Atlus Preparing Patch To Fix Catherine’s Difficulty

By Ishaan . February 20, 2011 . 1:29pm

If you’ve been following word-of-mouth on Catherine via Twitter or the blogs of people that have been playing the game, you’ve probably heard a few people mention how incredibly difficult the game’s nightmare segments are, even on Easy mode.


Catherine director, Katsura Hashino, writes on the game’s official blog that the decision was made to make the game hard because the development team wanted the player to feel the thrill of Vincent’s nightmares, and a sense of accomplishment upon getting through them.


Hashino admits, though, that Atlus have been receiving feedback from several players who complain that the game is simply too difficult. To address this, they’re working on an update patch to balance out the difficulty.


Atlus haven’t provided a release date for the patch yet. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.


A warm, furry sheep hug to Chris Taran for the tip!

Read more stories about & & & on Siliconera.

  • Yeah, just read this in twitter xD, good news for Aoshi00 :3!, the funny thing is that he said that it was because their staff got so used to the game, that they though easy was uh… easy for them xD haha.

    After i played the demo i fell in love with the game, NOW IM SUFFERING… Thank god Ar tonelico 3 is close and Neptunia is already on its way… those will relax my soul…

    And Ar Tonelico 3 will make my soul reach to a new level of “soulness” IT WILL REACH A GOD’S SOUL LEVEL.

    • Haha yeah read it too. xD

      And I have to agree the demo was really cool, not to mention the nice music. Neptunia is already out isn’t it, or you mean waiting for the shipment? As I already have my game.

      • Waiting for it to reach my freaking country T_T, it is still shipping, Amazon started in like the 16-17th, and, since i used the free shipping it will take some days to reach the place where i have to send the stuff, so the company i use can bring it to my country (and this last process is another week)…

        So yeah, it will take around 2 weeks to reach… same with AT3 D:!, but i ordered that one from NISA store (yay purger party edition!) so it will at least start shipping on the date it is released… Or at least i hope.

        • Ouch, but every second of waiting for Ar Tonelico 3 is worth it!!! XO

          • Waiting will just make it better…muehehehe… call me masochist if you want, FOR AR TONELICO 3 IM ANYTHING

    • Aoshi00

      That’s very good to hear :) To those who say they don’t want games to be too easy, then why is there an “easy” mode? Just play it on normal and hard then and stop complaining, don’t punish those who can’t finish games like Megaman 9/10. A lot of gamers have grown up, not everyone plays video games all the time, w/ the jobs and family and other stuffs going on. If I were in college or high school, I don’t mind hard games that you die 40 times trying, but I certainly appreciate that “option” to just enjoy the game w/o frustration.

      I was fine w/ the demo, and I haven’t rec’d my full game yet, should get it next week, but from most reviews I’ve read, it seems like the demo was nothing compared to the full game, and the game is absolutely unforgiving even on “easy” mode, many people had to switch from normal back to easy after the first couple of stages and they’re still hard. And those who finished on easy also said it was hard, I think their opinions are insightful.

      BTW, just finished Last Story today.. great game.. actually still haven’t seen the ending yet, I beat the last boss (pretty hard), but there are still things to do before you go to the ending.. just like FF13 Int’l, I wouldn’t have gone back to finish it in Eng if not for the easy mode, I wanted to listen to the ending in Eng but playing it on easy saved some time. Every game should have a range of difficulty instead of being too easy or too hard.

      • Cool, congrats :D how was the last boss? In terms of difficulty

        • Aoshi00

          Tks :) I don’t know, the last boss has a couple of forms.. and Elza has 5 lives.. so really need to go to turn-based mode to work w/ your party and assign commands, otherwise you’d get whooped pretty quickly.. and since it’s real time action it’s more exciting and difficult than say Lost Odyssey.. I died once fighting the last boss the first time, but the 2nd time I was down to 1 life before finishing him off, so it was pretty close.. Sometimes before you advance further, there are summon circles for you to level up, so that helps. Oh, and you need to choose the right equipment for everyone too depending on enemies’ elemental attributes, sometimes it’s very crucial.. As usual, the Gooch’s games felt more like a FF having that same spirit.. 41 hrs and still not done (I’m pretty slow and take my time w/ games..)

  • Neckbear

    I just hope they don’t completly and absolutely take away the difficulty to benefit those who don’t have the patience to stand through trial and error, I personally find myself enjoying bullshittingly hard games, as long as they’re not impossible.

    Perhaps the patch could be turned on and off…or simply include another difficulty, or something?

    • I think that they will just modify the easy dificulty, i really hope that is the case, the demo was just fine the way i played it

      • Demo is the 1st and 3rd stage. Doesn’t even begin to show how difficult the game gets shortly after that.

