Afterthoughts – Catherine

Months ago, I wrote a preview blog detailing how I thought “Catherine” was doing sex in video games a service. To me personally, most current games with sexual themes tend to waiver between extreme silliness and pointless gratuity. Well, you’ll be happy to know “Catherine” does neither in my eyes.

I have to say, the awareness of anything sexual came from Atlus’ advertising (and even the box art). They billed the game as a Horror-Romance game with overt sexual themes. I was intrigued as it looked like the game was going to explore how sex and cheating can ruin a man.

While that is somewhat true, the game actually doesn’t show any kind of sex whatsoever. I doubt the American release is edited much, other than voice acting, so this is sort of a fault in my eyes. I definitely dig the narrative and how the protagonist is in pain over his negative actions, but what else is going on?

If Atlus has marketed the monster-esque plot, more, instead of leading me to believe it would be entirely realistic, maybe I’d have unflinchingly accepted the lack of sex. This is a first for me, but I really wanted to see something more.

In any scenes that contain fully naked characters, the views are tastefully obscured. While it’s nice from an artistic perspective, it seems like a copout considering what Atlus had promised. Hell, the box art is more revealing and it doesn’t even show anything.


No harm, no foul I suppose…

What I will say I enjoyed was the dialog. Even though the English voice overs sound a bit stilted, they do sell the great the story. Catherine makes a lot of moans and sounds positively engulfing. I’d probably lose myself if she came around.

The interactions between the protagonist and his friends truly represent our modern day. While I wish they spoke less swear words, I can’t deny that I curse on a consistent basis (I drop F bombs with extreme regularity). Even the use of cell phones and picture messaging are fairly intouch with modern youth.

In fact, the picture messages are where some of the most sexual things come from. Catherine sends you a few during the game and they are the sexiest thing throughout the whole narrative. The protagonist even mutters things like, “Holy shit!” when staring at them, enraptured by the pure sexuality of Catherine.

If nothing else, Atlus definitely did creature a character worth lusting over. I do feel a bit bad in saying that I can’t even contain myself, but Catherine is a wonder to look at. Her personality reminds me of a girl I once knew, though she also seems a lot more forward. She’s meant to be the embodiment of fantasy, though, so that makes absolute sense.


Pictures like this actually get more explicit as you pick different choices in game.

I can’t say that I’d prefer if this game had interactive sex scenes, but I still would have liked to see one. Catherine makes a joke about how the protagonist makes her do something one night. She claims it was her first time and then teases him for being kinky in the morning. I really wish I knew what happened.

I can’t speak much about the endings, but mine gave me absolute freedom. While I was aiming to see the Catherine related ones, I somehow messed up and lost both girls. I didn’t get the negative one, though, so the protagonist was extremely high spirited and very jovial at his loss.

I spent the rest of that night at a bar, pondering what I had just played and drinking myself to a stupor. I felt liberated at his speech and thought I should probably take his advice to heart. His quote was, “Living a life without doing what you want; that’s a recipe for disaster.” You’ve definitely got that right.

In the end, “Catherine” was a breath of fresh air for me. While I was expecting more from the sexual side of the game, I do have to say that this was a great step in the direction of depicting sex in gaming. Hopefully other developers will take notice of Atlus’ title and push the boundaries some more.


Until then, keep staring at those phones.

Damn You, Nook!

Gaming is one of the most ultimate forms of relaxtion. Putting a game on helps you forget about your problems and the world around you. You’re transported into different worlds and take the role of heroes or villains and get to do whatever tickles your fancy.

For me, though, my personal favorite game to relax with is “Animal Crossing: Wild World.” While I may prefer Zelda or have a huge fondness for Metal Gear, neither franchise can compare with the tranquility and solitude that Animal Crossing provides.

The game gives you small tasks, but nothing that you can ever truly complete. You pay off loans on your house, help neighbors with fetch quests and collect fossils and bugs. It all sounds rather mundane, but that’s actually the whole glory of it.

It’s so damn amusing to travel through town and meet the different animal inhabitants. My personal favorite has to be Portia, the Dalmatian. Her perky attitude always kept me coming back for more.

When you spoke with your neighbors enough, sometimes they’d ask for nicknames or catchphrases. I constantly put in ridiculous words just to hear the animal gibberish language garble it up.

Anyone who’s played Animal Crossing will know of how dastardly Tom Nook is. That bastard hits you up for rent money all the time. The tasks you need to perform to pay him back often require you dig into your own pockets first, making the whole cycle of debt even more dramatic.


Damn you, Nook!

While previous entries existed, Wild World is what really drew me in. I used to love talking to my friend about how my town was blooming, but actually having him able to jump in with me and mess around was unparalleled. Not only that, but the DS version supported Online Play, something the Gamecube could never do.

