Collector’s Cabinet: Catherine “Love is Over” Deluxe Edition

There’s nothing quite like owning physical goods, but they can be expensive, and shelf space can come at a premium. Every Wednesday Hardcore Gamer picks a premium collectible from our cavernous swag vaults and tells you whether it’s worth a spot in your Collector’s Cabinet.

As of late, Atlus is on nearly every JRPG fans’ mind thanks to the upcoming release of Persona 5. It will be the first Persona game on PS3 (and PS4 for that matter), but it certainly isn’t their first foray onto “modern” systems. Catherine originally launched in 2011 as a means for the company to test out PS3/360-era development in a serious capacity. Of course, the game itself ended up being pretty great too, spinning a fairly mature tale of infidelity in relationships. In keeping with this theme, Atlus USA brought out a special “Love is Over” Deluxe Edition for both PS3 and 360.

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Unlike most multiplatform releases, the two versions of Catherine feature different artwork. PS3 owners get a picture of the seductress Catherine, while 360 owners see protagonist Vincent’s girlfriend Katherine instead. The same holds true for both Deluxe Editions, only this time the art is on a large outer sleeve. For once, the sleeve isn’t as interesting as what’s inside – a small pizza box from Stray Sheep, Vincent’s favorite bar. This cute touch is really just the start of an impressive collector’s edition.

Sold for $79.99, Catherine’s “Love is Over” Deluxe Edition is packed with a bevvy of goods. Of course there are the expected trinkets like a small softcover artbook and soundtrack CD sampler, but those are far from the only bonuses. Also included is a men’s large t-shirt, a standard pillow case, and a pair of pink polka-dot boxers. Although it might sound like a wacky mix of goods to those who have never played Catherine, each item actually references some aspect of the game. The shorts belong to Vincent, as does the t-shirt, though we first see it on Catherine after she spends the night at his place. The pillowcase, emblazoned with seductive picture of Catherine, is self-explanatory. Of course, a copy of the game is included as well.

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Drawing inspiration from characters clothing for tangible goodies is a great idea, but it doesn’t quite work out here. The plain white cotton t-shirt is hardly a fashion statement – the imagery of partially filled hearts and “empty” text is far from the most iconic thing in the game. Honestly, Vincent’s pink “Rave” shirt would have made much more sense as a special edition item (and was packaged in the PAL region’s “Stray Sheep” release). The garish boxers are spot on, though. Vincent spends about half his time running around in those alone during puzzle segments. However, as boxers, you can’t really wear them out and about unless you happen to be doing some Catherine-focused cosplay. As for the pillowcase, Vincent does carry one around, but it’s not a mini-dakimakura of his lover.

The included artbook is 32 pages long and features some excellent color art on high-quality paper. Each page pops with character portraits set against stark-colored backdrops. A plastic CD sleeve is attached to one of the final pages – a sampler containing 11 tracks from the soundtrack. This is far from the whole soundtrack, of course, but it’s a nice start. Though the unorthodox combination of art book and CD sleeve makes organization a bit tricky, the book looks great on any collector’s bookshelf. The do lose some of their “value” as pre-order bonuses on account of being packaged in the box, though.

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The Catherine “Love is Over” Deluxe Edition strikes a good balance between wacky and cool with its focus on bringing in-game items into player possession. Sure, boxer shorts and pillow cases may not be the most practical bonuses, but they’re definitely more unique than mediocre statuettes and DLC codes.

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