        • I felt the demo was easy, i beat it in less than 20-30 minutes (not trying to talk big :P, so dont misjudge what i said xD), anyhow i still hope that they just modify easy difficulty…

    • Belenger

      Something like “Uber easy for casuaaaaaals”, rather than modifying the rest of the game, difficulty is fine just damn challenging to get Silver/Gold, I think the problem lies on the demographic that bought this game on japan, which comes mostly from people that got to know atlus with P3 and P4, rest of SMT players should be just fine and dandy for this.

      Hell if you ever played IQ, IQ+ or any game in that sort of vein and you didn’t suck at it, you are completely ready for Catherine.

      • Yeah, I thought the same thing. It shouldn’t be too big a surprise that the game is difficult when looking at most Megaten games. Guess they spoiled us with P3 and P4’s lower learning curve.

      • Aoshi00

        Again, I really can’t say if it’s that difficult, only played the demo and haven’t rec’d my game yet, chances are it probably is if so many said so, like nobody said Megaman 9/10 are easy. Not everybody is good at puzzle games, especially under pressure w/ time limit. So why not have a range of difficulty so people could play on their own level. Did people complain about Bayonetta’s super easy mode? Just play on normal or hard. Or Super Street Fighter IV’s very easy->easy->normal->hard->very hard, so it’s accessible to everyone.

        By making the game ultra difficult (on “easy” mode no less) so only the most “hardcore” gamers w/ a lot of time could play or finish, they’re limiting the audience of the game. I for one have like 10+ games that I want to go thru currently, but I don’t want to die 50 times in every stage in Catherine either.

        Also there’s a reason why a mode is called “easy”, if it’s not actually easy, why is it called easy, that’s misleading. Sounds like the current difficulty translate to the following, easy=hard, normal=frustratingly hard, hard=sadist.

        I’m all for the patch, I don’t play as much games as I’m younger anymore (I play them, I might not have time to finish them all), but sometimes I still want to experience the game when time permits, nothing is more annoying than wanting to finish the game but can’t.

        The is no point for a game to be difficult just for the sake of difficult, it’s like people want it for bragging rights.. for that you have trophies/achievement, and this game even has the bronze/silver/gold ratings alrdy..

      • I just worry they’re going to do what the difficulty patch did to Bionic Commando Rearmed, where a great deal of the challenge on Normal was destroyed. They want an easy mode for people who can’t tough it out, then fine, give them an EXTRA mode that’s easier. Maybe call it “Very Easy” or “Casual” or something like that. But don’t lower the overall difficulty of a game. I read that people are finding it so hard to play that they’re whining for a patch, it makes me want to play it all the more.

        Of course, I’m also the ONLY one of my friends to actually beat Ninja Gaiden Sigma, when all the others wussed out and quit when they got to Alma.

        • Aoshi00

          Are they in any way preventing you from playing it on normal, hard, or very hard, or even getting all those stages on gold? Do you even understand what the word “difficulty setting” means? If “easy” means 40-50 deaths in every stage, that’s not very “easy” at all is it. And sometimes there are people who could only afford playing several hours ever week, like people who have jobs or are married, etc. One of the biggest drawing point of this game is the story after all.

          It’s like Sonic, should they even get rid of the midway checkpoints so every death makes you start at the beginning of the stage. It won’t make the game more fun, it just makes it time consuming and frustrating. Again, this is “easy” we’re talking about, if people find easy too hard and can’t progress further, there’s no easier difficulty to choose from.

          If you’re worried about the game being too easy and no fun, get all the gold trophies, get 100% PS trophies, no one’s really stopping you to do that. It sounds like you just want to tell people you beat a hard game to brag.

          I only got silver for ch.1 and bronze for ch.2 on the demo, and 90% of the people who’ve played the game said that the difficulty for the demo was nothing.

          • Has nothing to do with wanting to brag about it and everything to do with wanting a challenge when I play a game. And what are you complaining for? I said to give them a “very easy” mode, so people can get their widdle hands held and not have to actually be challenged by something in life.

            And honestly, I think this generation of gamers has gotten soft, but that’ll just end with me sounding ancient if I start with the “In my day, we couldn’t even save a game and had to start from the very beginning every time we ran out of continues…”

          • Aoshi00

            No one’s complaining, you still don’t see the fact that “easy” mode being hard is unbalanced huh? Right now easy is not easy, easy’s not even normal, easy is hard.

            I don’t know which generation you’re talking about, I’ve been gaming for more or less 25 yrs now. When I had all the time in the world when I was a kid or in high school or even college, sure I don’t mind the games being a little hard since I could devote more time to tackling each game, and there were fewer games then. When people have full time jobs, married and have kids (the hardcore gamers 20 yrs ago have grown up and not carefree kids anymore), and still want to play games just for enjoyment, they might opt for something that is not Demon Souls? A game doesn’t need to be hard in order to be fun.

