Sunday, September 25, 2011

Video Game: Catherine

Hey there fellow geeks ;) I haven't done a game review before, and I haven't talked about video games in a long time. But I wanted to talk to you guys about this particular game because it is wonderfully weird.

Catherine is a Japanese game developed by Atlus for the PS3 and Xbox 360. It is a puzzle solving adventure game with some horror and adult themes thrown in. It is like nothing I have ever played before, and honestly it was both an interesting and frustrating game to play.

Cover art for the Xbox 360 version. with Katherine in the front. This is the one I played.
PS3 cover art with Catherine.

Before I get to a plot summary, I should mention that this game includes a lot of theatrical scenes, and it feels like you are watching a movie or a really screwed up drama. It is really cool because you get to sit back and enjoy the clips. I know some people won't like the amount of clips that are shown because they take up a big chunk of the game as a whole. I personally don't mind though, I actually enjoy it.

Plot Summary
The main character is Vincent, a 32 year old male who is in a long term relationship with his girlfriend Katherine, also 32 years old. Katherine is a strong willed women who wants a steady and normal life. She wants to get married and she is pressuring Vincent to marry her. Marriage and commitment scare Vincent, and he ponders and stresses out about his current situation. He begins to have nightmares shortly after.

He often goes drinking at the bar Stray Sheep. There, he meets a strangely beautiful woman named Catherine who he ends up spending that night with. After meeting Catherine, his nightmares become even worse.
During this time there is news of  men that are found dead in their apartments. They die in their sleep and have a look of anguish on their faces. It is said that they die in their dreams, and if you die in your dream you will die in real life.Vincent hears these rumors and he believes that his nightmares are related to these deaths somehow.

In his nightmares, Vincent has to get through puzzles to escape from being killed by creatures. The puzzle is pretty much climbing a stack of cubes, and you have to get all the way to the top (it is really hard to explain how the puzzle works but I will insert a picture below this paragraph). Creatures try to kill him and if he dies in the nightmare, he dies in real life. But in his nightmares he is not alone; he also sees other men, who to him look like sheep. It happens to be that  he recognizes some of the men (some which you will meet during the game). Once you beat the puzzle in the nightmare, you wake up. Vincent though, forgets most of the dream.
You see the stack of cubes? You pretty much have to pull and push the cubes in order to climb them all the way to the top. It is not as easy as it sounds, trust me. Especially not when you have a creepy creature trying to kill you along the way up.

Meanwhile, when he wakes up Catherine is usually in his bed. Vincent begins to freak out because he is cheating on his girlfriend and he can't seem to remember how Catherine ends up in his bed.
Vincent finds out that Katherine is pregnant with his child and things start to get harder for Vincent. He doesn't want Katherine to find out he is cheating on her, but he can't seem to break things up with Catherine. Catherine doesn't know Vincent already has a girlfriend, and Catherine says if he cheats on her, that she will die or kill him instead. Vincent is also strangely allured to Catherine, and he doesn't seem to know why.

When Vincent is not in the nightmares, he is usually drinking with his buddies at the Stray Sheep. There, you can decided to drink some alcoholic beverages (and you get to learn trivia and history of the beverages you drink xD ), speak to other people, text message both Katherine and Catherine, and play the arcade game Rapunzel.
The Rapunzel arcade game

All of the things you do affect the outcome of the ending. There is a total of 8 possible endings; 3 scenarios in which Vincent decides to be with Katherine, 3 scenarios where he decides to be with Catherine, and 2 where he chooses neither of the two women. All I will say is that I got the a happy ending with Katherine as my ending. I don't want to give away what happens in the end! You should all definitely play the game!
(Just a little hint and something to think about: Why is the game titled after Catherine, and not Katherine?)

My thoughts on the Game

I really enjoyed playing this game because...
-I wanted to know who was behind the deaths, so it felt like a detective game (Sherlock Holmes style!)
-I like the fact that there are different ending depending on what you chose to do in the game
-The nightmare realm is really creepy sometimes, and I love horror games
-The story plot left me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Would he get caught cheating? Who would die next? Who is behind the deaths? And who the hell is Catherine??? (She was a crazy psycho)
-Very interesting alcohol trivia xD
-You get to  play a game within a game (Vincent has to play an arcade game named Rapunzel)

What I disliked about the game...
-The puzzles in the nightmare realm were soooo hard sometimes. I swear a couple took me forever to beat. May people have complained about the difficulty of this game, and I can see why. I had the mode on "Normal" and it was sooo difficult. But there is a Super Easy mode that was created because so many people complained.

I think this was such a great game and I thoroughly enjoyed playing it. You won't find anything else like it. It is puzzle solving, horror, mystery, drama, and love mixed into one game!  Maybe you should include frustration and cursing there too, since I would get so angry when I couldn't beat a puzzle xD Kudos to the makers of the game. They really went outside the box, and made a game that really stands out. I can confidently say that this is one of the games that has stood out the most this year!
Rating: 8.5/10
Recommend? Definitely! A must play for all gamers, and play worthy for those who occasionally play video games.


  1. Sounds interesting! Though if Catherine is the killer you did give away some important parts of the story...

  2. thanks for the review dear! this looks like a very interesting game! :D

  3. Hey! I really love that you took the time to write this post and tweet it to me--I swear I'm still reading blogs, I've just been MIA because of an overload in schoolwork.

    This post has really helped me decide that I want the game. You, like a lot of other people, have pointed out how hard it is and that's the one thing that gives me pause. Ah well, who doesn't like a challenge every now and again!

    Also: alcohol trivia?! =D

    One more thing: A reason I was scared to get it is that I'd have to get the PS3 version. The cover art for that is *just* questionable enough that I'm gonna have to hide it from my mommy. xD

  4. @Sophie: Indeed it is a very cool game :D Ah donb't worry, the ending is much more complicated. It is definitely not something I expected.

    @sugar sugar: Your welcome ;)

  5. @Vijii S: You are so welcome!! Don't worry about it, I know how you feel. I am so overloaded on school work right now and I wish I could comment on blogs more!
    Although the game was hard, it gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment when I finished it.

    Haha, the cover art is pretty questionable. The game itself does contain some adult themes, so I guess the cover art is appropriate. I do like the Xbox one better, though.

  6. Ooh~ very interesting game!! The cover art of the PS3 one is a bit much though. :3

  7. I'm quite thankful to you for doing this review! Haha! I'd actually seen the Catherine series floating around and was wondering what it was all about. Thanks!


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