Catherine Patch Softens Game With An Assist Option And Relaxed Retry Limit

By Spencer . March 4, 2011 . 1:55am

catdAtlus is working on a patch to make Catherine’s difficulty less of a nightmare. Easy mode has been made considerably easier and players will get a new assist option to help them complete the game. Director Katsura Hashino also changed the retry limit for easy and normal modes. In an Atlus blog post, Hashino says the patch relaxes the limit.


Want to retain the challenge? With the exception of few parts, players can revert the game to its original pre-patch form.


A release date for the patch has not been announced, but Atlus is preparing it for release. Hashino apologized for the lack of content in this patch. He says he wants to release the patch as quickly as possible so the team only added a minimal amount of content. But, Hashino has heard fan requests for an event scene viewer and responded to those comments with a ";)" (a winking emoticon).

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  • “Want to retain the challenge? With the exception of few parts, players can revert the game to its original pre-patch form.”

    There we go. Everyone’s happy. This is what developers should do more often, offering a compromise to suit everyone’s taste.

    • Aoshi00

      The easy mode was hair pulling hard for me for the first time and I died a heck of a lot, in retrospect it wasn’t too bad other than some stages (normal ramps up the difficulty even more) because I knew what to expect and learn the boss patterns and I wasn’t as scared, letting you “rewind” back several steps to do it over and picking up (or purchasing) some items helped a lot too, it’s actually a bit of cheating.. and I did try my best to snatch the pillows for more retries.. but if the patch came out soon enough I probably would’ve used it to save the aggravation. I’m replaying the game to get the Catherine endings now.. I guess stage 6 & up it’s still pretty hard..

      The thing is if they could’ve just balanced the placement of “check points” it would’ve saved a lot of frustration. Some stages are very long and you get a checkpoint 1/6 or 1/5 of the way, then there’s no more for the rest, so once you mess it up you start from near beginning, why not place 2 more checkpoints thruout the stage? If they don’t want to be generous w/ chkpoints, then it should be placed right in the middle anyway.. The assist is kind of cool like Mario’s or Donkey Kong Super Guide I guess, handy in case you’re really really stuck..

      It’s cool they let you turn off the patch.. I kind of considered Lost Odyssey’s first accessory DLC game-breaking, it totally made the bosses easy by you dodging most of the attack automatically, before the patch I actually died quite a few times in Lost Odyssey, but it was fun figuring out how to beat the bosses..

      I think most people who want to complete the game have alrdy done so though by toughing it out.. I can’t imagine many really giving up because the story was just so interesting..

      Event scene viewer mode would be very appreciated so you could watch your favorite cutscenes at any time, even though there are 12 save slots aldy which is not bad.. unlike Xenoblade which has 3, really? They think people only wanted 3 save slots over 100 hours of gameplay, so many cutscenes just scream to be revisited (Last Story had 16, but still not enough for me, I have like 100 saves for FF13, I know the dialogue was stupid but still :), even Layton could unlock movies once you beat the game w/ enough picarats. All games should have a theater mode I don’t know why they don’t do it..

      • kyuketsukimiyu

        I totally agree about the checkpoint thing. They are often put ridiculously low, and it was often worth it to redo the level from the beginning to either grab a retry or to grab a point bonus.
        I am so ridiculously close to the end of my first play (damn you work!) on normal, and the hardest stage for me was 6-3, the one where the blocks fall at an accelerated rate. Ugh. When I go through the game again on easy, I wonder if I will have the same problem.

        • OneOkami

          I also agree with the poor placement of the checkpoints. But at the same time, I often found that even if the checkpoint was hard to get to, there was a pillow placed somewhere along the way that WAS easy (and thus reliable) to get to, giving you practically infinite retries. That balanced it out for me.

