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I've been playing Catherine and LOVE it. Just finished the third-to-last area (the "Castlevania" area) and loved it. I'm playing on Easy and it feels like the right difficulty to me; I'm not in real danger of *losing* since it's easy to stock up on extra lives, but there's enough frustration/reward in replaying certain spots 3-5 times before nailing a solution.

Anyone else playing or having finished the game? I'm a really big fan of Atlus games after playing several SMT games (I especially like Persona 3/4), and Catherine's an immediate favorite of mine. I'm pretty pleased that Atlus is getting great sales ( for such an original effort.

The only thing for me is that it feels somewhat mismarketed as a game about a 'uber-hawt nekkid young blonde lady' when that's not really the point. For me, the point is surviving grisly evening death-trap puzzle areas, being chased by evil sheep musclemen with giant mallets and giant abominable monster-babies, and then afterwards settling down at a dive bar to commiserate with a bunch of 30-something's & learn fun facts about beer, whiskey, and sake. So, for all of that, I'd highly recommend the game, and then say in the next breath that it's *not* the game you might think it is based on the dumb box art. Then again, maybe that advertising helps explain its great sales?

So, has anybody else tried this glorious game? I've heard the difficulty's just nuts on anything besides *Easy*, I'd like to hear what your experiences are like.
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
I have not heard of it.

What kind of game is it? RPG? Platformer? 3-D adventure game?
It looks pretty interesting. I don't have a current gen console to play it though.
I have the same problem as Space_Monkey. Still, I am a big fan of Shin Megami Tensei, and what I have seen of Catherine I like. Blending puzzle games, dating sims and nightmare worlds might sound like madness, but it looks like Atlus pulled it off.
I'm finished week ago and get Katherine Ending in easy mode, kind a frustrating when I stuck in some area especially when fight the boss.

It's nice game but I don't want to play it again to get Catherine ending.
Yeah, going for anything other than the Katherine ending just makes Vincent seem too unlikeable in my opinion.
Wario's-a number one!
The only ending worth getting is dumping both. Freedom
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
I wasn't being ironic when I asked my questions.
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
"horror puzzle-platformer Adventure game", wikipedia, I'm not sure I could have remembered all that!
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
I have been very fascinated in this game for its art direction and story, but I am afraid that the puzzles will be too hard for me to really get into it; I'm not really good at puzzles and I don't want to have to play a game with its GameFAQ open right next to me the entire time to get through it.

Anyone know just how hard the puzzles actually are? A review I read described them as really hard.
"horror puzzle-platformer Adventure game", wikipedia, I'm not sure I could have remembered all that!

The game's intro calls the game itself a member of the "romance-horror" genre of video games... Except I'm pretty sure that doesn't exist, haha. Anyways, it's a puzzle game, though it's REALLY thoughtfully designed.

I'm going to start the final world this weekend... The story is *really* interesting. There are moments that seem very real and ordinary, except then you play a little longer and, well, without spoiling anything, you get into super-goofy land.

(I mean, right from the get-go, you ARE climbing a gigantic tower, a la Nocturne or P3... But, it gets weirder.)

Even then, it's not like these earlier games. The main character's a 30-something-loser who's not particularly bright or smart, and it's debatable (or, rather, up to the player to decide) whether or not he's got some heart of gold underneath it all.

And yeah- this game is VERY, frustratingly difficult. I still love it and need to finish it, but I'll admit that even on Easy I'm watching a step-by-step walkthrough off YouTube for some of these final stages. It's not the way the creators intended me to play it, but I feel like I don't have the time or patience to replay the same sequence 8-10 times just to determine the one correct solution to a puzzle, and I'm not willing to set the game down each time for 1-2 days to let myself digest the puzzles.

EDIT: Also, kind of in response to Lucidstilness' post: from what I've played, it's not like a "dating sim" like Personas or other games before it. Again, more realistic-feeling stuff; the guy's in 1 relationship that's under strain while simultaneously pursuing/being pursued by, well, an uber-hawt young naked blonde lady. The point I'm making is that you don't really directly interact with these women, but instead spend your time in a macho-bar sorting out your problems with other dudes. The main character Vincent's interactions with women are mostly forced upon him- which is again kinda the point of the story, as the player sees this driftless loser allow himself to be pushed into these constantly-escalating dilemmas. When Vincent actually takes responsibility and makes his own affirmative choices, it's a major step in the story- but even then, it's based on a Mass Effect-type 'morality' meter (although that's kind of a mischaracterization) that's influenced over the entire game, and it's not merely some binary, immediate decision between Steady Gal and Short Fling. It feels really different and refreshing for a video game, which is why I dig the story so much.

EDIT x2: BTW, Ark, without spoiling much more... *Is* there a third ending if you end up in the Neutral zone? It'd be kinda funny if, like in SMT1, the game has a *true*, best ending where it teaches the player that everything must be balanced: Law to Chaos, and "being a good boyfriend" to "being a douchebag." And then, like SMT2... You get to fight God!! Specifically the Judeo-Christian God!!!!
Wario's-a number one!
There is by staying in the neutral zone, having very little red or blue, and then making the right choices during the last part of the tower, section 9 I believe.
Yeah...I've never really bought the whole 'law and chaos must be balanced' thing, since both are human concepts designed to explain the natural world. You can say the world is chaotic because things seem to happen with no rhyme or reason from a human stand point, but you can also say the universe is ordered because every action has a reaction, which is also viewing things from a human standpoint. It's very much like saying good and evil must be balanced because that is how the real world works (since people do good and bad things). It always struck me as preachy and a bit self-satisfied.

