Giant Bomb Review

621 Comments

Catherine Review

2
  • X360
  • PS3

You won't find another game on the market that's quite like Catherine, but it fumbles too frequently to work.

The alignment meter pops up to let you know that the story is considering your decisions.

There aren't a lot of games out there like Catherine, and even fewer of them exist in English-speaking territories. That's probably one of the best things going for Atlus' boys-to-men tale about a love triangle with a supernatural twist. It seems that unfaithful men are dying in their sleep, and you'll quickly find yourself caught among their ranks as you figure out what to do with the two girls in your life by day and climbing a seemingly endless supply of block towers in your sleep. You'll need to be adept at both if you want things to end your way, but Catherine's limited character interaction, shallow characters, and monotonous puzzles combine to form a unique experience that feels frustratingly limited in every respect.

In the game you'll play as Vincent, a weak, wishy-washy sort of guy who's always getting admonished or outright bossed around by his longtime girlfriend, Katherine. Just as he's lamenting that he's not sure he's ready to commit further in this relationship, a younger woman named Catherine stumbles into his life, and before long, he's cheating on his girlfriend with Catherine, who, by comparison, seems completely carefree and indifferent about, well, everything. Being faced with a choice between carefree youth and the increasing responsibilities of adulthood only intensifies as the story proceeds. Before long, things get decidedly supernatural as rumors start of nightmares that are killing traitorous men in their sleep and, sure enough, cheating Vincent finds himself in a nightly fight for survival against endless block-filled towers and his own worst fears.

The interactive parts of Catherine are broken into two separate chunks. When awake, you'll watch a lot of cutscenes and hear a lot of dialogue, but you'll eventually find yourself turned loose in a bar, where your friends gather at the end of every night. In the bar you can walk around and talk to the various patrons, many of whom are also enduring the same nightly ordeals that you are, but no one can really remember their dreams all that clearly. Most of the dialogue has you sitting and listening to their stories, but you'll occasionally get to make a dialogue choice that might just give them the encouragement they need to survive the night's trials. You'll also receive text messages from the two ladies in your life, and how you respond to them--or, in fact, if you respond to them--helps determine how the story unfolds by swinging an alignment meter one way or the other. Generally speaking, it'll shift to the blue side if you're choosing the responsible options that Katherine might agree with or red if your decisions are more in line with something that free-wheeling Catherine might do. The interactions feel incredibly limited, and there isn't that much to do in the bar before heading home and starting the next action stage unless you're interested in playing a retro-styled arcade version of the block puzzles that make up the rest to the game or working over the jukebox, which slowly gives you access to Catherine's soundtrack, as well as select cuts from Persona 4 and other Atlus releases.

Catherine's just kind of annoying.

At night, the action begins, as Vincent finds himself surrounded by sheep at the foot of a large tower of blocks. You can push or pull the blocks around, and the goal is to quickly climb the tower. The game starts out slowly to show you the basic logic behind the blocks' properties. For example, blocks will attach at diagonal edges, so you don't always need to have a block directly underneath another block for support. Once you've got the basics, later levels start introducing special blocks, like ones that crumble when you step on them, or trampoline-style blocks that let you jump up and grab onto ledges you wouldn't be able to reach otherwise, or ice blocks that cause you (and the blocks you're pushing) to slip and keep moving. Once you get the logic behind how the blocks move and start to see solutions in the puzzles instead of just a mountain of blocks, it isn't impossibly difficult. Unfortunately, that moment didn't happen for me until I was most of the way through the game. But the difficulty of the individual puzzles isn't what brings Catherine down. It's their repetitive nature. It feels like there are tons of levels in the game, and they're all roughly the same. The special blocks change things up a bit, and you'll have to climb towers while running away from a large boss-style monster during the last puzzle of every night, but the act of pulling and pushing blocks around to form staircases and create paths doesn't hold up for the entire game, and by night three or four (which is a little before the game's halfway point), I found myself not wanting to play anymore.

