Catherine: Full Body review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: Xbox One, PS4
Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Atlus
Medium: Cartridge / Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes

I haven?t played Catherine since I did the original review of the PS3/Xbox 360 release for the game back in 2011 for Gaming-Age. While our site and servers have gone through some changes that wiped that review out, I was able to drag it back up via the Wayback Machine and decided to read through it prior to typing this review for Catherine: Full Body on the Nintendo Switch. To boil down my original 2011 thoughts, I was a little lukewarm on the puzzle gameplay, while generally enjoying the story. That hasn?t entirely changed, but the additions made here definitely alter my overall feelings on both elements. 

The additions and changes made to the gameplay in Cathrine: Full Body make the puzzle block, tower climbing bits a lot more tolerable. While I found the difficulty of the original game to be a bit crushing, I never had to adjust below the standard difficulty in Catherine: Full Body and a lot of that comes down to the auto-play mechanic that triggers when you retry a stage. Basically, if you find yourself in an unsolvable dilemma, you can pause and hit retry. This will allow you to either restart the entire stage, or from the last checkpoint, and then the game will helpfully play itself out until you reach the section of the stage you were at before triggering the retry. What this did for me is teach me where I made mistakes in my original climb, and help me see either additional options or solutions that I wasn?t getting on my first go around. It?s probably my favorite addition to the game and makes for a far less frustrating experience overall. 

Other changes include additional characters for multiplayer, new stages for the Babel and Colosseum modes, online multiplayer/co-op for those modes, the ability to fully rotate the in-game camera around block walls (also nice), new cutscenes, alternate endings, and the addition of a third romantic interest for Vincent to pursue. 

That third romantic interest is Rin, who?s storyline has been woven into the game in a way that works fairly well overall and doesn?t seem to impede or interfere with the original Catherine vs. Katherine set-up too much. Rin takes on the role of a piano player within both the bar and inside of Vincent?s nightmares, where she will play piano at different times in order to slow down or prevent the blocks from collapsing below Vincent. She?s one of the only characters to retain her memories between the nightmares and the real world and offers a bit more to the overall story. I found her to be one of the more likable characters in the game, and while I think there?s one scene, in particular, that?s poorly handled, overall Rin seems like a positive addition. That said, if you don?t manage to get one of her endings, her entire storyline feels completely unresolved, which can be a bummer considering that the overall length of Catherine: Full Body is somewhere between 10 to 12 hours. 

Still, I think Catherine: Full Body is an overall improvement to the original game, and worth checking out if you?re like me and haven?t revisited the game in nearly a decade. The Switch version being reviewed here ran really well, with a solid framerate in both docked and undocked modes, and minimal load times throughout. There might not be enough in this package to elevate it past the prior releases of Catherine: Full Body, but again, if you have yet to play this version of the game then the Switch version appears to be on par with the rest. 

Note: Atlus provided us with a Catherine: Full Body Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A-