Atlus’ Catherine coming to US – New Announcement Trailer

So, stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Once you sleep and fall into a nightmare, if you die in that nightmare, you die in real life. Okay, so far, so Elm Street. However, in Atlus’ erotic horror puzzler, Catherine, it turns out that it’s only young guys that are dying in weird circumstances, and all of them were cheating on their girlfriends.

In the middle of all this is Vincent, an aimless guy who has been in a relationship with his girlfriend Katherine for five years. She presses him towards commitment, but Vincent has no interest in marriage. While out drinking with his friends he ends up meeting the young blonde Catherine, and spends the night with her after she seduces him. It’s only after this that Vincent starts having dreams involving talking sheep that wear neckties, and a monstrously huge mechanical baby that’s chasing him. It’s all very strange.

Atlus, the developers behind the excellent Persona series of RPG’s, released their latest game Catherine in Japan on February 17th, and the buzz so far has been good, scoring 35 out of 40 in Japan’s Famitsu). The PS3 version of the game reached No.1 of the Japanese charts, with first week sales of just over 141,000 copies. It surprisingly sold twice as many copies as the No.2 game that was released that same week, Marvel Vs Capcom 3 (only 67,000 copies shifted for the PS3).

After the strong reception Atlus strangely revealed in a statement that, “Catherine is a Japan-only game and there are no plans for a [North American] release at this time.” It turned out that they were just teasing, since a few days later Atlus announced on their Twitter page, “Cat’s out of the bag: Atlus to bring Catherine to North America in Summer 2011!” This was in reference to US retailer Gamestop leaking a listing of the game before Atlus could officially announce it (unless this was all part of a strategic plan). The announcement came with a link to the games official English website and a short announcement trailer, which can be viewed below.

The game will be released in the US for PS3 and XBOX 360 on July 26th 2011. It also looks like the game will come with a brand new English dub, after voice actor Troy Baker (you might recognise him as Snow from Final Fantasy XIII) revealed on his Facebook page that he’ll be voicing the lead character Vincent. Although released in Japan with a soundtrack CD and artbook, it is not yet confirmed if similar goodies will also make it over.

The news of an official US release does beg the question as to whether we will see Catherine in the UK. Unlike the US, Atlus has no European offices. This means that we’re left waiting to see if any potential publisher will risk distributing a sure-to-be controversial game, given how sexually provocative it is. In the past, publisher 505 Games decided to withdraw the release of survival horror title Rule of Rose for the PS2 in the UK, after complaints about the games sexualised depiction of minors and child cruelty was blown way out of proportion.

Catherine however appears to have a more mature storyline, tackling the issues of commitment and temptation through its lead character. Also, if current play-throughs are to be believed, the game apparently doesn’t feature any on-screen sex, and barely any nudity.

Atlus’ Persona 3 on the PS2 was picked up and published by Koei for Europe, but they revealed that they currently have no plans to release Catherine. If the game doesn’t find a UK publisher, then Catherine could end up becoming a heavily sought after import title.

Sources: Andriasang ComputerAndVideoGames.com

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