There’s More To Catherine Than Block Puzzles And Love Triangles

By Spencer . July 15, 2011 . 5:40pm

Most of the Catherine coverage has focused on the game’s lead characters and building staircases out of blocks. Between cutscenes with Vincent and his two lovers and climbing tower to escape a baby with a chainsaw arm, you hangout in a bar.

 

catherine_screens_33

 

The Stray Sheep scenes usually begin with Vincent sitting in a booth with is bar buddies. Orlando always sits to Vincent’s right. He’s a co-worker that became a womanizer after his divorce. Jonny plays the role of the "cool" guy and is searching for the perfect girl. Both of them pick on Toby who is much younger, a tad naive, and desperate to find love. You can talk to all three characters by pointing at them with the analog stick or sip a cocktail by pressing square. Do you know what a "cuba libre" is? You’ll find out after you finish your drink. Catherine gives players a side of trivia with each beverage and the factoid you see depends on what kind of drink Vincent has in his hand. (You can choose whisky, sake, cocktails, or beer.)

 

Erica, the talkative waitress at the Stray Sheep, will show up as soon as Vincent finishes his drink and ask if you want another round. Drinking serves two purposes in Catherine. After each sip, Vincent shares his thoughts on his current situation. Getting sloshed also makes Vincent run faster during his nightmare, but you can only raise his intoxication level three times. Vincent’s face turns beet red after three drinks too.

 

catherine_screens_35 

You can leave the bar after getting tanked, but it’s a good idea to stick around. Other customers will visit the Stray Sheep and Vincent can talk to them. You don’t have to lend an ear, but there are side stories to hear. Patrons will ask Vincent questions too, which give players more opportunities to tilt the karma meter. All of these scenes have voice acting and you may see these characters elsewhere…

 

catherine_screens_34

Time passes on its own while your in the bar. You have to decide if you want to spend it talking to the police officer sitting in the booth next to you or answering one of Katherine’s text messages. Catheirne lets players respond by picking preset choices, but you can ignore them too. Answering messages also effects the karma meter. Everyone will come and go, including your buddies, who will leave Vincent in the bar alone if you stay too long. Managing time is a key part of the Stray Sheep scenes. Once you leave the bar Vincent turns into a sheep and enters the nightmare world.

 

Here’s a couple of other neat things in the Stray Sheep to check out when you play Catherine:

 

  • Watch the TV news show and you’ll hear about people who died in their sleep.
  • There’s an arcade machine with a puzzle game called Rapunzel to play. The game is similar to the block tower in Catherine, but there is no time limit in Rapunzel. Instead players have a limited amount of moves, which makes Rapunzel a pure puzzle game.
  • Vincent can change the background music by playing with the jukebox, which has songs from Persona titles and Digital Devil Saga.
  • If Catherine sends you an alluring photo you can view it in the bathroom.
  • Each night there is an additional scene in the bathroom, which you can see by washing your face.
  • Persona fans keep an eye out for a familiar face hidden in the Stray Sheep.

 

catherine_screens_39 

I’ve been playing the English version of Catherine and I’m at the end of the game.From what I’ve seen so far, Atlus did a fantastic job with localization. Dialogue flows naturally and I’d say that’s a hallmark of a well localized game. The voice acting is top notch too and for a story centric game like Catherine that’s a big plus. We’ll have more to say about Catherine early next week.


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  • http://bmgf.bulbagarden.net/members/55321.html FinalArcadia

    Cool! I just played the demo, and I was wondering what else you could do in the Stray Sheep. Thanks for the info! Absolutely loved the demo, too.

    I hope this game gets the sales it deserves (and so more unique games can make there way over here).

  • JustaGenericUser

    If Catherine sends you an alluring photo you can view it in the bathroom.

    Oh my.

    • http://twitter.com/yukishiido Yuki / Brandon

      My reaction exactly.

  • http://twitter.com/SilverCitizen Silver Citizen

    Yikes! Didn’t know you had to manage your time in Stray Sheep. This is going to be hell for someone like me who agonizes over something like choosing a candy bar at the convenience store. XD

    • Aoshi00

      If you talk to the Stray sheep patrons in order, you would have the opportunity to carry out all the important conversation and shouldn’t be missing anything.. time only passes for some activities.. there’s a lot to do before entering the nightmares or in btwn the nightmare stages..