The big issues with Catherine are that the gameplay of block puzzles gets old fast and the way the characters develop in the story isn't engaging enough to pick up the slack. Despite being able to make choices that sway the alignment meter and alter the outcome of the story, Vincent's behavior usually doesn't line up with the choices you've made. Even if you're very clearly steering him in one direction, the story beats essentially force him to remain mostly indecisive right up until the final set of challenges. In my case, this resulted in a Vincent who was constantly saying that he was looking to remain true to Katherine, yet kept having nervous breakdowns about Catherine and her feelings. Considering how pushy and psycho Catherine acts, it's hard to imagine anyone feeling the need to "let her down gently." With the characters written that way, it's hard to care about the story very much, especially when you consider that most of your choices are made in-between action stages, where a confessional booth acts as some sort of personality test, asking this-or-that questions about how you'd act in specific situations and so on. It feels like the decisions you're making are almost completely detached from the story itself.

Big bosses will try to trip you up as you climb the tower.

That said, the story sequences themselves are pretty well-made. There are a handful of fully animated sequences, but even the in-engine stuff is sharp, colorful, and full of personality. Some of the characters you'll meet around the bar have interesting side stories that are told both in and out of the dream world, and the voice cast is solid enough to make those stories work. It's a shame that most of the game's strongest points are practically crammed into the margins to make room for more block pushing.

It's certainly not awful, but too many aspects of Catherine felt like they were actively trying to push me away. More variety in the gameplay would have helped, as would more meaningful interactions with the game's cast. As it stands, the coolest thing about Catherine is that there really isn't anything else out there like it. If that's enough for you, you'll probably have a better time with the game than I did.

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
621 Comments
Posted by Nocall

454 comments? that's pretty ridiculous. 
 
remember, you were the ones begging for a review of this game last week (*cough* formspring *cough* forums) 
 
and, judging by that and the maturity of your responses, i doubt jeff or anyone else will ever want to review an anime game again.

Posted by Peanut

The thing kind of driving me crazy about this at this point is the people just assuming the game is shit because of the score. This game isn't shit. It's well made, it plays well and if you get into it there's a lot to like, it's just not for everybody and clearly wasn't for J. This isn't fucking Duke Nukem, which is just a BAD GAME. This is why in a case like this, the star system doesn't work. Duke Nukem was a broken pile of trash which has few, if any,  redeeming qualities, Catherine is just divisive in a ton of ways.

Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Nocall said:
and, judging by that and the maturity of your responses, i doubt jeff or anyone else will ever want to review an anime game again.
1.  I don't think it being anime has much to do with it. 
2.  Who cares? So be it if they don't review an anime game again.
Posted by Phonics

Here comes a shocker brace yourselves weboos: not everyone loves anime like you.

Posted by Catolf
@Phonics said:
Here comes a shocker brace yourselves weboos: not everyone loves anime like you.
it's people like you who make me want to hit something. It has nothing to do with it being/having anime. Brace yourself, it's just because Jeff wasn't a fan of the gameplay..
Posted by apoloimagod

Wow, I knew Jeff wasn't particularly fond of this game, but I thought I'd see a 3 stars review. I was worried myself about the gameplay pretty much boiling down to that block block pushing puzzle game. Still, I can't help wonder what would've happened if either Ryan or Brad (who seem more open to new gameplay experiences.

Posted by karatetron

D:

Posted by LordXavierBritish

The one thing I was somewhat confused about was the claim that the puzzles don't hold up for the entire length. I felt it kept a decent pace by introducing new blocks and techniques to you each night so that you were rarely ever doing the same thing or beating a level in the same way. I don't think I could say that I truly mastered the gameplay of Catherine until the final night, and I take that as a hallmark of a well paced game. I guess if you don't like the gameplay in the first few hours though you're not going to like it at any point after.

As for the story, I didn't go in having any preconceived plans of what I was going to do so in the end I felt Vincent played his role quite well in my story and I felt a real connection to the character. I think the real fault of Catherine is that it doesn't have much variability when it comes to the main beats of the story.

