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Developed by Atlus, Catherine has made the jump to the U.S markets from Japan where it was known as キャサリン
Kyasarin. What we got here is a treat for both fans of anime and for those who
are looking for something different, because this is something you never played
before. Catherine, is about Vincent who works in the tech industry and spends late nights with his friends at a bar.
Vincent's love life revolves around his girlfriend Katherine (That’s Katherine
with a “K”) who he has been dating for several years. Katherine wants to take the relationship to the next level
but Vincent is unsure of what to do.
The main plot in Catherine takes off when an attractive, seductive blonde enters Vincent's life. That would be Catherine with a “C”. After a late night at the bar with Catherine, Vincent wakes up next to the blonde bombshell. He realizes that he cheated on Katherine and thus begins his quest to get out of this situation that he has found himself in. Should he be faithful to Katherine and marry her? Or pursue a relationship with Catherine in whom he is mildly interested?
Catherine's strong point is presenting mature themes that aren't often in found games. Themes
of marriage and being single are rarely touched in video games and make this one of the most mature
games on the market. But when you get into how the game plays and into the story,
you'll realize that there's a lot more to it than just plot. Every time Vincent completes a stage during his nightmare, he is subjected to questioning about his decisions. This is one of the few games that makes gamers ask about their love life. Those who are honest, will find Catherine to be a more immersive experience than some were expecting. From the
difficult puzzles, to the conversations to partake in, and choices to make, Catherine packs a lot.
The morality system is a nice touch, but I often found myself taken out of atmosphere because of it. Every time you make a decision, either good or bad, you see a morality bar showing your actions. I think it would have been much better to keep that hidden from the audience because it would have felt like a more personal experience. Yes the themes do that to an extent, but I always found it easier to choose between Katherine and Catherine because I would see that morality bar.
A few problems I have with the game are critical mistakes that keep it from being a great game; Catherine's story will take you six to seven hours to complete. It does have multiple endings and online leader boards which increase the replayablitiy. You may see a few things different from your first playthrough but it isn't enough for me to justify my 60 dollar purchase. Ultimately, Catherine is still a short-lived experience, but one that is perfect for anime fans.