Now I could finally come home from work, boot up my DS and grab my friend for a game. It was fantastic and it allowed me to take my town with anywhere and be connected at any time. It was so liberating to not have to be tied to a console.

My friend and I would often sit on AIM while playing just so we could chat. We’d make comments about how Nook was a bastard or plot how we could get every type of fruit in our village (something that requires more than 1 friend). It was a bonding experience that kept us friends for quite awhile.

What made it better, though, was my mother’s interest in the game. She saw me playing it one day and got herself a DS and a copy of the game to play with me. Her and I have traded fruits, fossils and items and played online numerous times while I was away at school.


Online MP is so sweet.

Our summers were punctuated with races to see who could snatch up a shark first. We even got my sister in on the action and found it hilarious when she was mauled by a scorpion. The three of us have never been closer and this game made it all happen.

Even without multiplayer or online, though, Animal Crossing is just so much damn fun. The idea shouldn’t be fun, but having a game world where I’m not required to do anything is great. I feel like I can just pop in the game and waste hours for no good reason, but still accomplish something.

Here’s hoping the 3DS version remains just as fun.

Has Gaming Negatively Impacted Me?

While I can attribute gaming to a lot of positive growths in my life, there is a thought that has been lingering in my mind pretty recently; has gaming made me socially awkward? Due to a few recent arguments and events in my life, I’m beginning to wonder if my favorite hobby has taken a very negative effect on my life.

While I can’t really remember a lot of significant moments from my elementary school life, I do remember that I socialized with some of the neighborhood kids. There was one kid that was a close friend, but I didn’t really bond with anyone else in a meaningful way. When I didn’t have anyone else, I turned to my NES.

This sort of attitude followed me through middle school. I made one fantastic friend and the other people were just there. I hung out with this kid a lot and we even introduced each other to some of our previous friends, but those relationships fell through and we went back to each other. When we couldn’t find others, we would turn to our PS2’s.

High was the worst time for me as I couldn’t figure out how to approach anyone. I certainly made some friends, but they led me down improper paths and set me up for suspensions and an eventual arrest. When I was at my saddest and contemplating death, I would turn to my PC or Xbox.

I can’t help but think my utter pessimism and negativity are attributed to gaming. During all the periods in my life where I couldn’t find someone to talk to, I would look to a television screen for entertainment. Friends were something that could wait because I had a world to save.


I wish I had this kind of place to seclude myself to.

Even college was no different. My first year was an utter mess. I never spoke to anyone but my roommate; I never left my room to participate in school functions; I was never invited by my dorm mates for any kind of festivities. During that period, I had my 360 to keep me occupied and out of sadness.

Gaming is a hobby I love to death, but is it possible that it’s a way for me to deal with my own inner sadness? Did I always find more comfort in gaming because it wouldn’t judge me? Did my lack of any kind of achievements in my youth keep me glued to the TV? Was saving a fictional world my way of validating myself?

Now, being 23, I have no idea how to approach people anymore. I don’t have opportunities to meet anyone at class as I’m no longer a student. Work is a waste because everyone is far too young to relate to. The few friends that I do have there, I’m petrified to actually hang out with.

The biggest problem to me, though, is my inability to relate to women. I’m not sure if it’s because my only source of knowledge on the opposite sex is from watching character study films and playing games, but I really haven’t the slightest clue on how to properly appeal to females.

To date, I’ve only ever asked three women if they’d like to go out with me. I’d never had the courage other than with some friends, but my relationships immediately dissolved when I brought my feelings forward.


This is how it always ends…

I used to have a pretty decent group of friends, but some problems occurred to me and I severed myself from them. While that is mostly my own fault, I really have no way to connect with them again. I feel ashamed of how I represented myself to them and I don’t want them to judge me as an outsider.

In the past year of my life, it’d be foolish of me to say that I haven’t met anyone. I’ve been to various bars and clubs and I’ve met quite the eclectic bunch of people while working, but there isn’t a single other person to whom I’ve spoken my mind. My conversations consist of asking someone if they want paper or plastic or talking about which drink I’d like.

This blog isn’t meant to be a plea for attention, but just something I want to address. While we certainly all love gaming, there is a point where enough to enough. I believe I’ve finally reached that limit and now my life is suffering for it.

I suppose I do have my health and I am employed in an economy that most people would call “desperate,” but lacking other minds to mingle with is a problem I’ve constantly faced throughout my life. I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone else and I hope that any teenagers reading this take the time to really connect with their peers.

I may not be able to turn myself around, but hopefully getting these thoughts out of my head will help people change. Don’t look down on the social pariahs or the awkward people at work; everyone just wants a hand to hold or a heart to meld with.