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  #1    
Old June 23rd, 2011 (07:12 AM). Edited June 25th, 2011 by Captain Fabio.
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The Great Review/Recommendation Thread

Well ladies and germs, I have decided to bring back the old recommendation thread, but with a twist. I have decided that instead of just saying, 'X person should play Y game', I want you to be passionate about it and say why 'X person' should play that game, but not simply 'because it is awesome', point out the features that make it stand out to you.

The games that you recommend can be on any console, any release date and any type of game, whether it is AAA or indie. (AAA is simply lingo for a big budget commercial game.)

There isn't a set format for you to review a game, but it would be good if you could make it obvious the good and maybe bad points of the game. Think of it as a little sales pitch that you have to make. It can be whatever length you like, but don't make it too small, because then it makes it seem like you are struggling to find good aspects of the game.

Also, there will be an emblem if I think someone has taken their time and effort to write up reviews. Emblems make the world go around.

Have fun and get typing.

Ps. I will do an example of a recommendation.

Silent Hill 2: Silent Hill 2 is a great game for anyone who likes those games that make the hair on the back of their neck stand up. It has twists and turns that just make your brain hurt, but in the good way. The story is fulfilling and deep while gameplay matches it. So on so on so on.

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Old June 25th, 2011 (04:51 PM).
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The World Ends with You



Platform: Nintendo DS
Release: April 22, 2008 (North American release)
Genre: Action Role-Playing
Developers: Square Enix, Jupiter

The World Ends with You shouldn't be written off as "just another Japanese RPG". I personally had heard how great it was for months and months before I ever got my hands on it, and didn't really understand why my friends had been pretty much exalting this game. But once I got my hands on it, I understood that it's not like other DS games. It's not just a game; it's a cultural experience, from the style of the art to the music to the emphasis on youth culture in Japan.

The game is set in Shibuya, in a game for the newly dead to try to get their lives back. While the main character understands about as much as the player to begin with, he learns along with you. Every character has a very unique personality, so it's not hard to find one you can relate to. Even the ones you don't like are so well designed that it's hard to find fault with them.

The gameplay honestly is what makes me love this game so much. Almost all DS games use mostly the touchscreen or mostly the top screen, and pretty much ignore the other. TWEWY is nothing like that. During battles, you control two characters; one on the top screen and one on the bottom. The bottom screen is your character, Neku, who attacks with certain actions based on the pins you have. You could have to yell into the microphone, slash the enemy, or draw a circle around yourself, or something else entirely. Meanwhile, on the top screen is your partner, who you control either using the arrows or the ABXY buttons. Each partner has a distinct way of battling, and fights at the same time by combining those buttons. To succeed in a battle you have to control both yourself on the touchscreen and your partner on the top screen. There are very few games that give you that kind of integration, and although it takes a while to get used to, once you're comfortable it just makes the game that much more engaging.

Pretty much everyone can find something to love about this game, but the people that will get the most enjoyment from it will be people interested in Japanese youth culture, or those looking for a good story on the DS. The action-based fighting system takes the game away from most JRPGs with the turn-based system, adding to the fast-paced flow of the game, while the art style is distinctly Japanese and also distinctly urban.

...I'm bad at conclusions...so in conclusion, TWEWY is a great game and go play. :<
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Old June 25th, 2011 (05:42 PM).
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The Sims 3

Platform: PC
Release: June 2, 2009
Genre: Life simulation
Developer: Electronic Arts

Now, I know that many of you may scoff derisively at this recommendation before even reading what I have to say, as directed in The Official Hardcore Gamers Handbook: Vol 3, but I believe that would be a mistake - and here's why. The Sims 3, like its predecessors, may have the most simplistically genius premise in the history of video gaming: life.

We all know what The Sims games are about. We build a home, build a family, create a life, then live it as mundanely as if it were all real. The Sims franchise has its fair share of haters who all cry out that we shouldn't be wasting our time on such petty gaming and that if we want to experiment with life, we should experiment with our own. This, of course, makes absolute sense - yet somehow the game has managed to find a way to be so addictive that some waste away before it, taking sick days from their actual jobs in order to make sure that Mr. and Mrs. Sim get their promotions and can afford to comfortably buy Timmy his very own desktop computer. But why?

