**This blog contains minor spoilers and describes a major event that takes place in the game. Read at your own discretion
Okay seriously, why is there no fucking option to adjust audio levels? The music is blaringly-loud while the voices are super quiet. I DON’T CARE FOR YOUR MUSIC, ATLUS.
Or your goddamn bells ._.
*sigh* Anyway, let’s continue shall we?
I’ve decided, for the sake of my sanity, I’m going to cheat and walk the level through via a YouTube video. I don’t even care anymore.
20 MINUTES LATER
MAN, how can ANYONE be this good at Catherine? It’s so frickin’ intense, how some players can play this so flawlessly. I mean, I can understand trial and error, practice and whatnot, but this is too much *continues playing*
30 MINUTES LATER
Okay we’re through! :D
So yeah, after a certain number of levels, you have to fight a boss…and man are they fucking bizarre. For this one, I have to fight some giant demonic baby that shoots chainsaws at you while crying “Daddy!”
Oh yeah, fun fucking times.
I do kinda like the bosses though; they’re obviously a corruption or warping of what’s on Vincent’s mind; with the possibility of his girlfriend being pregnant, Vincent is clearly very worried about suddenly becoming a father, wanting things to stay simple and the same. That kind of ties in to going to bed angry, sad or stressed out; you tend to have messed up dreams if something’s weighing heavily on your mind.
So after I beat the boss I step through a magic door and wake the hell up
6th DAY – VINCENT’S APARTMENT
WTF VINCENT’S BED IS FULL OF ANTS!! GODDAMN IT, THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T LEAVE FOOD OUT!! THAT’S HOW YOU GET ANTS
Oh and there’s Catherine, shooing them out and freaking the fuck out. Just what you need after a night of heavy drinking and hot sex you can’t remember.
According to the waitress of the bar, ants and spiders are a sign of a witch, so that could be interpreted either which way: they’re either crowding around because Vincent left Katherine’s cake gift out (untouched) or he’s being watched over by a witch. I like that slight paranormal mood to the overarching story; nothing is explicitly out of place (save for the nightmares), but other than that nothing too out of the ordinary happens.
And god is Catherine hot.
Catherine: “They were after this” *lifts up cake* “What is this? Cake? Where’d you get it? Well?!”
Vincent is the stupidest fucking guy on the planet; of course there was NO WAY he could explain at the beginning of the whole fiasco, just have to lie out of your ass.
What, did you guys think there was logic in this story?
Here, let me lay it down for you folks:
At the beginning of the game, Vincent’s girlfriend, Katherine, urges him (in a less-than-subtle way) that he should think about settling down and push their relationship further ahead. After stressing out at the bar with his friends, Vincent decides to relieve the “overwhelming stress” by drinking alone until a young girl named Catherine sits by him and chats up a storm. And by chat I mean sword-fighting with their tongues.
Soon, before Vincent knows it, he finds himself in a weird puzzle-based nightmare, where if he dies in the dream he dies in real life.
Heavy fucking stuff.
So he awakes the next morning…to find a naked Catherine lying next to him in bed.
So what does Vincent do?
Does he explain the situation?
Does he mention he has a girlfriend?
Does he apologize and point out they were both really drunk?
Does he admit that things got out of hand?
NO. He does his best to play along and shrugs it off, deciding instead to take the “Woe is me” route and bitch about it, getting shit-faced to numb the pain while continuing this ridiculous air-headed debacle.
And it’s an incredible trip.
The conflict is so thick and close to the edge that I can’t help but feel like my chest is about to burst (or maybe it was because of that Ridley Scott trailer I saw yesterday). Anyway, I LOVE the dramatic tension and overwhelming conflict masterfully-woven throughout the game. The entire game is about choice, and every single decision you make causes a ripple to spread and affect the outcome of the story.
And it’s not just the questions I mentioned in Part I; I was talking with NPCs about nothing, just shooting the breeze. But sometimes when I made a decision the morality bar would come up and shift in a direction, leaving me to gasp and go wide-eyed, thinking “OH FUCK what have I done?! No no different answer DIFFERENT ANSWER”
It’s crazy how things can change in a matter of seconds.
And yeah, I know it seems unrealistic and dumb how the story progresses; why does Vincent dig the hole deeper? Why doesn’t he just shut up and fix things?
Well, believe or not, THERE’S A REASON FOR THAT. A LEGITIMATE REASON, HONESTLY FOLKS.
And I can’t tell you.
It’s very clear by the end of the story why the things happen the way they do (even the nightmares and messed-up bosses). It’s all part of an overarching story that comes together really well.
Okay, now back to the game.
Well since my morale clock is in the red, Vincent is more worried about Katherine finding out that he’s cheating over Catherine finding out he has a girlfriend. Huge difference between the two; he favours Catherine over Katherine (confused yet?)
Oh by the way did I mention that Catherine is BAT SHIT CRAZY?!
She’s telling me, in a very low and sexy voice…that if I cheat on her she’s going to DIE. And how does she follow that up? BY BITING ME. Not playful hehe-this-is-the-precursor-to-a-Japanese-orgy type biting, SHE’S TAKING FLESH OUT OF MY GODDAMN SHOULDER.
Damn, that’s kinky.
Well, after another bullshit excuse, Vincent manages to worm his way out of another situation. What a ponce.
LUNCH WITH KATHERINE
Oh lord, no one is subtle in Japan, seriously: he suspects Katherine might be cheating on him (cool logic bro), so he “indiscreetly” asks her about any other guys. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You’re 30 fucking years old! How did you get this broad in the first place?
