Atlus brings to Switch the definitive version of one of the company’s riskiest (and daring) gambles. Catherine: Full Body is more than a remaster of the classic Catherine (PS3/360) The version brings new characters to the plot, more game modes and also has new endings, becoming the definitive experience for the title. The game is a visual novel interspersed with a compilation of puzzles, governed by a wonderful soundtrack and beautiful graphics in the style of Japanese animations.
First of all, it’s necessary to make a few things clear: contrary to what the title’s marketing suggests, Catherine is not an experience with sexualappeal, but an adultplot. This also means that the game may not please all audiences, especially younger ones, because they will not be able to identify with certain situations that only those who have lived through it know how it is – personal conflicts, relationships and the future are just some of the topics covered. .
The basis of the story remains the same as the classic version: it revolves around Vincent, a man who is already in his thirties and still hasn’t been able to decide the direction of his life. Vincent is dating Katherine (it’s important to note that the name starts with the letter K), a cultured, centered woman focused on her goals. The two have been dating each other since high school and have been comfortable that way for years, however, due to the pressure she has been suffering from her parents, Katherine pressures the protagonist to get married and start a family.
With this checkmate from his girlfriend, Vincent begins to be haunted by his own thoughts, because, for him, getting married would mean losing his freedom. This questioning is one of the main pillars of the entire history of the game. At night, Vincent frequents The Stray Sheep bar with his friends Jonny, Orlando and Toby. There they talked about the pressure Katherine is putting on, how bad it can be and that he should just enjoy life like they already do.
After a night of drinking, with several doubts about his future, Vincent finds himself alone in that place, until a beautiful and provocative woman enters the bar. Even though all the tables are empty, this young woman, who is called Catherine (with the letter C), decides to sit next to Vincent. After talking, the two end up sleeping together.
From that moment on, the protagonist starts having nightmares every night. It is in these nightmares that the true gameplay of the game appears. The player assumes the role of Vincent, with sheep’s horns. The objective is to climb to the end of a ladder of blocks, which are falling little by little. The way these blocks are stacked does not allow them to be easily climbed, forcing the player to handle and organize them so that it is possible to reach the top and come out of the nightmare alive, if the character falls into the abyss, the same will also die in the real world.
The mystery becomes even more intriguing after several men who reported having this type of dream were found dead in their beds during the mornings, becoming a much talked about topic among people in the game. In the midst of this great mystery, Vincent now finds himself torn between taking a step forward in his relationship with Katherine or leaving everything behind and living with Catherine. The unfolding of the story can lead to several endings, it all depends on the choices the player makes during the story. Even the way to respond (or ignore) the messages received on the cell phone can influence the following events.
However, in Full Body a third path is added: Rin, a mysterious girl with pink hair, who suffered amnesia and works at the bar that Vincent frequents every night with his friends. The new character is saved by Vincent at the beginning of the game and becomes the protagonist’s neighbor, living in the apartment next door.
The immersion of the whole set is excellent, because all the secondary characters tell their own stories – which are interspersed with the main plot. I advise talking to all of them to make the most of everything the game has to offer. The sound direction is perfect and it should be mentioned: Shoji Meguro has made another magnificent album for this title and the dubbing is excellent, as usual in Atlus games.
a world of nightmares
The world of nightmares is a chaotic place that is inhabited only by men, who are represented in the form of a sheep. The objective is to climb a staircase of blocks that is slowly collapsing, but it is necessary to move the blocks to the right places in order to progress in the climb. It takes very quick thinking and caution to get past these challenges. In the interval from one phase to another there is a safe area, where it is possible to know the stories of other men in the form of sheep, remember that it is important to talk to all of them, although it is optional.
The whole atmosphere of the nightmare recalls the idea of a Catholic church in the Middle Ages, with statues and symbols thatallude to men who are like a lost sheep who live a life of sin. After completing a level, it is necessary to enter a confessional, and talk to a mysterious voice that will ask questions and always give the player two response options. These answers are the key to deciding Vincent’s fate and, consequently, the end of the game.
One of the biggest problems pointed out by players of the classic version was the difficulty to pass the puzzles present in the game. This has been fixed in Full Body, now if you just want to follow the story or want to solve the puzzles at another time, it is possible to leave the game in automatic mode. In this mode, Vincent climbs to the end of the level alone and is a real hand on the wheel for those who can’t keep up with the frenetic pace of the nightmare. You can also change the game’s difficulty at any time.
There are even more game modes, which allow you to revisit already completed stages to be played again at the desired difficulty and a local or online multiplayer, both in versus mode and also in cooperative with a friend. Another cool novelty is the Remix mode: in this, the stages feature larger blocks, which look like Tetris pieces, and completely change the dynamics of the puzzles, making it ideal for those who have already tried the classic Catherine.
Despite the difficulty being complicated in normal mode, and even brutalin the later stages, everything is compensated for by the plot. Becoming addictive, to the point of making you play for many hours straight just to know the outcome of the plot.
The place of the lost sheep
The Stray Sheep bar is where most of the game takes place. In this establishment, Vincent can chat with all the secondary characters to learn more about their lives. Some conversations unlock new events, such as cell phone messages and calls from Catherine or Katherine. Although it’s optional, it’s important to talk to them all to unlock a good ending to the game.
In addition, the bar has an arcade machine, which has a minigame similar to the nightmare world. In addition to a jukebox, which is a great fan service for those who have played other Atlus titles, bringing several songs from the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series. Be sure to check out the new music that will be added after the new stages are completed.
Eventually, there were some drops in frames per second at the bar, especially when I accessed the Switch Home Menu for a while and returned to the game. Some visual glitches like color distortion also happened. These small issues didn’t spoil the experience in the slightest, but it’s important to point out so that it will be fixed in the future through a patch.
I don’t mean to spoil the story, so I can only say that it’s important to go into the bar bathroom every night.
Decide your fate
Bringing beautiful visuals and renewed gameplay, the remaster will be able to please both those who have already experienced the original title and those who will meet it for the first time. The addition of new characters and endings justify a second purchase, even at full price. However, as I mentioned at the beginning of the text, younger people may not identify with the plot – which can generate a lack of interest on the part of this audience.
Vincent gained the greatest development in the story so that the player feels empathy for the protagonist, the other characters work like the pieces of a rail – which leads to a subjective and individual conclusion about the events of the game. All questions asked by the mysterious voice will have a profound impact on the protagonist’s fate. To have the best experience, I recommend that anyone who is playing for the first time answer honestly to all of them.
Catherine: Full Body is about the two extremesof adulthood: commitment or freedom. The story may seem to have some holes or poorly developed characters, but this is not a failure, because the intention of the game is to become a metaphor using precisely this context of indecision and questions that the protagonist lives.
Beautiful art style;
Challenging and well-crafted puzzles.
Rare drops of frames per second in the bar.