So it’s Valentine’s day, so happy Valentine’s day to those of you who have loved ones/significant others and are in a relationship or it just so happens it’s your birthday… We hope today is great for you. But if you’re like some of us and Love Bites why don’t you sit down and play a strange game dealing with love and life choices: Catherine. Now those of you who aren’t 18 or whatever age is considered legal adult age in your area, I’m sorry we have to ask you to check out something else on the site as this Game is for Mature Audiences only.
CATHERINE, while the name is pretty this game makes me want to stay away from Catherines or anyone with any semblance of the name. I mean Holy Shit. Now I knew this game was going to be weird when I was reading the back of the game case but come on… One of the pictures on the back is this terrifying… baby? Yeah there’s a terrifying baby on the back of the game case as a game screenshot. Like that’s going to make me want to play?
And when I got to that point in the game O.M.G. terrifying indeed. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Now Catherine the Game opens up with a cinematic that is both in high definition and just spectacularly drawn, all the vids in this game are hand drawn animations that you’d expect in a good Anime. As such all the characters are designed well. In fact all the characters are easily pin pointed to their motivations, you have the two best friends of your age one that’s the more colder and honest character who holds everything about himself in, and the other who is the more upbeat have fun life only happens once who holds a grudge with his ex-wife, and then you get the younger coworker of the cold friend who fits in somehow and is your friend and is how the three of you use to be who just wants to get laid.
Throughout the game you get to relate your nightmares and other events to them just like you would to your real friends, of course I’m assuming you have [any] friends in real life. Hell even if you only had imaginary friends or friends online they would be doing the same things that these three do throughout the game. In addition to them there’s other characters not including the two “Catherine’s” of which you the main character Vincent will be dealing with.
One of which is the owner of the bar: Stray Sheep; that you visit every night after you work. He never shows his eyes and always wears shades, and the game makes you think he may have gone through the same things you have MAYBE, but you’ll all have to find out by playing this game. The bar itself is a character in a way and since you visit it every night it’s a place to find out information and meet other STRAY sheep, get information and even get a glimpse of the terror you will have to face in the coming nightmares. It’s helpful in that you won’t be so surprised… though if you pay any fucking attention to the already stress inducing animated scenes you should know what’s coming up.
In addition to the bar and the bar owner, and your friends there’s other patrons that you can get information out of; but the person I like the most outside the friends is the ‘waitress’ Erica, her bright fake red hair is just awesome when applied to real people. But in all seriousness I like ‘her’ because out of all the characters (including your friends)’ she’s’ the only one that’s actually seems concerned about you, the others are all “Ah it’s just dreams/ you’re just stressed, chug a beer and you’ll be okay tomorrow” yet everyday it gets worse for you… Erica still cares at least the most when I made my choices.
Yeah I forgot to mention you get choices, and some of which you may not be aware of when you’re making them but they dictate a lot of things… And it’s all measured on a “good” or “bad” scale (devil/angel) though I put it as a Selfish or Selfless because when I was making decision I thought were morally okay or ambiguous I still got hit on points and went down from how I normally chose: the “knight” personality. Turns out the answers equate to Freedom (selfish as I put it) or Order (selfless as I put it). Depending on the scale at end of parts of each day I believe it alters what maybe said or what may happen and or how difficult certain things are. Ultimate where the scale lays at the end before the trials of heaven dictates the ending you will receive assuming you’re not a moron and die.
Again let’s step back; back to the beginning when you insert the game your brought to the main menu screen, of which there’s Vincent (main character that you are) chained with barbwire to a stone block of which your ball buster of a girlfriend is sitting on top of:
That’s Katherine McBride the 32 year old girlfriend of Vincent of several years… by the by she’s a matronly psycho controlling bitch… who symbolizes order.
Here there’s three things you can select; the Golden Playhouse (which is story mode), Babel which is a fun mode dedicated to the puzzles you play when sleeping but can only be unlocked by getting at least one gold medal in the story on normal, and Configuration… By selecting Golden Playhouse you’re welcomed by Catherine.
You can choose new game or load game, as I said that’s Catherine the 22 year old “fling” of Vincent and she is by the way a manipulative psycho bitch that symbolizes freedom.
