Catherine Review

I only heard about this game after playing “Demon’s Souls” by Atlus.  Upon watching the first trailer I became intrigued.  See for yourselves:

Here’s the story: Vincent wakes up from a horrible nightmare filled with sheep, realizes he pissed the bed, then continues about his day.  Later that night, he meets up with some friends for drinks and gets some advice on marrying his girlfriend of 5 years, Katherine, who is pressuring him to make more of a long term commitment, when he hears on the news about guys dying under weird circumstances.  After his friends head home, Vincent decides to stick around and have a few more drinks with the beautiful, carefree 22 year old Catherine.  The next morning he is awakened from an even more frightening dream to discover the beautiful Catherine naked in his bed, having no recollection of how this came to be.  Who will he choose, Katherine or Catherine?

It was hard to tell what the game is about based on the trailers, but here’s the gist: your time is split between two worlds, the real world and the nightmare world.  In the real world you spend your time interacting with your friends and bar patrons.  You also answer texts, phone calls, screw around with the jukebox, and can even play an arcade game called “Rapunze,l” which is just a watered down version of the nightmare world.  In the nightmare world you have to use every ounce of your brain and problem/puzzle solving ability to ascend blocks to your ultimate goal, “Freedom.”

This sounds easy, but it is far from that.  I am playing on normal and I feel like I am playing on insanity sometimes.  There are 8 levels and each one has varying stages.  You’ll come across regular blocks, dark blocks (which take forever to move), heavy blocks that are unmoveable, ice blocks, spike trap blocks, crumbling blocks, bouncy blocks, and the like.  You have to climb up the level (kinda like Qbert, only better) moving blocks to create new paths and to control the destruction of upper levels to make your ascent all the quicker.  You also have to avoid the sheep people, who are trying to knock down levels.  There are little power ups you can either collect or buy when you meet up with the vendor at staging areas.

A big ol’ pain in the ass will be the boss levels.  The first one is pretty easy, but they just keep getting harder and harder.  Having to climb the varying terrain while avoiding a monster can become quite a challenge.  It is this aspect that makes the game great for hardcore gamers and not so much for the casual.  Casual gamers in Japan have been complaining about the difficulty, so a patch was released giving the new difficulty level Super Easy.  This is exactly the type of challenging game I need to tide me over until “Battlefield 3” and “Arkham City” are released.

The story is superbly crafted; I cannot wait to see which of the 8 endings I’ll be getting.  Gameplay and controls are solid, but I haven’t checked out the multiplayer yet because I am not a big fan of multiplayer on the PS3.  I reserve those games for Xbox 360, but I will check it out and add it to the review when I finish the story mode.  It’s taking a while to complete the story because gameplay is hard, but I find it amusing when reviewers frown on a game for being a challenge.  What kind of gamers are you, ya sissies (yeah, I’m talking to you GameInformer)?  Provided you have the brain capacity to solve puzzles, this game is a definite buy!

Final Verdict for Catherine:

4.5 out of 5