To elaborate, just as people are too complex to be labeled as good or evil, so too are they too complex to be labeled as lawful or chaotic. That's why the crux of Catherine's story, which is whether to live a safe, lawful life of self sacrifice, or to live a free, willful independent life with no attachments, is by the necessity of these conventions a gross oversimplification of human relationships. Nobody decides that their life is going to be 'lawful' or 'chaotic'; people go through moods and phases and have to live with the decisions they make on a day to day basis.

Still, accurately recreating human relationships in a game where the relationship interaction isn't the main gameplay focus is, realistically, asking for too much. I don't want to bash Catherine, because I still think it's a very interesting game about a subject that is rarely discussed in gaming. I only wish the writers of fiction would get over this law and chaos fixation.
Ehh. You have a good argument, Lucid. I guess maybe, the way I'd look at it (and at least with the true-Katherine ending), it's a person, faced with a very important life-changing decision, who makes a decision that pulls in one of those specific directions. I think that the ideas you articulated are explored better in SMT 1 & 2, although Nocturne and Catherine are even less determinative about whether there's always some right line between a freedom/order dichotomy. And, obviously, the Persona games are all about people choosing to act or behave in different ways depending on the circumstances, and trending differently over time. But, at this point, I'm overthinking what end up being a bunch of fun video games.

Also (and this isn't a spoiler), I only cringed a bit with the ending parts in Catherine where they actually have to explain the moral of the story (pretty awkward and not well handled). I've kinda come to expect those awkward "OK kids, listen up!" moments in SMT-line games from Atlas, though. But really, if you haven't figured out yet what the Mass Effect-type morality meter stands for, you might've missed the boat already.

(Slight spoilers about what I thought of the final areas and the endings-- (but I liked them))

So I don't want to spoil the story or the final areas, but... man, I was totally tuned in and busting up laughing .I also watched the other two endings on YouTube. Not as sweet, but they're absolutely worth it. The Catherine ending is just goof-balls weird and funny, but I think that's only because, as you can tell from looking at stats for players' responses to ending-determining questions on their first playthrough, most players end up with the Katherine or Neutral endings.

In my opinion, though, the Neutral ending isn't really *the wrong path* at all, because in both Neutral and Katherine the protagonist is shown as confident and happy with his decision, although Neutral aligns closely with what Lucid argued about the whole law/chaos dichotomy being a fabrication. This is in contrast to SMT1, where the player missed half the final dungeon and a monologue about not subscribing to ideology if they took either of the 2 not-correct paths of the 3 available. Catherine's argument is simpler, since it's a story about a young professional loser who was pushed around his whole life and who develops his own willpower: it's just a very effect variant off the old bildungsroman formula, except it's also a bit didactic since its primary audience would bear similarities to the main character.

Anyways, hard to say if this's my *favorite* Atlas game, but it's only ~15-20hrs and definitely stomps the crappy secret-special ending from Persona 4 deep in the mud (That game was great except for that awful, awful final dungeon, boss, and subsequent moralizing). Catherine was totally worth it, even with the new-game $60 price tag that I paid.
You make some good points Mr. Y, and I guess that moralizing preachiness is what occasionally gets me snarky at some of Atlus's work (especially when they go so far as to call themselves, in game, 'masterful creators', as they did at the end of Catherine). More often than not though, I love how imaginative, original and challenging their games are, and I have yet to play one I truly disliked.

If I had to choose a favourite Atlus game, it would be Digital Devil Saga, a game in two parts. That game was everything I love about RPGs; old school tough as nails gameplay, an intriguing story and setting, memorable characters, and a killer soundtrack. In some ways, Digital Devil Saga almost feels like a remake of Shin Megami Tensei 2, right up to the final fight. While I love the newer experimental games Atlus has done such as the newer Persona games, for me it will always be about the old school dungeon crawl. :)
I started playing it today.

I was happy to know it was a puzzle game instead of an RPG, cause I'm a bit tired of battles and stuff.

I started on Normal, cause I love puzzles and I wanted challenge.

After dying like... 20 times on the second puzzle, I restarted the game in Easy.

I just finished day 2, and I'm really worried about not being able to finish it cause it's SO HARDDDDDDDDDDD AAAAAAAAAAAARHFGHGGGGGGUIOAUHAOIUHAOIUHAIOAUH

Anyways, I'm not used to modern mainstream games, so when I see all those XBOX-quality visual effects and songs and animations and cutscenes it makes me crazy. I'm loving this game, the concept and the story are very interesting so far, but I'm not sure about the puzzles. I thought there would be many puzzles, not just one.
Just finished it.

AWESOME game, I'm in love with it (and moving blocks when I close my eyes).

I was aiming for the Katherine ending, but I still got Catherine. I guess it fits.

For quite possibly the geekiest ending ever, try finishing all of the optional stuff as well.

It's crazy.
I love Catherine. It's an awesome game. I went into it with pretty low expectations though, seeing as how I am not usually into cutesy anime like games with big boobs and KAWAII DESU ^.^;;;, and at first that's what I thought it was going to be like. I was pleasantly surprised though. The artwork was nice and the story held my interest from beginning to end. Not only that, but the puzzles were fun and challenging (I played on easy) and gave the game a uniqueness of its own.

Stage 7 part 3 (look it up on youtube to see which one i'm talking about) was a real pain in my butt. I almost broke my controller I was getting so aggravated. But man, the feeling of accomplishment when you do figure it out is awesome.

For quite possibly the geekiest ending ever, try finishing all of the optional stuff as well.

It's crazy.

What are the optional stuff?
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