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    dkirschner's Catherine (PS3)

    [June 21, 2018 02:51:57 PM]
    I just checked, and I bought Catherine about 5 years ago. It's outlasted all the other PS3 games on my shelf, those that I bought, played, and sold since acquiring that console. As I'm in the midst of cleaning house, I realized if I would just play Catherine, I could sell my PS3 since I've played everything else I want to on it. Strange motivation to play a game, but it worked.

    Catherine is a puzzle game published by Atlus, who I came to love in my PS2 days for publishing excellent RPGs like the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series. The story here is excellent, the high point of the game. You play as Vincent, a directionless guy in his early 30s who's been dating Katherine for the past 5 years. Vincent suffers pressure from Katherine and her parents to get married and, you know, grow up. Upon reflection, this may have contributed to why the game sat on my shelf for years. I was living with a girlfriend who put this pressure on me, and I didn't want her to see me playing a game about it (especially when the character ends up cheating). Anyway, at the bar he and his friends frequent, he meets another young woman, Catherine, who is opposite Katherine in many ways. She's younger, hotter, loves sex, seemingly uninterested in a long-term relationship. Vincent starts cheating, and so begin his nightmares. There's more going on, but to keep it simple, Vincent increasingly struggles over what he's doing, and increasingly struggles to keep Katherine and Catherine from finding out about one another. The game explores these themes well (relationships, parenthood, responsibility, transitioning to adulthood), and larger themes that the two K/Catherines represent, order and disorder.

    The game alternates between Vincent's time at the bar at night, where you hang out with your friends, get to know other patrons, and respond to texts from the K/Catherines, his nightmares where he climbs daunting puzzle towers, and his days, in which there's usually a story bit of him waking up and/or meeting someone for lunch. I wasn't terribly impressed with the puzzling, and that turned out to be a tedious hindrance to hear more story. These are spatial block puzzles. In each stage, you climb a tower of blocks, and you'll have to navigate and move various kinds of blocks to create stairs, to remove obstacles, and so on, in order to reach the top. The bottom of the level falls away periodically, so you have to keep moving, which puts temporal pressure on. The last stage of each area features a challenging boss. The bosses remind me of Bayonetta or Devil May Cry by character design. They're all creepy or disgusting, especially the fucking baby level.

    Catherine is a DIFFICULT game. I played on "normal" (don't be fooled!) for the first three areas, and was pulling my hair out by the end of it. I couldn't wait to beat the third area's final boss so I could switch to easy difficulty. Easy is significantly simpler than normal, but still can turn challenging. Note that you can't change difficulties when you're in the nightmare, so you need to keep a save in the bar, as I learned the hard way (otherwise, I would have been on easy halfway through the third area). The game is generous with checkpoints during your tower climbs. I read that Catherine used to be even harder upon release, and that the devs patched it to make it easier because players were complaining. I'm glad they did!

    There's more complexity than I've described to the story and the puzzles, but this is the gist. It's a cool game, and I'd recommend it for something different. Don't feel bad if you have to use a walkthrough for a couple puzzles. And if you really get into it and love the puzzling, there's days more worth of it in challenge modes and striving for perfect runs.
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    dkirschner's Catherine (PS3)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 7 June, 2018

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 21 June, 2018

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Supposed to be interesting! ----------------- Cool game. Great story. Makes you think. Tackles important relationship issues. Puzzles got tedious.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dkirschner's page

    See info on Catherine

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Catherine (PS3) by jp (rating: 5)


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