So yesterday I finished my first play through of Catherine for Xbox 360... my oh my what a bizzare game!
When Catherine was first announced I was interested right away because it offered something completely different; an unusual story along with some challenging puzzles plus the art style looked fantastic on the trailer! I won't spoil anything about the story on here for those who haven't got around to playing this game yet but I do want to mention about the difficutly of the puzzles in this game to begin with. When they say hard mode, that is a complete lie ... they mean IMPOSSIBLE mode!
I usually like a challenge and having completed Super Meat Boy I would like to think I have quite a bit of patience and determination, but Catherine REALLY tests you on the puzzle levels. I started off playing on medium difficulty but found that I was getting very frustrated and about a third of the way through I switched through to easy (which is still pretty average difficulty) so I could at least enjoy the story on my first playthrough.
The most irritating thing about the puzzle levels is if you fall off and die, there is a tedious cut scene that will appear every time you fail, a couple of my friends found they were rage quitting quite a lot because of this. Games like these should really just drop you straight back into the action from your last checkpoint instead of repeating some cutscene over and over especially for a puzzle game!
Moving away from these negative points, Catherine does have some very unique features. First I would like to mention the art direction, it tells the story in two different ways, an anime type animation and then in game with the 3D models. As you progress through the story you will start to notice why some things are themed the way they are. I found that I had a lot of questions about the game at the beginning but at the end I felt pretty much happy with the ending and satisfied with the story. Another great thing about the game is the music, they are remastered pieces of music which can really add the right kind of atmosphere to some levels.
Overall, Catherine is a very nice game. I was disappointed that there were limited options with character's relationships but hopefully now this game has been released over here we could possibly see more like it! I am going to replay it one more time - I will try hard first (which basically is harder puzzles with NO undo feature) and if that gives me too much grief I will try and complete it normally on medium!
If puzzles and character relationships aren't your thing then giving Catherine a miss would be your best bet, but if you are pretty open minded I'm sure you won't be disappointed with what this game has to offer.