What makes it so hard to stay away is that everybody can relate to what these simulated people go through. The achievements in the lives of the characters we create give us the same feelings of accomplishment that are lacking in our own lives; the game strokes our egos and fulfills the fantasies that we are perhaps too scared to pursue for ourselves. Whether this be a high-flying career or a sexy life partner (or even both!) does not matter, it allow us to live vicariously through the people of our own creation. We are in control, we get to play God - and best of all, we get to do it without any moral compass because at the end of the day, the computer is turned off and it does not affect our real lives one way or the other. It is the video game equivalent of writing a novel; creating characters, growing attached to them, and sharing in their laughter and pain.

Like a good novel, The Sims 3 can make people feel on a deeper level than a lot of the games on the market. It's not flashy, you don't kill zombies or hookers and you never see one drop of blood of any colour. But when you have a Sim, old and grey, who has lived a life that you yourself can only dream about and you watch the last of the life leave their eyes, it serves as a bittersweet if not depressing reminder that one day, everything and everyone becomes obselete.

And that's why I recommend The Sims 3.
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Old June 25th, 2011 (10:49 PM). Edited June 25th, 2011 by Fenrir Reki.
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Demon's Souls
"Deep beneath the Nexus, the Old One has awakened. A mighty Demon horde pours into Boletaria, devouring the souls of men. Called upon by a maiden in black, you go forth to lift the curse..."


Platform: Playstation 3
Release: October 6, 2009
Genre: Role-Playing
Developers:
From Software

Table of Contents

(AT)Attributes
(BF)Body Form
(CC)Character Classes
(CT)Character Tendency
(CO)Conclusion
(EQ)Equipment
(FO)Forging
(MM)Magic and Miracles
(OV)Overview
(PO)Playing Online
(SF)Soul Form
(SL)Soul Level
(TN)The Nexus
(TW)The World
(WT)World Tendency

(OV)Overview
If you are an RPG player, like rewarding RPGs, a hardcore RPG player, or just want an excellent RPG game to play in general, then Demon's Souls just might be the game for you. But be warned: This game can be very challenging and you occasionally might find yourself being very annoyed by how many times you die or how challenging an area can be! But do not worry, because dying in Demon's Souls is normal! The developers actually encourage that you die multiple times to learn from your mistakes!

(CC)Character Classes
There are a total of 10 character classes you can choose from that each have their own individual strengths, weaknesses, equipment, abilities, and attributes. If you do not like the way how your character is, you can make you character into anything else you want. For example, if you don't like being a Barbarian who excels in Strength and HP, you can turn them into a Mage who uses Magic, or better yet, a combination of the two that uses both Magic and Melee and has High Strength and Magic! You are not limited to anything in Demon's Souls, and eventually your character will be maxed out in every single attribute. (even though that takes countless hours of gameplay, probably 100+ hours to be exact)

These are the classes available in Demon's Souls:

Soldier
"A low-class soldier that always stands at the frontline of battlegrounds. This is the standard soldier type with especially high vitality and hard armor. Besides a straight sword, they are equipped with a spear, thus broadening their battle style."

Knight
"A knight class of a rather advanced area of southern Boletaria. This is a character that is equipped with hard metal armor and shield, and thus, excels in defense, but because they have low luck, it will be difficult to obtain items."

Hunter
"A specialist at outdoor activities. Their specialty is making long rang sniping attacks with a long bow. They are also equipped with leather armor and a battle axe, so they are well balanced overall."

Priest
"A soldier of the cloth that believes in the God of this world. This is a tough character that is equipped with chain mail and shield. They can heal themselves with miracles, but their lack of dexterity makes them poor at handling advanced weapons."

Magician
"A commoner that officially learned spells. They have already learned two spells, called "Flame Toss" and "Water Veil". Since their weapon is small and they lack in defense, they don't do too well with hand-to-hand combat."

Wanderer
"A lightly equipped soldier that continues an aimless journey. They have especially high dexterity and are skilled at using a curved sword. They also have high luck, but because their initial equipment is shabby, they are weak to attacks."

Barbarian
"A person from a primitive civilization. Out of all the classes, they have the highest Soul level, vitality, endurance, and strength, but their initial equipment is the worst. They have no armor and their only weapon is a club."

Thief
"They are hired by royalty and engage in dirty jobs. This character is good at sneaky tactics such as surprise attacks, ambushes, and critical attacks after parrying. They have very good luck."

