Have you ever found yourself in a drunken stupor that led to a night of questionable choices? Building off of that, you awaken to find out that you cheated on your significant other, and additionally finding yourself questioning your own life choices and sexual preferences? In Catherine: Full Body, the player assumes the role of Vincent Brooks and lives this very situation out. While playing as our tormented soul, haunted by his nightmares (from his recent life choices relationship-wise) do we have what it takes to navigate through the puzzles that hinder us, will we succumb to the horrors, or will we find another path in our moments of despair? Let’s solve these nightmares and set ourselves free in our review for Catherine: Full Body.
Game Title: Catherine: Full Body
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Prices of editions available: ‘Heart’s Desire’ Premium Edition $79.99, Standard Edition $59.99
Genre: Action Platformer, Puzzle
Platform: PlayStation 4
Players: 1-2 players (local coop and online)
*Note: Sega of America/Atlus provided a PS4 game key to review the title. Thank you to Sega of America/Atlus for providing a review key.*
From the official game website:
Our indecisive protagonist, Vincent, has been with his long-time girlfriend, Katherine, for five years. But instead of taking the next step into marriage, Vincent finds himself in an affair with the provocative blonde bombshell, Catherine! Thrown into discord by his own infidelity, he finds solace in the innocent Rin – further complicating matters. Adding to Vincent’s dilemma, he begins having nightmares that force him to climb for his life… Will he survive the trials and tribulations of love, or fall to temptations?
For those who experienced the original title when it released, you will be happy to find out that the original story is in the game. However, there are a few modifications to accommodate the new additions. While the original story is delivered to the player, brand new scenes were added to include the newcomer to the game, Rin. The addition of Rin’s story is woven into the game naturally and does not feel tacked on. It is a welcome addition to Catherine: Full Body.
With the addition of Rin to the story, this brings up multiple questions for Vincent. During Rin’s involvement in the game, our protagonist will often question his own life. These questions will range from his preference in a significant other, job choice, purpose in life, and much more deep/meaningful questions beyond simple relationship ones that were in the original game. It is refreshing to see this as Vincent questions everything with Rin’s involvement. Additionally, the game delivers a much deeper message than the vanilla game. What that message is, I would highly suggest playing the game and traveling the Rin Route to see.
Similar to the vanilla version, the gameplay is the same. However, there are two different modes now for the game. You have “classic” and “remix” styles for Catherine: Full Body. “Classic” way is the same gameplay intact from the original Catherine game. “Remix” Mode adds new blocks and modifies current block layouts to the gameplay. It is still mostly the same, but these changes add additional challenges.
While the puzzles are the heavy focus of the gameplay, there is also the story aspect which also remains similar to the vanilla title. However, with the addition of Rin to the game, a new route is opened for the gameplay. During each nightmare scenario, the player is given a moment to rest and visit the confessional booth. In this confessional booth, the player will answer questions about their lives and relationships.
These questions build upon a type of morale gauge that dictates the ending the player will receive and ultimately what path the player is taking. The original Catherine had multiple endings, and with the addition of Rin to the game, players will get more endings on a new path to travel.
When not in the nightmare, players will find themselves in the local bar, The Stray Sheep, where they can engage in other activities. All of the fun stuff from the original title is still there for newcomers and veterans alike to join. With the involvement of Rin playing piano in The Stray Sheep and Rin also playing the piano in the nightmares, some new elements are added to the game.
There is also the Babel mode, and multiplayer mode in Catherine: Full Body. Babel mode is made up of four stages. You can use multiple characters to tackle it. One DLC inclusion, Joker from Persona 5, has his own story in the Babel mode. The cast from Persona 5 all reprise their roles in this story mode with new cutscenes just for this. It is rather tricky but enjoyable.
However, as of this writing, the Colosseum online battles are not well implemented. I started this and held on my review until I played the online modes. Local multiplayer works fantastically. However, the online component is broken, which results in not able to finish a single match. I hope Atlus works on a patch to address this.
Visual-wise, Catherine: Full Body looks just as beautiful as it did with the vanilla release. Catherine has always been a game with stunning visuals. It shows this time around as well. Atlus took the time to craft each environment in the game masterfully. From the Stray Sheep, each puzzle maze, and animated cutscenes, Catherine: Full Body is a beautiful game to look at.
Audio-wise, Atlus took the time to relocalize the game for the current times and record over 6000 new lines for Full Body. This also includes dual-audio options. Additionally, Catherine: Fully Body has a beautiful soundtrack to accompany it in the modes you are playing. The soundtrack also includes other Atlus published games (Persona 4 Golden, Persona 5, etc.) which is accessed in the jukebox, or Joker’s case his Babel mode. This is the definitive version of the game, so logically it makes sense to make the game “Full Body” so to say.
Catherine: Full Body is a fun game. If you enjoy doing puzzles, regardless of difficulty, this game scratches that itch. Additionally, with the new content added to the game, there is more to do. I put 12 hours on my first playthrough on normal difficulty with the “remix” setting and enjoyed the struggle I had each step of the way. Regardless, I enjoyed the struggles I had with the game.
I found myself going through the puzzles and different modes constantly. Out of all the games this year, Catherine: Full Body has been one of the most enjoyable titles to date.
Catherine: Full Body has high replay value. The vanilla game had over ten endings. This title has added even more endings to the game. Additionally, with all of the new puzzles, new modes, and new things to unlock, Catherine: Full Body has a ton of replay value for its buck.
Catherine: Full Body stays true to the original game while expanding on it in nearly every way. Atlus devs are the master of this approach. I have been saying this since Persona 3 Portable. They will put a nearly 1:1 identical game in, then shove in all of the extra content. Every Rerelease that went this route had this treatment. It is safe to say that Catherine: Full Body receives the “Full Body” treatment. This is the definitive version of the game. Whether you are a newcomer or veteran, you will love playing this game.
I have only one complaint with the game, but its nothing that breaks the experience. This is the online component. Some aspects of the online works (the results of the voting, and see where other players died in stages). However, the VS aspect is entirely broken. I tried to play several matches, and it would hang or disconnect. I have yet to complete a single game online. Hopefully, Atlus will patch the game to address this. Outside of this Catherine: Full Body is the first game for the fall season to release, and it starts us off on a high note.
- Until Next time, Mgs2master2 out!
*Special thanks to Sega of America/Atlus for providing a PS4 key to review the title*