First Impressions: Catherine

She’s Here

At last, Catherine has arrived. Well, the demo at least. We have all heard about the game and just how strange it is. Well, what did you expect? It is a Japanese game! Despite the constant craze about this game, the demo seems to be somewhat disappointing.

The World of the Dream

The first thing seen in the demo is a falling goat, which then meets its messy end by splattering its insides on a floor that has a picture of Katherine, Vincent’s girlfriend, and Catherine, a blond woman whom he meets later in the demo. Keep in mind, this is just the main menu.

The actual gameplay starts off with Vincent, the main character, walking through a door wearing only his boxers, holding his pillow, and sporting some goat horns. After some dialogue, we finally get a chance to see his surroundings. In order to escape the dream, Vincent must climb a set of blocks to reach another door and escape. Along the way, coins can be collected to improve the score and extra pillows can be taken to add multiple continues in case Vincent dies.

Who has dreams like this?

To ascend this block wall, the player must pull out some blocks in order to create a ledge for Vincent to climb to the next level of blocks. This seems pretty easy the first time, but in the second dream, Vincent is being chased by a pair of large hands, one of which is holding a huge fork that renders blocks slower to move when the fork is slashed onto them. In this case, speed is paramount, and suddenly collecting pillows and coins becomes second priority to getting out of the dream.

The Real World

In addition to the two dream sequences, players are taken through the story through anime and in-game cutscenes. However, it seems unnecessary for the cutscenes to switch between the two mediums other than the sole purpose of reiterating the fact that the game is indeed Japanese.

So…does this mean he’s in Limbo?

The last feature is Vincent’s morality scale. Just like in Heavy Rain, what players say to other characters can affect the outcome of the story. In the case of Catherine, this comes from text messages. Depending on the message sent by Vincent, it can give him a good or bad reputation on the meter which is shown after each interaction.

Besides the dream we only get to see one other location: the bar where Vincent and his friends hang out and this is where we get a glimpse into the story surrounding Catherine starting with a news bulletin detailing the death of Paul, a friend of Vincent’s. The demo ends as Vincent meets Catherine for the first time and after a nightmare, wakes up in his bed while she sleeps next to him.

Pleasant Dream or Nightmare?

Despite all the hype this game was given for its adult theme and horror, the demo does not seem to deliver on both. There was only a short amount of gameplay compared to the cutscenes and dialogue. There was nothing particularly scary and I am a person who is easily terrified. It seems Atlus is holding back in the demo so as to lure people into buying the full game. Based on this demo, I will not be one of those people. However, our very own Pascal Tekaia will have his controller at the ready when it comes out, so come back to Bits ‘n’ Bytes when Pascal gives us the review of the full game of Catherine.

3 Responses to “First Impressions: Catherine”
  1. Nicolas says:

    I see your point. I felt like the graphics could’ve been better. I thought it was an interesting storyline though. Great article!

  2. marcsart says:

    I wish it was an anime I could just watch. I am interested in the story but I find the gameplay in the demo to be sort of boring.

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