Temple knight
"A special knight that protects the temple of God. They are heavily clad soldiers wearing white armor with the name of the now lost first temple and mow down enemies with halberd. They can heal themselves with miracles as well."

Royalty
"A person of royal descent who has officially learned spells. They use the spell "Soul Arrow." Their Soul level is the worst and begins as 1, but they are the only class that begins equipped with a rare ring."

(AT)Attributes
Demon's Souls is not your traditional RPG. It doe not feature EXP you gain from completing objectives or defeating bosses and opponents and leveling up for gaining a specific amount of EXP, nor do you gain abilities when you level up. But you do however gain "Souls" for either defeating an enemy, a phantom, or a demon in your world or someone's world.

Your souls can then be spent on leveling your attributes that are:
Vitality - Increases your Maximum HP and your Maximum Item Burden.
Intelligence - Increases your Maximum MP and Magic Memory Slots.
Endurance- Increases your Maximum Stamina, Equip Weight, Fire, Poison, and Bleed Resistances.
Strength - Increases your Physical Damage
Dexterity - Increases your Physical Damage and reduces your Fall Damage.
Magic - Increases your Magic Power.
Faith - Increases your Miracle Power, Miracle Memory Slots and Magic Damage Resistance.
Luck - Increases your Item Drop Rate and your Disease Resistance.

(SL)Soul Level
Whenever you put a point into one of your attributes, your Soul Level goes up by one. It doesn't matter if you have a high soul level or not, but it does restrict the people you can play with. The highest Soul Level you can achieve is 712, assuming you have 99 in all of your attributes.

(BF)Body Form
When you are in Body Form, you can see Soul Signs left by other players and call them to your world. If you die in Body Form, you respawn back at the beginning of the map, resetting all of the monsters and traps in Soul Form. Whenever you die, you lose all of your acquired souls, and your bloodstain is left at the spot you were at 10 seconds before you last died. You can touch you bloodstain to gain all of your lost souls back.

(SF)Soul Form
When you are in Soul Form, you do an additional 50% damage, but you lose 50% of your Maximum HP in return, until you gain your lost soul back. You can invade other players worlds or join another player to help them kill the demon in their world for Souls. If you kill a demon in either your world, or another person's world, you gain your body form back.

(EQ)Equipment
Some equipment requires a specific amount of attribute points, and you can use any equipment even if you do not have the required amount of stats to use it but it's effectiveness will be reduced.

Some penalties include:
Slower running with Heavy Armor
Weaker damage with weapons
Less damage blocked with Shields
and more

(PO)Playing Online
When you play online, you will see many things in your world such as Soul Spirits of other players in your area, bloodstains that you can touch to see how a player died, messages that you can read or messages left by you. (They can be helpful because it can forewarn you of dangers or traps) You can leave a message, and other players can rate how useful your message is, but they are only preset messages and you can't type whatever you want and leave a message. You can do emotes which are not all that useful, but are fun to use anyways. Also, you might get invaded by another player while you are trying to kill a Demon in your world. But with the help of another player, you will be able to survive. (Hopefully)

(WT)World Tendency
World Tendency adjusts the difficulty level within a world. Worlds with White Tendency will have enemies with less HP, less damage, and lower Souls and Drop Rate. Darker tendency worlds will be the opposite because they have tougher enemies, higher Drop Rate and more Souls. You can get an idea of the light/dark state of each world by the shade of color of the archstone in the status menu screen. Some in-game events require you to have a specific World or Character Tendency.

(CT)Character Tendency
In addition to the alignment of each world, your character has their own personal tendency. Killing NPCs affects your tendency by either shifting it towards black(evil) or white(good) tendency.

(TN)The Nexus
The Nexus is the main area in the game where you can store your items, repair/buy items and equipment, purchase/learn/re learn Magic and Miracles or just talk to NPCs. You could also kill anyone you want but killing the anyone will result in them being dead forever until your next playthrough!

(MM)Magic and Miracles
You can learn a variety of Magic and Miracles that all do different effects such as damaging an enemy, healing your HP, making you invisible, and many other effects. The minimum requirement to learning a Magic or Miracle is your Maximum MP (so you can cast the spell) and your Intelligence or Faith Level. Some spells require multiple slots and you can gain more slots for them by having a higher Magic or Miracle level.

