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.

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Sex Done Right: Catherine

Sex in video games is a ridiculously touchy subject for me. I wrote an entire blog post detailing how I disliked it so much (to which many of you thought I was insane), but I’m not here to bombast against it. No, I actually have a more positive view this time.

My first argument was that sex in video games wasn’t been shown in a realistic light. My solution was to develop characters first and then give them personalities that would showcase sex in a realistic manner. Well, thank you Atlus for creating “Catherine”.

Just look at this game. Screen shots, trailers, previews, whatever. It looks phenomenal. I may be skeptical about its gameplay elements, but I have nothing but admiration for its plot line. While it’s not showing the positive side of sexual encounters, the game at least shows how sex can affect an individual.

It may be a bit early for me to be commenting about the characters, but I think Atlus has really nailed it out of the park with the Catherine/Katherine aspect. You have both stereotypes of love/women in this game. One is the typical “evil” and the other the typical “good.” I find it humorous that Catherine, representing “evil,” is decked out in white while Katherine, representing “good,” is dressed in black/dark colors.


Why does Vincent look so aggravated?

It also looks like they aren’t skimping on the main character Vincent’s torment. They don’t show him as in a positive light or even say that his action of cheating on his fiance is good. Hell, they go the opposite direction and make the whole debacle tear him up inside.

Look at the sexy bits, too. Nothing is dramatic or over the top. Yeah, I suppose Catherine being covered by only a blanket may seem insane to some people, but I feel the story warrants that kind of exposure. If anything, I think the game isn’t going far enough in its sexual depiction.


Mothers, avert your children! Now, responsible mothers, explain this scene.

My only concern is that the story won’t be that serious. If you’ve played any kind of Japanese game (or watched more recent cinema), you know that the plot lines take radical jumps in logic and reason at points. We can already see from the trailers that there are sheep men and giant forks, but those occur within the dream sequences.

Then again, maybe that’s the entire point of the dream sequences. Maybe Atlus doesn’t know how to explain their plot-line without it flying into wildly asinine territory, so they created a cop-out. I’m all for this if the story finally shows that all sex isn’t just some kind of stupid fantasy.


Oh no, Giant Fetus!

So, while my views on sex are still very “conservative” and I really think most games shouldn’t even bother, I’m happy that something like “Catherine” exists. Critics and talking heads might not be able to see past the partial nudity, but this game will give other developers a chance to really create something special.

And hell, it doesn’t hurt that Atlus’ art team has created a very pretty character. Now we just need to see if she get’s developed more.


Kylie Minogue has a song for her.