Full-bodied wine tastes so good you just keep coming back for more. The same can be said for Catherine: Full Body.
System: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Developer: Atlus, Studio Zero
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Genre: Action, Platformer, Puzzle
Official Website: https://www.catherinethegame.com/fullbody/
Catherine: Full Body - Decisions | PS4
Who it Caters to
When the original Catherine released back in 2011, it piqued the interest of the gaming community with its unconventional style and approach to the platform-puzzle genre. It incorporated very unique ways for players to manipulate the stage, allowing for cool maneuvers in order to survive the nightmare. Catherine: Full Body returns with all of those wonderful features still intact, but with an extra dab of flavor to enrich the gaming experience. Catherine: Full Body is an enhanced port of the original and it comes jam-packed with a plethora of new features, along with several new story endings which we highly encourage you to dive deep into. All of the original seiyuu from the original have made their triumphant return to reprise their roles, which we’re sure fans of the series will most likely enjoy.
What to Expect
Catherine: Full Body is most certainly like a full-bodied wine that’s aged incredibly well, and the content within speaks for that. While the game is a port of the 2011 classic it does feature a new love interest by the name of Rin, and it’s up to you to see just what she’s all about. Players new to the series will be happy to know that a new mode titled, Safety Mode, has been added which is easier than easy mode. What this means is that players who jump in fresh will not have to worry about game overs or a time limit, which is what you’ll tend to run into with regular difficulties. Players are also able to skip through the puzzle segments and focus entirely on Vincent’s story, if they don’t seem to favor the challenging elements of block-climbing. In addition, players can also select the Autoplay function which essentially does all of the dirty work for you, leaving you only with the shortest and easiest routes. This can be toggled off of course and is only found in both Safety and Easy mode.
We’ll save more of the meat and bones of gameplay for its specific section, but there are now two ways players can test their skills in the block-climbing arena: Classic mode and Remix mode. Original mode maintains the integrity of the tried-and-true stage layouts, albeit a few alterations to keep things juicy.Remix mode is where the fun really happens and is our favorite aspect of Catherine: Full Body, since it introduces new mechanics such as being able to link larger blocks together among other options. There are brand new stages available now for both Babel and Colosseum, with both modes now supporting competitive online play! With over 500 stages to dive into, Catherine: Full Body is a game full of depth and ready to be explored! Are you ready?
Much of the story revolves around Vincent as usual, but with a new chapter that focuses around the new love interest, Rin. She’s now Vincent’s new neighbor and takes up a position in the Stray Sheep as a Pianist to entertain the patrons. Due to Rin’s involvement with Vincent, this creates a pretty wild love triangle that Vincent now has to try and wriggle himself out of. It’s now your responsibility to build a relationship with Rin while also being mindful of your decisions since everything comes with a consequence. With this added storyline, there are now brand new cutscenes available and more endings that the player can discover!
Catherine: Full Body certainly looks a lot better than the original, with a lot more emphasis placed on character animations and providing a fresh look overall. Everything is still pretty much retained and doesn’t try to alter anything too much so as to rob devoted fans of their experience, which is a positive. The menu screen is simple and clean and the overall level designs just look crisper in our eyes, compared to before.
In the sound/music department, Catherine: Full Body contains some fresh new music that we’re sure fans will grow excited over. The soundtrack, which players can receive if they pre-order the limited edition, comes jam-packed with around 21 songs, which is pretty stellar. The main menu theme is one of the new additions and to be honest, we find that jazzy tune to be quite catchy, which really helps to compliment the whole wine and full-body philosophy that the team over at Atlus tried to achieve.
So of course, this is where the game truly receives a lot of attention because it does such a great job of incorporating new features, while not hindering the overall gameplay experience for veteran players. As mentioned earlier, Babel and Colosseum now have online play enabled which is a huge plus for the competitive scene. EVO a few years ago showcased Catherine via a side tournament and it was one of the most hype battles we’ve ever watched. Now with more than 500 stages in this game, along with Remix mode to add more variety and depth, we’re hoping Catherine: Full Body will make its EVO return for next year. One of the highlights in terms of gameplay changes is being able to now rotate the camera in order to see behind the stage. While this may sound a bit unfulfilling for a new player coming into the series it is, in fact, a huge plus for competitive players, since you’re now able to develop a stronger strategy around block-climbing. Being able to see the block layout from all angles really helps in terms of utilizing the right techniques to properly climb, and strip chunks of time off your speedrun in order to beat the opponent.
For those who fancy just chilling in the Stray Sheep and grinding through Rapunzel, we’re happy to say that new stages have also been implemented. The game is now titled, Super Rapunzel, and just like the regular story mode you’re able to select whether you want to play Classic or Remix. If you’re ever having trouble remembering techniques or you’re totally new and require some tips, the game now allows Vincent to talk to sheep in his nightmare during the save point, who will provide him with strategies. These strategies once viewed, can be viewed again if you ever need a visual refresh which is a massive plus.
When you select to play single-player and have online connected, you’re able to see how other players performed along with knowing what choices they made during the confessional. Another cool addition, and perhaps this is likely a borrowed feature from Dark Souls, is that small white orbs are what represent the “souls” of the fallen, and can be seen when you have online connected. This, of course, is somewhat of a giveaway for players because it gives you visual clues as to what areas pose greater threats. We didn’t find an option to turn that off so we imagine that if you want to rid yourself of those visual clues and really just stick to the challenge of figuring things out on the fly, then playing offline is the better route.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
We tried not to spoil anything story related in this review because we know just how important it is to retain that level of mystery so that you can enjoy the experience solo. Overall, Catherine: Full Body comes with plenty more flavor and depth, with a slight pinch of eroticism and shock factor to entice players. Its vast selection of new stages to test your skills on is a wonderful plus, along with allowing new players to not feel overwhelmed by adding in the Safety mode. Veteran players can obviously ignore that option but can now test their abilities online and show off their scores via the online leaderboard ranking! With a plethora of content to choose from, and a new story path to discover, Catherine: Full Body is worth every pretty penny.
Over 500+ stages to choose from! That’s double than the original!
New story direction with Rin gives players a chance to experience a fresh relationship, while still retaining some of the old feelings from the past.
New players will feel right at home with the new Safety mode, which gives them a chance to better understand the mechanics, and not feel overwhelmed.
Catherine: Full Body is still a niche game and as such, will require some getting used to in terms of its gameplay.
Honey's Final Verdict:
So there you have it, another review in the bag and we must say it was a worthwhile experience playing through this game. Allowing players the option to simply skip through the enduring puzzle aspects and focus primarily on the story is a nice plus since you can really get to know Vincent, Katherine, Catherine, and Rin. We hope you found this review to be informative and that it provided enough details to encourage you to go out and buy the game!
Wanna share your own thoughts with us? Leave us a comment! And for all things gaming, be sure to keep it locked right here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!