(TW)The World
The world is split up between 5 different worlds with five different areas, each having their own unique environments and enemies.

The five worlds are:
Boletarian Palace
Stonefang Tunnel
Tower of Latria
Shrine of Storms
Valley of Defilement

Each area in a world has a Demon boss, and defeating a boss in an area grants you access to the next area and a large boost in Souls. You also obtain the Demon's Soul which you can use to gain a large amount of souls, or for creating weapons and armor.

(FO)Forging
You can create and refine weapons and armor by paying a specific amount of souls, using ore and materials you gathered, or using a Demon's Soul to forge legendary weapons.

(CO)Conclusion
Demon's Souls is one of the best RPG games out there and it is very rewarding and fun to play despite how challenging it can get. With the announcement of Dark Souls (Demon's Souls 2) being released in October this year, Demon's Souls is definitely rising to the top RPGs fast. I hope you consider this game if you are looking for a good RPG, and thank you for reading this review.
"Now go forth, slayer of Demons..."
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Old June 26th, 2011 (08:09 AM). Edited December 29th, 2014 by Rukario.
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Strange, funny, and heartrending…



Witty, tear-jerking, and an overall fun game, Mother 3 is a complete package. It’s considered one of the greats among those who have played it. It follows up Earthbound, which was a stand-alone title in the US. A little backstory, if I may: Mother 3 was only released on GBA in Japan. Us English gamers are lucky that some devout Mother fans created a fan translation of the game to be patched onto the Japanese ROM. So, this is the only way to play the “English version” of the game.



First thing you do is name a few of the main characters. You get to name the twins, Lucas and Claus. Then you name their father, Flint, their mother, Hinawa, and the always lovable dog, Boney. Along with the family, you provide your favorite food, omelets, and favorite thing, love. Later, you name the “Thief of Justice”, Duster, the adorable monkey, Salsa, and the unruly princess, Kumatora. Keep in mind, these are the official names, so I will be referring to the characters as such. We’ll consider that our introduction to the cast.


The game takes place in the quaint little village of Tazmily, where they see no fights, no strife, not even money is a factor. But this takes a drastic turn when UFOs that belong to strange men that wear Pigmasks start to wreak havoc in secrecy. Animals are fused together into inhumane chimeras. Some creatures even become half machine and though they were once gentle, they now attack anyone that comes near. Perhaps the worst part is that families fall apart at the hands of their boredom. (And yes, the Pigmasks even mention that the place is boring and that it needs more excitement. But…a forest fire? Oh yeah. Real exciting!) I’m afraid that’s all I can tell you plot wise though. This is definitely one hell of a game with its plot, and I wouldn’t dare speak past that.


Lucas, Claus, and Alec visiting the Dragos, a surprisingly peaceful species.


However, not all is well with the gentle Dragos after the Pigmasks get to them.

While the plot can get you hooked, let’s move on to the gameplay. The fighting system is one of the more unique systems I’ve ever played with, and it’s very addicting. Everything you battle has a certain song (and you can’t forget the trippy backgrounds, but that doesn’t tie in with the battling. Just noteworthy.). When you use the bash technique, you have to tap the A/Z button/key with the beat of the song. Some of them are pretty crazy and change tempos frequently. It’s a little difficult at first, but after playing for a while, it gets a lot easier. This style is referred to as “comboing”, if that’s how you’d spell it. And the more hits, the more damage, of course! The highest number of hits you can have in a combo is 16, so if you manage a 16-hit combo, it’s kind of a big deal. Feel free to brag, especially when you accomplish it on the more complicated songs.


Comboing a Pigmask. Nasty buggers!

With the music in mind, let’s jump guns and move to that. Honestly, Mother 3 has some of the best tracks I’ve heard in a game, and it’s only a GBA game. From Love Theme to Natural Killer Cyborg, every song is unique. I have to be honest here, but when I hear Love Theme, I get a little teary-eyed. But you’ll have to play to find out why. Moving on, some songs get more than one version, such as Strong One. The main purpose of that is for later, more difficult boss fights. The rhythm changes up a little more in the amped up versions later on. Gotta have that extra difficulty, of course. It really does stack up. Another thing, I don’t know any other game that has an actual band. DCMC, anyone? I’m sure it’s obvious what that band’s name is a play on of.

