Catherine: Full Body is much more than a remaster.
I’ve played games and their remasters before. They’re essentially the same but a bit nicer looking, a bit smoother, and maybe bundled with all the previously released DLC. Catherine: Full Body isn’t like that. It’s more like what Evil Dead II is to Evil Dead; a remake and a sequel all at the same time. Something that those who have never played Catherine before can jump straight into, yet still a fresh experience for those who have.
Story Mode is still the main focus of Catherine: Full Body, but this time around it’s more complicated. While the original Catherine placed protagonist Vincent slap-bang in the centre of a love triangle, Catherine: Full Body adds yet another possible love interest into the mix: the adorable Qatharine, or Rin. On the face of it you might think that adding a new character into the game might feel a bit strange – like they’ve been shoehorned in. But no, somehow it all feels seamless.
It must have taken a lot of work, but Rin feels like she should have been in the game since day one. New story scenes have been added and others tweaked, to the point where even I wasn’t sure what to expect next, even though I’d completed the original Catherine multiple times. The addition of Rin opens up new gameplay elements, too. Not only is she another potential partner for you to end up with depending on your interactions with her and Catherine: Full Body‘s remaining cast of characters, but she’s also on hand to assist in puzzle stages from time to time.
Constantly comforting Vincent throughout his ordeal, Rin rounds out the romance options available to him in Catherine: Full Body. He can pursue the excitement of Catherine, the stability of Katherine, the caring and unconditional love of Qatharine, or simply go his own way. The first time through you’re best making decisions honestly and with your heart, and seeing where that takes you. Then, for the twelve other endings that are available, you may have to start being strategic with your choices.
Playing through Catherine: Full Body multiple times won’t be a chore, though. Remixed Mode introduces new linked blocks into puzzle stages, making them fresh for players already familiar with the game. Even the puzzles in the Rapunzel arcade game benefit from them. Classic mode can still be selected if you’d rather play the game as it was originally intended, though. And of course, there are multiple difficulty settings, which also affect how accessible the puzzles are.
For those who just want to enjoy Catherine: Full Body‘s story, a new Safety difficulty setting allows players to skip puzzles altogether. I’d say they’re missing out on some good fun, but giving player the option is never a bad thing. The story at the heart of Catherine: Full Body is one that’s definitely worth experiencing at least once, and it would be terrible if a puzzle got in the way of that. Although if players don’t want to engage in Catherine: Full Body‘s puzzles at all, they’re not going to get as much out of it.
Like in the original release, players unlock new towers for Babel mode as they make their way through Catherine: Full Body‘s story. Complete with online leaderboards, seeing how far you can get up them in the least amount of time is fun, especially if you have a competitive streak in you. It can be played in local co-op, too. There’s also local competitive play in the form of Colosseum mode, in which two players race to climb to the top of a stage first.
What really might draw some new fans to Catherine: Full Body, however, is the addition of a new Online Arena mode. Ranked and Casual matches are available depending on how heated you want the competition to be, and you can also play with friends, both competitively and co-operatively. Not everyone will be into it, but if you really love Catherine: Full Body‘s puzzles and want to see how you stack up with others in real-time, it could prove to be a good timesink.
With Catherine: Full Body, Atlus has taken a great game and made it even better. The story is more fleshed out, more unpredictable, and therefore simply more of a pleasure to take in as it unfolds. Improved visuals help draw you into it, too, as well as excellent voice acting. But it’s those who fall in love with the game’s unique approach to puzzles that will get the most out of it. Featuring double the puzzles found in the original game, plus the ability to finally take the action online, it’s a must-have for those who fell in love with the block-shifting action all those years ago, and might win over a new legion of fans now that it’s available on PS4.
Accessible, engaging, thought-provoking, and packed full of content, Catherine: Full Body is one of those rare things: a perfect game.
Catherine: Full Body is available on PS4.
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