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Release Date: July 26th, 2011 Movie Release Year: 2011

Catherine

Overview -

Certain pieces of horror fiction present this interesting idea: if one dies while in an unconscious dream state, he or she will not awake. This rather creepy premise has been carried over into video game form, with Atlus’ Catherine. A mixture between a romantic love triangle RPG and a puzzle game, it doesn’t skimp on the nightmarish idea whatsoever. That’s exactly where its, “Climb or Die!” tagline comes from.

OVERALL:
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
720p
Audio Formats:
Dolby Digital 5.1
Release Date:
July 26th, 2011

Video Review

Ranking:

Catherine’s emotional angst and terrifying imagery is presented using an anime visual style. Hand-drawn to near-perfection, the game has a great look that stands out amidst the current generation library. It’s colourful yet somewhat realistic, with characters who feature a pretty good visual range of emotions. Some of them are a bit absurd, including a strange female host with furry red sideburns.

The featured block puzzles you’ve heard so much about, are shown as a floating cubic staircase, over top of an eerie black backdrop. Although their look can become a bit bland after a while, it’s necessary to mention how this game’s puzzles are at least interactive with moving characters. That isn’t the case with a lot of other puzzle genre releases.

Audio Review

Ranking:

Thankfully, Catherine’s characters are voiced by a quality cast. It was a good idea to include this feature, as the game’s storyline wouldn’t have been as impactful if it only used text-based dialogue. That’s especially true when it comes to the nightmarish sequences, where characters such as a crying baby and a heinous female character, can be heard making tormenting vocal sounds. You can still read subtitles if you’re having trouble following along, or happen to be hearing-impaired.

It’s hard to find faults with the presented audio, which includes original music, impressive writing, creepy sound effects and the aforementioned voice acting. However, the titular character’s voice acting can become a bit grating, due to how aloof she sounds. It’s a minor complaint, which really doesn’t affect the audio department’s overall quality.

If you’re a connoisseur of innovative video games, then Catherine should definitely be a part of your collection. While it’s not for everyone and is perhaps too challenging for many, it’s a high-quality game that begs for a try. Although quite a few great games were released this year, it stands out more than most, due to incredibly unique content and circumstance.