Catherine: Full Body’s New Features Are Setting It Up To Be One of This Year’s Best Games
After getting a tease of the underappreciated puzzle game, I hope Catherine: Full Body gets the attention the original deserved 8 years ago.
Catherine is a very unique game with a somewhat strange history. Originally released in 2011 by Atlus (who was not as well known to mainstream audiences at the time), the game was a mixture of a relationship/dating sim during the day and dealt with themes such as sex, cheating, pregnancy, and more. Meanwhile, at night you’re trying to climb up a puzzle tower and answering morality questions that determine how Vincent acts while the story progresses.
Despite its unusual subject matter compared to most other games, it was generally well-received by those who played it at the time. Atlus said that Catherine passed one million copies sold when they announced Catherine: Full Body in 2017. Atlus considers Catherine to be a success, but it seems that they’re now coming back to try and bring it to a bigger audience.
I love the original Catherine, and after playing through the remake’s recent demo, it is looking like Full Body will be a big step up from the already great game. Searching through the menus of the Catherine: Full Body demo, I found that there are a variety of new ways to play the critically-acclaimed puzzle game. Atlus added a new difficulty mode called Safety mode where Vincent cannot die, which is a great addition for numerous reasons. Players can now go through the game as quickly as they can if they are trying to go through the story numerous times to see all the different outcomes. There is also an autoplay feature where once it is turned on, the game plays for you (specifically the puzzles).
For those that are just honestly not good at puzzles but want to invest in Catherine, Safety mode seems great for you. I have a friend who wanted to experience the dating part of the game, but could never get through the puzzles in the original Catherine, so he had a friend beat them for him while he just focused on the daytime gameplay. Now he doesn’t have to worry about dying and can play through the game completely, which I can see as a benefit for a lot of other players.
There is also a new version of the puzzle gameplay called Remix mode where there are now different Tetris-like blocks that Vincent can push and pull while climbing up to the top of each level. This adds a new layer to Catherine: Full Body and gives players more replayability options. The traditional mode that the original is known for is a relative challenge by having to move block by block. Once I play through the complete version of Full Body, I will likely progress through the game more easily than new players. When I played the Remix mode, it felt like a fresh experience with new ways to approach each level.
During the daytime, you will spend it texting your love interests. In the demo, Vincent was texting his girlfriend Katherine; while texting, there were a limited amount of options that I could choose from. What I think is really cool is that not every text that you send is obvious as to whether or not you’re going down the “good” or “bad” path.
In the original, you would have to cycle through all the available choices on what text to send. In Full Body, they updated it to a list of answers which you’re probably used to seeing in RPGs with dialogue options. This definitely makes things easier than cycling through each option and then potentially forgetting what all the options are.
I’m looking forward to seeing the changes in the story of Full Body because it’s great and has an interesting cast of characters. I got a small taste of the new scenes and the new girl, Rin, which got me excited to see how she fits into the story. With the original having eight endings, I hope to see an increase in this number with the new additions being made to the story.
When going through the puzzles, Vincent is able to hang on to the side of blocks. While hanging, he is able to shimmy his way around different blocks to get to other sides. In Catherine: Full Body, Atlus added a blue line as to where Vincent can go while hanging onto the side of a block. This wasn’t particularly a problem not having that feature in the original, but it is definitely welcome.
One of the few critiques myself, as well as others, had in Catherine was with the camera. Whenever I shimmied to the backside of any puzzle with Vincent to the point where I could not see him, the camera would not follow. That is no longer the case and, for me, is the best quality-of-life change that Full Body has to offer.
Catherine: Full Body is looking to essentially be a new definitive version of the game. Based on the demo, it seems to offer all the quality-of-life features that you could possibly ask for and there will be loads of new content to play for players both old and new. Our very own Tanner Pierce, who normally only plays shooters and adventure games, gave the demo for Full Body a shot and ended up loving it.
Regardless of how Catherine: Full Body sounds to you on paper, this new iteration seems like it could be worth your time when it launches for PS4 on September 3.