Yeah, now she’s mad, and you’re visibly sweating. HOW YOU GUNNA GET OUTTA DIS VINCE?
6th NIGHT – STRAY SHEEP
Well that’s always a good sign: 2 of the friends are having nightmares too. What could go wrong here?
This doesn’t make any damn sense; Vince is saying “Man I’m such a terrible person, I have to do something about this.” You said this 3 nights ago! All you’ve been doing to ‘fix’ the situation is sit in a bar and kill your fucking braincells with beer and cocktails. Yup, good Japanese resolve there, Vince. Frickin’ Afro Samurai wannabe.
Ah, a text message from Katherine.
This is a pretty cool part of the game. You can decide how to respond to people by hitting X to type out a line. If you don’t like it, press O to delete it and hit X again to type a different line. You can cycle through the different lines until you make a message you want to send.
Here’s what my girlfriend said:
“Vincent…Have you gotten involved in something bad? If that’s the case, tell me. Tell me the truth. Your problems are my problems now.”
Since I’m going for the full cheating option, here’s my response:
“You don’t believe me? I don’t want to have to explain it to you. It’s not a big deal. Bye.”
Damn I’m such a lady’s man.
I also have to keep an eye on the other bar patrons; it’s apparent to the player (but not to the characters) that some people you see the nightmares are real people you see in real life. For example, I see sitting at the bar two guys that were recognizable in the last nightmare puzzle I *ahem* completed totally legitimately. In order to keep them going and not give up hope, I can talk with them and offer encouragement, which I enjoy doing. This way I also get some insight into their backstory and personalities, fleshing out the story.
It seems all the victims of the nightmares are young men who, at one point in time, have been dishonest or treated women badly.
EEEEEEEEEE Catherine texted me!
“I hope you’re working hard! I love when you talk about your job <3 Oooooh! It’s our first *real* date tomorrow! I’m sooooooooooo excited! <3 <3 <3 [weird emote I can’t replicate because I’m not Japanese] Let’s do something else after we go to the movies!”
Oh and she attached a picture…which I can only see in the bathroom
*goes to bathroom*
Okay let’s have a look…
She’s on a bed wearing a red ribbon…and nothing else.
I keep forgetting this is an M-rated game.
“Is it…going to be a date? Ugh…I’m so nervous…what does an ulcer feel like?”
Wow, that was…kinda flat. And unfortunately I didn’t have really any other options. I thought this guy was 30, not a fucking high school student. Whatever *sends*
Let’s see what’s on the news…
ARCHIE IS DEAD?! But…I talked to him like every fucking night! Oh wait…DAMMIT I MISSED A NIGHT
Argh this game is so unforgiving! There’s so much to do, how the fuck can you be expected to play a perfect game?! I can’t talk to my friends, text my two lovers, watch the news, go to the washroom for a wank AND talk to 3 other people at the same time!
Yeah this game is part real-time. Fun shit huh?
I guess it’s not mandatory…but I’m a trophy whore.
…that didn’t come out right ANYWAY
Damn, they died because I wasn’t being encouraging, but pessimistic because I was trying to get my morale compass over to Catherine’s side. Wow, so I guess it’s harder to encourage when you yourself is being dishonest. I can dig that. Just means less trophies for me
10 MINUTES LATER
Hey, last one in the bar, who shows up? Catherine, everybody’s favourite lovable whore
Catherine: You ever cheated on anyone Vincent?
Vincent: Huh?! Wha…
Catherine: I can’t imagine…it’s you, after all. I’ve cheated on someone before…but don’t worry, I’m only seeing you.
Vincent: U-Uh…how do I say this…?
Catherine: It’s really strange that I feel this way. Do you get what I’m trying to say? Oh, I’m probably not making much sense.
Catherine: Man, you’re not talking much today…I’m just sitting here with some guy who’s not saying anything. We’re done talking today!
Vincent: Sorry, see you tomorrow…
Man, managing a relationship is hard work.
Okay the puzzle’s starting up so I’m shutting down before I start freaking out.
Oh wait…CAN’T FUCKING SAVE UNTIL I BEAT THE FIRST FLOOR. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-
So folks, with all my bitching and moaning, why have I not burned the fucking disc or exchanged it for a more pleasant experience, like slamming my dick in a door frame?
Because it’s a great game.
YES I SAID IT AND I MEAN IT. Catherine is a good game.
I hate the puzzles to high heaven and I don’t find them very enjoyable (or remotely playable) at all. I’m just not a puzzle gamer.
But having said that, I find the story absolutely compelling; between the bullshit bits of falling cubes, I was genuinely at the edge of the couch aching to know what would happen next in the story; I sweated and pondered my next move, not knowing what effect my decisions would have. And with 8 different endings to the game, I want to know what happens in each one.
So why don’t I just look up all the clips on YouTube?
Because this is my story. It’s happening to me, and I’m the one pulling all the strings. Everything that happens is a result of my actions. And that just fills me with so much glee.
I really really really really really wish the game was ALL about the roleplaying and NONE of the puzzle crap, but that’s how it is and I can’t change that.
So having said that, despite all my ranting, I’m still giving Catherine a solid 6.5 / 10 , with most of that based on its story elements.
Whew. Now honestly folks, I need your help. I want more roleplaying gaming like this, so do you guys recommend any other games that have similar roleplaying bits like this?