review
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POSTED 8/2/12


CATHERINE

Atlus
PS3 (also on Xbox 360)

Every time I see you falling...

That man is in pain and he's shouting so loud. There's a space all around him, a space in the crowd. He is holding his head like it's gonna explo-o-o-o-o-de... It's part of a new meaning, from deep in his soul-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oul. It is only for sheep. Yeah! When you're awake you're a sheep. Yeah!

Sorry Messrs The Bureau, but you fucked up. You’re not all ovine and stuff when awake, rather when you’re asleep. Just ask perma-gapey Vincent Brooks, our protagonist in Catherine, a refreshingly original adult-oriented tale of infidelity, consequences and, erm, boxes.

Be prepared for mucho-big cutscenic interludes, as we learn of Vince’s fear of the ‘m’ word (that’s ‘marriage’, guys – or, for Princess Bride fans, ‘mawwage’), and how a combination of confusion, alcohol and his doodle gets him in messy Katherine versus Catherine mishegas.

How so? Try falling dreams in a puzzle-encrusted nightmare world called, erm, the 'World of Nightmares', whereby if Vince goes ‘ARGHHHH!’ then he’s dead for good (barring extra lives courtesy of woobie pillows). There are also sheep – lots of sheep. Yes, these dreams seemingly are only for sheep; some sort of penance overseen by cheated-upon women. Yeah, right-on, sisters!

Game-wise, these puzzle bits are kinda Q*Bert meets Sokoban via Crazy Climber, pushing and pulling at different evolving block towers through challenges with increasingly disturbing adversaries hampering your progress. These require a need for speediness as well as strategic nous. Oh, add some RPGish chatting with sheepish locals, and rocket-powered confessional booths, too.

Meanwhile, Interludes become increasingly interactive, as you barfly toddle, get shitfaced, drop jukebox tunes, check txts and play the resident arcade machine, Rapunzel, which is uncannily reminiscent of those persistent nightmares...

Catherine is wondrously batshitcrazybonkers. Some will find it repet-et-et-et-etitive, others will dig the increasingly boxier challenge of what truly is a bizarre love triangle.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.