Friday, August 30, 2019

"Catherine: Full Body" Review

It turned out to be well worth the wait for Atlus and Sega to resurrect "Catherine," one of the haunting triumphs of yesteryear. It turns out the game has been gone just long enough to seem just about completely new again in the "Full Body" edition.

The remake of the 2011 PS3 classic adds several quality-of-life adjustments, optionally ratchets up the difficulty and changes up its puzzle game with a remixed version that adds new dimensions to the gameplay.

The story, told in hardboiled film noir-style flashback, tells the winding, sordid tale of Vincent, a disenchanted 32-year-old man whose psyche is embarking on an early midlife crisis.

As you juggle romantic interests, you get yourself deeper into trouble via dialogue trees and often find yourself stuck in deadly dreams that resemble inverted "Q*bert" puzzles with a "Jenga" touch. By pushing, pulling and scaling blocks, you collect items while frantically striving to save your own neck. The stress that the frantic minigame induces is all too effective at making you feel the stress in Vincent's life.

For those who burn through the story and are hungry for more, there are multiplayer battle arena options that will no doubt stoke the fires of a passionate community looking to engage online.

The writing in "Catherine" remains a strong point, with the inventive presentation keeping the winding tale fascinating. Stylish artistic direction melds with the top-notch script to form a resonant experience that blossoms to its full potential thanks to the touched-up visuals, tweaked gameplay and sped-up loading times.

Easily the definitive version of "Catherine: Full Body" is a treat to savor. The headspace of Vincent may be harsh, conflicted and unforgiving, and that's what makes it so compelling to return to.

Publisher provided review code.

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