Catherine: Full Body is the latest in a hypothetical series of “announcements that I never expected to be made” – the original game was one of the most unusual high-profile (I’m sure there were weirder indie games that I hadn’t heard of) games I had played in 2012, mixing a soap-opera level romantic drama with tense block-based puzzling. Compared to your typical world-saving RPG heroes and blind-firing space marines, it stood out amongst the crowd, and with the game coming from the same studio that brought us the Persona series, it certainly defied expectations. Catherine: Full Body remasters a seventh-gen title that refuses to be pigeonholed. The narrative swerves from the plausible to the absurd, the settings shift from mundane to otherworldly, the gameplay combines social minigames with block pushing and even the music slips between smooth jingles in the Stray Sheep bar to dramatic bombast in the nightmares. To begin with, it’s kind of hard to pin down, and Disposable Media can recall tales of people getting burned after seeing the involvement of Team Persona and expecting something closer to an RPG.
Catherine: Full Body – drama and novelty
At least when Catherine: Full Body is released players may have a better idea of what to expect. Looking back at my first playthrough(s) of the game, I found the puzzling tricky but not impossible, I thought that the core narrative was engaging but a bit too exaggerated for the purposes of tension (again, it’s a TV drama at best), and my favourite moments were probably the quieter bits in-between – checking in on the regulars in the Stray Sheep and hearing about their backgrounds, toying with the morality gauge during phone conversations, examining all of the interactive objects – the jukebox, the arcade machine, the restroom mirror… There’s a lot in there that is open to criticism, but the novelty of playing something so unique is enough to carry you through the first playthrough (besides, once you’re familiar with the puzzles you can clear the main game on Normal difficulty in just a few evenings.)
There aren’t a whole lot of details on Catherine: Full Body right now – we know that there will be a third central female character and new scenes for all three girls, and – brilliantly – the multiplayer Colosseum mode will return with online functionality. It’s said that a Niconico stream and trailer reveal will be on the way later this week (UPDATE: the trailer can now be found below) – personally I’m wondering if they can outdo the absurdity of the original’s Love Is Over special edition…
The website for Catherine: Full Body can be found at http://fullbody.jp/