            You seem to be the one who’s complaining unnecessarily that they would take away the harder modes. Enough w/ this “if you can’t play a hard game, then you’re not a real gamer” bull. Yea, Sonic had limited continues, that was fine back in 6th grade maybe. Oh right, the old NES games didn’t even have saves and required you to copy a string of passwords, that was hardcore and much more fun right? Adults, unlike kids, don’t have the luxury to play a game for hours on end in one setting anymore. And Catherine is not really aimed at kids anyway.

            Call it easy or very easy or whatnot, just have a mode that is accessible to everyone. I usually play a game on normal first, it it’s too much I switched to easy. Right now people play on easy and it’s not easy. That’s why there’s such thing as “difficulty setting”, you don’t call a hard mode easy. It’s good that Atlus is actually addressing this legitimate concern.

          • How can you be close to my age and not remember that there were systems before the NES that didn’t even let you do passwords? A password is just a really tedious save system. I’m talking about games that didn’t have it in any way, shape, or form.

            I only know one person who has ever beaten Ghosts n Goblins, and it wasn’t me, but she has my respect for doing it. And when you were done for the day with that game, you had to start from the very beginning. Same with all the old Colecovision games. Death meant restarting. Hell, if you want to go to the NES for a minute, Battletoads had no save system. And beating that was a challenge.

            People have gotten used to having everything handed to them these days and it’s kinda sad. I see people whining about Dead Space 2’s Hardcore mode. It’s sickening. If you don’t have time to play it or you think it’s too hard, don’t play that mode. I actually saw someone wishing for a patch to give you more than 3 saves in that mode.

            And I have a full time job and a lot of things on the side to do too. Do I have 9 hours to play games every day anymore? No. But it’s like carving a sculpture. You chip away each day. You learn from yesterday so that you’re better today.

            I haven’t had the time to go into Dead Space 2’s hardcore mode, precisely because of the other things in my life, but is that the game’s fault? Should they patch it because I can’t play a mode? Of course not.

          • vadde939

            not liking a difficult game=/= ‘wimps who can’t cope with being challenged by something in life’ because videogames=/=life. Why do you sound so offended by people who don’t like hard games? Gamers these days are a diverse bunch who have very different tastes in gaming and play videogames for different reasons so sticking to the ‘if you don’t like things this way you’re not a true gamer’ attitude is total crap. Not everyone has the time for hard games, not everyone thinks frustration=fun and not everyone plays games for the ‘challenge’. All Atlus are doing are making the ‘easy’ mode actually easy which will make the game accesible to people who want to play it but otherwise would have found it difficult to enjoy. What is so wrong with that?

          • I’m also amused that you think I’m arguing that Catherine, which I am guessing is probably a 20+ hour game, shouldn’t have saves. I was just using saves as a time reference when talking about how difficult your average game used to be back in the day. They didn’t coddle you, they didn’t pat you on the head when you failed and say, “It’s alright.” You succeeded or you failed.

            It’s not just in games, really. People today, in general, are softer than they used to be, but since the pertinent subject is gaming, that’s what I was bringing up.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Goodness gracious. Why am I hard pressed to refer to Aoshi, Isshan, Gabriel, or anyone else posting respect for the decision as soft, baby gamers. Just because games ‘back in the day’ either didn’t or couldn’t have means to assist a player, should not mean the same stays true today. Just about any major RPG I can think of has scalable difficulty. Hell, I think its a good thing when folks can change that difficulty on the fly as they need to. If Atlus needs to tweak some difficulties it sure as heck does not make them any less of a company. Nor does it make a gamer who chooses for whatever reason to play on easy or normal any less of a person than the gamer who plays everything at the ultimate level.

            Trophies, personal accomplishment or the love an admiration of gamers everywhere are perfectly acceptable goals, but no less acceptable than wanting to complete a game in between feeding their child, or getting to work. ‘Back in the day’ I was proud that I was first in a pretty serious gaming circle to max out at lvl 100 on the original Phantasy Star Online. But at the end of that day, that and a buck still only got me a non-Sunday edition of my daily newspaper.

          • If I want a challenge I’ll go to work. When I’m home gaming, I want to relax. When you’re all growns up maybe you’ll understand what that’s like little kid.

          • Oh, cut it out with your retarded posturing.

        • malek86

          Well, I guess as long as they don’t touch the difficulty in settings other than Easy, it should be okay.

          But I’ve got a feeling they’ll touch the difficulty in settings other than Easy. Like, it will probably be a whole rebalancing.

          Admittedly that would be a bit annoying.

          • Where would you get that feeling from? Where did they even hint at such a thing?

          • malek86

            I’ll just call it a gut feeling.

