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Diehard GameFAN: Catherine “Love Is Over” Edition Review

DHGF: Catherine is one of those games that succeeds on an aesthetic level but doesn’t reach the mark on a mechanical one, and while it will likely appeal to the sort of person who values art over gameplay, for everyone else, it will be something of a harder sell. The story is full of interesting characters with believable personalities, and while it might not be for everyone conceptually, the writing is strong enough to carry it through. The game is pleasing to the eyes and ears, thanks to some excellent art direction, voice casting and musical composition, and the presentation is great overall. The gameplay is simple enough to pick up and understand while also offering a challenge throughout the experience in both the social and puzzle situations, and there are multiple endings, challenges, difficulty modes and Achievements to keep a player who finds the game interesting coming back for more. However, the game doesn’t feel like it justifies the sixty dollar asking price, let alone eighty for the “Love Is Over” edition, especially given the oddball nature of the provided collectibles, and the game becomes belligerent in the last few stages to a point that makes the game feel like it was developed by someone else. Even beyond that, Vincent has control and response issues at the worst possible times, there’s no online play available, and the game loves its dynamic camera angles in boss fights a lot more than the player does, thanks to their disorienting nature. Catherine is more bad than good to be sure, but it’s a hard game to recommend unless you love quirky Japanese games and have a well of patience, as its aesthetic positives can’t always cover up for its mechanical shortcomings.

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