Posted by Mystyr_E

Kind of makes me nervous for the fall, I mean....what if Jeff reviews Dark Souls? :P 
 
I'd fear for my life and every poster on here if the score was low

Edited by DaBuddaDa

@Binman88 said:

People moaning about this game getting this score are silly.

However, I'd love to see what the crossover is between people who blasted Jim Sterling's 6/10 score for Bastion (the lowest score by a fair margin on Metacritic for that game, at least upon release) as being "purposefully contrarian", and considered his opinion irrelevant and attention-seeking, and the people who are now saying that we should respect Jeff's opinion on Catherine, despite it being an even lower score and by an even larger margin when compared to the rest. If there's no evidence to suggest any underhandedness, then you should accept their opinion for what it is; but I'd love to see who was both quick to berate Destructoid and quick to jump to Jeff's defence here.

The content of the review text is the major difference between Jeff and Jim's reviews. Jeff's are honest and straightforward, Jim's are snotty, unreasonable and agenda-driven.

Posted by Ventilaator
@Tennmuerti said:

@Khann said:

Oh Giantbomb community how you amuse me so.

Jim Sterling gives his honest opinion on Bastion that conflicts with most other reviewers opinions and gives it a low score as a result. GB community "HOLY SHIT JIM STERLING IS THE WORST MOTHER FUCKER IN THE WORLD AND DESTRUCTOID IS JUST AS BAD. I HOPE HE BURNS ETERNALLY"

Jeff does the exact same thing. GB community "That's OK Jeff. My opinion doesn't align with yours, but I understand people can have opinions that differ from mine.. oh and FUCK EVERYONE WHO SAYS ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT THIS REVIEW AND MAY YOU BURN IN ETERNAL FLAMES"

You guys are just as fucking moronic as any other community, and it's laughable that you think you aren't.

The main problem with your argument is that Jim Sterling makes controversial reviews that don't allign with the majority almost all the time and does so with the sole purpose of getting hits.

I found this bit completely hilarious. 
 
Khann: "Jim Sterling writes a review that's off the Metacritic average and people say  he did it to get hits and how he's an attention seeking asshole, now that Jeff does it it's suddenly okay?"
 
Tennmuerti: "Well, the difference is that Sterling writes reviews for getting hits because he's an attention seeking asshole"
 
The fact that saying this even sounded like a valid argument in your head is amusing me greatly.
Posted by Simulacrum

Kinda figuried Jeff wouldn't like this very much.
 
Oh well.

Posted by Phonics
@Catolf said:
@Phonics said:
Here comes a shocker brace yourselves weboos: not everyone loves anime like you.
it's people like you who make me want to hit something. 
 So people who don't enjoy your 'refined' taste for shitty dialogue and boring characters make you want to get violent? Typical japanophile.
Edited by FluxWaveZ
@Phonics said:

Here comes a shocker brace yourselves weboos: not everyone loves anime like you.

HAHAHA. You use the word "weeaboo", for one, and you can't even spell it correctly. That's fucking hilarious.
Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Mystyr_E said:
Kind of makes me nervous for the fall, I mean....what if Jeff reviews Dark Souls? :P  I'd fear for my life and every poster on here if the score was low
Hm. Do you think the reaction would be this crazy if Dark Souls also got 2 stars? Makes me wonder. Also makes me want to see it happen.
Posted by Catolf
@Phonics said:
@Catolf said:
@Phonics said:
Here comes a shocker brace yourselves weboos: not everyone loves anime like you.
it's people like you who make me want to hit something. 
 So people who don't enjoy your 'refined' taste for shitty dialogue and boring characters make you want to get violent? Typical japanophile.
A typical 'Japanophile' huh? Coming from a person who can't actually spell Weeaboo correctly to insult people is quite funny. But no, I just wanna hit you because your are and act like a douche. I don't care if you don't like anime, thats just fine with me, but when you act like a an A-typical asshole is when i wanna hit something.
 
