Synopsis: The player takes on the character of Vincent Brooks, whom has been in a long-term relationship with Katherine. We meet him in the week that Katherine begins pressing him to make a larger commitment. Vincent starts having nightmares, after which he wakes each morning next to Catherine, a girl whom seems the complete opposite of everything Katherine is.
This popular Japanese title has now been released in Australia, on the PS3 alone, and is an Australian exclusive for Gametraders. Before it arrived in store, I had no idea that this game even existed. The staff at Gametraders Blacktown however convinced me that this was a very different gaming experience, and well worth investing some time in if I was interested in playing a game that is a little out of the ordinary.
I have already covered the basic plot in the synopsis, but that is only really the start. The plot twists and turns, there are major revelations throughout, and your decisions also have an impact on your final result, especially concerning which C/Katherine you end up with, if you end up with one at all.
The main challenge of the game concerns Vincent’s nightmare’s. The game relies on the concept that if you hit the ground when falling in your sleep, you die in real life. Therefore, Vincent must constantly climb towards the goal at the top of each nightmare level. He must move blocks to achieve this goal, so in many respects if I had to categorise this game, I would say it is a puzzle game. These nightmares are intersected by extended cut scenes, which in a way make his game an interesting blend between a game and watching an anime. There is also a third element, with Vincent frequenting the bar Stray Sheep, where he drinks, chats with friends and customers, and receives and replies to text messages. The player even gets to choose exactly what message to reply with. It is in making decisions here that the overall result of the game is decided.
The nightmare levels are suitable challenging, and the plot is engaging, even if early on it feels a WTF. I stuck with the game, and eventually found myself addictive. I played on normal, and everything considered, it did not take long to complete. Extended gameplay is available, especially for those that wish to view all the potential endings, as well as there being a co-op mode available for you to complete a nightmare style challenge with the help of a friend.
For those that want a traditional style video game, this is far from being of interest to you. If you want to try something a little innovative however, and are open to a new type of gaming experience, this game is well worth a look.
4 stars out of 5
Catherine US trailer