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77 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A twisted, mind-bending exploration of truly adult themes.
Catherine is on par with Bayonetta in my eyes--not because they both feature large-breasted women of extreme attractiveness, but rather because they are MORE than their mammaries.

As a disclaimer, I have not played it, but have rather spent the past few nights watching my boyfriend of several years play through it. I can honestly say that the game is just as...
Published on July 29, 2011 by BrynnFlynn

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A frustrating experience
The Good: Beautiful art style, engaging and gripping story, replying to text messages is actually fun!, decent voice acting, interesting choice system

The Bad: Infuriating puzzle levels, not much gameplay outside of that, a little on the short side, control issues

I usually regret playing Atlus games because they are frustrating and difficult...
Published 24 months ago by Richard Baker


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catherine the Great, April 15, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Catherine - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
If I had to pick one word to describe "Catherine", it would be "intelligent." True, there are other games I'd describe this way, but "Catherine" swaps typical shooting or brawling for puzzle-based gaming. It's a smart game that makes you feel smarter for playing it. And while there's a mature and (for the most part) smartly-written story and some fine-looking cutscenes and graphics, your enjoyment of the game will probably be determined directly by how addictive you find the puzzle mechanics.

Framed as an episode of a late-night cable show, hosted by the enigmatic "Midnight Venus", the game, after an interesting (though long-winded) intro, throws players straight into the action. Vincent Brooks, the main character, is having a nightmare in which he must manipulate blocks in order to ascend a rapidly-crumbling tower. When he awakens, Vincent's life is complicated when his long-time girlfriend Katherine starts dropping some not-so-subtle hints that it might be time for the commitment phobic Vincent to buy her a ring, and when he hears a rumor going around his favorite bar that lousy boyfriends have been having a nightmare similar to his, and that if they fall in their dream, they end up dead on the morning news in real life.

That night at the bar, Vincent's approached by gorgeous Catherine. Unlike brunette Katherine, blonde bombshell Catherine's a free-spirit looking for a good time, and, in a moment of weakness, Vincent shows her one. The story, a mixture of romantic comedy and supernatural horror, is told through a combination of stunning cell-shaded graphics and genuine anime cutscenes. The voice acting for the English dub is top-notch, with voices I recognized from my favorite video games and animated series.
Gameplay takes place mainly in the nightmares, in which you must push and pull blocks to create a path up increasingly tall towers. These puzzles are actually pretty freeform, and different players will be able to improvise completely different paths to the pinnacle of each stage. Different types of blocks are added into the mix as you progress through the game, with various "trap" blocks requiring skill and timing to bypass.

While the puzzles can sometimes be frustrating initially, on subsequent playthroughs you should come to look forward to the challenge of later stages and to find boss "fights" more rewarding. The boss battles, or, more accurately, boss chases, feature monstrous manifestations of Vincent's worries trying to kill him, forcing him to climb more quickly. This creates some of the game's more terrifying sequences, like one where Vincent is being chased by what I think was the "beast with two backs", firing hearts out of its . . . well, you'll just have to see for yourself.

After completing each puzzle, you'll find yourself in a confessional booth where you'll be asked your thoughts on relationships. These questions are randomized each time you play and, along with questions you'll be asked by other characters on the landings between stages, where you're expected to encourage other lambs, and the Stray Sheep, Vincent's bar, as well as text messages you can send Catherine or Katherine, influence the game's nuanced morality system. Instead of pure "good" or "evil", the system is based on which of two viewpoints on relationships you lean more towards, with no consistent indication which choice will lean towards which polarity. Unfortunately, while these choices effect the NPC's around you, Vincent's story path will be the same for every player. Vincent's internal monologue at several points will change, and maybe a line of dialogue here and there will be different, but the story makes all the same stops no matter how many sweet texts you send to one girl and nasty texts you send to the other, at least until the game's finale, when your actions throughout the game will ultimately determine your alternate ending.

However, scenes set in the Stray Sheep do a good job of capturing the feeling of relaxing at your favorite pub, allowing you to choose your responses to the texts from the women in Vincent's life, lend a sympathetic ear to the many interesting characters that make up the rest of the bar's regulars, and chat with Vincent's circle of drinking buddies and the bar's proprietor, the Robert Goulet-like "Boss." There's also a jukebox to change the accompanying BGM and an arcade booth to play a faux-retro version of the game. Of course, you can also pick your poison and drink, which not only gives Vincent a boost during the puzzle sequences but, in one of the game's finer touches, will also provide you with some interesting trivia
tidbits on the liquor of your choice.