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Mystyr_E said:
Kind of makes me nervous for the fall, I mean....what if Jeff reviews Dark Souls? :P  I'd fear for my life and every poster on here if the score was low
Hm. Do you think the reaction would be this crazy if Dark Souls also got 2 stars? Makes me wonder. Also makes me want to see it happen.
I have no idea, but i'd like to see it happen as well.
Posted by Phonics
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Phonics said:

Here comes a shocker brace yourselves weboos: not everyone loves anime like you.

HAHAHA. You use the word "weeaboo", for one, and you can't even spell it correctly. That's fucking hilarious.
Yeah because no one ever has used weeboo instead of weaboo you goddamn genius.  Sit down kid, no one cares how much you love Japan fucking freak.
Posted by Able

Not surprised.  When a game is marketed with breast you know what crowd they're aiming for.  Just look at the collector's edition, really panties and a pillow case.  The anime crowd always looked like a bunch of nerdy perverts. 

Posted by Phonics

How to sell a billion copies of a game to pathetic anime fans: Banal block puzzles and anime girls.

Posted by Catolf
@Able said:
Not surprised.  When a game is marketed with breast you know what crowd they're aiming for.  Just look at the collector's edition, really panties and a pillow case.  The anime crowd always looked like a bunch of nerdy perverts. 
it was boxers on this side. I'm sorry you have nothing you like thats titillating?
 
@Phonics said:
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Phonics said:

Here comes a shocker brace yourselves weboos: not everyone loves anime like you.

HAHAHA. You use the word "weeaboo", for one, and you can't even spell it correctly. That's fucking hilarious.
Yeah because no one ever has used weeboo instead of weaboo you goddamn genius.  Sit down kid, no one cares how much you love Japan fucking freak.

chill the heck out troll.
Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Phonics said:
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Phonics said:

Here comes a shocker brace yourselves weboos: not everyone loves anime like you.

HAHAHA. You use the word "weeaboo", for one, and you can't even spell it correctly. That's fucking hilarious.
Yeah because no one ever has used weeboo instead of weaboo you goddamn genius.  Sit down kid, no one cares how much you love Japan fucking freak.
Oooh. Hey, look at the Internet tough guy over here! I bet you feel real manly calling a bunch of people "weboos". Man, I'm scared of you. You're way too intimidating for a "weboo" like me.
Posted by Phonics
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Phonics said:
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Phonics said:

Here comes a shocker brace yourselves weboos: not everyone loves anime like you.

HAHAHA. You use the word "weeaboo", for one, and you can't even spell it correctly. That's fucking hilarious.
Yeah because no one ever has used weeboo instead of weaboo you goddamn genius.  Sit down kid, no one cares how much you love Japan fucking freak.
Oooh. Hey, look at the Internet tough guy over here! I bet you feel real manly calling a bunch of people "weboos". Man, I'm scared of you. You're way too intimidating for a "weboo" like me.
Typical response. Let me guess next you're going to call me a troll. Get off your hind legs kid, no one will take your anime away from you don't worry about it. Go write some Persona fanfic or something. 
Posted by Gabriel

I'm still kinda baffaled why people ever though this game looked appealing.

Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Phonics said: 
Typical response. Let me guess next you're going to call me a troll. Get off your hind legs kid, no one will take your anime away from you don't worry about it. Go write some Persona fanfic or something. 
  
Edited by Tennmuerti

@Ventilaator: Learn to read grasshopper. You omitted a large part of my response that pointed out the difference, which is that Jim Starling does it on a regular basis. Not my problem if you failed to understand and missed the words "all the time" in that quote.

Edited by Gabriel

Also Catolf needs to go outside, I mean out of 480 comments he has about 100 of them.

Posted by CocoRodriguez--defunct

Gerstmann owns.

