The ESRB’s Take On Catherine: “Got rid of my V-card, BOOM”

By Ishaan . May 31, 2011 . 3:41am

We always assumed that the ESRB would have something interesting to say about Catherine when they eventually rated it, and they don’t disappoint. Unsurprisingly, the game has snagged an “M” rating, and we’re provided with an interesting glimpse of some of the dialogue and imagery present in the game:


Content descriptors: Blood, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol, Violence

Rating summary: This is a puzzle adventure game in which players assume the role of Vincent, a man with relationship issues that are manifested in his dreams. The game transitions between animated cutscenes and puzzle stages (i.e., nightmares); in the nightmare world, players must help Vincent ascend crumbling towers by pushing, pulling, and climbing blocks to reach an exit. If players make the wrong move, they can be killed by spike traps and giant boss creatures (e.g., a demon bride, a chainsaw-wielding baby); death scenes are accompanied by exaggerated splashes of blood as Vincent is stabbed, crushed, shot, or bitten.


During one cutscene, a character is stabbed in the stomach with a knife; a large pool of blood quickly forms under her body. In order to move faster in the puzzles stages, players can order Vincent alcoholic beverages (e.g., mixed cocktails, beer, sake, whiskey); after three drinks, he begins to stumble around when moving. These sequences are accompanied by voice-over narration: “It’s said that chugging alcohol isn’t good for you, but sometimes it’s necessary” and “[T]ake a big swig of cognac!” Throughout the game, sex and sexuality are frequently referenced, sometimes while two characters are in bed together (e.g., “I finally became a man! Got rid of my V-card, BOOM,” “If the one you loved confessed to a sexual habit that you found absolutely unacceptable, what would you do?” and “After all you’ve done to my body . . . Night after night . . .”).


One bedroom sequence pans across a man’s legs, then to his curling toes; another scene briefly depicts a woman caressing her body while making suggestive comments (e.g., “I’ve got such a hunger for these feelings . . . I know you have some hungers as well, don’t you?” ). The game also depicts the central character surrounded by topless female demons—though shadow effects obscure most details. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” can be heard in the dialogue.


Catherine is slated for a U.S. release on July 26th for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. You can find the latest English trailer here and localized screenshots here.

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  • Well, sounds pretty decent. ;) V-Card.. so that’s how they call it today.

  • Bite to death. Ouch Vincent. Interesting description.

  • “After all you’ve done to my body… night after night…”

    Don’t even wanna know.

    • AnimusVox

      Oh you do. You REALLY do.

  • All of the sudden, this just reminded me of the FCC’s V-chip, out of nowhere.  >_<

    I almost forgot to ask: did the eunuchs over at the ESRB slap this with an AO, given the collective ignorance and prude attitude of Americans, in general?

    • Kirbysuperstar2

      “Unsurprisingly, the game has snagged an “M” rating,”

    • Er, what article are you commenting on, considering this article is titled…The ESRB’s Take On Catherine: “Got rid of my V-card, BOOM”.

    • GVmanX

      Because everyone in America is obviously an ignorant prude.

      • AnimusVox

        You didn’t get the memo?

    • It’s America, not Australia.

    • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

      Only around 20 games have been given an AO rating and almost all of them were straight up pornography. So I don’t know where your basis for such a bold stereotype is coming from, but it doesn’t make much sense

      • Altritter

        He’s proven time and time again that he’s a hateful poster, and a lot of his comments are inane and don’t even make sense. Best to just ignore him.

        • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

          Ah, duly noted

    • blah blah

      ESRB is fairly good with going leniently on games now considering some games got AO ratings even though most of that was tame compared to ultra-violent ones now.
      Did you read it?

  • ..goes the dynamite?

    Got rid of his V-card, showed her his O-face.

    • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

      and then they did it A-Style

  • landlock

    America really needs a couple of extra ratings in there system when things like Ar Tonelico III get a 17+ Mature rating in America but only a 12+ in the UK you know something is wrong.

    Sounds like a fun game but I bet it’s pretty tame in the end. 

    • OneOkami

      I would say Catherine is overall pretty tame, especially regarding the sexual theme its known for.  God of War III and L.A. Noire just to throw out two quick names off the top of my head are more explicit than Catherine.

      I think probably the biggest reason Ar Tonelico III got an M rating was a a scene where the main character extracted an orb (IIRC) from one of the female characters. Lets just say they were uhh…a bit over the top with the vocalization of the action. :P

    • Subsenix

      They need a brain there

      Games like Gears of War get the “good for 5 year olds” and if you see a little bit of skin from something else than bald gorillas on roids it has to fight to not get banned.
      Im glad we in Europe handle this different > Violence is bad here.Our kids dont get rocket launchers for preschool

      • Games like Gears of War get the “good for 5 year olds” <– where in god's name did you pull that "fact" out from?
        And if you see a little bit of skin from something else than bald gorillas on roids it has to fight to not get banned. <– and that?

        • I don’t know if you’re able to review this commenter’s history, but this kind of nonsense is characteristic of virtually everything I’ve seen them post.

          • Darkrise

            Not really, not a day goes by that you don’t see/meet some ‘underage’ kid playing something like Gears of War, COD, Halo, etc… And yet nobody seems to care, including the media, hell, one of friends kid brother is only 9 and he plays COD and Halo all day long without his parents saying anything…
            Games showing a little skin would really apply more to games from Japan, you don’t really see much arguments or hate towards games from America that show skin like God of War, etc…

          • SolidusSnake

            I’m still baffled by the fact that the whole industry will rise up in defense of sex in a game like Mass Effect but any anime-styled game that even shows the smallest amount of skin will be instantly and unanimously condemned as “creepy pedophile sh**.” Just one of those things, I guess.

          • As an American, it was shocking to see a little skin and the girls doing what stuff in Ar Tonelico Qoga…just something about it, provocative but different. Then again, Im a massive fan of that anime Seikon no Qwaser so my feelings are conflicted…

            I think action is just glamorized here and every where and people are just desensitized to it. Its not like people can buy the game without being of age anyway, and I think the government praised the ESRB system and how retailers actually do obey.

          • I was talking about how I haven’t seen Subsenix make a comment that isn’t anti-American and/or rabid fanboy drivel. But the fact is, if nobody cared about minors playing games like Gears and CoD the games wouldn’t be given ‘M’ ratings. It’d be like back in the day when games went completely unrated. And remember, M and AO games are not like cigarettes and alcohol. It’s not illegal for minors to buy or play them. Just like it’s not illegal for minors to see an R/NC-17/unrated movie.

            I’ll give you some leeway on the media, as in general they don’t care. But certain media outlets helped perpetuate total falsehoods like Seung-Hui Cho being a CS expert and the Columbine shooters practicing on Doom levels meant to replicate their school. I hate to sound morbid, but wait until the next violent tragedy with a possible connection to gaming happens. Then violence in games will be back in the spotlight…until the next big controversy.

      • Gears of War is also rated “M”. I won’t deny that the U.S. tends to skew a little puritanical re: sex, but the number of games that have to “fight not to get banned” based on sexual content I could probably count on a fist.

      • SolidusSnake

        Yeah, dude, cuz everyone who played Doom or watched Predator as a kid turned into a mindless killer. Thank God for the Europeans and their enlightened ways!

      • It’s mostly the parents’ doing, not really the ESRB, that allow “5 year olds” to play mature rated games. There’s some parents who actually care about their children and pay attention to the ratings, while there’s some who doesn’t care because they know the game will distract them and get them out of their hair for awhile. I’m a mother of a 3 year old son (soon to be 4 in August) and all he plays at the moment is Mario/Donkey Kong games on the SNES. (And the New Mario game on the Wii when he visits his cousins each week.)

        • Reminds me when I went to gamestop to pick up my 3DS and an 8yr old or so was excited to buy a preowned copy of Modern Warfare 2, or how my younger cousin in elementary loves GTA series…

          • Yea, as someone that worked with selling of games, you see it all the time. Tho.. there are some stuff that my son likes that are mature rated, but we don’t let him play those games or watch for too long because we know it’s not made for him. lol, he LOVES zombies, so he watches his dad play L4D a few times, then grabs his water gun and pretend he’s fighting zombies in the bedroom. Or.. he’ll go and grab a water gun for someone else and fall to the ground, saying that he needs help or else the zombies will get him.

    • Seems to me around here, whenever violence and gore is involved, it’s nothing worth noting. But when a female exposes any part of her body, it’s apparently the worst thing ever.

      No seriously. Every cawadooty, halo, etc games I see, it’s inhabited by kids around the ages of 10-15. The media rarely brings things related to violence unless it takes it up to Manhunt’s level of violence. Yet, whenever nudity in a video game is involved, it’s a whole different story.

      • PrinceHeir

        sooo agree :p

        double standards i guess? 

  • SolidusSnake

    “If the one you loved confessed to a sexual habit that you found absolutely unacceptable, what would you do?”

    Get over your damn hang-ups and roll with it.

    • Ren

      Even if it was scat? Or having another guy do you while you two are doing it?

      • [The Hunter] Doomrider

        I don’t even.

        • Ren

          It happens.

          • [The Hunter] Doomrider

            Brazil must be a fascinating place.

          • gatotsu911

            Do you know what country 2G1C came from?

          • [The Hunter] Doomrider

            @gatotsu911:disqus  Mind blown, I didn’t even remember that =O

            Hey, you didn’t have anything to do with that, did you, Ren?

      • SolidusSnake

        Scat is more of a psychological disorder than a sexual fetish. I don’t go for the gay stuff, personally, but whatever floats your boat man.

        • Ren

          “Get over your damn hang-ups and roll with it.”

          • SolidusSnake

            I was being facetious, brosef. Of course if you wanna indulge in playing with feces, don’t let my disgust dissuade you. Just be sure to wash your hands afterwards, k?

          • Ren

            I was just testing the veracity of your claims, facetious or not. Seems like I succeeded.

            Oh, congratulations on avoiding the question with your rapier wit. Not many are that good at it in this place. Most of them simply derail the topic in hopes the question remains unanswered.

        • Tell that to the dude who directed 2 girls 1 cup.

      • It’s okay when it’s in a 3-way. It’s not gay when it’s in a 3-way.

  • Uhm, ok I mean you don’t have our Berlusconi’s BungaBunga tales, but man..
    I can’t really believe that people in america can be such a prude nowdays..
    Maybe it’s the day, maybe it’s because I’m me, but I can’t see how nowday someone would go all jaw-drop over some digital tits.. Heck even tits nowdays are common, or even worse you can see every now and then some wear-designs so over the top that they end up being even more “aggressive” then a nude itself…
    Oh well, all I care atm is catherine..
    Gimme, thanks

    • gatotsu911

      Wait, what? The game got an “M” rating for sexual themes and violence. How is that prudish? Games with gore and sex scenes, generally speaking, don’t get a family-friendly rating. Catherine didn’t even get the strongest content descriptors in either area. So, what exactly are you trying to say?

      • Regardless of the game rating, America is quite prudish friend.  We allow many violent games through, and block any that have a “nip-slip”.  I am American and have been so my entire life, I have lived in England for a time.  America = prudish.

        • gatotsu911

          Do tell me what games have been “blocked” in America for containing nudity? Last I heard there was an ESRB descriptor for that: “Nudity”. And it shows up on M-rated games.

          • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

            The ones that are straight up pornos

          • gatotsu911

            Exactly my point.

          • And even those aren’t blocked. They just get AO rating which means retail stores won’t carry them. Please, don’t tell more lies and make me defend the ESRB and their twisted puritan morality again.

          • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

            When did I lie?

          • Davoodi, I was agreeing with you. my comment was directed at the guy who said games have not been released in america due to ratings. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear enough.

          • Well it certainly is true that ratings in the U.S tend to come down on sexuality a bit harder than violence. In any case in Japan Catherine got a C on the CERO rating* while in America it gets the more restrictive M. That seems to happen a lot with good Japanese games like Persona3/4. I was amazed when I saw Devil Survivor only got a T rating in America**.

            *Basically for older teenagers if I understand correctly
            ** Probably because of more violence and less sexuality

        • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

          Is it possible to be American for only part of your life o_O?

          • Testsubject909

            It’s a possibility.

            Imagine a man, he wakes up every morning and since he was a kid, was thought to be proud of his country. When he grew up, he always wore his title as American with pride and always drew the flag up and whatnot.

            But one day he moved to another country and grew shameful of his heritage as he came to a world outside his own and learned more of what the world had to offer. He looked unto the stupidity of the president they had voted for at the time (Bush) and took on a new identity as a Canuck.

            Met a guy once, he said he used to be an American but was no longer and said he chose to be a Canadian and often complained about how stupid the US was. Mind you, he was complaining to a point where it was getting a bit annoying.

            Just an example of how you could be American for only a part of your life. Renouncing your nationality is one way.

  • Jrpgfanatic

    I didn’t think it was possible for me to be any more excited for Catherine than I already was, but this ESRB blurb has really piqued my interest about the scenes it mentions.

    Day 1 for me, and if I’m in the middle of playing something else at the time, it’ll be immediately shoved aside!

  • japanese hentai game

  • lol, like it wasn’t gonna be mature rated? XD I’m sorry, but it’s simple to figure out ratings for games just by looking at them most of the time.

  • AzureNova

    F yeah lol! Can’t wait for Catherine to come out.  ^_^

    • AnimusVox

      Is your avy of a chick with really huge breasts or is she smuggling honeydew across the borders? I can’t tell.

      • AzureNova

        Lol, shes just got huge boobs

  • doomspeller10

    I can’t believe that’s the way it appears in the official website.
    The game sounds more interesting to me, except for the part of adventure puzzles, which isn’t news.

  • JAJAJAJA I like the way the introduced “Its a puzzle game”

  • …Oh, ESRB, why so hilarious in your prudish ways?

    • ForeverFidelis

      If I see the word “prude” one more time on this page I’m going to punch something

      • renkun67

        Prude prude prude prude prude prude prude Prude prude prude prude prude prude prude Prude prude prude prude prude prude prude Prude prude prude prude prude prude prude Prude prude prude prude prude prude prude Prude prude prude prude prude prude prude Prude prude prude prude prude prude prude…

        I’m sorry…

        • Altritter

          Poor guy, he probably has shattered knuckles at this point.

  • During one cutscene, a character is stabbed in the stomach with a knife; a large pool of blood quickly forms under her body.

    Woah crap!

  • “During one cutscene, a character is stabbed in the stomach with a knife; a large pool of blood quickly forms under her body.”

    Thanks for spoiling what’s obviously a major plot point ESRB!

    • You pointing it out as a spoiler is a spoiler itself.

      • CleruTesh

        Hey! I haven’t played this game yet! Don’t spoil it for me by pointing out the fact that pointing out the spoiler is a spoiler!

        • I love that line. In any case if you’re reading this you’re running a risk of seeing spoilers. As a note I don’t actually know that it’s a spoiler since I’ve deliberately ignored reports about the game, but it seems likely to be one. Maybe Siliconera should put up spoiler warnings at the start of articles.

          • CleruTesh

            I try to avoid spoilers myself. Honestly, we still don’t know WHO “a character” is, so I am not terribly bothered. However…
            I read something very similar about the anime School Days before watching it. And while it was still one of the best anime I have ever seen, I wonder if I wouldn’t have enjoyed it even more by not knowing.

    • AnimusVox

      Agh, I didn’t even realize. Hey it could be some random hooker….oh, wait this isn’t GTA…..

  • Enma_Kozato

    I don’t remember the demon baby wielding a chainsaw, hrrrrm.
    Well, I’m not surprised by the M rating, so whateva.

  • ufoflash

    does anyone know if anything will be censored? i doubt but i cant help but worry. it seems like persona got away uncensored but what about this?

  • PrinceHeir

    Catherine my love :P

    and yes im cheating at you Katherine :D

    *looks at avatar

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