Other clever touches include the quotes from famous writers and philosophers on love and marriage that display during the game's loading screens, or the game's great score. Original jazz compositions provide accompaniment for Stray Sheep sequences, while climbing sequences feature ultra-modern remixes of classical compositions by Beethoven, Bach, and the like.
"Catherine", perhaps fittingly, is more of a commitment than it seems at first. On at least two separate occasions, I put the controller down, thinking I'd finished the game, only to be treated to a long series of cutscenes and then flung back into another puzzle. And while the game's central mystery provides a couple great twists, once the party responsible for Vincent's plight is revealed, the motivations behind the plot seem more than a little convoluted. Also, a final hosting segment after the game's conclusion beats player's over the head with the game's themes.

Other gameplay modes include Babel, a more randomized climbing puzzle that can be played single-handedly or cooperatively, and Colliseum, which is meant to be a competitive climbing mode plays more like a tacked-on Deathmatch. In the end, it's the game's unique puzzles and interesting characters that made me want to play again as soon as I finished.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Catherine Review, December 20, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Catherine - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
In the game Catherine you get to act out a very dark and twisted soap opera of sorts. You will be playing the part of Vincent a man scared of commitment and yet in a long term relationship with a girl named Katherine. It isn't until Katherine starts pushing that the story begins, along with the nightmares. Soon after the discussion of marriage starts to heavily weigh into the conversation Vincent meets a beautiful blond at his favorite watering hole, the Stray Sheep. This is where the real fun begins. You'll have to deal with two combating relationships, as well as survive each nightmare filled night.

Graphically this game doesn't have ot pump out all that much as the majority of the game takes place in only a couple of places, and most time is spent trying to get through another nightmare. That basically includes a lot of different types of blocks you'll have to work with to try to climb out of each stage. I do have to say I did appreciate the mixture of animation and in game graphics in parts, it definitely helped get the story along, and the characters all had a very unique feel to them and allowed me to relate to each of them as separate people.

Music outside of the nightmare goes from your average background bar sounds, to some stressful music to help punctuate the moment. I'm a huge fan of voice acting, and there is going to be plenty to listen to in the game. The best part is that almost all is unique dialog so there's not a whole lot of rinse and repeat that you have to go through. You'll want to actually talk to as many people as you can in the bar to help get you further into the story.

The controls are REALLY simple. You're going to have the d-pad, you could use the left analog stick, but believe me you're going to be making way too many mistakes that way. You'll also be utilizing the X button to use items that you either picked up or purchased, and then there's the A button, which is what really causes all the magic to happen. You'll be using that button to hold on to block to move them in the direction you specify.

The true meat of the game is in the puzzle levels where you'll need to move blocks around so that you can accend up the level to the exit. Most of the time it is not a straight shot and you'll find that you'll have to backtrack in order to truly reach your goal. As you go through the levels you'll notice that more blocks are introduced, which will definitely spice things up. In most levels there's just a time limit that you'll have to combat with, but from time to time you might find enemies trying to stop you, or kill you, and then there are also those rare cases where there will not only be that but something coming up from below to try to take you out and make you really think on your feet. Overall this game had me from start to finish. Sure there were some more than frustrating deaths that happened because I screwed up somewhere or the thing(s) from below got me when I wasn't ready. My one issue with the game, though, was that there were times where you're hanging on to an edge of a block and you accidentally get behind the block and trying to get you to come back out, or perhaps pop out the side gets a little confusing with the controls as you get disoriented with the left and right directions.

This game is definitely not for everyone, but for those willing to give it a try, you might find that this is just the type of game that has something so strange, being a romantic horror puzzle game, for one, that it latches on to you and the only thing you can do is continue to play it. I fully recommend this game to all who wish to play it, and with that being said I have to say that this game gets a 9.4 out of 10.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Odd Dichotomy., July 30, 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Catherine - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I just completed the game after just over 15 hours and I thought I would share my thoughts on it to others who are considering purchasing it.