        • Aoshi00

          Why are you comparing people who complained about the “hardcore mode” of Dead Space 2 being too hard and the “easy mode” of Catherine being too hard? If people find DS2’s hardcore mode being too hard, they have the “option” to play it on an easier setting. Now Catherine’s supposedly easy setting is too hard for most, what setting can they switch to? None, that’s why the game is being patched.

          When I was younger I could play games all day, but after coming back from work at 8pm on a weekday, sometime I’m too tired to play, maybe I would play 30 mins or something if I feel like it, just to relax (maybe some people need to deal w/ a 2nd job, grad school, family and kids, etc, gaming is a hobby to relax). If a game does not have save or password, do you need to be pressured to set aside hours on a weekend to finish a game from beginning to end in one setting. I knew there were games w/o saves. I played Castlevania and Ninja Gaiden on the NES, it was fun but pretty dang hard, do I still want to play those types of games today to punish myself? Not really, I won’t have time and have better games to play. Maybe my reflex isn’t even as good as when I was a kid anyway.

          I don’t know why you keep whining either, let people play the mode that is more suitable to their level, and you could shoot for the harder modes, that way the game is accessible to anyone. Just like Bayonetta could be as easy as you want, or as tough as nail as you want it to be. Normal was hard for me but I stick w/ it. Does the fact that having an easy mode make you enjoy the game any less? You sound like unless games should be stripped of all modes other than hardcore in order for it to be fun. Well, maybe it’s fun for you, but it’s not fun for everyone. Chip away, sure I have many games that I would like to do that, Last Story took me several weeks to finish at 43 hours (and that’s fast for me, usually it’s hard for me to beat any game or it would take very long). If it were back then when I was a teenager I could’ve finished it in days. And I have Gyakuten Kenji 2 to play as well.. so I definitely don’t want to be stuck in Catherine for very long, dying 5 to 10, or 15 times could be fun, not endlessly like 40 times.

      • malek86

        Rest of SMT players are probably complaining that they can’t use Sukukaja to make Vincent faster and break the game.

        I’m not sure the RPG crowd is used to playing games like this. Especially the turn based crowd. If anything, it might actually be the opposite.

    • How would you even slightly come to that kind of conclusion? This will either only effect easy mode or perhaps they’ll add an even easier mode to the game. No where in Atlus’ post did they say they’d be touching Normal or Hard.

  • FireCouch

    That’s pretty lame, actually.

  • aw comon the game wasn’t that hard hell i had quite a smooth time

    • HarryHodd

      Have you played the full game? I like hard games and the demo I thought was easy.

      • mirumu

        I thought the demo was hard until I got used the controls, the block-types, and properly figured out what I was meant to be doing. Once the controls started becoming muscle memory it seemed pretty easy.

      • yea been paying my friends for a while couldn’t understand a thing since it was in jap so i was more focused on the block puzzles, maybe thats why i had an easy time?

    • I know, it was strange, i felt like, all the experience i gained after all these years of moving blocks in rpgs were being used to its max. level, I almost knew just by feeling, reflexes where to move the blocks so i could go up xD

  • it’s ball busting hard even on easy?


    • Testsubject909

      YES! There, ladies and gentleman. There’s a real Manly Man! And I don’t care if you’re a woman, you’ve got BALLS!

  • FX102A

    Maybe its because I’m just not into the whole puzzle aspect, but when I watched an video of the gameplay it didn’t seem like my kinda game.

    Each to their own I guess.

  • Code

    Honestly I didn’t find the demo too hard, but it was the demo after all. Still I could definitely see the game potentially being much harder, and definitely some areas being obscenely tight if balancing wasn’t handled well. I like the idea of wanting to give players a rush of the narrowly winning the nightmares; so hopefully they don’t cut it too easy and take away from that experience.

  • Please don’t let the difficulty be neutered when this gets localized. I WANT to have to actually struggle in the nightmare scenes. They’re nightmares! They’re supposed to get you panicked.

    • There are harder difficulties for that though. If a game that emphasizes progression/story is too difficult even on the Easy difficulty, it’s just badly designed. They’re addressing that. :p

      • M’iau M’iaut

        Yes, especially considering this is a game that is likely getting folks picking it up who know little of a 2D/3D actioner. Folks buying it because of the Persona tie in and to see what Atlus may be able to pull off with P5. You don’t want to harm sales of a flagship because of an experience that can be managed by Atlus.

  • a game shouldnt be hard on easy mode to be honest loool thats the whole point of easy mode

    • puchinri

      I really liked the difficulty on easy mode even, but that’s true, the game shouldn’t be that painful to play on easy. Then again, it’s an Atlus game, so I pretty much expect it of them at this point in time.p

  • kupomogli

    Noobs. What next. Regenerating health(ala Call of Duty) on Resident Evil 6. Remember when games were legitimately difficult(not cheap) and provided a challenge? I wonder if these people do.