    • Zero_Destiny

      I’m always over whelmed by decisions in games too. lol You should see me playing P4 right now. I’m scrambling around trying to get all my S Links to go up. But I mostly just pace around in the school going back and forth between some friends wondering who I should hang out with. lol Oh videogame OCD the things you do to me. XD That said with so much to do I’m looking forward to replaying this game a good couple of times. I think all the options only will make the whole thing more unique when replayed. :D

      • http://twitter.com/SilverCitizen Silver Citizen

        Ahaha I did the exact same thing when I played P4! XD I’m glad this game isn’t as long as P4. Multiple playthroughs won’t seem as daunting. 

  • DanteJones

    “Persona fans keep an eye out for a familiar face hidden in the Stray Sheep.”

    Wait, there’s more of a reference to Persona than just the jukebox?? :O

    • ThatBlackGuy

      oh you’ll see em.

    • http://www.facebook.com/afton.hunt Afton Nicole Hunt

      oh yeah…You can actually see it in one of the screenshots above, but I’m not telling who it is ;)

      • DanteJones

        Auuuugh, I can’t wait for this game. DX

      • http://chronotwist.deviantart.com/ JustThisOne

        I think I know who it is… But I’m not sure at all. Is this P2, 3 or 4?

        • Zeik56

          The “cameo” is from P4.

          • vivaluis59

            i wanna say!!!!!! oh well i will leave it at there is a p4 character and i noticed a symbol all persona 3 fans so recognize.

  • LastFootnote

    Sorry to nitpick, but in the release version, is the volume in the anime cutscenes dramatically louder than the rest of the gameplay, like it is in the demo? That got annoying fast.

    • http://bmgf.bulbagarden.net/members/55321.html FinalArcadia

      Yeah, I thought it was just my TV doing that. Glad my ears weren’t going out on me. :)

    • Aoshi00

      I’m worried about that too… the volume during gameplay was so low I had a hard time catching all the dialogue, then when the anime cutscene comes it’s really loud, it was quite annoying.. the Jpn ver (demo or full game) didn’t have that..   other than that, glad this game has been handled w/ such care and great localization like Phoenix Wright, and this is no easy feat since it has so much spoken dialogue..

      • Zero_Destiny

        You know I can’t say this is the first time something like this has happened to me in a videogame. I remember some older Atelier games on the PS2 had the same problem. The gameplay was easy to hear but the anime cutscenes (the few of them that there was lol) were a lot quieter.

        But what gets me is movies now a days. I have no idea if it’s because I have junky old technology that I try to play these new movies on or if it’s just the way the movies are made now but so many movies now have super quiet whisper volume talking so you have to turn it up and then when the action starts BBBOOOOOOMMM suddenly the movie is ridiculously loud and so you scuffle to turn it down. It’s a nightmare. Inception was terrible with this. And so was Unstoppable. I was going insane adjusting the volume the whole time.

        Anyways it’s kind of something I’ve grown use to (after all commercials are insanely loud while TV programs are super quiet) so I wasn’t too upset by it. I was more impressed by the awesome dub but it does kind of bum me out thinking back on it now.

        • Aoshi00

          Yea, I know what you mean w/ movies that the sound effects are much louder than the dialogue at the same volume, I had no prob w/ Unstoppable though..  but in the Catherine demo (and probably in the full game as well), the dialogue have different volume during the in-game sequence and anime cutscenes, it’s definitely a bug as the Jpn game didn’t have that problem and hopefully like Zeik56 said it would be patched.  This is almost as annoying as subtitles not matching the timing of the dialogue (like Bioshock was before the patch).  But if given the option, I always go to the setting and then lower the volume of music, but w/ volume of sound effect and dialogue turned up in games. 

        • JustaGenericUser

          I have no idea if it’s because I have junky old technology that I try
          to play these new movies on or if it’s just the way the movies are made
          now but so many movies now have super quiet whisper volume talking so you have to turn it up and then when the action starts BBBOOOOOOMMM suddenly the movie is ridiculously loud and so you scuffle to turn it down.

          Holy crap, it isn’t just me?!

    • Zeik56

      There’s a discussion about it on the Atlus forums and they seem to be aware of the issue, so hopefully if it is in the full game they can quickly patch it.

      • Barrit

        That’s good to hear as it was a pretty major issue for me. I heard it’s because they recorded the anime scenes in full dolby surround and the rest of the game in stereo. Not sure if that’s true though.

  • Darkrise

    Just two more weeks. Just two more weeks!

    • Setsu Oh

      im really glad to see someone pumped up for that game.PEOPLE pumped up. first dsouls, now catherine. japan isnt dead after all.

  • http://twitter.com/sakurairomemori Alphabet Soup

    Man, so excited for this game~!  The demo and all this coverage you guys are giving it is just adding to the hype.  I’m glad there’s more to do in the Stray Sheep.

    • http://strictlyapathy.comoj.com/ SoulArbiter

      Yeah man! Very eager to get this title!

  • Asura

    Due to monetary issues, I’m sad that I will have to wait until this game drops into the $20 range. That is a long time of trying to avoid spoilers…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rudy-Soto/100001518601121 Rudy Soto

      VERY long time.

    • http://twitter.com/yukishiido Yuki / Brandon

      Let’s hope it even drops down there. I’ve never seen an Atlus game that low, except for a used copy of P3:FES.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rudy-Soto/100001518601121 Rudy Soto

    lol, the bathroom of all places xD
    But seriously, feeding this delicious info won’t ease our hunger for Catherine :3

    • Zero_Destiny

      It’s the only place a man can ever truly feel at peace and collect his thoughts after all. lol

  • darkfox1

    “Persona Fans keep on a lookout for a familiar face hidden in the stray sheep.” SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME IM DYING TO KNOW. Who is it?

    • neocatzon

      hmm, someone old enough for drinks?

    • http://profiles.google.com/qetuo91 Victor Estrada

      It’s a stuffed Teddie 

      • darkfox1

        Oh I see it ahaah. Would have never noticed that

  • http://chronotwist.deviantart.com/ JustThisOne

    Each night there is an additional scene in the bathroom, which you can see by washing your face.

    Eep. I’m really hoping it’s not anything like the face rip scene from Poltergeist.

  • Gohobojoe

    Interesting… a Persona 4 cameo… but the wall in the last screenshot has the Gekkoukan emblem.

    • LynxAmali

      It doesn’t say it’s a P4 cameo. It’s just a Persona cameo.

      I recall seeing a stuffed Teddie in a screen shot earlier though.

  • thaKingRocka

    I’m still interested in the game, but after playing both demos, and seeing the focus on those tower levels, I’m not inclined to buy it upon its release. I can’t remember the last time I was this undecided about whether to buy a game or not.

    • Aoshi00

      It’s really worth it man :)  I imported both Jpn ver and played it to death alrdy, at first I was thinking I could and should wait to get the US ver to save money… but if you haven’t played it, this game really offers quite much other than puzzles.. personally I think it’s worth $57.99 on Amazon, and the localization is so good too.. I only regret importing both ver (otherwise I could have Jpn PS3 ver and now US 360 ver, now I have to triple dip).. btw, even though the game plays fine w/ the new silver 360 controller, this game is better played w/ the dual shock 3..

      • Setsu Oh

        can you resist catherine in the game or you have to deal with the deed already did? :)?

        • Zeik56

          You always end up in bed with Catherine at the beginning. Otherwise the whole crux of the plot wouldn’t really work.

        • Aoshi00

          The main story pretty much still unfolds the same, but you could be less friendly to her in the text messages (you won’t get as many racy pictures).  The difference is you get different endings (8 of them) depending on how you respond to Cat and Kat’s e-mails, how you talk to other sheep or which answer you pick in the confession stand thruout the game..

      • thaKingRocka

        It might get a purchase then. I’m on vacation, so now is the best time to buy a game anyway. Thanks for the word.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sebagomezi sebastian gomez

      same here.

  • Setsu Oh

    seeing things n catherinne  makes me thnk of final fantasy 8 and how i got ripped off the  choice i could make between quistis and rinoa. and so many datng sims at the time , no love for quistis, just a corridor story. i was so sad. (get it? katherine: quistis, catherine: rinoa. thoughtful vs energized. woman vs teen.)

  • http://twitter.com/mintypixel Daniel Delacruz

    I really cannot wait until this comes. Multiple play through’s here I come.

  • http://twitter.com/yukishiido Yuki / Brandon

    Ooh. The more stuff I hear about Catherine, the more I’m excited!

  • http://twitter.com/Shadowmen19 Shadowman

    I really want this game so bad but I still need to pre-order Gears of War 3 (LE)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1554318753 Edoardo Intonti

    <it is quite scry to me….

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