          • solid278

            To echo previous sentiment: I found the game to be way too difficult on easy, something that could have been partially avoided by a more liberal usage of checkpoints. I was drawn to the end by the story, which I personally found severely lacking in the end… that is to say, it was good, but nowhere near worth the frustration.
            I consider myself to be rather decently skilled at games, and I think it’s merely a matter of some people grasp the gameplay easier than others. I struggled with it till the end, and abused the undo system (particularly to randomly spawn trampoline blocks in the last stretch, and cancel boss attacks :p).

          • Aoshi00

            Really? I thought it was so engrossing down to the last second.. It was very adult and I loved my happy ending, I didn’t want to have an ending like the Thomas Jane movie “Dark Country”, that was scary.. For me it was worth the effort because I got my perfect ending the first time (True Kat ending :), and I liked the other endings too.. and it has 8 endings, so I’m sure people would at least like one of them?

            I didn’t even start using the undo/rewind button until the last stage because the random elements were so cheap, and the trampoline spawning was a ton of help.. but replaying the last boss stage again felt easy though when I get 3 more endings since I attained the skills alrdy and didn’t have the anxiety to “finish the game” (before I was worried I couldn’t finish it, the final stage I died so many times I had to go to sleep, and couldn’t finish it until the next morning when I was more calm, sometimes you need to take a break). I think stages 6-9 are still pretty hard, but I would definitely get the other 4 endings.. yesterday I still died quite a few times at the chainsaws..

            Loved the game though, ordered the OST and I’m glad I got the pre-order sound disc.. NCSX went cheap and only gave me one CD though even though I bought both PS3 and 360 ver *.*… otherwise I was going to sell the extra disc to someone for $30… at least I got some post cards..

        • Aoshi00

          Exactly.. it’s like Sonic, each stage has 3 to 4 chkpoints spread out thruout the stage right? Imagine only having just 1 early on.. even though they are rings, items to pick up to boost you speed, earn 1-up, etc, chkpoint still helps you don’t need to start over from the beginning, there are quite a few cheap shots in Catherine because sometimes it does depend on luck.I just replayed 6-3 last night and beat the 6th boss, I kept messing it up when the blocks fell so fast too, but I kept abusing the rewind button until I pulled the blocks fast enough :) Once you beat the game and learned everything from the tutorials, replay should be fairly easy (I died a lot playing the last stages and almost got stuck, but getting 3 more endings was fairly quick), since the game does progress in a good pace in terms of increasing difficulty and introducing new obstacles and training player along the way. But yea, even grabbing the pillows is almost equal to infinite retries, I found the lack of checkpoint to be unbalanced. I thought that’s one of the easiest thing they could do in a patch..

    • Jirin

      Exactly. Just so long as the original game is left intact for those who want it, why complain? All games should have an easy mode and a hard mode.

    • PrinceHeir

      does this mean you can toggle this in the options menu?

      im really intrigued about the difficulty, the demo stages looks very hard not to mention i always love puzzle games ^^

      the story also keeps you motivated into finishing this game so that’s a plus :)

  • well yeah i guess so but then again there is still no reason why easy mode should be difficult defetes the whole point of easy mode lol

    • Aoshi00

      lol, that’s what was going thru my head on my first play, I was like “Easy? It’s f-ing hard, Easy my butt! I just died 30 times”.. some stages drove me bonkers, like I was so close to the top then one mistake back to near beginning.. I think the way it is, they should’ve named easy normal, and normal and hard as hard and very hard. Because it made people feel like noob when they get pawned on “easy”, the supposed easiest difficulty.

      The demo though was really easy looking back.. but getting good and used to the puzzles is pretty satisfying at the end…

  • I doubt I would be playing on easy mode, unless there is some trophy for it. That being said, I guess we will have this included on disc on day 1 for the release in CONUS.

    • Exkaiser

      Why do you hate Hawaii and Alaska, man? They’re part of the US, too. ;_;

      • Aoshi00

        He hates Japan (for getting games first), Europe (for getting the occasional LE), and the other 2 states (for being more out of the way) :(..

    • urbanscholar

      I agree with this guy, hmm that avatar you’re using looks familiar. I’m sure I see it on another forum I frequent.

      • Its such an awesome avy, that I use it on every site Im a part of, lololol. Love it to deaths! lol.

        • [The Hunter] Doomrider

          Your avatar on GAF is different, though! Did someone change it for you?=P

          Edit: Oh! No it isn’t! Not anymore.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Until next week when you change all your avatars again.

    • Aoshi00

      Once again, Hawaiians and Alaskans, aka Americans, can also order from Amazon on day 1 if they like, so this is not only available to the people in the so called CONUS, Amazon just doesn’t ship to PO boxes. Does the word CONUS sound smarter or something?

      The stage clearing trophies are not difficulty related (unlike Bayonetta, you don’t get trophies for finishing on anything less than normal), just the in-game prizes (bronze silver gold) unlocking the Babel tower/leaderboard, getting gold is extremely hard even on easy because it requires you to pick up almost all coins along the way and make it to the top in on breath w/o stopping pretty much, chaining your score like a shmup.

  • I like my Atlus games excruciatingly hard and annoying. I’ll be reverting back to pre-patch form.

    • [The Hunter] Doomrider

      I, too love annoying games. They’re the best. I love them so much that I kinda wish Atlus made a patch that makes the game so hard and annoying that, each time I fail a puzzle, my PS3 grows arms and legs, grabs my head and smashes it against a wall. Vigorously.

      Hmmm, so good.

      • Ren

        That’s called masochism. Congratulations, you have a fetish.

        • [The Hunter] Doomrider

          That’s how I roll, baby!

    • Good for you… Atlus has to somehow cater for everyone

  • As someone who was angry that Atlus were going to soften the game up, I’m very happy to see that they’re including the option to play the game in its original difficulty. Thank you, Atlus. I’ve already said earlier this week that this is a first day purchase for me.

  • malek86

    “Want to retain the challenge? With the exception of few parts, players can revert the game to its original pre-patch form.”

    Mmmh… and these few parts are?

    “Director Katsura Hashino also changed the retry limit for easy and normal modes.”

    Aha! I knew it, that they wouldn’t have touched the Easy mode alone. My gut feelings always end up true. You can start praising me, by the way.

    • Whatever, dude. what an inconsequential thing to latch on to.

      the Retry system was broken. They fixed it.

    • Mmmh… I don’t know. Hashino did not mention any specific changes. If he did we would have listed them.

  • OneOkami

    I finished the game yesterday (on Easy) and I’m honestly surprised by all the complaints. While Easy mode certainly wasn’t “Easy” (I consider it what “Normal” should be), I didn’t find it especially challenging compared to a lot of Atlus games (especially SMT games) where the difficulty generally feels bloated.

    The only two games in recent memory that I found to actually have truly “Easy” modes were Persona 3 Portable and Trauma Team. Atlus games are generally challenging (at least in my experience) and Catherine’s difficulty didn’t feel out of the ordinary.

    All that being said, I can honestly say that after struggling on Stage 2, I got the hang of game, especially applying the various techniques you’re taught periodically and hit a fairly smooth stride all the way to the end of the game. In fact, most of the final stages of the game were some of the easiest for me to complete (using fewer mulligans/retries than earlier stages and completing them rather quickly).

    I honestly felt that my struggles were almost entirely dependent on my problem solving skills. Like I said, I learned how to apply the techniques and hit a fairly smooth stride all the way to the end. The game does throw you some curveballs (and admittedly some of the cheap or flawed such as turning the camera towards the boss so you can’t see where you’re going, or the fact that you’re pretty much SOL when trying to maneuver behind stage where the camera won’t bother to follow), but if you’re truly skilled with the techniques for creating paths for yourself, they’ll only be mild hindrances. On top of that, I found the number of mulligans you’re allowed to be quite generous.

    I played the game at a leisurely pace (on average one full stage a day), and I can confidently say if I wanted to/had the time, I could’ve beaten this game in 3-4 days. It was not so hard for me that I felt a patch to ease it up was necessary.

    • I’m with you on this. I didn’t find the game that difficult.

      The retry system is really fucking stupid, though.

    • It’s possible that long time fans who are used to RPGs are simply having trouble reworking their minds to do a puzzle game. Still seems like an irritation for Atlus to need to make a game easier.

    • Aoshi00

      It was really hard for me at first even though the tutorials were really helpful, and again the checkpoints was unbalanced despite the items along the way (Sonic didn’t give you only 1 check point).. I really didn’t fully grasp all the mechanics and learned to combine them until I beat the game and on my 2nd replay, and replaying the boss to get the different endings. W/ practice and memorization the game definitely gets easier. Normal is still hard though, I tried playing the heart boss on normal and it was much harder and I still died a lot (a lot more spike traps).I think the view that easy is hard is certainly valid, it doesn’t mean those who felt the game is hard are noobs, I don’t play a lot of puzzle games anyway and the constant pressure makes it hard to stay calm, and dying when you’re so close to the end and needing to start over added frustration. And you panic when you can’t see where you’re going (the direction changes when you hold onto the blocks from the other side and you don’t get a full 360 degree view). And w/o the rewind/turn back btn, I certainly would’ve died a lot more w/o the 2nd chances.I finished the game in 5-6 days as well, because I was only able to finish one stage and bar sequences per night, there were lots of things to do and people to talk to, I just let it slowly sink in, I love the mysterious and horror aspects of the story, found it really well done. I got 50% trophies so far..Rapunzel was hard though… you only get 3 credits per night and I only finished like 10 stages and that took a long time alrdy, finishing all 64 stages would be crazy and take forever, and the achievement is only 10 points, it should be worth at least 50..

      I didn’t think a patch is absolutely necessary either, just that “easy” was not easy to many, and the lack of check points was big biggest peeve despite the retries and other items, there were a couple of times I thought I couldn’t beat the game to see the ending, I just kept dying and dying.. It would be nice if they could give unlimited retries for Rapunzel, I do want to finish it..

      And of course the right way to play it is to complete the stages w/ gold and never let the score multiplier stop, I only managed to do it for the first stage on normal, hence unlocking the first stage of babel tower, couldn’t get on leaderboard yet…

  • I beat the game yesterday! Played on Easy and got mostly Bronze :-

  • Nice, now everyone no matter their game level can enjoy this great game!

    • Game level? What?!

      • Zero_Destiny

        You won the battle!!! Obtain 25 exp points. Da da da da da YOU level up!!! Learn new move troll busting!!! XD

        • Gained +10 points in trolling!!
          gained +10 points in google searcher!!
          Gained +0 points in everything else…

          • Zero_Destiny

            Ba da da da da da What’s that? You’re evolving!!!!

      • … You dont understand that either?

        Let’s say i beat your ass in Naruto Ninja storm 2, obviously, you are not in the same game level as i am.

        Of course, there are more people with “lower” game level, that havent played as much as others, or has as much experience as other, so you can hear their voice more (in the internet, etc) when things are too hard,…. i mean, when i played the demo i felt i was moving by myself without thinking much, like by instinct… I dont think this would be possible if it was thanks to all the games i’ve played

  • Zero_Destiny

    I hope Atlus uses the patched version for this game in their US release. Makes it easier for me (yeah I know I’m lazy, so what if I don’t want to login to PSN and patch it myself lol). Glad to see the game will be more playable for people like me with only decent reflexes. :D

  • YoungTeeth

    I hope they release the US game with it’s original and intended difficulty (with the option to download the patch separately). I love trial&error game-play and I especially love tension and stress in my puzzle games as well as action. The difficulty definitely fits the idea of a nightmare as well!

  • MisterDandylion

    The reason I love this game it’s because it’s not for pussies.

    I like a challenging game. I’m glad that Atlus is trying to satisfy both sides :)

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