Catherine Full Body is the latest addition to Atlus and Sega’s game’s line up for 2019 and even though at its core, it’s the same game from 8 years ago with additional features, it’s still worth playing. More of the same iconic story driven gameplay from the past is never a bad thing and the addition of a new character named Rin to the works makes for an all round more enjoyable gaming escapade.
Those that played the original Catherine video game will know that Catherine followed the tale of Vincent Brookes, a 32 year old systems engineer. He was in a stable relationship with Katherine McBride, an office manager at a clothing company and things seemed peachy keen in their lives until the topic of marriage and settling down reared its head. The story in Catherine Full Body revolves around Vincent having a series of nightmares and around a mysterious woman named Catherine with whom he has a steamy affair with.
The game features adult themes such as relationships, infidelity, marriage, betrayal, deceit and psychological vulnerability in its story. As such, the story in Catherine Full Body is extremely in-depth and requires one to pay attention to their choices and their actions throughout the game. As Vincent, players can reply to messages and make choices which will influence the game’s outcome based on his morality. There are multiple endings in Catherine Full Body, just like there were in the original game, so replayability is quite high should you wish to obtain all of them.
Gameplay in Catherine Full Body is still just as complex as the original game. Puzzle platforming makes up the core gameplay elements in Catherine Full Body. Players will take on the role of a boxer’s clad Vincent in a nightmare world quite often and in this nightmare world, Vincent must climb a tower of blocks to reach safety. This is easier said than done though since the block tower features a number of perils. Vincent will be able to push and pull blocks and ascend the tower through a series of very easy to understand gameplay controls.
Catherine Full Body’s gameplay in excellent in this regard but just like with the original game, should you play it on anything harder than the normal difficulty, you will have significant problems as it can be brutally difficult to climb the towers within the time limit. This is especially true for the later levels. Catherine Full Body does introduce a safety mode to the game and this is perfect for gamers out there that would prefer to skip the difficult puzzle sections and get through the thrilling story instead.
Catherine Full Body features two new modes. The Classic and Remix modes offer standalone gameplay for those that would like to enjoy the block based puzzles some more but to be honest, we are not quite sure who would want to subject themselves to some of the latter levels again unless they are a masochist. Classic mode includes the same puzzles featured in the campaign, while the Remix mode mixes things up by giving Vincent the ability to link blocks together and complicate things further with some truly challenging levels. This adds a lot of longevity to the game though and will keep you entertained for quite a while if you’re a fan of the puzzle-platforming gameplay segments.
Catherine Full Body also includes the highly anticipated inclusion of a brand new character named Rin. Unfortunately, and with some slight disappointment, Rin doesn’t really add that much to the game. She is rescued by Vincent from an attack in the real world and works at the Stray Sheep Bar but the interactions with Rin are not as well fleshed out as the base game’s main story arc. Thankfully, Rin is woven into the story as a natural addition though and not just kept separate or glaringly alone. Her endings are still worth getting for completion purposes but the main story arc of Catherine is where the game still truly shines. That’s not to say Rin’s story arc is completely bad though, it’s just lacking when compared to the game’s already excellent main story.
With regards to the gameplay in Catherine Full Body, apart from the safety mode, not much else has changed. Vincent is still able to augment his abilities in the dream world with alcohol consumption and energy drinks which assist him in climbing the nightmare tower. Retrieving pillows grants you an extra life and these definitely come in handy in the later levels where the nightmarish monsters of the dreamworld can get the best of you. The intensity of each level goes up exponentially and while you’re trying to figure out the best way to climb the block towers, the sense of impending doom is quite daunting. This dread is effective in urging you on to victory, for should you die in the nightmarish dream world, you’ll die in the game’s real world, like many others in its story.
Graphically, Catherine Full Body has crisp anime visuals and Rin’s aesthetic is quite cute. Catherine Full Body’s soundtrack is exceptionally good with both the music and voice acting being superb and the inclusion of a number of new tracks to the in-game jukebox is great. The English voice cast delivered stellar performances and each character has a unique personality that shines through thanks to the great voice acting by seasoned veterans such as Troy Baker, Laura Bailey and Michelle Ruff. Brianna Knickerbocker as Rin was a solid addition to the all-star line-up of voice talent that made the original game so great.
As stated in my original review of the game, Catherine is a great puzzle platformer with an engaging story to boot. Catherine Full Body just builds on that further and introduces another character into the mix that shakes things up a bit. If you haven’t played the base game yet, Catherine Full Body is definitely a good way to start. If you have though, the familiarity of it all might put you off. However, with that said, Rin’s story path is still worth playing through and her endings do add longevity to the game along with the new Classic and Remix modes. We recommend that you play this “Definitive” edition of the game at some point if you’re a fan of great storytelling but be warned, there are some very adult themes in this game that may certainly offend some people.
Title: Catherine: Full Body
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Price: ‘Heart’s Desire’ Premium Edition £79.99, Standard Edition £59.99
Genre: Action Platformer, Puzzle
Platform: PlayStation 4
PEGI Rating – 18