One thing I can say without any hesitation is that this is unlike any game I have ever played before. The story and game play are very unique and that alone wins big points with me. The animation is very well done reminds me a great deal of the game "Borderlands" in its presentation.

The game really takes place in two distinct parts, one being the narrative of the main character Vincent and the other being his nightmare (very fitting name) stages which consist of solving increasingly more difficult puzzles as you ascend long staircases. For me personally, the climbing took a great deal of getting used to. I am mostly a FPS player and puzzles and strategy games are not really my cup of tea. There were numerous levels that I had 20 or more deaths on before finally being able to pass them. If you can get through this game without a mountain of frustration then you are a more level headed person than I am. I would be willing to bet that numerous people that attempt this game will fail to complete it because of this level of difficulty and frustration (even on easy).

To those not so easily deterred by a challenge, the story is fantastic, the characterizations are rich and the voice acting is executed quite well. Its nearly impossible not to be engaged by the story line. It is odd, quirky, random but most of all very fun and captivating. I really do not want to get into specifics of the plot because I do not want to spoil it for anyone, but suffice to say you will get much more than you bargained for as far as development.

The game is not without its flaws, but it is able to compensate for these by being so fresh and unique. I would suggest this to anyone who is looking for something out of the ordinary. Your not going to play something like this often. That much I can assure you.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, July 26, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Catherine - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I love this game, it feels really unique and innovative, the gameplay is also a lot of fun, it can be a bit difficult at first but once you get the hang of it, it becomes very addicting, the story is probably the best feature of catherine, this is one of the few games that really made me care about the character and the story and to see what's gonna happen next, the music is also top notch,the soundtrack cd only comes with 11 tracks but i was able to ding the official japanese 34-tracks soundtrack in the japanese itunes store and it's absolutely amazing, it is definitely worth a try, i do not regret any minutes and dollars spent on this game ^^
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Catherine is oftentimes agonizing, July 26, 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Catherine - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I'm normally in favor of players lowering a game's difficulty to Easy should they just want to experience the story, but in this rare instance, I'm going to advise against it. The difference between Easy and Normal is pretty immense, and if the Nightmares are a cakewalk, you'll get less from Vincent's journey than you would if you had to struggle more. I literally screamed in frustration as I tackled a boss for the umpteenth time, but my suffering made me empathize with Vincent far more than I might have otherwise. He's a shnook and a fool and he wouldn't be in this mess if he could just be a man and make a damn decision, but even he doesn't deserve to be tortured every night.

Bottom Line: Catherine is oftentimes agonizing, but like the blonde vixen that bewitches Vincent, it keeps you wanting more, just the same. The story, helped along by beautiful animation and first class voice acting, never stops being interesting. The puzzles test your mettle with genuinely clever design.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't expect playing a guy running around in his underwear to be so much fun., February 13, 2014
This review is from: Catherine - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I went to GameStop and asked for a game like Portal or Quantum Conundrum, and was handed this. I was a bit skeptical about an anime title, as I haven't played one before, and I haven't played one with "sexual themes" on the ESRB tag either. However, I was pleasantly surprised as Catherine proved to be not only deeper in storyline but also a lot more fun to play than almost any other game in recent memory.

The plot follows Vincent Brooks, a 32-year-old computer programmer whose girlfriend's family is pressuring them to get married, and Katherine, the girl, is starting to side with her parents. Feeling the pressure, he goes out drinking with some buddies- and wakes up with a strange girl in his bed whose name is Catherine. Confused, he tries repeatedly to get rid of her as he doesn't think he would cheat on Katherine even when drunk. However, she manages to stick around and then threatens to kill him if she finds out there's another girl. This is only the second or third day. Vincent starts having nightmares, and hears stories of young men in the area who were cheating on their women and died in their sleep after recurring nightmares. You play the game as Vincent, trying to figure out what is going on with his love life as well as the mysterious deaths, which continuously get closer and closer to home.

The nightmares are the meat of the game, giant towers you have to climb by moving blocks, sometimes being chased by some boss who is Vincent's mental recreation of a problem in the real world. There are other people in the nightmares, who are real people you can talk to during the day, but you have to figure out who each of them are as they are disguised as sheep. It makes sense in context.

