When last we left Vincent in the surprisingly profound but very much mature and disturbing game of Catherine, fans were left satiated by its complex social commentary while still providing hours of action puzzle fun. What started off as a kind of spinoff of the Persona series and was largely marketed as a sort of dating sim delivered on a narrative that may have been as dark and insightful as the Persona series itself.

And now, Catherine is back with Catherine: Full Body – an updated version for the PS4 that features 13 endings, new levels to explore, and a brand new love interest – meaning more story routes to follow – among a lot of other added features as well. Fans of the first game will be delighted to find that this isn’t just a mere HD port to play a new arc, but they can also replay old routes as much content have been added to those as well, making this release something closer to full game than just a remaster with bonuses.

The graphics have been updated to fit its bill of a remaster, which does the wonderful gothic, psychedelic and macabre designs much justice though it still largely retains its JRPG anime look. I have always been a fan of the soundtrack as it is composed by the legendary Shoji Meguro of the Persona franchise fame and the quality is more or less the same, which is why I was excited for the new tracks and the remixes.

The gameplay still remains mostly the same – in the dream world, you race against the clock to climb platforms, pushing and pulling blocks as you go to create climbable paths, to reach the one door that will let you clear the area and leave. Full Body though features an Easy Mode which allows you to just watch Vincent solve the puzzles by himself if ever you find yourself stuck or if you are just more concerned with the story itself. Outside of these puzzle dream sequences are the life simulator / dating sim scenes that you spend in the bar Stray Sheep, where Vincent hangs out with his friends and the bar’s customers.

Choices you make in this mode affects the route the story will follow as well as the sheep you will be able to save in the dream world as those sheep represent people you meet as well. Though these are the parts a lot of people would want to skip so they can go directly to the action-y parts, I find that the bar scenes and interactions are where the true beauty (and ugly) of Catherine lies.

Catherine’s plot, you see, revolves around Vincent’s romances. He has a long time girlfriend who wants to get married (Katherine) but Vincent is seemingly uninterested. There’s also the mysterious titular character (Catherine) who is attracted to him as he is to her. And then there’s Rin, the new character introduced in Full Body, an amnesiac whom Vincent rescues from a stalker. From that we can already tell that issues on infidelity, sexuality, and modern romances are tackled. There have also been some edits on some scenes that were called out for transphobia from the original game. I will not delve much further as these are major spoilers, but the game has also added content that tackled homophobia and inclusivity as well.

It’s not just a typical Japanese dating sim wherein you just follow the route of your chosen one and everyone gets a happy ending. There are real life nuances in terms of emotional and social choices involved in how you pursue your chosen one (hence the multiple endings), but what is interesting is that this is one of the rare games of the time that attempts to do so. You can try to egg Vincent on to make better choices, make him do risky things, or just laze about and be content with your current state – it does it all with a great narrative woven into each route so it never makes you feel as though you are missing out on a better route.

The game asks a lot of questions about love and society though it never really does try to answer most of them – which is good. I find that good content has always been one that can inspire a lot of conversation that tries to go beyond just what was presented, and Catherine: Full Body delivers on just that – delightful and disturbing as it may be. While of course it being edgy and mature, it’s not something I could recommend to anyone, but to old time fans and anyone interested enough in something dark and provocative, then Catherine: Full Body is a must-try.

Screenshots

Catherine: Full Body (PS4)
Graphics100%
Gameplay80%
Controls80%
Sound100%
Replayability100%
Story80%
The Good
  • Persona lite in the streets, Persona MAX in the sheets
The Bad
  • You can't play this while your family is around
90%Overall Score
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