Would be just as sweet?

So, you know, my fiancée’s name is Catherine. That’s Catherine with a C, the proper old-fashioned spelling, as in Catherine the Great. Not Katherine with one of those new-fangled Ks. Sometimes, my work intersects with life in weird ways. Catherine is one of them. To my knowledge, there are two Catherines of note in gaming.

The first: “Catherine” is the Japanese name of Birdo, Mario’s gender-confused egg-spitting dinosaur enemy. Not the most flattering association; why couldn’t Boo have been named Catherine in Japan and lent its Japanese name, Teresa, to Birdo instead? Boos are amusing and iconic. Birdo’s just dopey-looking. No offense to any Teresas out there, but I feel like it would have been a more fitting connection between characters and names than what we got.

The second, of course, is Atlus’ upcoming Catherine, the game about a faithless schmuck named Vincent who (I gather) cheats on his girlfriend Katherine with a woman named Catherine. The latter turns out to be the sex equivalent of the videotape from The Ring and will cause Vincent to die in seven days unless he… escapes from dream goats, by pushing boxes. Or something.

Anyway, it’s steamy. The night Catherine (the game) was first announced, I said to Catherine (the woman), “Oh, hey, they named a video game after you.” I pushed my laptop over to her and we clicked the article link to read about the game.

Then the screens loaded and I realized I reaaaaally should have vetted the link first.The end.

16 thoughts on “Would be just as sweet?

  1. It’s still not clear if there will be an official translation of Atlus’ game Catherine. (If not, then don’t be surprised if fans translate it. Fans have recently translated some mainstream-ish games such as Saga 2 DS and Tales of Innocence, and niche content like Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side and Quartett!, and they’re working on LovePlus.)

    That said, Destructoid’s Best Podcast Ever had some intriguing thoughts about Catherine. They’re fascinated by its ideas. Even if it’s an unremarkable action puzzle game, it could be groundbreaking.

  2. Funny thing about the trailer is that it shows about as much sex as you’d see in any TV show or Film trailer but it still feels weird and wrong in a videogame. There seems to be a weird taboo on sex in videogames and I think some of it is down to how it is so poorly handled like in heavy rain and mass effect, which are probably the best examples in videogames but still feel totally exploitative. Catherine seems to be one fo the first games where it will actually be handled maturely.

    • I think a lot of people feel that sex feels wrong in games because it’s largely presented as a “reward”, instead of something that happens as a natural progression of two characters relationships.

      I think it’s odd that so many outlets are talking about how racy Catherine looks when it has an equivalent to a Teen rating in Japan. Japanese games never show nudity or sex unless they’re hardcore porn in eroge. Even the new Ar Tenelico game, with it’s M rating, is just a bunch of heavily suggestive dialogue and skimpy outfits.

      • I think it’s not so much that it’s a reward as that it’s presented in an amateurish, juvenile fashion. Sexuality in games has more in common with sexuality in comic books than with a great movie. Even the supposedly mature Heavy Rain did a terrible job with its sexual themes (and female characters in general). I think there’s some real potential for good story and psychology in Catherine, but I reeeeeally wish Atlus weren’t promoting it with, for instance, drawings of the eponymous character eating pizza in a way designed to intimate she’d just performed fellatio.

      • I’m willing to give Atlus the benefit of the doubt that those scenes like the one you mention will be in the main characters head and meant to symbolise the sexuality of Catherine and how he see’s her. Can’t be sure until it’s out though! It is by the Persona team and their portrayal of the homosexual themes in Persona 4 is the only time I can think of where videogames handle them well so I’ve high hopes.

  3. I fail to see how this has anything to do with Battle of Olympus or Low-G Man. Let’s focus around here.

  4. Ouch. The worst bit is that while I expect I’m going to pick it up, I feel like I’m going to have some explaining to do with it if my girlfriend ever plucks it off the shelf.


    At least she’s found out about it from a link you didn’t know about instead of a game you were playing.

  5. Haha. Funny story.

    Honestly, I’m looking forward to Catherine because it’s being handled by the people behind the recent batch of Persona games. Persona 4, for all of it’s seemingly, stereotypical anime-ness, actually had one of the most intelligent stories I’ve ever seen from RPG. The way it handled some of it’s darker themes was really surprising. Catherine looks like an extension of some of the themes flirted upon in the Persona games.

    I don’t have a problem with the advertising but I think of myself as a weird person, so I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.

  6. My wife’s name is Catherine, as well. I ALMOST had a similar moment where I was going to show her an article about the game, but fortunately, at the time she was pregnant and couldn’t stand up and walk over to the computer easily and I was able to read the article first.

  7. Completely unrelated–I didn’t know the definition of vetted until I read this and now I do. Surprisingly I feel really good about that.

  8. Yeah, the stuff I’ve seen of this still looks as if it’ll have a lot of problems this medium has such a hard time avoiding.

    That said, it looks like it may be a pretty enjoyable experience. And I’m willing to bet the story won’t be as problematic as Other M’s.

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