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Expected more than a puzzle cut-scene hybrid
on 7 November 2012
The important thing to know about this game is that it follows a very strict structure of cut-scene, talk to people in bar, puzzles, 50/50 choice on a relationship question, repeat. It repeats this structure all the way to the end and for a game that suggested lots of choices and control about a character in a relationship with two women I was slightly disappointed and expected more variety and control over the story: Heavy Rain this is not. Perhaps I just got the wrong impression from the trailers but it's important to know what your buying.
Now onto the positives, remember those cut-scenes and puzzles i talked about? They are amazing, first the cut-scenes; great character, dialogue, visuals, and English voice acting were incredible and often of the same quality (or even better) of popular anime series and films. It's funny, surreal, dark and has elements of Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue but less serious). The story was engaging and unpredictable and I must admit I found Catherine very charming and this was reflected in the limited choices I was allowed to make that got me a very good and quite funny ending that I felt accurately reflected my decisions in the game.
The puzzles, oh the puzzles, what frustration and sleepless nights you caused me but the thrill of finally beating the level was great. No puzzle was so difficult I had to check walkthroughs, I just gave up and came back to it half an hour later with a clear head and brain in top gear and was always able to beat it. The puzzles are devious but fun and challenging, constantly evolving as new types of 'puzzle blocks' are introduced as you progress through the levels.
As a puzzle game with cutscenes this is brilliant, 5 stars (hence the 'fun' rating) but more control over the story, a few different locations instead of the bar (Vincent's office for example) with better side quests and more variety would be necessary to make this a overall 5 star game.