Spoiler:


I don’t normally care for graphics too much, but I feel the need to point out the great attention to detail the game provides. For example, Duster has a gimpy leg, and you can even tell by the way he walks and dashes. Even if he’s in a disguise, you can still pick out Duster by looking for the party member running awkwardly. Another example is that when you look in the mirror, you can actually see the reflection of the character looking. Maybe I’m a little easily impressed, but I do find it a nice touch, especially for GBA. I don’t know any other games that were so careful with little things like that.


Now, for one of the most important things about Mother 3, and really the Mother series as a whole: that witty charm. Despite being a game with some serious stuff going on, you can’t help but laugh. You may have noticed this in announcements I’ve posted here at PC, but I always end them with “Thank you for reading this announcement. It loves you know.” That’s a quote from the game, however it’s written on a sign instead of an announcement. Even item descriptions are weird. Can’t think of any of the top of my head, but it’s crazy, that’s for sure. (I recall there being a sign that you get to graffiti, actually…)


Overall, this is probably the best game I have ever played. Now, I’m not saying you all will have the same opinion if you play it, but it’s definitely recommended. It’s the only reason I bothered to even download an emulator. It’s the only game I have played that has had an emotional impact on me. I felt like I connected with the characters for once. Itoi really knows how to pull at your heart, and Mother 3 got me. Hopefully after reading this review, some of y’all might decide to give it a whirl. You won’t regret it.



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Old June 30th, 2011 (09:09 AM).
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Solipskier



Solipskier is a flash game (and iPhone/Android) that requires you to literally ski until you die.

The game itself isn't very special. You draw a snow with your cursor or finger and Solipskier skis on it. Make it go up, he goes up, albeit slow. Make it go down, he goes down, and goes faster. You jump/ski through blue gates, go through tunnels (multiple blue gates), and ski as long as you can without dying. You also have a multiplier that raises when you hit a blue gate (moreso higher if you hit it while airborne), conquer a tunnel, but it will be cut in half if you miss a gate or if you haven't hit on in a long time.

What makes it so awesome is how addicting it can get. At first, you're going pretty slow, not fast at all. Hit a couple a gates, you go a little bit faster...until you achieve mind blowing speeds, such as 90 kmh or (god forbid) higher. The faster you go, the more gates you hit, the more gates you hit, the more points you obtain. If you achieve a perfect tunnel (not missing a SINGLE blue gate) while under these speeds...you can get a 1,000,000 points from just that, not to mention greatly increasing your multiplier.


Going through a Tunnel.

Another quirk about this game is perhaps the music. The music, Speed Metal Messiah by Joe Stump, makes the game, if not already, amazing.


The song in question.

The music makes the game go by a little faster. The beat of the music actually goes well for this game!

Remember what I said about the speeds of this game?

Well apparently, reaching those speeds will make your headphones fall off, therefore terminating the music. Then, all you hear is the rushing wind. I find this feature a little helpful because it helps you determine if you were going fast or not. It doesn't take long to achieve this. Hell it takes me 30 seconds to do that.

There isn't much else to talk to about Solipskier. The game generally explains itself from the very start. The only other thing about it is you can jump offscreen, upwards and gain points from the gate doing that and be scored by offscreen judges who raise up their score for you.


As seen here, there are three of these mysterious judges.

The last thing to talk about Solipskier is dying. If you die, you're greeted with very sad music (Chopin - Prelude in C Minor), and your final score. Upon dying, you can also fix certain, such as whether you want to hear the music, or anything from the game at all and if you're like me, play your music in a separate window. I do this via flash, so not sure about iPhone users.

All in all, I say Solipskier is a great game. What you need to do is plain and simple - get as many points as you can without dying. It may require some time, but soon you'll be getting 10 million in under a minute (even more if you're really skilled!).

The only thing I dislike in Solipskier is perhaps if you get really high points or obtain those insane speeds, you'll be greeted with 7 red gates (most I've met so far and (read: luckily) survived.), but that's one thing compared to what mostly happens in this fantastical game.

So, go out there and play this game. It isn't for everyone, I'll admit, but give a chance to this awesome game. The only requirements you need to play is a brain and some fingers. I wish you luck!

