If you’re anything like me and love delving into the world of “cult classics” I’m sure Catherine has shown up on your radar at some point. Atlus really took a departure from their usual style to bring us a stylish, difficult puzzle game with a balls to the wall narrative that tackles controversial subject matter with a certain maturity to it. As well as certain subject matters not so maturely…
But we’ll get to that soon enough!
If you aren’t aware Catherine: Full Body is a remake/enhanced port of Catherine. It’s pretty much beat for beat the exact same game with some quality of life features added as well as something fresh to spice things up!
That inclusion is Rin.
Rin is a new main character/love interest in the game that fleshes out the story a lot more and gives old fans something new to look forward to. Although I do have one glaring problem with Rin, and that is how their inclusion is handled.
If you aren’t aware then Catherine is a game that for the most part is grounded in reality to make the mature themes tackled in the game more relatable. It’s about urban legends, relationships, sexuality and all that jazz. There are supernatural elements here and there but that doesn’t come till later. In Full Body some of the questions that players should be asking later on in the game come up a lot sooner due to Rins inclusion and it gives me mixed feelings.
Having played the original I’m somewhat frustrated with the idea that certain elements of the story that I really loved have kinda been nullified with this unspoken “definitive” edition. But that’s not to put this version of the game down in the slightest. It is still an amazing game through and through but I guess my minor grievances get the better of me at times.
If I had to recommend Catherine to anyone it would still be this version due to its accessibility.
The overall story is something that at the time was new and fresh and I’d say it still is! Though it can be a little dated the inclusion of Rin does make things a lot more interesting especially for older fans. Cutscenes are tense and dialogue is pretty great for the most part
The game has a really well defined personality and is pretty self aware. The branching paths in the stories and how you choose your narrative by the choices you make are also varied and encourage multiple playthroughs. But it’s not only the story that warrants multiple playthroughs.
Gameplay falls under two distinct sections for me. The Persona style life sim stuff that happens at the Stray Sheep and then the main attraction which are the Nightmares and puzzles! Yeah that’s right this is a puzzle game and a pretty good one at that.
It uses a unique system all about pushing blocks and making a path for yourself to get to the top of a tower and win. It’s punishing and extremely rewarding. So rewarding, in fact that back in the day there were Catherine tournaments held at fighting game events like EVO. Good news for those guys as well by the way, everything is unlocked right off the bat in the game AND it has online play!
Don’t you love it when a weird niche subculture forms for a weird niche video game? The game offers a lot when it comes to it’s puzzles so I’m sure if you dig it you’ll dig it hard.
We always gotta give it to Atlus and their music, Catherine always had fantastic music and we get even more with this version. Hell, we even get some stuff from the Persona series to jam out too. I could really spend hours in the Stray Sheep just talking to the patrons and listening to these fine tunes.
One thing that I would like to address about this game is the controversial side of it. This does have minor spoilers to the story but I think it’s important to mention. There is a trans character in this game that gets treated as sort of a punchline in the game. It wasn’t okay back then and it’s still not okay.
The inclusion of Rin felt like a response to this controversy and it’s surely a step in the right direction but the inclusion of the weird dialogue regarding said trans character could’ve been worked on for this enhanced port.
If you’re in for a raunchy story, a tight puzzle game, amazing music and an experience that wears it’s personality on it’s sleeve then check out Catherine: Full Body a much richer and robust version of the 2011 classic.
I give Catherine: Full Body a: