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Old 08-10-2011, 12:08 AM   #1
bean19
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Catherine

The interesting thing about this game is. . . well, a lot of things, actually. It's basically a strange and surreal story about a man escaping supernatural nightmares while becoming increasingly torn between the supernatural girl that represents the fun, adventure, and danger of being single, and his more tame, secure, and loving relationship with his girlfriend that he cheated on and has not come clean to. . . in the form of ridiculously difficult box puzzles. Seriously, this game is super hard, and even though it is not terribly long. . . the difficulty frustrated me so often that I wasn't able to beat it and return it to my friend for over a week.

However, I don't really want to talk about that so much as I want to talk about how the game has only sold 313K copies. Through Persona 3 and Persona 4, Atlus finally found a sleeper hit that has gained a following, but the developer seemed to get cautious in the face of their success and has predominately released titles for handhelds with only a handful of titles released for the HD consoles (with some of those not really being HD like the fun, but sprite-based Disgaea 3).

What's significant about this is that after playing it safe for so many years, they decide to have their first true in-house HD game be a supernatural puzzle box game with extremely adult themes. I mean. . . what the fuck?
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:50 AM   #2
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However, I don't really want to talk about that so much as I want to talk about how the game has only sold 313K copies.
This kind of confuses me about your post, as that 313K copies is the best opening sales figure for any Atlus game in the US. One year after release, Persona 4 had only sold about 110,000 copies total.

Trust me, selling 313K copies of Catherine makes it a huge hit for Atlas. They probably only had to hit the 100K mark in order to be profitable with it. They do a damn good job of handling their sales and making sure that they know their market.

As for the game itself, I have not gotten to it yet. Its on my list of games to buy, I just haven't gotten to it yet. I'll probably pick it up sometime in the next month, though.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:09 AM   #3
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I was playing this last night (3rd night/level) and I have to agree that the puzzles are more difficult that I expected. I was ready to put the game back in the Gamefly envelope until I finally go past the all three sections of night 3.

It is interesting, funny, and while it does have adult themes so far there has not been any actual nudity other than what you would get out of an Austin Powers movie with props or camera angles just right so you don't actually see anything.

I am going to give it through the weekend before returning it because even if the difficulty is harder than I expected you do feel accomplishment when you finally beat the damn stage.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:42 AM   #4
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I'm definitely interested in this game. Gonna wait for a sale. It just looks so different.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:37 AM   #5
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It is interesting, funny, and while it does have adult themes so far there has not been any actual nudity other than what you would get out of an Austin Powers movie with props or camera angles just right so you don't actually see anything.
Right. It's not digital porn. However, the adult themes about commitment and infidelity aren't going to mean much to ten year olds.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:47 AM   #6
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This kind of confuses me about your post, as that 313K copies is the best opening sales figure for any Atlus game in the US. One year after release, Persona 4 had only sold about 110,000 copies total.
I'm not sure where you are getting your numbers. Persona 4 has sold 773K copies worldwide. However, even if you can say that the first year in some territory was only X amount, the point I'm making is about total sales and how they show that Atlus could make an HD Persona 5 and expect a million sales worldwide. This makes me ask: why invest so heavily in such an oddball game as Catherine?

This isn't a criticism of Catherine btw. It's an interesting game and I'm glad to play it, but I find Atlus's decision-making puzzling.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:52 AM   #7
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I don't really want to talk about that so much as I want to talk about how the game has only sold 313K copies.
I haven't played the game, so I can't comment experientally as to content, but from what I have read in magazines about it, and seen on forums, it comes off as a pervy/creepy voyeuristic Japanese anime. That may be totally incorrect, but I think the sales are reflective of its surface creep-factor. Perhaps the marketing inaccurately portrays the content. Perhaps not. All I know is what I've come away with from what I've read/seen.

Just my two cents.

For two cents more, it's far too rare for a game to address adult themes in a way that is actually...adult. This is a comment on gaming as a whole, not this particular game. Thirty years into the film era there were amazing movies addressing serious themes in serious ways. Thirty years into the video gaming era we have too little of that. Gaming is still a bit stuck in adolescence in my view. It's growing, but too slowly to keep up with those who have grown up with it. I know the tecnical hurdles are different, but it still seems disappointing.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:42 AM   #8
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I'm not sure where you are getting your numbers. Persona 4 has sold 773K copies worldwide. However, even if you can say that the first year in some territory was only X amount, the point I'm making is about total sales and how they show that Atlus could make an HD Persona 5 and expect a million sales worldwide. This makes me ask: why invest so heavily in such an oddball game as Catherine?

