Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Catherine - Demo Impressions

I'm back! Well sort of anyways. To promote Videogames Source better i figured what better place than my first ever blog. Plus i miss this place. This article was written while playing the Playstation 3 demo version of Catherine. I do understand the full retail game is available. Lack of funds at the moment has prevented me from buying Catherine. Lets get started. Vincent is the main protagonist in Catherine. He isn't exactly an innocent man either.

This is one game that makes you think twice about cheating on your girlfriend or wife. The presentation seems on the quirky side and horror action puzzle gameplay is also involved. Catherine is developed and published by Atlus.Co for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

The demo starts off with a puzzle tutorial. You have to climb a tower to beat the evil spirit and dropping floors that are falling beneath you. The presentation and graphic design is that of hardcore anime. Vincent (while in dream state)is in his underwear and has goat horns on his head. He must get to the top of the mysterious tower before he is killed in his sleep. I know seems crazy. It is.
Stage 1 is called "Underground Cemetery". The latter is a tutorial level at the start of the demo. The controls are "different" and take some getting used to. In the puzzle sequences you must pull and push blocks and make your way up. A mystical door waiting for you at the top with an engraved lionhead on it. You move Vincent around the blocks by using the D-pad.  You can hang on and off ledges of each block. To push and pull blocks you grab with X button and same to let go.

You can use items by pressing the square button. I did manage to collect items as i made my way up the tower. The Mystic Pillow grants you another continue if you die. You can die on Catherine by not reaching the top of the tower fast enough.

There is a wall graph and bar that shows you're progress and how close you are towards the top. For the most part as far as the puzzle gameplay is concerned its fun and challenging. Certain blocks posses certain abilities which makes the player have to be careful when climbing up the tower.

After you make it out of the tutorial your shown Vincent waking up at a diner with Catherine. The anime is particularly good and the cutscenes didn't disappoint. The cutscenes give way to nice in game visuals. The scene was mostly about Catherine feeling pressure about settling down with Vincent. Vincent has commitment issues that much is clear.

The next scene takes place at a bar called the Stray Sheep with is sorta cryptic since Vincent has sheep horns in his nightmare puzzle gameplay sequences. While at the bar drinking with friends Vincent learns about a murder regarding one of his friends. After that your shown a tutorial for the cellphone. The cellphone is an important part of this videogame's gameplay.

There is a karma system attached to the cellphone depending on how you answer (or not) Catherine's calls and messages. The phone is also used to save your progress but that wasn't available in the demo. Katherine takes a seat in Vincent's booth and the last puzzle level of the demo is playable.

I got quite a bit of information from the demo. This is one eccentric videogame. It has a nice atmosphere with really good anime cutscenes. The puzzle gameplay is challenging. The story seems decent. Catherine does have a crazy horror vibe also. Its not just about a guy with commitment issues dealing with two woman. If you're looking for something alittle different try out the demo. It can't hurt. Check out my Bastion article. Thanks for reading

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