The original release of Catherine from ATLUS followed the turmoil of infidelity and mixed questions about relationships with clever puzzle platforming. It was a wild amalgamation of anime story and addictive gameplay that garnered a fan base who loved its quirkiness and challenging puzzle. But what if you could have even more of everything that made Catherine so unique? That’s exactly what you’ll find in Catherine: Full Body, a definitive edition of the game that adds more cutscenes and story bits, new puzzles, co-op and competitive multiplayer modes, and lots of other extra goodies. Not only do we get to see new characters interact with some of our favorites, but we also get a finely tuned version of a game that already had a lot of good things going for it.
The biggest addition to Catherine: Full Body are the new cutscenes and introduction of a new character named Rin. This opens up a new path that players can take when answering the different questions that pop up in-between the puzzles where you’re climbing up the tower, including five new endings (three for Rin and one for both Katherine and Catherine) that can be reached depending on what you do. But instead of the new scenes and dialogue feeling pasted onto the original story, a lot of the new stuff you see is nicely woven into the foundation laid out in the original game. Some scenes feel longer than they did before and have a few more small tidbits of info related to the larger plot you can occasionally pick up.
Rin’s storyline will definitely be divisive among players, depending on what decisions you make while going through each section of the game. Without getting into any spoilers, a lot of what’s hinted at or introduced by Rin’s arc is done is a tasteful and smart way that doesn’t feel forced, nor does any of it condescend the player at any point. Whether the conclusion of Rin’s story is satisfactory or not will be very subjective, but you definitely get a lot of new elements to follow that weren’t in the original game. More options, more conversations, and more events are always a great thing for a game like Catherine.
Gameplay is very similar to Catherine’s original release, but there are a few additions that diversify how you’ll approach all of the puzzles. You can begin the game in Arranged mode, which features new blocks and other effects in stages, or in Original which has the same kinds of stages from the original release.
No matter which you choose, you’ll still have the same story beats throughout. Items you can find have tweaked effects to help you get around obstacles in new ways, which will definitely open up more solutions in the tougher stages. There’s also the Undo ability that lets you rewind one move, which has been tweaked a little for this version of the game.
Rin plays a piano that can save you as the stage is breaking down, allowing you to escape a tense moment for a time but it doesn’t mean you’ll get out of every situation so easily. You can still get killed and fail a stage if you aren’t careful or quick enough to find a way around blocks and obstacles in your way.
If things get way too difficult however, the Safety Mode option lets you play through every stage without dying, as well as gives you the ability to turn on Auto-Play and let the computer finish the stage for you. This might be something that some players will avoid, since it takes away the challenge of the stages, but it’ll allow everyone to enjoy the story of the game without the stress of failing any of the 500 puzzles included.
But the changes don’t stop there. The sections within Stray Sheep bar have new people to converse with throughout the story, besides Rin and the original cast from before. There’s a ton of extra dialogue you can get from interacting with the different patrons of the bar, most of which will have information related to the events in the story. You’ll have to converse with characters a lot in order to see their arcs through to the end and you can miss a lot if you don’t do so, but they’re all well worth taking the moment to explore and see what everyone is going through. The Rapunzel mini-game also gets new stages and renamed as Super Rapunzel, making its total number of stages be 128.
While walking around the bar, you can also look at your previous strategies and other info besides the text messages you get periodically. This is great for reviewing new techniques that can be utilized in the puzzles that you get from speaking to the sheep in-between stages. A neat addition to the bar sections is the new music tracks you can play from the Jukebox, which includes music from various Persona and other ATLUS games. Some of the new selection include Persona 5, Persona 4 Golden, Persona Q, and much more.
The online modes in Catherine: Full Body are very interesting and different from what you get in the main game. You can play with a friend to complete puzzles cooperatively, or take on others in a competitive mode where you want to reach the end before everyone else. These modes play out exactly like the puzzles from the main game but give you the option to play as different characters other than the sheep.
There is a ranking system that lets you see where you stack up against others around the world, as well as small white souls on stages that show where players have previously failed beforehand. However, unless you’re really into the gameplay of Catherine and want to be competitive with it, you won’t be spending a lot of time here. Matchmaking might take a little time to find others to get into a game, but luckily you won’t find yourself sitting for a very long time.
There is a lot of new stuff to appreciate in Catherine: Full Body that makes it stand out from its original release. The new cutscenes and story endings are great and would’ve been good enough as is, but everything else makes the entire package a lot more special. While the online modes might not be for everyone, that shouldn’t deter you from trying them out after experiencing all the other new content. If you were a fan of Catherine beforehand, then you’re really going to love this definitive version of it.
This review is based on a digital review code for Catherine: Full Body on the PlayStation 4, provided by ATLUS.