BTW: New Scraps video:
After many years of waiting… I finally got myself a PS3, and if there was any game I knew I’d have to get, it was Catherine!
Quite funny when you think about it. People often referred to Catherine, as the game which is just there, to hold us over until Persona 5… That was in 2011. I’m sure nobody thought it’d be 2015, and the game would only now get its Trailer revealed (one with gameplay I mean).
Anyway, how’s your sex life?
You play as Vincent Brooks, an average bloke over 30… his job sucks, and he spends most his evenings in a bar, where he drinks, but at least he has his buddies to keep him company, and there’s also his girlfriend Katherine, she’s tough, but fair. Life looked okay, until the moment that Katherine brought up “tying the knot”. Vincent is used to having a single life, but now he should get married!? Adult life truly is banging on his door!!!
In his sorrow, he stays at the bar to drink himself out his misery… something which he quickly regrets, as the next morning he wakes up with a blond girl next to him in bed, whom acts like they’re a couple now, and she runs off before Vincent can say anything!
So that’s the story of the game! Vincent is stuck between Katherine and…. Catherine…… that’s the name of the blond girl. It’s a game about a love triangle, where you make the choices! A series of questions, which you’ll be asked throughout the game, will determine Vincent’s personality, and that will be responsible for what ending you’ll get. Will you try to get Vincent out of the affair with Catherine, so he can lead a happy family life with Katherine? Or will you ditch Katherine, and go for Catherine, who only seems to have fun on her mind? That’s the entire game.
…. Okay, fine, there’s more to this game than that! Each night, Vincent has nightmares, where he’s forced onto a pile of blocks, which he has to climb. Every now and then, there’s going to be an area which you can’t just pass through quickly, that’s when you have to push or pull the blocks around, to build yourself a way onward. Technically this would just mean you stopping and thinking, but the blocks at the bottom of the stage keep crumbling away, so everything is timed. You’d be forgiven for asking what this has to do with the story…. Basically, every dream ends with a boss stage: you climb, while some monster makes things harder for you. Since these are nightmares, these bosses are based on the fears that Vincent has at the moment in the story.
Actually, it seems like many characters have these sort of dreams lately, and apparently, those who die in these dreams, die for real, so this is meant to be the heart of the story. Figuring out who stands behind all of this. Although, that’s hard to do, because nobody remembers these dreams once they wake up….
The gameplay consists of cutscenes that progress the story, then Vincent being at the bar, talking to people, picking up text messages from the 2 ladies, then going to sleep and having a nightmare, where he runs up the tower of blocks. Allow me to make a comparison…
Perhaps some know that I’ve previously made a video where I wasn’t too positive on Intelligent Qube for the Playstation one. That’s because I was annoyed by the lack of diversity in the gameplay (only 3 block types for the entire game), and by how “sterile” it was. I played it, beat it, it was okay, but I was annoyed, because I was hoping there’d be more to it….. ok, it had a cool soundtrack, but so does Catherine!
Catherine on the other hand features many block-types, 3 dimensional puzzles, and with it all being a nightmare, we also deal with dream logic, resulting in bizarre physics, which forces the player to learn how the game is meant to played. It was really engaging to me.
Although I can say that I mostly liked the game for its story. It was told in an interesting way, and there is more here, than just the story of the protagonist. You can to speak with the other guys at the bar, listen to their problems, and maybe help them. You might want to do this, because in-between the stages, you get to rest in an area, where you talk to a bunch of sheep, whom resemble the people at the bar that you visit. If you keep helping them, they’ll teach you techniques that you can use while playing. I know it’s not obligatory, and I didn’t use these techniques that often myself, but I still preferred to do it, because if you don’t, they’ll die!
You have a problem, Vincent…
I obviously can tell this is not a game for everyone… even getting pass the gameplay, I heard of people who really don’t like Vincent as a character. They say that he’s whiny and stuff. I admit, there were moments in the game where he could annoy me a little, but all in all, I feel glad to have played a game with such a protagonist, who doesn’t match the classic archetype. A looser who gets thrown into chaos like this. Even if a few of his decisions are dumb, I can give it a pass.
Some people might complain that the gameplay is in contrast to the story. That is sadly true, although I don’t feel like it really ruins the game in the end.
And then there’s the game having mature themes, which makes it illegal for minors to play. The F-bomb gets thrown numerous times as well. The latter one doesn’t bother me, because while I don’t like swearing, I find it refreshing to hear it in a context where it’s completely justified. It’s not characters using it between every other word for no reason, it’s for when some nasty stuff happens, or they’re being chased by an ass with a pair of eyes and teeth…….. you heard me. And as for mature themes, I approve, because it’s not entirely about sex, it’s about being in a relationship. The game doesn’t even judge you whenever you want to be a playboy, or a family-man. It mostly tries to discuss things, and that it does well.
Now, if I’m to talk about some of MY problems with the game… I don’t like how your choices in the game don’t change some dialogues between the characters entirely, but I suppose that was their intention! Why else name the girls Catherine and Katherine?!
Other issues are just small stuff, like one voiceactor voicing 2 quite similar characters, which kept me confused, but in the end, it is confirmed to have been a coincidence. Or how when you’re between the stages, a bell keeps ringing really loud, and that can get annoying…
Catherine is not quite what I was expecting, which is remarkable, considering I’ve watched my pal Amayirot Akago play through it on his stream ( https://akagos100gameoath.wordpress.com/)
I initially was a bit let down, because I was hoping for something different, however the game managed to take me by surprise. The story really thrilled me! Oh, of course, when you see it as a whole, it makes no logical sense, but that’s not the point! Atlus just tried to discuss relationships, and used the weird plot as metaphor, which is fine by me!
The block puzzles are something I learned to love with time, and in the end, I did start to see them as an interesting gameplay depiction of the story. You have no idea how often I saw a set of blocks and thought it was impossible to solve, but all these problems are solvable! You just have to think!!! By the end of the game, I no longer dropped myself to my death, because I gave up, and wanted to restart. I always kept at it, crawled around, until I found a solution, and you’d be surprised how often that worked out! I feel like this game truly taught me something…..
I’m glad I played it, it was worth the wait, and now…. to wait for Persona 5! Wohoo!!!
Oh, and for those who are curious, on my first playthrough, I got the True Katherine ending. For all my perversions, I guess I’m still fit for marriage!