Hey guys, its your girl KrisSimsters, and do you see what I’m reviewing? I’m reviewing Catherine and I’m excited because in reality, I hate Valentine’s Day due to me being single. So until I start dating, I will always hate V-Day and if I ever go to South Korea, then I’ll hate Christmas there too. So what better way to celebrate my small hatred of Valentine’s Day then by reviewing Catherine, the romantic horror, puzzle game developed and published Atlus on February 17, 2011. Do I love or hate this game? I don’t know, lets find out.
BACKGROUND & PLOT:
As stated before, Catherine was developed and published by Atlus; the same company popular for games such as the Persona series, particularly Persona 3 and Persona 4. Catherine was released on February 17, 2011 in Japan and July 26, 2011 as Atlus’ first HD game for the PS3 and X-Box 360. At the time of its release in the US, it got 9/10 on IGN and 4/5 on Metacritic.
The cast for this game includes Troy Baker as Vincent Brooks, Laura Bailey as Catherine, Michelle Ruff as Katherine McBride, Kirk Thornton as Boss/Thomas Mutton, and Erin Fitzgerald who plays Trisha/Erica Anderson. Other voice actors include; Travis Willingham, Liam O’Brien, and Yuri Lowenthal. This game is different than most, one of the reasons I love it is for the interaction scenes mainly. I like how the actual gameplay is different from game interactions/cutscenes, and I also like how you get little dark details within the cutscenes. There’s no sign of light in the game until the very end and I like that. I don’t know if I’m particularly fond of my ending though.
The soundtrack to this game is cool as well. I like the J-Hip-Hop song intro (though lets be honest, I’m a Jaywalker through and through) and the overall soundtrack of the game is sexy and I want to feel the sexiness when it comes to games like this. The only thing about game’s audio that I don’t like is the horror chord sound that comes along whenever Vincent fucks up in the game. And honestly Vincent fucks up a lot, he can’t lie to save his own ass and when things do hit the fan…I’ll get to that in a moment.
So the plot of Catherine is so fucked up that I wondering right now why I’m talking about it as we speak. The game itself is basically testing your relationship, the choices you make can either improve or ruin your relationship. Not only did I personally play this game, I also watched Lets Play of this game and I recommend Cryaotic’s playthrough because he took it the most personally (and his ending is somewhat better than mine). Anyway, lets get into the plot.
Vincent Brooks is your average guy, he works at a tech company and for some reason is in a long-term relationship with Katherine McBride, a woman he had known back in high school, but they reconnected at their high school reunion. Anyway, Vincent starts having weird nightmares about going up an endless flight of disappearing stairs with other sheep. The other sheep tells him that if he falls within the game, then he dies in real life. Around the same time, Katherine starts talking about marriage because her mother has been asking her when she’s getting married. Also, her other friends are getting married so she wants that experience too. Vincent talks to his friends; Orlando Haddick, Jonny Ariga, and Jonny’s co-worker, Toby Nebbins about this. Orlando isn’t much help because he’s going through divorce, Jonny has unrequited feelings for Katherine (spoiler), and Toby is just looking to find the one and remove his V-Card. Yes, he’s that young. Toby has a crush on Erica, the Stray Sheep Bar’s waitress and if you choose the True Lovers ending, then you would see why that’s a little awkward to Vincent, Jonny, and Orlando. I personally have no problem with it, in fact I cheered a little.
Anyway, after a drunken night with more nightmares about the endless stairs, Vincent wakes up with a blonde twenty-two year old named Catherine. Vincent remembers meeting her at the Stray Sheep, but he doesn’t remember bringing her home with him. Yes, they were both drunk, but given with Catherine is later on in the game, then you have to wonder if he was more drunk than her and this is basically date-rape. Anyway, the next day, Katherine reveals that she’s pregnant at their local cafe and this is how Vincent reacts:
Like a scared man-child. Yes, all men have that fear moment when their woman reveals that she’s possibly pregnant, but Vincent takes up to eleven. This should have been Katherine’s first clue that Vincent is no good for her and should have left right then and there. Yet, she’s too stupid to realize that her boyfriend is freaking out more than a normal person. This in total panders into the entire issue I have with this game, yet I don’t want to go into full detail over that at this point.
Anyway, to make matters even worst for Vincent (and to hear that damned horror chord again) Catherine calls him five seconds and after some bullshit way of ending that conversation, he suddenly hears her voice in the cafe, but wait…Katherine is mad. Why is Katherine mad? Because he got another fucking phone!! She’s not mad about the call, she’s mad about the fucking phone!! You don’t even know if your pregnant yet, yes I know planning ahead is key, especially if in a delicate and unexpected situation like this, but don’t worry about costs until you actually know your pregnant. This plot is so fucking stupid, lets just move on.
Vincent talks about the fact that he might be a baby daddy with the guys at the Stray Sheep and after some not helpful advice from his friends (lets be honest, these assholes aren’t really helpful until towards the end of the game), Vincent eventually drinks himself into another nightmare and once again, he wakes up with Catherine sleep beside him the next morning. This time, however, Catherine finds out only a cake-box filled with ants (Red Herring Ants), but also a long hair. Vincent is easily able to get out of the cake lie but the long hair that obviously belongs to Katherine gets passed off by a chest hair. At this point, Catherine has seen Vincent topless twice, there is no chest hair on his body!!