    • We’re not sure which part of the audience is complaining, but if Atlus is taking this seriously, probably a significant amount of complaints reached their ears.

      Just pray that they don’t change anything and just add an “auto-play” option for those who want it

      • kupomogli

        That’s why I don’t think they should make it easier. Trophies/achievements were made for this gen and it’s already easy enough.

        Maybe if developers made it so achievements weren’t available unless you atleast played the non super easy mode it’d be better, but we all know most developers are too lazy to do that. I remember on Unreal Tournament 3 if mutators were used, all trophies were dsiabled during the match.

        • Aoshi00

          But like Bayonetta, you dont even get achievement for finishing any stage unless it’s normal or above.. so for those who are not used to action games chaining combo like DMC, easy mode could be helpful and ease people in.

    • There are harder difficulties for that sort of thing. Catherine’s a game whose focus falls squarely on telling a story. Not everyone wants to spend two hours on a stage due to dying/retrying just to know what happens next. There are many, many people complaining that the game is too difficult. I think they would know better than someone that hasn’t even played it.

  • Darren M

    Kind of disappointing that this is already out in Japan and hasn’t even been announced yet for a release here, though we all know it’s coming. Atlus’ localization team has (as far as we know) been doing absolutely nothing for the past 6~ months aside from Radiant Historia, and we’ve been getting very little outside of ports and extremely un-Atlus games the past year. Guess I just kind of assumed they’ve been working on this one for awhile and planned a near-simultaneous release or something.

    Atlus has been really disappointing lately, and I don’t understand why. Like they’re starting to abandon what made them what they were.

    • I know how you feel, let’s just hope this is only our imaginations, nothing serious and that will be over soon

      • Yup yup just think positive and wait for Neptunia/AT3/Yakuza4 and you’ll never notice time has passed and Atlus has already announced Catherine.

        • Oh shoot Yakuza 4 is on the way too…damn need so much more money >-<

          • Don’t rub it in ;___; Money, where art thou?

        • PurpleDoom

          Where did they announce that the game was coming over? Some quick research on my part didn’t reveal anything of the sort.

          I still think that this game doesn’t have an 100% chance of localization like everyone’s saying (not that I wouldn’t like to see it localized.)

          Edit: Oh, whoops, misread your sentence a little – I thought you said that they had already announced it. Sorry for the misunderstanding!

          • They haven’t, Ashgail is only talking positively :P, yes, i too think that there is no 100% chances, but all we can do is freaking wait…

          • It’s their first next Generation game, with innovative ideas, awesome graphics and a super cast of voice actors, I’m fairly sure they want to let the whole world know of that. If not I’m very disappoint. :P

          • PurpleDoom

            @Raioh: Even so, the game is exceedingly niche – a mostly plot-driven game with sort of puzzle-like action segments (from what I understand, anyway) is not an enticing proposition to most Western gamers (excluding the Siliconera community, naturally.) A great cast of seiyuu doesn’t necessarily translate into a great Western cast, either. I’m not trying to be pessimistic or anything, but I think that the amount of assumption that I see regarding this game’s localization is a little on the dangerous side.

            @WildArms: Yeah, we can only wait and see. I’m hoping for something soon, as Atlus doesn’t seem to typically announce US releases until after the JP release.

          • @PurpleDoom:
            Hmm, true enough I can’t argue with that. Though, I still have the feeling that they planned on localizing this from the beginning, it seems to much of a work for just one country, but that’s just my Newtype sense so can’t say for sure. xd

          • PurpleDoom

            @Raioh: Let’s hope so! As the one of the above commenters pointed out, it doesn’t seem like their localization team has been doing much for a while, so perhaps they’ll announce some new projects soon.

    • PurpleDoom

      From what I’ve noticed, anyhow, Atlus’ localization announcements usually don’t come until after the Japanese release. If they’re doing it, we should hear about within the next couple of months.


    welcome to the era of baby gamers.


    • Not everyone is a hardcore gamer. Be tolerant of others’ playing styles.

  • darkfox1

    i seen a guy on jtv beat this game with no problems

  • Dear Atlus

    Don’t listen to these maniacs telling you to not lower the difficulty when it comes to the west. We already have Demon Souls give us our humilating ass-kickings time after time. But Catherine has a story that I want to enjoy and I don’t want it to have my enjoyment lessened by being fustrated time after time because of high difficulty.

    Instead, just give a patch that adds a new difficulty so that the hardcore can get their fill while the rest of us can have a managable gaming expereince.

    • Aoshi00

      Ditto and well said :) Funny some reviews did liken Catherine’s difficulty to Demon Souls. It might very well be challenging/frustrating/fun, but it’s not for everyone. I play a lot of games, but I don’t have god like reflexes, I’m probably getting worse as I grow older (not to mention time constraint), but I still want to see thru Vincent’s plight.. Just give a patch to the normal folks who want to see cool story to the end, to the more hardcore, play on normal or hard. People have to remember, this game is aimed at working adults for the most part, at least they’re part of the audience anyway, some people don’t play games all day and get discouraged if you die 40-50 times every stage..

      I’m really glad they’re addressing this concern to the original ver, sometimes the problem a game being too easy or hard is not fixed until is being localized for the US. All people asking is just a more “reasonable” range of difficulty. I was a bit worried I couldn’t finish the game if it’s too hard because I bought both ver :)

    • mirumu

      I agree that it should be possible to satisfy everyone here. Surely this is what difficulty settings are for after all.

      • Testsubject909

        increasing the variety of difficulty is truly a better choice then just downgrading everything in one fell swoop.

    • SomeMist

      I liked this post because I love hard games, but to be honest the asian version of demon’s souls was more difficult. That was until they patched it when the US localization was released. Originally phalanx only affected the world tendency in world 1 as opposed to affecting all 5 worlds :0

  • Aoshi00

    @ChrisTaran: How do you like the game, is easy mode as hard and unforgiving as everyone said? Too bad my copy didn’t reach me in time (again went cheap and didn’t use UPS lol).. it’s okay, gave me time to finish FF13 Int’l and Last Story anyway..

    This patch is very welcome though if even easy mode is hair-pulling and controller-throwing hard..

    • Kamion

      I play on normal and I’m fine. It IS hard though, especially the scoring. The only Stage I ever got gold in was 1-1. That’s it. Silver in 2-1 and 2-2 after a lot of retries… I really can’t see what I could do better.

      Apart from that… yes the game is hard, and probably even hard on easy… but hair-pulling and controller-throwing? Nah… normally it’s a few retries per stage (and there are enough Pillows in hard places) and for very hard ones you might just use up all your retries once and only get it once you reload. Those are the frustrating ones.

      I’m on 6-2 and there have been two stages like this.

      • Aoshi00

        Thanks, I only got silver and bronze from the demo and I thought I was going up pretty fast, so I know getting better trophies is not easy feat.

        I heard the stages before stage 7 were hard, but those that came after that, forget it, the difficulty ramps up yet again and that’s where most people hit a roadblock. I suppose I tend to agree w/ them since I’m not very good at puzzles myself either (like Echochrome was way too hard for me). And the blocks falling and other obstacles doesn’t really even give you time to think things thru. Hopefully I’d manage, but I’m really glad they listen to the fans and address this concern since they mislabeled the “easy mode”. Usually the original Jpn release has unbalanced difficulty w/ the game being either too easy or too hard, and that problem is not fixed until later in the US ver, and the Jpn gamers (or those of us who import day 1) get screwed and are stuck w/ their imperfect copy. I bought it for both PS3 and 360, that’s why hearing from 90% of the gamers saying it’s hard it had me worried a bit. I just want to experience the different endings at ease at least for my replays. It’s like Last Story, in new game plus
        you pawn the small fries w/ the level and weapons carried over from the ending, but the bosses are adjusted to be much harder, I thought the game’s difficulty was very balanced.

    • Personally, I find “easy” to be hair pullingly hard. I do know people who didn’t have a ton of trouble getting through it, but I’d say they were the exception. Most that I’ve talked to agree that its an exercise in frustration.

      I’ve only gotten to the 6th day, so I may just hold off until this patch comes up. Might be better for my blood pressure!

      Edit: One thing everyone who’s played the game can agree with though: the ice blocks are nothing but pure evil :)

      • Aoshi00

        Wow, thanks Chris, hope you’re enjoying the game despite its crazy difficulty. The Heart monster boss looks ugly (like a butt lol). I heard all hell breaks loose at stage 7 or after, maybe I would wait for a patch too, or at least wait for a patch for replay (I got both PS3 and 360), I think I would get my game tmw or something, today’s President’s Day :(.. I know it’s pretty bad for the heart, if I want to feel stress I wouldn’t be playing games anyway :)

        • I wouldn’t want to completely discourage anyone from playing the game, I think you just need to go in to it with the knowledge that the demo was a pure cake walk compared to what you’ll face in the actual game.

          Since I have the day off for President’s Day, I’m sure I’ll pop it in at some point and see if I can’t make some progress.

          I do want to be clear on this though, I absolutely love every other part of the game. The story, the bar segments, the confessional questions, the art and voice work, it’s all amazing. And if the puzzles weren’t quite so stressful, I’m sure I’d love those too.

          Even if I do finish the game before the patch (somehow) I have a feeling I’ll be playing through it at least a couple times more to try and see more of the endings. So will be nice if the patch makes that less of an ordeal :)

          • Aoshi00

            Thanks again, those were pretty much the impression I’ve read too. People kept saying the demo was easy (I was ok w/ it too, I thought I just got lucky sometimes because I didnt have much time to think and just thought of going up and up and at least grabbing that pillow), but for those who’ve played both the demo and the actual game, the problem is the main game is nothing like the demo and much much harder, on easy mode, and that you have to be prepared for the worst to come.Everyone also liked the presentation of the game, just that the puzzles were too hard like you said (some stuck in a stage for hours and get see what happens next in the story) and that the loading time for re-tries isn’t exactly short either. I can’t wait for the game and very interested in the e-mails and the confession booths, seems like major decisions, and that you can see what your fellow gamers/sheeps think :) I read that a guy found it amusing 90% of the people answered “yes” to the question if “You think you’re perverted” lol.. and how you answer things affect the state of Vincent’s mind and his stat.. and the drinks in the bar.. much appreciate Atlus for not making the game for sadists only :)

          • I just wanna say, even though I agree that they messed up with the difficulty scaling big time, I don’t think the nightmare puzzles are poorly designed at all. I really enjoy them. But you definitely have to understand the physics of the blocks to get through them.

            I’m at 7-2 right now, and I haven’t died too often, when I did I felt it was my own fault. Have you been keeping up with those advanced tutorial vids the sheepmen tend to give you? they’re really useful.

          • I never miss a tutorial. I’m on 7-1 now myself. One of my issues might be the whole “timer stress” that comes with the limited time you have to work through a puzzle, especially on the boss stages.

            From what I’ve seen of some playthrough videos, some of the stages actually looked easier to me on Hard than on Easy. As in there were more choices for block moving (less unmovable blocks for one thing).

            The controls can feel a little janky too. Particularly if (god forbid) you end up on the backside of the blocks. The controls are almost unusable there.

  • malek86

    If even Atlus fans are complaining about the difficulty, I guess this game must be really hard.

  • A patch to make the game easier? Stop being casual people.

  • [The Hunter] Doomrider

    Facilitating people’s fun, are we Atlus? What a shameful thing to do.

    • PurpleDoom

      Uh, if a lot of people are complaining about the game’s difficulty, I think it’s safe to assume that a lot of people aren’t having fun. I support this decision so long as the original difficulty is retained as well.

      • [The Hunter] Doomrider

        ….. I was kidding ;_;

        • PurpleDoom

          Oops! Sorry.

        • Aoshi00

          That’s why I liked both of your comments lol :)

  • cmurph666

    I want them to make the game so hard that when I die in game, I die in real life.

    • So really your waiting for a Death Note video game for the consoles.

      • No, he’s waiting for a real-life .hack game.

        • Guest

          No a real life Inception game

  • heartless141

    imo in that case they only need to fix the easy mode. leave the hard and may be even normal alone.

  • IceRomancer

    I just hope they keep the original difficulty too if they do decide to bring the easy patch to the west.

    • Aoshi00

      But why wouldn’t they, nobody really complained about the simple mode in MvC3, or its range of difficulty from very easy to very hard, people who are not used to fighting games could choose, just like people who are not good at puzzle games have an option, or Ouedan rhythm games, etc. That’s the whole point of difficulty setting, so that the game can be completed by everyone instead of just the hardcore gamers.

      Right now the supposed “easy” setting is “very hard”.. that’s why it needs patching. I’m pretty sure it would still be pretty hard getting gold trophies for all stages for those who need a challenge or need time attack..

      I just don’t understand people’s concern, even Mario Kart has mushroom/flower/star/ in 50cc, 100cc, 150 cc, I guess right now people are saying Catherine’s 50cc is like 150cc? I don’t like games that are too easy, but I don’t like games that are too hard either, a game doesn’t need to be extreme to satisfy only a small segment of people. Right now the word going around is this game is HARD on easy, even from regular to above average gamers.

  • BadenBadenPrinny

    Please don’t, make this game easier, rage is tasty

  • TomSkylark

    I’m not quite sure what to make of the comments below that basically amount to “You aren’t a REAL gamer unless your hobby is more monotonously frustrating than your job.” Call me crazy, but there’s a difference between challenge and throw-the-controller frustration, and it sounds like the devs are here acknowledging the possibility that “Catherine” currently leans towards the latter, and not the former. “Demon’s Souls” tells me that they probably know the difference. And as others point out, this is what scalable difficulty levels–that really basic part of game design–are for.

    Furthermore, if my thinking that the positive affects I experience during my hobby should outweigh the negative ones marks me as “less than hardcore” or some similar snobbery–even after playing video games for the past 24 years–then frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

    • There’s always a fine balance between hard and unfair. For me, I find FFX is a good example. It’s challenging to dodge lightning bolts 5 times. It’s unfair being asked to dodge 100 lightning bolts.

      Games should punish you for being unskilled, not for being unlucky and although mistakes should be punished, single mistakes shouldn’t doom you.

