Hey kiddies!! I’m Docktor Lola. Girl Gamer and Batman aficionado. I’ll be bringing you my take on game related shizzle, reviews and the like.
So for my first outing we’ll be taking a look at Catherine - the highly moral and cube-related offering from Japan!
First things first with this - if you have a short temper, and a need to finish what you start, maybe go to Anger Management before attempting this. It can be so infuriating - even on Easy (I would know!) The Boss Battles apply increasing pressure throughout the game. And the level introducer does not help. “It’s a killer. Do not die.” No shit!!!
So the story is about Vincent, a guy in a dead-end job, with a long term girlfriend (Katherine) who’s ready to settle down. But our plucky playable ain’t too sure that’s what he wants. So, when drowning his sorrows at the Stray Sheep (the bar in which you can spend a lot of time in), he meets Catherine, a fun little blond, who seduces him.
After this moment, his actions through answering questions, talking to people and replying to text messages alter the end of the game and how you end up (there’s about 9 endings… If you want to know them, Google them. I ain’t playing this game that many times!)
There’s 2 areas where you control Vincent. At The Stray Sheep, and in the Nightmare sections. The rest is videos.
The Stray Sheep is a bar where you can interact with fellow characters and learn their story, and help them with their problems (worth 60g in total if you’re an achievement whore like me.)
You can order drinks - the more you have, the quicker you move in the Nightmare sections - so get that boy wasted!!
You can also play an in-game game called Rapunzel. It’s like the Nightmare sections, but you have a limited number of moves. Take as much advantage of this game as you can! You can learn/ improve techniques and applying a limited amount of moves helps strategy scoping. My advice is to also try and do it as fast as you can. The lower blocks in Rapunzel don’t fall like they do in the Nightmares, so don’t let yourself get too comfy.
Whilst in The Stray Sheep, you get texts from Katherine and Catherine, and how you reply determines their reply, and also which girl you’re more swayed to. Catherine even sends you some additional… incentive. If you allow her to.
One last thing about the bar. If you wash your face in the bathroom, you get a sneak peak at the next boss, and you’re also told the name of the level. Saying that, I still don’t know what exactly a “Quadrangle” is.
So, the Nightmares.
These consist of “stairs” made of blocks that you have to rearrange in order to reach the top to escape. As the game goes on, and you get higher up the stages, it gets trickier. (Except oddly stage 6... For me personally anyway… Stage 3 - different story… I damaged my controller I got that worked up.)
At the end of each individual level, you’ll be asked a question which will help determine what girl you want. My favourite - “If you met a person who was exactly what you wanted in a lover, and then you found out they were a robot, how would you react?”
The last level of each stage has a boss that is a predominant problem on Vincent’s mind. They get a bit fucked up looking. Really.
What they do it force you up a bit quicker with the threat of death. They can also cause problems for your climbing such as controller-reversing love-heart rain, avalanches to drag you down a few levels and face-planting on areas you want to climb. Rather than the lower levels falling away one at a time quite nicely, a boss makes them go red, and will then destroy them. If you’re on it when it goes red, move fast or you’re a goner.
In Nightmare stages, you can pick up items (but you can only carry one at a time) to help you climb such as create-a-block, and energy drinks to help you hop up 2-3 blocks at a time. Don’t use them if you want a gold medal though - you can’t get them then.
If you get gold medals in the stages, you unlock sections of Babel - like the Nightmare stages, but the blocks never appear in the same way. Also, it feels like it goes on forever. There’s 4 levels. 10g per level unlocked, then 10g for every level completed.
There isn’t actually much else to say. The slow video sequences and relaxing in a bar, followed by stressful, fast puzzle-solving are all it really is.
But it is a good game. If you like puzzles like Su-Doku, you’ll adapt fairly well. The same strategy is used (basically an ability to practically think ahead and how your action while affect where other things can go.)
The choices you make can be quite personal, and in a way show what you’re like and what your attitude to relationships is.
The character’s are brought to you fully formed with their own histories and relationships with the other characters. This does however alter how you may view Katherine.
All in all, quite a brainy game, if somewhat limited in the gameplay. read