During the day, you watch looooooong cutscenes and hang out at the local bar, learning about the killings, playing minigames, and sending text messages. No, it's not as lame as it sounds.

It's a kind of RPG, and your responses to questions and situations affect the ending of the story. There's a little morality meter in the corner that tracks where you fall among possible endings.

I talk to my video games a lot- but never as much as this one. I found myself talking to the characters and narrating my thoughts on what was going on. If you take too long on a puzzle and are about to run out of time, Vincent starts trying to calm himself down. I literally sat in the middle of my living room saying "No, you're right! We ARE going to get out of this!" I loved the protagonist despite his flaws, and it warmed my heart in every stage where he encourages the other sheep to keep going, to not give up making it to the top of the tower. I was surprised, by the end, at how much I cared.

An important note: I didn't care at first. I spent the first two in-game days ignoring every other character so I could skip to the puzzles, and paying the price later. If you don't encourage the other bar patrons and sheep, they give in to their mental issues and become one of the many deaths you see on the news. Trust me- you want to talk to the other people. I deeply regretted ignoring them later when I walked into a room and I was the only one in it because all of my friends were dead.

Most of the reviews talk about the game being too hard. The menu told me to pick "Easy" if you haven't played it before. I played it on "Easy" because of this recommendation and regretted it. I'm an avid Tetris player and this had a similar concept, so I found the first five days extremely simple. I now intend to replay the game not so that I can get a different ending but because I want to play it on a level that is more challenging for me.

A dangerous side effect: I can't play Tetris any more. I feel an emptiness inside when I realize it isn't Catherine/Rapunzel and my favorite game can no longer satisfy me. I have tasted ambrosia and have been unable to return to human food.

Overall, this game was fantastic. It made me both laugh and cry, it challenged by brain, the voice acting was fantastic, and the art was interesting. Even the so-called "erotic" scenes didn't exist in the actual game, which was a relief. I give this game a ten out of ten.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hours of fun and frustration., February 3, 2014
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This review is from: Catherine - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I don't really do puzzle games--I find them to be tedious, boring, and not very exciting. On the other hand, one of my favorite game genres is simulation, so when I found out about this game and saw that it blended the puzzle and sim genres together, I was interested. I didn't mind that it was a puzzle game, because the puzzle gameplay from the demo actually felt fun and fast-paced. Not your average puzzle game, that's for sure.
Basically, the meat of the game are the nightmare/puzzle stages, with the story progressing during your time spent at the Stray Sheep bar. There isn't much to gameplay outside of the puzzle stages--you can talk with friends, drink, play a minigame in the bar, and also converse with bar patrons who might need some help. The things you say lead you more towards salvation or sin, which will determine what ending you get (I believe there's 6 possible endings).
Now for the puzzle stages themselves. They start out simple enough, but these stages can get impossibly hard, and fast. Even playing on normal mode will give you a challenge, and even on easy, expect to die often. The boss stages at the end of each floor raise the pressure, and you'll probably die a lot trying to reach the top. Honestly, the difficulty of the puzzles is what killed the fun for me a bit. I like a challenge, but I don't like it when I have to try a stage over 30 times, and that's not an exaggeration. After a while, the puzzle stages can just start to feel tedious, and I couldn't wait to get back to daytime, even though there wasn't much to do.
In short: Yes, the puzzles are fun, but can be mind-numbingly difficult. The sim aspect was well-incorporated into the game, although there isn't a whole lot to do in the game outside of the puzzle stages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Game Concepts..., June 10, 2013
By 
George (Houston, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catherine - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
The problem definitely lies in the immersion. Although the story was initially captivating, I quickly lost my attention span.

I was really looking forward to this game given the unique dynamics it brings to the genre, but ultimately, I came away disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy Good Game!, May 5, 2013
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This review is from: Catherine - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I got this game, but man, what a ride. Just Excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It allright, May 1, 2013
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This review is from: Catherine - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Its not really a animated porn game if thats what you want. Just strong themes of romance and sexuality. the plot is pretty good, all the side stuff is great. this game changed how i view romance and taught me some good lessons. the game play is allright,its challenging and fun tho sometimes repetitive and frustrating. could have been made better though, just not enough game in there.
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Catherine - Xbox 360
Catherine - Xbox 360 by Atlus (Xbox 360)
$29.99 $18.83
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