This isn't a criticism of Catherine btw. It's an interesting game and I'm glad to play it, but I find Atlus's decision-making puzzling.
My numbers were US sales only. I didn't go world wide (P4 sold better outside the US then in the states). Catherine hit over 200k US alone a couple of weeks back (Atlus sent out an e-mail announcing it).

As for why they did it? Probably because its a game they wanted to make. The nice thing about Atlus is that they are not beholden to any of the giant publishers, so they can do new and unique properties when it tickles their fancy. They're not trapped in the "We must release a sequel to our last game every year" like some other companies. They can let their IPs take a break from time to time.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:16 AM   #9
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I haven't played the game, so I can't comment experientally as to content, but from what I have read in magazines about it, and seen on forums, it comes off as a pervy/creepy voyeuristic Japanese anime.
I'm not sure how familiar you are with anime or echi (not sure of spelling there) content in anime, but it has that feel to it. Basically, it treats titillation and sexual objectification of women as something that is universal about men but also really embarrassing for them (thus often empowering sexual women). Women's sexual traits are exaggerated and men's responses to those traits are extremely exaggerated (like Looney Toons level of exaggeration).

The more serious adult themes about being afraid of commitment and the consequences of being a dirty dog vs. the consequences of settling down are also often treated with humor. . . one of the box levels has you being chased by a gigantic baby that calls you Daddy (I honestly found this unsettling from the standpoint of a single male in my late 20s). Your mileage may vary, but for someone who has watched a lot of anime, it comes off as tame. If you got the impression it is hentai from the marketing, then you're right that they screwed up.

Quote:
For two cents more, it's far too rare for a game to address adult themes in a way that is actually...adult. This is a comment on gaming as a whole, not this particular game. Thirty years into the film era there were amazing movies addressing serious themes in serious ways. Thirty years into the video gaming era we have too little of that. Gaming is still a bit stuck in adolescence in my view. It's growing, but too slowly to keep up with those who have grown up with it. I know the technical hurdles are different, but it still seems disappointing.
Honestly, most game designers don't write games with any themes in mind. Most of them aren't writers and neither are the producers who green-light games. In fact, if you read much Gamasutra, you'll see many developers and game producers who get very annoyed when a game pitch has a large focus on story. Instead, they want a story that's "like something". The result is that we get several copycat games that have very little soul in them like Resistance and that other derivative PS3 shooter. . . the one where you fight Space Nazis.

I understand this trend, even if I don't like it. AAA games cost multiple millions of dollars to make so people don't want to take risks unless it's a tried and true company that makes hit-after-hit like Bioware, Blizzard, Bethesda, or Rockstar.

That's also why the game choices Atlus makes are interesting. They are one of the very few publishers who have managed to stay boutique and remain profitable in the time of expensive HD development.

Last edited by bean19; 08-10-2011 at 02:15 PM.. Reason: My grammar is fucking awful sometimes.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:24 AM   #10
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My numbers were US sales only. I didn't go world wide (P4 sold better outside the US then in the states).
First, like I said, my point is global sales because money is money. Persona 4 sold really well in the US btw, with almost as many sales as those in Japan, and only a tiny amount sold in Europe. In any case, you know my point is that they chose to not make a game for this well known IP that could possibly have been a platinum (million-selling) hit had they done it instead of Catherine. . . Anyway, I think you got this point as you did reply on topic:

Quote:
As for why they did it? Probably because its a game they wanted to make. The nice thing about Atlus is that they are not beholden to any of the giant publishers, so they can do new and unique properties when it tickles their fancy. They're not trapped in the "We must release a sequel to our last game every year" like some other companies. They can let their IPs take a break from time to time.
That's fine. I'm all for resting the Persona IP for a couple of years. . . but they didn't let it cool it's heals for a little while. Instead, they seem willing to skip a whole console generation.

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Old 08-10-2011, 12:18 PM   #11
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If you got the impression it is hentai from the marketing, then you're right that they screwed up.
No, I don't think they missed the mark that badly. Your description is the sense of what I got.

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That's also why the game choices Atlus makes are interesting. They are one of the very few publishers who have managed to stay boutique and remain profitable in the time of expensive HD development.
Very true. Atlus offers a unique library of games. I hope they can stay in business doing so!
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:29 PM   #12
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This is just a pg version of Intelligent Cube. Fools!

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