One of the greatest studios of this generation, Atlus, brought us great titles like Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series. Although, one game that has sort of a cult following is Catherine. A unique horror puzzle game where you are climbing blocks in a nightmare infested world while you sleep at night. By day you find yourself navigating a nightmare infested relationship while you’re awake. Seven years after the original, Cathrine: Full Body is being released as an expansion of the 2011 release. With new puzzles, new stories, and new characters, but is it enough to go back into the insane world of Cathrine?
The story of Catherine is fusion horror and drama. Our indecisive protagonist, Vincent, has been with his long-time girlfriend, Katherine, for five years. But he has been having doubts in taking the next step of the relationship which is marriage, Vincent finds himself in an affair with the provocative blonde bombshell, Catherine! Thrown into discord by his own infidelity, he finds solace in the innocent Rin – further complicating matters. Adding to Vincent’s dilemma, he begins having nightmares that force him to climb for his life… Will he survive the trials and tribulations of love, or fall to temptations?
Catherine: Full body plays two ways in The Golden Playhouse Story mode.
The daytime is the adventure part of the game. You can freely explore and talk to friends at the Stray Sheep Bar, listen to unlockable music tracks at the jukebox, send and receive texts and phone calls, order drinks, play Repunzel and watch the narrative of the struggle choice between Kathrine and Catherine.
During the night, the gameplay shifts to an action/puzzle/platform game. The goal is to push and pull blocks from a tower to create a path to the top. All the while fighting against a time-limit (the tower is slowly collapsing) or outrunning a boss with special abilities.
At the end of most Nightmare stages is a landing where other sheep congregate. Here, the game can be saved and Vincent can speak to the others trapped in the Nightmare, who often give hints about strategies to use in climbing. Afterward, Vincent enters a confessional booth where he is asked a question with two possible answers, themed as ‘Order’ or ‘Freedom’. These answers shift his karma meter which affects his future thoughts and the ending of the game.
Other game modes include multiplayer and online battles Babel and Colosseum, where you climb competitively with another player to see who can finish the fastest.
A compelling story of deeply personal dilemmas and stakes. Satisfying action-puzzle stages and modes. Social scenarios that boast a pleasantly intoxicating atmosphere. The art and audio direction work together to create an appealing sense of style. New quality-of-life options and difficulty assist to make puzzling more accessible.
Rin’s dedicated story is lacking. I truly like the new character, but just pushing her into this already insane story seemed kinda rushed and wasn’t fleshed out. The DLC is awful since all of the unlockables are behind a pay way, which is quite unfortunate.
Catherine: Full Body is a game that needs to be played if you didn’t get to it the first time around. The story alone is well worth the price, do yourself a favor and pick it up.
5 out of 5