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LONG BLOG

5 Gaming Bullet Points: Catherine

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I recently finished my first playthrough of Catherine and I have a bit to say about it. I have a very favorable view of the game after playing it in its entirety. There arenít really many flaws as far as the game goes, which is nice.

* First, It looks great. It uses the much maligned Gamebryo engine but to wonderful effect. The in game character models are stylized and cell shaded. The non-gameplay elements are handled with a combination of in game models and animated (as in straight up anime) cut scenes. The combination works well and itís never really a jarring switch when the switches occur.

* The story is entertaining and there are some interesting, if not somewhat predictable twists, that make the experience interesting. You have a lot of dynamic characters with their own stories to tell as well as some interesting side characters (the ultra creepy Lindsay and Martha for example). The only downside to the main story is that, beyond the ending, the content doesnít change in accordance with what you do. The story is interesting though it plays out a pretty good pacing.

* Gameplay is fun. Itís essentially a frantic puzzle game that has you rushing to figure out how to climb towers while the bottom of the stage falls out from underneath you. The final section of each stage also contains a boss that will attack you with various special attacks as well. Besides the boss stages though, itís a pretty straightforward climb to the top of any stage.

* Iím sure everyone is wondering how difficult it is considering the patching that went on to make things easier. I played through the game on normal and I was able to get gold trophies for the first 6 stages before I gave up on going back to get the golds. On normal I found the challenge to be just right. Not crazy difficult but not so easy I feel like I didnít accomplish something. Playing on Hard was predictably hard but not impossible.† Also, Iím playing on the non-patched Xbox version so I donít have access to the super-easy mode on the PS3.

* Aside from the main story, there are a few other modes that can be unlocked. Coliseum mode, which is unlocked by beating the game, is a 2-player versus mode that has you battling against a second player to reach the top of a stage first. The other stage, Babel, is a kind of iron man stage that involves climbing ridiculously large towers while being timed. Babel has four stages that are unlocked by getting gold trophies on stages in Normal mode or higher. Babel also has a two player co-op mode as well as the standard single player.

Overall, I enjoyed the game immensely. There are 8 different endings which I will probably go back and see. There is also the arcade game Rapunzel available for more block climbing action. The game has a lot of replay value and the challenge modes make for an interesting optional addition if you just want straight up puzzle action.
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About Hakujinjoeone of us since 12:43 AM on 02.01.2011

I'm a translator living in Tokyo.