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Old August 5th, 2011 (04:01 AM).
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Developer: Atlus
Publisher: Atlus
Platform/s: PS3, Xbox360
Genre: Puzzle
Release Date/s: Feb 17, 2011 (JP), Jul 26, 2011 (NA)



Catherine

Since I have already done a review on this, I believe I will provide it to you. This is taken from Morkula's site which I am a writer. If you would like to check it out, it is under 'My Website' in the signature.

Catherine is a brand new puzzle game from Atlus, best known as the developers of the Persona series. Catherine is a puzzle-based, adult adventure that personifies Atlus’ reputation for its quirky, interesting style of Japanese games. It’s also a solid game in itself, that delivers all around.

The game revolves around a 32 year old man named Vincent Brooks. Vincent works for a tech company by day and spends his evenings getting very drunk with his friends. He has a girlfriend, Katherine who has been hinting and pressuring him to make himself an honest man and marry her; however, Vincent is unsure if he’s ready to take that step yet. Things get more complicated when, one night, he meets a girl called Catherine (yes, with a C). After a night of heavy drinking and flirting with this new girl, he ends up waking up next to what can only be described as a blond bombshell: naked and seemingly loving it. This is where the game gets interesting, and marks the start of Vincent’s nightmares.



The unique selling point of the story is its interesting take on a man’s affection for a woman and the troubles of being in a relationship – not many games that are based around this theme work this well. Vincent is subject to his nightmares about the K/Catherines, while at the same time, there have been numerous reports of male deaths, around the same age as Vincent. Rumors speculate that they were subject to torturous nightmares just like his own. Throughout the game, you will be spending your time wandering around the same bar, interacting with friends and strangers, and the rest of the time then you will be in Vincent’s nightmares, trying to wake up and not get him killed.

The gameplay blends nicely with the story. At the end of the nightmares, Vincent receives text messages which can influence his reactions and decisions in the beautiful cutscenes. The way you respond to these text messages can ultimately affect the storyline. This offers a slightly different take on the traditional karma meter. The meter’s graphical design would lead you to believe that it is simply a karma choice, since siding with Katherine will push you to the blue side, while siding with Catherine will push you into the red (marked with a little devil). This seems to label having anything to do with Catherine as a bad karma choice.

Catherine could be considered more of a soap opera with the crazy characters and sex-oriented storyline, but once you have stopped drooling over the drop-dead gorgeous cutscenes and actually start controlling Vincent, it’s a solid game. As stated before, the gameplay has two different aspects: the real world, and Vincent’s nightmare world. When you are in the nightmare world, you find yourself navigating a rather large collaboration of cubes, which you need to move around in order to reach the top. This gameplay aspect does sound boring on paper, but there are many different types of cubes, obstacles and crazy monsters to keep you on your toes. This section of the gameplay will take up most of your time and will, most likely, require lots of trial and error. Each nightmare has different puzzle towers that you need to figure out, keeping your mind on top of its game.



With tense gameplay must come tense music, which Catherine deliveries with no exception. The music brings you into the game and makes you really feel for Vincent when certain things are happening in the storyline. The use of sound effects is well done as well, not skimping on any part of the audio. The anime-style graphics are well-done as well, including the aforementioned cutscenes.

There are one or two problems that I could pin down, mainly to do with the camera movement. If you move to the other side of the block tower, then your view of Vincent is blocked completely. Although this can be a problem, there aren’t many times that you’ll need to go behind the tower. In addition, the puzzles can be too hard for their own good at times, resulting in some frustration as you make your way through the game.

Catherine can be considered an adult’s game, since it does include life challenges that a lot of men will face, regardless of how comically they are presented. As I was playing the game, I felt like I was really making the choices, and I felt like it was my relationship I was trying to repair or throw away. Some people might get annoyed with the game at times and want to throw in the towel, but if you stick with it, Catherine is an engaging experience that’s worth trying.



Catherine isn’t for everyone, but in a industry where developers are scared to produce something different and not stick to already popular brands, it is a refreshing experience. At first glance, Catherine could be considered a wacky Japanese game that appeals to only the perverted minded individuals, but that isn’t true. It’s a fresh take on a puzzle and roleplaying game that combines nearly every element of both genres brilliantly. Atlus is to be commended for bringing something this different to the market, and they are to be commended for the end result.

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