[Game Review] Catherine

Reviews

A lustful journey to manhood.

Video Review

— NOT AVAILABLE YET —

CATHERINE is a game that been out for quite a while and I remember hating this game so much just because of the fact that I can’t even get out of the first level, in super easy mode mind you, though as the time of the writing, I’ll have to admit that I have been getting too addicted to Genshin Impact that I just had to find a game that will divert my attention to another. Fortunately, I saw this game on my library and thought, maybe I’ll download this, try for a bit and uninstall, but boy oh boy did I not expect I was in for a ride. 

This is JJ-kun of The Gamers Camp bringing you my review of CATHERINE: Classic.

CATHERINE Classic

Catherine Classic Title Screen
Catherine Classic Title Screen

CATHERINE: Classic is the enhanced version of the 2011 puzzle-game, CATHERINE, for the Windows PC platform, originally released for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The game was developed by Atlus, better known as the developers of the hit series Shin Megami Tensei and its spin-off series, Persona. While the game is not a role-playing game like the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series, this game has still received quite a lot of positive feedback, though again I only hated the game because I sucked at it. An expanded version of the game, CATHERINE: Full Body, released for the Playstation 4 in 2019 and Nintendo Switch in July 2020, mainly features a third route.

Story

Catherine holding Vincent infront of Katherine
Catherine holding Vincent infront of Katherine

In CATHERINE, you take the role of Vincent Brooke, a worrywart that is afraid of relationship commitments as seen by his actions after a confrontation with his 5-year girlfriend, named Katherine with-a-K; a confrontation to meet her parents and be married. At the same time, a blonde, seductive woman named Catherine with-a-C suddenly entered his life and wanted him all for herself. That action started his cheating activity with Catherine with-a-C and this led him to have nightmares of climbing up without an end every night.

The story of the game is quite amusing. I don’t think any anime or any game has ever made cheating a primary theme and to choose whether you’d like to be free of all your responsibilities or be a better man. I’d have to say that I was actually quite surprised how engaging the story was and though it only lasted for about 13-hours of gameplay, the story in and of itself did not overextend its welcome nor does it leave you hanging. I’m not going to lie, I think removing the gameplay aspect of CATHERINE would not matter and it will still feel like it’s whole; and if that’s the case, then a movie or an anime series.

Visual Presentation

Topless Vincent with horns
Topless Vincent with horns

If you have been playing Atlus games, then definitely you know that they have retained the “Atlus look” on CATHERINE. Using a different engine from the games prior to CATHERINE, this seems like a huge jump that worked out pretty well. In fact, this is also the look and engine that Persona 5 used later on. The game was visually mesmerizing and everything in the game’s world just fits in. At the same time, just like any Atlus games, they make use of not only game-rendered cutscenes, but also Anime cutscenes that don’t feel out of place on the game! 

While the visuals of the game have been quite vibrant, the music of the game gave the mood. It blends perfectly well. Another thing that I like is, while this may be a bit biased, they used re-orchestrated and remixed versions of classical music which boosted the mood of the game. For one, when you finish a level stage, Hallelujah will play, a remix of Tchaikovsky’s Overture Part 2 will play in a level of a boss, and it just goes on. How I say this fits is, the remix made these classical pieces fit in the game… and hey, isn’t it kind of relaxing listening to classical music while solving some puzzles as well?

Gameplay

A stage puzzle in Catherine
A stage puzzle in Catherine

From time to time, I play some puzzle games just to make my brain active, especially now that I am currently out of school, just doing some freelance due to the pandemic. Though, I did say I hated the game when it first came out for the PS3 as I can’t solve the very first level on super easy mode but that was all in the past. 

The objective of CATHERINE is pretty simple, you just need to get to the top-most part of the cube-mountain that you are climbing. For you to get to the top, you need to move around cubes to make a way for Vincent to get to the time. Pretty simple, right? Add into that some traps and other obstacles that hinder you from getting into the top… oh, and also the blocks fall down so you need to get at the top before all of the blocks fall. 

Honestly, the game isn’t that hard nor is it too easy but will make you think of ways to get over especially when you think you can’t get up anymore. Much like in Tetris when you think you can’t clean your blocks anymore but that one piece that you need clears everything up. One feature that I like and hate about the game is that you may go to the backside of the cube-mountain to go around and look for a way to get up on the other side, the problem is that when Vincent is at the back, the controls become reversed and that was pretty annoying. I, for one, died a lot of times because of that. Timer runs out and you fall down along with the cubes you’re hanging on to. Aside from that, the game is a pretty good game to make your brain active.

Content Value

Rapunzel Mini-game in Catherine
Rapunzel Mini-game in Catherine

$19.99, I think it’s a pretty fair price for an enhanced edition of a game from 2011. In addition to it, this is also one of the games that features multiple endings, all of which are satisfying. Much like any story-rich games, the ending you get depends on the choices you make throughout the game. The very first gameplay already takes around 12 to 13 hours to finish (or longer if you can’t solve puzzles fast) so that’s something to consider. To add to that, there are mini-games and a few more features to play like a local multiplayer and an arcade-mode which limits the number of moves you can to solve a puzzle called Rapunzel with a whopping 128 stages. 

In conclusion, from the guy who was hating the game way back in 2013, I have redeemed myself and become a new man. If you like puzzle games, then this is definitely a must-buy. Although it doesn’t feature a variety in the kind of puzzle like the Professor Layton series has to offer, what you’ll stay here for would be the darker-themed story that the Professor Layton series does not offer. I just wished I played this game sooner than I did and I’m looking forward to playing the expanded version, CATHERINE: Full Body.

Extras

Did you guys like my review of CATHERINE: Classic? Did you agree with my points or are there points that you disagree on? Comment it down so I’ll know your thoughts too, and make sure you like the video and subscribe for more! Don’t forget to also check out my Facebook page where I constantly go live playing games which can be accessed here and my YouTube channel where I upload my stream highlights that can be accessed here.

Until then guys, see you soon!

Good

  • Multiple endings
  • Engaging story
  • Puzzle has a variety of obstacle
  • Ends without a bittersweet ending

Bad

  • Can get frustrating
  • Controls can get confusing
8.5

Excellent

Story - 8.3
Graphical Delivery - 7.9
Music - 8.5
Gameplay - 8.6
Content Value - 9.2
Full-time Student, Esports Shoutcaster, Video Game Journalist, Game Reviewer, Tournament Organizer.
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