Catherine: Full Body Review – Rich, Complex, and Well-Rounded
Title: Catherine: Full Body
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Reviewed On: PS4
Genre: Puzzle Adventure
I feel like the original Catherine made a huge impact on the gaming community when it was released in 2011 on PlayStation 3. No one seemed to know what to make of it, but yet everyone regards it as a “must-play” game. There are reasons for this of course, but this is a story that could only be told by developer Atlus. Interestingly, even with all the years that have passed since its first release, the story and premise still hold up. The added content found in Catherine: Full Body is purely the icing on the cake to make a great game, even better.
Catherine: Full Body begins by quickly introducing the newest character to the story, Rin. This meeting is pretty fast and out of nowhere, but it sets up a good reason for her to be a part of the gang. Rin’s inclusion in the game is interesting because if you’ve played the previous title you’ll easily spot the differences in the story. No, the quality isn’t different here, but there are moments where Rin plays a huge role in the game’s plot, but then the game seems to forget about her in a couple of the chapters. However, it’d be tough to notice these differences if it’s your first time through the game so, if that’s the case, you’re in for a real treat.
For the most part, the story of Catherine plays out pretty much the same save for the moments that Rin can help Vince through some of his emotions. Their relationship is pure and friendly but doesn’t come without its hardships. What’s more important here is how the game now paints Katherine in a better light through additional scenes. All too often relationships become tougher because we forget why we fell for the person in the first place.
I felt that the original game made it easy to hate Katherine and want to push back against her controlling personality. Now, we get a bit more context to the situation and get to learn why Vincent fell for her in the first place. This makes the whole theme of cheating tougher to handle because, as the player, I despised him for what he was doing and I’ve never felt that way during my previous playthroughs.
The story is a huge focus in this game and once it’s revealed what’s going on, players will be on track to the game’s many different endings. Full Body gives these endings some new attention and makes them a little more unique, especially when it comes to Rin. It’s not the easiest choice to make, but it’s also based on your actions throughout the entire game. Each choice moves a meter to either bad or good, which dictates how Vincent reacts to situations. If this is your first time through, I suggest just being honest with your answers and choices to see who you end up with. After the first run through comes the joy of figuring out what to do to unlock the other endings.
While the story takes place during the day, Vincent’s troubles don’t end there. At night, he must fight for his life by climbing and moving blocks to get to the top of the tower. Each night ends with a boss encounter, but the moments between the stages also play a huge roll in the game’s tone. After each floor, players will be able to interact with others who resemble sheep. These sheep happen to be people from the real world who can share information about themselves and the reason they are there.
What’s interesting about these people is how truly unlikeable some of them are. You can try to find the good in them but the more you learn the more you detest them. They can also be spoken to in the real world, but they often hide behind a facade that they don’t reveal about themselves outside of the dream world. It’s an interesting way of character development and one that players should take the time to explore.
Oh right, back to the puzzles. The game’s block puzzles are the same as before if you’re playing through the normal game mode. However, the developer offers a new remix option that can change up the puzzles to make them a brand new experience. The difficulty of these puzzles increases over time, but nothing is truly unsolvable. If you absolutely can’t progress the puzzles, the game does offer a mode that focuses on the story and choices only and players can experience it that way.
I enjoyed these puzzles even after playing the original several times, I was even stumped on a few of the areas. After playing the remix mode though I felt that it breathed new life into the game and made these moments truly feel brand new.
The graphics in the game easily resemble what you’ve seen in games like Persona 5. Characters are stylish and fit in naturally to the game’s environments. Furthermore, the anime cutscenes are always great to experience and the new anime scenes added to the game fit in perfectly with the others. The music in the game is without a doubt one of the best soundtracks of any video game to date and Rin’s theme on top of them just makes it even better.
Catherine: Full Body is the full Catherine experience and presents some of the best moments of gameplay and storytelling from any game I’ve played to date. The game’s newly added scenes and features will make it feel new to those who have played before, but if it’s your first time than you are playing the best version imaginable. While Rin’s inclusion doesn’t flow well in a couple of the later chapters, that is all redeemed with new endings for players to discover.
Catherine: Full Body is truly one of those “must-play” video games. While you might not be able to relate to Vincent or his situation, it’s damn fun to watch unfold. I’ll gladly spend many more hours with these characters unlocking new endings and putting my block climbing skills.
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