Once you start the game you see an opening Animation and this one goes through a variety of genres of stories and then you meet “the midnight Venus” who is the guide for the story and then after that you see an another animation video, in fact it’s a few minutes before you ever really do anything, after the animations your greeted by a credits and then finally your greeted by your first nightmare but it’s a tutorial level and if you have played the game its beyond annoying if you haven’t played the game in my case it was still annoying when I was trying to get a hang of things it pauses so much to tell you things that it could have done while you were moving. After the level you get another animation. And so the tone is set.
Nightmares dealing with puzzles then you wake up and animations sometimes the animations are broken up with in game cut scenes dealing with a sushi restaurant/ bar called Kappa’s Heaven where you and your friend Orlando frequent. After Kappa’s Heaven comes more Animations and then finally you end up at the Stray Sheep Bar… every night. You may have a drinking problem…
At the bar you can do things I mentioned before but you can also check your cell phones, reply to messages, see awards you got while in the nightmare (bronze/silver/gold trophies) replay those levels to get gold trophies (required to play babel), you can drink and when you finish that drink you get trivia based on that drink and then you can change your drink to another cocktail, sake, beer, or whiskey…
The more you drink the faster you will be in your nightmares go figure, I tried playing Tetris while drunk and I didn’t beat my high score I don’t know what the designers were drinking when they added this in, Alcohol doesn’t = faster puzzle breaking in reality. You can also change the bars music with the in bar jukebox, or even play an arcade game called Rapunzel which is exactly like your nightmares. You can only play the game up to 3 times a night unless you don’t play and save your credits.
During each nightmare there are stages, after one puzzle you will be welcomed on a rest platform.
Here you can talk to sheep, learn more about what’s up about the other sheep, learn new tricks, and potentially buy something from a fat merchant sheep and save your game, each rest stops background is based on the stages overall name, so at least the designers realized we’d all be bored of the rest stops at some point. Before you can leave the rest stop there’s always a gargoyle that lets you know up is freedom… and you have to go into a confessional box and listen to a mysterious character that isn’t named until about the end of the game, here he will/the narrator will ask you a question and until the trials of heaven come every answer will affect the game and your outcome, your answers will move the bar either closer to the angel or closer to the devil.
That’s literally all you fucking do, watch a video, maybe see an in game cut scene, go to the bar and get drunk, go home have a nightmare beat a series of puzzle levels and then a night terror; oh yeah at the end of each night there is a night terror essentially a hyperactive nightmare, instead of just climbing up blocks in a puzzle you can’t take forever to figure out, now you have a “boss” that you need to outrun or else you’ll be killed in an exploding spectacular visual. And not all bosses are equal for some reason some were harder in the beginning than towards the end.
I swear not just the night terrors but oh my fucking… there are so, so, so many ways for you to die I mean this game maybe the best game to make a “to kill” video about, if it’s not squished by a block, set on fire, exploded by lightning, falling, squished by baby, cut up by chainsaw wielding baby, yeah I said it, impaled by a knife wielding skeleton bride, exploded via a hand canon, there’s also sliding and falling due to ice, impaled by blades, and more. Yes and more…
You do and deal with all of this for 7 days, and each night the nightmares start to get longer so day 2 only has like 2 stages by day 6 there’s 4-5 stages. Ironically enough when I played this game I actually look forwarded to the puzzle stages though not the night terror ones. Compared to the animations while they are stunning as far as art goes the content made me cringe considering I hate confrontation and a lot of the time it was a confrontation in some sorts.
This game is worth playing at least once through even if only for how strange and bizarre it is. I got the true Katherine ending and I’m happy with that one, there are 8 endings by the way there’s the true Catherine ending, good Catherine ending, bad Catherine ending, good Freedom ending, true Freedom ending, bad Katherine ending, good Katherine ending and then true Katherine ending. Of course the endings are all based on where you ended your gauge. That’s Catherine in a nutshell I won’t ruin it for those of you who haven’t played it yet and what the endings entail. If you don’t like the ending you get you can replay the game to get them all and achievements for doing so or you can go to YouTube and watch the endings. The choice is yours.
Hope you enjoy your Valentines Day!
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