      Things like Ready Steady Go on Ouendan where you can fail without getting a single miss. The unblockable moves in Ninja Gaiden that take off 3/4 of an energy bar (they’re usually well telegraphed but there’s always a small chance you’ll fluff up the dodge, especially when you’re expected to dodge them 10 times in a single boss battle). Doing an amazing lap on the GT1 A-international final test then failing on the last corner because you went a tiny fraction onto the grass. Not playing the Ocarina on Lunar SSSC (after one of the longest, toughest boss battles around they pull something like that?)

      All of these things are controller chucking moments. I used to to let myself get incredibly frustrated with games, almost to the point of blind rage when I was younger. Now I’m older and getting that angry could result in doing a lot of damage to my health or any number of easily breakable expensive objects near me, I simply don’t let myself play games I feel cross the line between challenging and unfair.

      It’s one of the things that has made me really disappointed with Catherine. The story sounds really interesting and looks to have a far more mature look at relationships than you get in most games (Eastern or Western). However I don’t want to be watching the same 10 minute long cutscene 30 times because of an unforgiving puzzle.

  • I think a lot of the complaining comes from casual gamers who only want to experience the “service.” Casuals are surely overthrowing the others. I’m pretty sure Catherine made some new fans(a lot of new fans) who aren’t really in it for the gameplay, and they only have one goal in mind. That’s my two cents on it.

    • PurpleDoom

      Nah, I don’t think that’s it. Would a casual player even bother to go so far as complain to the developer about the difficulty, rather than growing frustrated with the title and trading it in? I think it’s quite likely that the game is simply unbalanced, that gamers complained about it, and that Atlus saw their point and decided to modify it. I doubt it’s going to make Hard mode easy or anything like that.

  • Pichi

    I heard that the only difference in Easy mode was the undo button. Other than that, it was like the normal mode? In that case, the patch is understandable. Make the Easy mode actually easy.

    • Kamion

      Nope, layouts are a bit different, too.

  • The only issue I have with most of the people complaining that people who can’t handle difficulty are wusses is the fact that this is EASY mode. You know, the mode for wusses, or casual gamers, or people like me who would prefer not to get killed on the same stage for 2 hours straight.

    I honestly don’t care if everyone wants to play hard mode instead, but if the complaint is aimed at the fact that the demo (which only had easy mode) was too hard, there probably is a balancing issue.

  • PrinceHeir

    they can always add a “very easy” option :P

    this needs to be localized :D

  • Kamion

    I’m playing it on normal and I don’t think it’s too hard… Sure I had to retry a few times and I’m currently stuck a bit in 6-2, but nothing too bad.

    What really IS hard is the scoring. I rarely, if ever, get anything better than bronze, despite going through the level REALLY fast with all coins collected I can see and a high climbing chain.

  • Souji Tendou

    I have finished the game, and I have to tell you guys, the latter stages in EASY difficulty is anything but easy. Seriously, the Undo button offers a little help. If you screwed up most of your steps (moving the blocks) then well….. you’re screwed. Might just retry/redo the stage all over again. >_>

    Not to forget, they limits the number of retries (seriously, is this the 90’s era?) and you can’t spend too much thinking to solve the puzzles (because the blocks keeps falling). <_<

  • kyuketsukimiyu

    I would be shocked if the patch suddenly made the game so easy that it no longer seemed like a challenge. Chances are that anybody looking for a hellishly difficult game will have no problems finding it in Catherine, especially if you play at a high difficulty. Having a range of difficulties that actually function as a gradient of difficulty is not something anyone should be upset by. Heaven forbid that a game be accessible to a variety of different players.

  • I want to say that a game can be challenging and even super hard without being frustrating and stressful. I absolutely loved Super Meat Boy, a game no one would mistake as anything but crazy hard. But I never found that game frustrating while playing it. They managed to balance difficulty without invoking the need for blood pressure medication. At least for me.

    That is something Atlus can learn from.

  • What? WHAT? This is an Atlus game people! Has every single major game they’ve released taught you nothing? It isn’t an Atlus game if it doesn’t make you curl up in a fetal position and cry softly into your drinks. These people want to make it easy?

  • Jirin

    No! No! Bad Atlus!

    Hopefully they leave in the option to choose the original difficulty. I don’t mind if an easier difficulty level exists, I just want to play the original one.

  • Rafa_Zetafius

    I hope they just add new difficulty below easy mode

    > Baby Difficulty
    > Prinny Difficulty (Given 1000 pillow to retry at the start)

  • Rafa_Zetafius

    I hope they just add new difficulty below easy mode

    > Baby Difficulty
    > Prinny Difficulty (Given 1000 pillow to retry at the start)

    (Finally, created Disqus account rather than using F.connect)

  • Guest

    They should’ve thought about this response from gamers, BEFORE they released the game.

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