Whether it’s anime or video games, there usually comes a few times each year where my interest in them wanes dramatically. That is to be expected. And after a period of time, something would happen, my interest would be renewed, and I would remember what I loved so much about them. This year in particular, however, has been a struggle to renew my passion for playing video games. The video games released so far this year have really failed to get my attention and I felt no motivation to buy many new ones. And when I did purchase games, I didn’t enjoy playing them as I’m accustomed to and I felt no motivation to finish them. I started to feel as though my passion for video games had finally died.
Enter Catherine. And I was drawn back.
How did Catherine draw me back in? First, it had a story and characters that engrossed me the entire way through to the end. To avoid spoilers, I’ll just say the story involved Vincent Brooks dealing with nightmares and his relationship with his girlfriend, Katherine. I felt I could relate with Vincent. Not knowing how to deal with major life decisions. Uncertain how the future would end up for him. Scared that everything would be planned out for him in his life. As the story progresses, we see Vincent learn more about himself and grow. In a way, we grow with him.
Second, the puzzles were challenging and well thought out. It works your brain to think about the best possible way to escape the nightmare and it feels like a genuine accomplishment when you finally complete a stage. That’s not to say that the game can’t become frustrating especially after many failed attempts. But you can’t help to try and try again until you finally get it right.
Lastly, a much less tangible reason. The game made me feel good. Whether it was drinking sake at the bar, changing the jukebox music, or reading the marriage quotes on the loading screens, I was never not having fun. Playing the game made me more optimistic about my own life and I’m so happy that I bought the game.
I’m currently trying to get the platinum trophy for the game on my PS3. Usually, I don’t go out of my way to get trophies. But for a game like Catherine, it doesn’t seem like a pain. It’s fun.
Also, my personality is probably more suited for Katherine, but I felt myself gravitating toward Catherine.