A couple of days goes by and Vincent realizes that he can’t keep this up anymore. Between the nightmares, the two women he got himself involved with, and the lack of sleep because of the nightmares, Vincent is exhausted. After a mysterious phone call, he decides to break things off with Catherine and comes clean to her, telling her about Katherine. She beats him brutally in the bathroom and the phrase, “Don’t stick your dick in crazy,” comes to mind. After getting brutally beaten, Vincent heads phone and sleeps peacefully for once. When Katherine knocks on his door the next morning, the other Catherine is behind him. The Tsundere and the Yandere have finally met and all hell breaks loose.
Yeah, a lot of shit goes down, but then its revealed to be a dream. When Katherine figures out that Vincent was cheating on her, she tells him that she’s not pregnant and proceeds to break up with him. Now we’re supposed to fill sorry for Vincent at this point because he’s just broken up with the love of his life, but you know what…I don’t feel anything for him.
Just like I didn’t feel anything for Jodie when I reviewed Beyond Two Souls in January. He’s an asshole, he did something wrong and he got punished for it. Yeah, he breaks up with Catherine in the end, but he should have refused earlier. And yes, I still stand by this even after the revelation that Catherine is actual a succubus. And who is the person who revealed this?
The person behind everything that has happened to not only Vincent and his friends later on, but almost every man in the Stray Sheep bar? Boss. Boss reveals that his real name is Thomas Mutton and he’s been using Catherine on not only Vincent, but other men for a long time. Vincent challenges Boss to one more night, he wants to end it for not only himself, but other men as well. Boss agrees and even promises to grant Vincent one wish if he wins.
From here, you’re on your own. Yes, you defeat Boss, but when things come down to it…this is a game of choices. You choose whether Vincent want to either be with Catherine or Katherine or even on his own. Just like all the choices you make in confessional are choices you make on your own. You choose your own ending. And maybe because I’m such a pure person that I happened to get the Katherine True ending, aka Katherine and Vincent gets married and have their reception at the Stray Sheep. This was not the ending I wanted. I actually wanted the Freedom True ending, which was Vincent’s Space Tourism dream, but in the end I’m kinda happy about the Katherine True ending.
PROS & CONS:
1). Voice Acting: Besides the fact that Troy Baker is yet another game, I found the voice actors fitting into their roles perfectly. Especially Jonny…kinda feel for him because he hasn’t found the one yet.
2). Art Style: I already told you how amazing the art style in this game was and I’m not going to go further into it, just know that I really love the art style in this game.
3). Soundtrack: Again, I already stated my love for this soundtrack and how it fits into the game.
1). These Characters are Dumb: I don’t want to explain this one any further, but lets do it for review sake’s. Lets start with Vincent, he deserves neither of these women. I don’t care that Catherine’s a succubus, I do not care if Katherine was controlling; Vincent lied to these women and they weren’t even good lies. The only good lie Vincent showed was his sweet tooth one, but other than that his lies were cringe-worthy. I mean damn if your going to cheat, at least lie right. Katherine McBride is a controlling bitch, another reason why I didn’t want the ending I got. If Vincent had to choose to be with either women, I would have preferred Catherine.
Katherine didn’t exactly lie about her baby, but she yelled at him over a phone. Not the fact that he was acting weird while talking on his cell phone, but the fact that he had gotten a new phone. That should have been a huge hint that something wasn’t right, that should have been the moment that you should have broken up with Vincent, but you didn’t. It made the game drag on. Its already 12-13 hours long, it didn’t need to be any longer than that. And lastly, Catherine. Remember how I said Catherine was 22? Vincent and Katherine are 32 that is a long age gap and it didn’t help that she acted like she was eighteen the entire time either.
2). The Subtitles Don’t Help: At one point in the game, you get a call from Steve, the last one K/Catherine was dating before she started her affair with Vincent. If you are playing this game with the subtitles on, then you can deduce which K/Catherine he was talking about. The subtitles do not help with the mysterious.
3). Not Much Horror/Nudity: This is more of a personal con on myself. When I play a horror game, I expect a lot of horror. The scenes weren’t scary enough. I don’t expect FNAF horror (BTW: I am never reviewing that, forget that right now) but I expect more horror than I got. As for the Nudity…when you cover art looks like this and you have photos like this then I better expect more nudity than I got. Again, this is more of a personal con.
In the beginning of this article, my general question was do I love or hate this game? The answer to that question is yes and no. Yes, I love the game and I love puzzle games, but I hate the characters. They are dumb and don’t believe in common sense, something you are taught from the moment you are born. Would I play this game again? Yes. In fact, I’m playing it this weekend because its Valentine’s Day and I don’t have a date. Who knows, I might finally get the ending I want. Other than that, my name is KrisSimsters and I’ll see you next time. Stay golden.
Final rating: 7/10
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