The world of video games is vast. There is no way we could play every single game. Some of us pick up the greats, while others play the duds. As a result, some of us miss out on true gems in the industry. A few weeks ago, Jeriah King, a reader and fan of Go Left Gaming, reached out to us. He asked if he could write a review for the site. Humbled by his request, we graciously accepted his offer to write exclusive content for us. Jeriah went straight to work and wrote us a review for Atlus’s puzzle platformer, Catherine. Below are all of Jeriah King’s thoughts on this game changer in the industry. If you would like to write a review for Go Left Gaming, check out the contact page and let us know what you would like to write. We would love to hear from you. Thank you for your time and enjoy Jeriah King’s review for Catherine.
By Jeriah King
Coming from Atlus, the makers of Persona, Catherine is unique in its own way, giving you the feeling that something amazing is happening right before your eyes. Performing obligations and choosing right from wrong is what sets this game apart from other Japanese, anime style games. Coming from such an immensely popular title as Persona, Atlus had to raise the bar once again to impress gamers everywhere. Replaying Catherine almost a year later, this game still lusters and proves to be a worthy title for any gamer’s collection.
Vincent Brooks, the main protagonist, is a young 30 year old who works in the computer industry. Living in a small apartment, Vincent lives an average life for someone in his position. Vincent has the ideal girlfriend, Katherine; that’s right, Katherine with a “K”. Katherine is a gorgeous girl, but can be a tad overbearing and bossy at times.
Things start to get monotonous and Katherine, wanting to get serious and settle down, starts to question Vincent about where their relationship is going.
Vincent has a group of friends who he goes out drinking with every night after work. One night after his friends leave the bar; Vincent meets Catherine, that’s right that’s Catherine with a “C”. She’s a young, attractive blonde who is the total opposite of his girlfriend Katherine. After she expresses that she doesn’t want to be tied down in a serious relationship, things start to get flirtatious between the two.
After drinking a bit too much and blacking out at the bar, Vincent wakes up the next morning beside the stunning Catherine realizing that he has just cheated on his long-time girlfriend. Feeling for Vincent and realizing how much he is tied between Catherine and Katherine is an easy thing to do. Catherine allows players to feel what it would be like living in Vincent’s position.
The reality hits Vincent like a rock and gives him vicious nightmares during the night. While asleep it is within these nightmares when the gameplay part of Catherine begins to take place.
What makes this game interesting in its way is that you are asked questions. This plays a major part into the game, reacting on simple things such as Catherine asking “How do you feel about what is happening between to you two?”, to Katherine telling you “that she wants to settle down and have a family” can change how Vincent plays throughout this journey.
These questions determine how you will live day from day and decides how you’ll end the game. Your answers will determine who you’ll be with at the end of the game, either Katherine or Catherine.
Vincent has the ability to drink as well. This is unique because this gives players the choice to choose between 4 drinks; Cocktails, Whiskey, Beer and Sake. Once you take 3 sips of your drink you get a type of “pop up window” called “Alcohol Facts”. This provides facts about your specific drinks, such as the reason why a specific drink gets you hungrier than other beverages. Attached to these “Alcohol Facts” are a variety of in-game achievements, which gives players a certain type of satisfaction knowing they’ve completed this aspect in the game.
If you love a challenge on your gaming skills and are a fond of puzzle and strategy games then Catherine is for you. Based off of Vincent’s nightmares, these puzzles are block based where you have to push and pull different blocks to get to the top and reach the end of your nightmarish dreams. Completing these puzzles can be challenging and, at times, very frustrating even for the most experienced gamer. The bar Vincent goes to, named “The Stray Sheep”, hosts an arcade game named Rapunzel.
You can roam over to Rapunzel to give yourself a chance play the arcade game. Rapunzel allows you to practice your skills to master the main story’s puzzles and put your hard work to use. The puzzles were at times frustrating, but the feeling for satisfaction was in all the same time rewarding. This game truly lives up to its puzzle platformer title.
Playing this game over multiple play throughs was rewarding to see the 4 different endings your main protagonist may have. Another aspect of this game is that other men that have cheated on women in their lives. You encounter these cheaters in each one your nightmares. The gameplay was rewarding, giving you an immense feeling of satisfaction.
Putting multiple graphic sequences, such as cinematic movies, into this game was something that the creator, Shigenori Soejima, perfected by putting real life graphics into the game to give it the anime-based style, while still giving players the sense of being right there, living in the moment. Whether it was giving you the scene of the stunning Catherine dangling over Vincent or battling the grueling bosses that Vincent faces in his nightmares you’ll believe you’re right there, sucked into Vincent’s crazy life.
Catherine has something unique that most games just simply don’t have anymore. It provides the unforgettable story, tantalizing graphics, and challenges that even most strategic person will have difficulty with. Letting you take control of Vincent in the world of his nightmares and the real world are each fun and exciting. Catherine truly did live up to the anime style, while engaging you in a well told a story. Indulge yourself in Vincent’s life, play the game many times to see multiple endings and overall enjoy the ride and the exceptional gameplay and great story.