Before I begin this article let me start by saying that I love Japanese game developers and Japanese games, especially JRPGs. The differences between our two cultures allows for some truly remarkable and brave games to grace our shores. But then, there are other times when Japan delivers games that become the epitome of the phrase “WTF.” Catherine is one of those games.
Developer Atlus has created a game so bizarre that at times I wasn’t sure if I was travelling through some perverse underworld of sex and demons or if I was witnessing the cutscenes from a video game. Not being a Japanese speaker, the only details I can glean from the trailer come from the visuals.
Check out the trailer below, which is fairly NSFW.
Since Atlus decided to leave American audiences in the dark I took it upon myself to uncover the mystery that is Catherine (for a more accurate plot synopsis check it out here). Here I go.
It looks like the age-old story. Boy meets blonde girl with cute twirly pigtails and all is going good. They share a moment of passion that solidifies the boy’s feelings for the girl. Then, out of nowhere a huge demon with a massive sword comes out of the abyss to claim your soul. Wait what? Only 35 seconds in and this love affair has already taken a turn for the worst. Now the boy is sporting some crazy ram horns and experiencing nightmares filled with crazy mutant chainsaw-armed babies and…I am so completely lost I don’t even understand what is going on. Well Ranters, I tried.
So I’m just going to assume that a lot of Catherine’s sales will come from curious gamers looking to uncover what it all means, and that the rest of the world is going to continue on none the wiser. Atlus, developers of the Shin Megami Tensei series, are known for their more off kilter games and Catherine certainly falls in line with their previous work. While I can't say if it achieves the subtle brilliance that the Persona entries did, I can see some potential.
While there could be something about this game to make gamers interested, the sheer gumption it takes to put so many weird images into one trailer is enough to earn a look. Whether the game will actually make it to our shores is another question. And seriously, what the heck is this thing?
What do you think of the Catherine trailer? Feel free to leave your own interpretation of the story based on the trailer in the comments.