Review Context: I’ve played and enjoyed the original version of Catherine (2011).
Date of Playthrough: August 25, 2019
Disclosure: This review is based off of a review copy.
Catherine: Full Body, developed by ATLUS, is a remastered and expanded version of Catherine, originally released in 2011. This is a game that I enjoyed playing in 2011, so when I heard of Catherine: Full Body I was skeptical about what new things it might bring, but still interested in playing it because I enjoyed Catherine a lot because of the story and puzzle elements. A lot of my review will be from the perspective as a second time player rather than introducing a new player to the Catherine universe.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Catherine: Full Body is the player’s choice to control how the story unfolds. Playing as Vincent, voiced by Troy Baker, you are in the middle of a relationship with Katherine until suddenly another woman, Catherine, enters your life and you are faced with many dating decisions throughout the game. The puzzle element of the game is Vincent being forced to climb a tower puzzle in his nightmares each night and finding himself in his nightmares alongside people he has met in real life turned into sheep, while also struggling with the reality of mysterious deaths of men being found dead in their sleep due to a rumored “Women’s Wrath.” This was the basic premise of the Catherine (2011), and it still is, except in Catherine: Full Body another woman, Rin, has been put into the mix. Now Vincent has to juggle three love interests, not just two.
My entire story experience lasted more than 10 hours playing the “Classic mode” in Full Body, which has the puzzle pieces from the original version, but you can also choose to play the newly added “Remix mode,” which adds new layouts. new types of blocks to push, including some Tetris-like pieces to the puzzles for a much different experience. There is also a newly added “Safety Mode” that allows players to skip puzzles and focus on the story, but I wouldn’t recommend that, as I feel the puzzle experience is immersive to the storytelling. It’s been so long since I played Catherine (2011) that I can’t pinpoint every single scene that was recently added, but I will say the story did seem longer and more fleshed out than what I remembered. From memory of how to play the game, I was able to blaze through most of the game with only a few puzzles towards the end causing me to go slow or retry. There were definitely new levels added to the game, as each stage or night seemed a stage or few longer than what I remembered, but still somewhat redundant in what had to be done. To be fair, the Remix Mode is where the new stuff is found.
As a returning feature, I highly recommend staying connected online because each decision you have to make between stages the results are shown in a pie graph of everyone else, separated by male, female, or other. I assume the genders were pulled from the PSN accounts, as there is no other gender input. Also when the stage loads the beginning of the nightmare showing the sheep walking you can see the PSN names of other users, something I don’t think was in the original. One interesting new thing is they added a Dark Souls-esque visualization of where other players died within the puzzle, along with their PSN names. Also after you complete a level they show counter of the amount of deaths within that level for the night of everyone connected. Given that this is before the game is publicly released, the number counter wasn’t too high, but I’m interested to see how high that number can go after full release.
I will now attempt to give my verdict of the inclusion of Rin without spoiling, because I’m sure that is what people who played the game before want to know prior to purchasing. It’s difficult for me to give a definitive answer because I only played through the game once, but for my playthrough and the decisions I made, I felt the inclusion of Rin was somewhat unnecessary, although there were very interesting moments for sure. There is a certain mystery surrounding Rin that captures your attention, but in my playthrough her inclusion felt shoehorned in by the end of my playthrough. I can certainly speculate why Rin was included, but doing so here would be a spoiler. That’s not to say Rin’s character was useless or added nothing, because there were key moments in the game involving Rin that I really liked, but I felt there could have been more. This is one area that I would recommend you, the reader, check other opinions because other experiences may have been different.
Another area that should be taken into account are the new multiplayer options. One of the only disappoints about Catherine (2011) was the lack of online multiplayer , but now that seems to be rectified, as Babel and Colosseum mode now have online multiplayer. In Colosseum, players go one-on-one to see who can reach the top of the tower, and this mode has ranked, casual, and friend matches and a leaderboard to check where you rank. Babel mode is more of a single player mode, where players can test their skills to see how far you they can climb up as more blocks are put in their way. Babel mode can also be co-op or versus. Unfortunately, due to the game not being released yet as of the writing of this review I haven’t been able to get a match in the Colosseum, but I will be sure to update this when I can to give my experience.
If you played Catherine before, a lot of what made that game great is still in there, and yes, that means the awesome soundtrack, including new tracks. The Catherine soundtrack is still one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard, even if they are not totally original and are renditions of famous classics. One cool thing in Catherine: Full Body is the bar soundtrack changer features tunes from other Atlus games. The voice acting and animations are also very crisp, although there were times I felt the sound levels were not adjusted well within the dialogue.
Catherine: Full Body is definitely one of the better games I’ve played in 2019, but it feels mostly the same as before with an expanded level count and more cutscenes. If you already enjoyed Catherine then that’s not a bad thing.The great thing about Catherine: Full Body is that I can choose to play each level again in either Classic or Remix mode without restarting, so don’t bang your head against the wall deciding between the modes in the beginning. I am most pumped for the online multiplayer and I will definitely share my thoughts about the experience once I can find a match after full release. I also encourage readers to seek out other opinions of Rin’s inclusion within the game if that is your biggest question mark before deciding to purchase Catherine: Full Body.
Similar Games Liked: