Jul 13, 2011

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First Look at North American Catherine Demo

First Look at North American Catherine Demo

Those who have been patiently waiting for the North American version of the Catherine demo were rewarded yesterday. If you had either missed the chance to download the Japanese demo or preferred to wait for a demo where you could know what was being said in it, this demo will definitely tide you over until Catherine makes its way to stores on the 26th of this month.

Now we know that the Japanese version of Catherine had gamers complaining about the difficulty, and even the demo had shown how tough it could be to scale the tower of blocks. Luckily (or not if you love brutal difficulties masquerading as easy), the North American demo is easier. Overall, the two versions are similar in all ways except for the difficulty and the language track used. Because of this, I won’t go into a lot of detail about how to play the demo. Though feel free to check out my impression of the Japanese demo to read about the controls and such.

Catherine Demo Playthrough Part 1

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Loading up the demo brings you to the menu screen. The menu for both versions are exactly the same, with the exception of the descriptions for the modes being in English for the North American version. In both, you can only access the story mode on easy. Before allowing you to dive into the gameplay, a screen is shown that lets you know what each button does. This is definitely helpful during the puzzle sections of the demo.

Once you have studied the button guide, it’s time to watch the first cutscene. If you read the live demo impressions, you will know that this cutscene is actually the opening movie of a television show called Golden Palace. After the cutscene ends, we are presented with the first puzzle. It serves as a tutorial for the player to get the hang of moving Vincent up the tower and how to move the blocks to best help you scale the tower. It is possible to die on this stage, but you are given ten lives so you should be able to make it to the top.

Beating the first puzzle is a simple task. Making it to the top does let you get to see a glimpse of the first boss in the game, a pair of hands wielding a large fork. Once you safely make your way through the door at the top of the tower, the next cutscene kicks in. Vincent is sitting across from his girlfriend Katherine in a restaurant. We get to see the relationship between the two and how close they are. Time fast forwards to Vincent hanging out with two of his buddies at the local bar. They discuss Vincent’s apprehension of marriage and the recent “mystery” death of a friend of theirs, one showed on a news report.

Catherine Demo Playthrough Part 2

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The bar is also where you get your first text messages and learn how to reply to them. You only have one that you can respond to and it’s from Katherine about a dinner date with friends. It seems that the friends being married and having kids is motivating Katherine to get Vincent to commit. You can choose between quite a few different responses to send. Depending on which route you go in your reply, the story will change to reflect your choices. Vincent is left alone, but it isn’t long before a young blonde asks to sit next to him.

This brings us to the second level, which is slightly harder to complete and features the first boss in the game. What makes this level harder is the boss will use a move that alters a few rows of blocks that you are on. Also, the layout of the blocks means you will have to do quite a bit of moving them to form a staircase. Beating this level gives you that sense of security in knowing that boss (whom Vincent seems to recognize) is wiped out by a blinding light from the door at the top of the tower.

As I stated in the beginning, there is very little difference between the Japanese and North American demos. But the North American demo is worth downloading and playing in order to see how well the vocal track is even if you played the Japanese version. Playing the demo has increased my desiere for Catherine, even when I thought it was already as high as it could be.

For even more information on Catherine, check out my write-up from a live Atlus demo of the game.