The original version of Catherine was released on February 17 2011 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Developed by Atlus’ Team Persona I feel that this is one of their titles that was grossly overlooked, which made me pretty sad. Catherine was released between Persona 4: Golden and Persona 5 and somewhat filled the gap for fans of the developer.
Both versions of Catherine are a puzzle game and a real-life simulator game, if you’re a Persona fan the puzzle game part takes the spot of the dungeons and instead of being a high schooler in this game you’re a middle aged man who makes a grave mistake. Now, hot on the heels of Persona 5‘s success, Atlus has decided to re-release Catherine with better visuals, better controls, a new character Rin that allows for more branching story arcs, new music and even some multiplayer options.
If you’ve played this game on the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360 you will be greeting with a big chunk of the same story as last time. You play as Vincent who’s afraid of commitment, he’s been in a relationship with Katherine for five years and just won’t put a ring on it. One night while over drinking in the Stray Sheep Vincent runs into Catherine, the polar opposite of his current girlfriend.
She doesn’t want to be tied down by marriage and actually shows her emotions. As alcohol would have it, Vincent cheats on Katherine with Catherine which begins his restless nights because of the nightmares. In these nightmares Vincent, only armed with his pillow and boxers must climb for his life. He sees himself as himself in the dreams, but every other person in the dream is a sheep, you can guess who they are in the story though because certain apparel gives them away.
You find out as you climb that if you die in the dream you die in real life. Once you get to the top you awaken in your bed, only fearing the next night of dreams. In the real world a string of mysterious deaths is occurring, young men are dying in their sleep for no apparent reason, Vincent must climb all the way to the top to survive.
There are several control schemes in this game, you have the real world controls and mechanics and your nightmare mechanics. The nightmare ones are the most important because if you die, your game will end, and that’s no fun.
Thankfully in this version of the game the developers added a super easy mode that allows you to basically pass any climbing stage you cannot pass. This was great for me, I got stuck on my PS3 version and couldn’t progress, now I can, sure it is kind of pathetic but I want to see what’s in store for Vincent. When I get better at the puzzle element I will play again on harder difficulties to see different parts of the story and different endings. You use the D-Pad or the joystick to move Vincent left, right, up and down.
Pressing X by a box allows you to grab it and move it, you must move it so it can connect to and edge, it will float even if there is nothing below it because of the edge. As you climb you can grab pillows which are more chances and other items that help you on your way. These puzzles are insanely hard, at least for me, if you’re not a puzzle gamer. I am not a puzzle gamer so I wanted to experience the story, Full Body is allowing me to see Vincent’s entire tale, finally.
When you’re in the real world everything looks a bit different, the animated cut scenes are beautiful and make me want to buy more Anime and the in game scenes are cell shaded and will never age. The dream sequences are also gorgeous, but terrifying, the monoliths you must scare can be horrifying, especially when a demon is chasing you and knocking the blocks down under you.
In the real world you make choices that affect the story, conversations can make Vincent a good guy or a bad guy, all of these answers unlock different conversation choices moving forward in the game. In my first playthrough I decided to be the nice guy and appease Katherine as much as I could. The voice acting is stellar and if you’re a Persona fan you’ll hear some familiar voices as you play.
Music is also top notch, not as great as Persona 4, but there are quite a few catchy tunes in there. The style of this game and Team Persona overall make it a gorgeous game to play and one that will be playable for years to come because of cell-shading.
The developers added quite a bit to the game, easier levels, some multiplayer and different challenges, but the most important one to me, other than the easy level was the inclusion of Rin. I played through a good chunk of the original in 2011 until I got stuck on a puzzle and it is nice to see how Rin was included in the story. Vincent just happens to save her one night in city and being an amnesiac with no where to go he helps her find a job at the Stray Sheep and a place to live, next door to him.
I liked the fact that Vincent is now surrounded by three gorgeous women and juggles them while trying to stay alive while he sleeps. I will say that this addition didn’t really garner the full price tag, I’m lucky I got a review code for this game because I just don’t know if it should be priced at sixty dollars. MOST remasters are budget priced, but I’m guessing Atlus was riding high on Persona 5 popularity to make a little more extra cash. I’ll be fine with that if it gets us a sequel or a proper Persona 4 port to current gen consoles.
Now, this is a great game, I cannot take away anything from that. In 2011 it was a great game and in 2019 it is a great game. The price is a bit steep for a remaster even though the quality is unbelievably high, but if you’ve never experienced Catherine it will be worth the money. I will say here that this game carries a hard Mature rating, lots of almost nip slips and sexual innuendos and the like, don’t play this in front of the kiddos or wife for that matter.
If you’re terrible at puzzle games but love Team Persona’s stories get this version of the game, you get a longer story and an easier way to see it with the skip option. If you’re good at puzzle games and don’t really care about the addition of a new girl then grab up a cheap PS3 or Xbox 360 copy. You’ll still enjoy the game, but you’ll miss out on some story options and different endings. This remaster makes me excited for Person 5: Royal, which I’m sure I’ll drop sixty bucks on, had I not gotten this game for review I would have also dropped sixty bucks on it. I’m a huge Atlus, Team Persona fan boy, plus they put out great products.
This review is based off a review copy provided by the publisher
Catherine: Full Body
Catherine is back after a few years hiatus, and she brought a new friend. Is her remaster worth a second look?
- Addition of Easy Difficulty really opens this game up to poor puzzle players
- New character additions make the story feel new and fresh
- The graphical upgrade really makes this game pop, it looked great in 2011 and it looks even better now
- Multiplayer is a bit lacking, not too many people joining the rounds
- If you are bad at puzzle games and play on higher difficulty, you will not progress
- Priced a bit high for a remaster