherine for many gamers. It’s one of the most difficult games I’ve played in recent times and that may put some people off. However that can also be a good thing depending on the type of gamer you are, once you complete a portion of the game that’s been stumping you, it can be very rewarding and accomplishing . Catherine is a good kind of difficult.
For Co-Op lovers out there, Catherine also features a Co-Op and competitive mode in which you and a friend compete or work together to climb up towers. It can be a very interesting, fun, and frustrating experience playing with a buddy. The downside to the Co-Op modes is that it’s splitscreen. No Xbox LIVE play, which is a shame, but it’s still a fun Co-Op mode nonetheless if you have a friend and a second controller around.
The graphical style of Catherine is great. But, it’s completely subjective to the person. It’s a really well done anime style game, and anime enthusiasts will fall in love with it, while others may dislike it. I’m not huge into anime, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the terrific cutscenes.
All in all, Catherine is a unique title that deserves to be played. If you’re tired of cookie cutter FPS games, do yourself a favor, pick this game up and start climbing.