Posted by Nocall
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Nocall said:
and, judging by that and the maturity of your responses, i doubt jeff or anyone else will ever want to review an anime game again.
1.  I don't think it being anime has much to do with it. 2.  Who cares? So be it if they don't review an anime game again.
being an anime game has nothing to do with the review itself, but it's pretty clear where the interests of most of the review's detractors lay--including yourself, from the ragin' you've been doing in the comments section here.  stop lying to yourself, if the cutscenes and anime stylings were removed from this game then most, if not all, of the complainers here wouldn't care. 
Posted by Catolf
@Gabriel said:

Also Catolf needs to go outside, I mean out of 480 comments he has about 100 of them.

deal with it son. word.
Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Nocall said:
including yourself, from the ragin' you've been doing in the comments section here. 
What are you talking about? Except for the dude that used the word "weboo" I'm not sure what other "ragin'" I've done in this comment section so please point it out for me.
Posted by Nocall
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Nocall said:
including yourself, from the ragin' you've been doing in the comments section here. 
What are you talking about? Except for the dude that used the word "weboo" I'm not sure what other "ragin'" I've done in this comment section so please point it out for me.
so you haven't been ragin' except for when you were ragin'?
Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Nocall said:
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Nocall said:
including yourself, from the ragin' you've been doing in the comments section here. 
What are you talking about? Except for the dude that used the word "weboo" I'm not sure what other "ragin'" I've done in this comment section so please point it out for me.
so you haven't been ragin' except for when you were ragin'?
You said it as though I was angry about this review, which couldn't be more wrong. That's totally unrelated to Mr. Internet tough guy so what's your point, exactly?
Posted by Phonics
@FluxWaveZ: You obviously identify yourself as the weaboos I was making fun off. Jokes on you, now stop embarrassing yourself and go to bed or something.
Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Phonics said:
@FluxWaveZ: You obviously identify yourself as the weaboos I was making fun off. Jokes on you, now stop embarrassing yourself and go to bed or something.
Posted by Nocall
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Nocall said:
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Nocall said:
including yourself, from the ragin' you've been doing in the comments section here. 
What are you talking about? Except for the dude that used the word "weboo" I'm not sure what other "ragin'" I've done in this comment section so please point it out for me.
so you haven't been ragin' except for when you were ragin'?
You said it as though I was angry about this review, which couldn't be more wrong. That's totally unrelated to Mr. Internet tough guy so what's your point, exactly?
My initial point was that this, and all the other little sub-conversations (including the weboo one) would not be taking place if this game was devoid of anime elements. That's all.
Posted by Phonics
@FluxWaveZ: Maybe if you spam enough .gifs people will start taking the fanbase of games like this seriously. Haha.
Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Nocall said: 
My initial point was that this, and all the other little sub-conversations (including the weboo one) would not be taking place if this game was devoid of anime elements. That's all.
Yeah, and I never disagreed to that. What I meant by "anime doesn't have much to do with it" is that any game that had hype and was reviewed positively pretty much everywhere else with Giant Bomb as the exception would be getting angry comments akin to the ones that are present here.
Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Phonics said:
@FluxWaveZ: Maybe if you spam enough .gifs people will start taking the fanbase of games like this seriously. Haha.
Posted by Nocall
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Nocall said: 
My initial point was that this, and all the other little sub-conversations (including the weboo one) would not be taking place if this game was devoid of anime elements. That's all.
Yeah, and I never disagreed to that. What I meant by "anime doesn't have much to do with it" is that any game that had hype and was reviewed positively pretty much everywhere else with Giant Bomb as the exception would be getting angry comments akin to the ones that are present here.
I apologize for misunderstanding your opinion. I saw the anime avatar and made an incorrect assumption. In that, I was wrong, and I am sorry. 
Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Nocall said: 
I apologize for misunderstanding your opinion. I saw the anime avatar and made an incorrect assumption. In that, I was wrong, and I am sorry. 
Hey man, no problem. As long as we understand each other clearly.
Posted by drac96

@cabelhigh said:

@halochief_90 said:
As much as I hate how oysteinBrenne worded it, he's right in how someone who hates anime shouldn't be reviewing this game. Anime haters won't be touching this game with a ten-foot pole.
I think Jeff's problem has nothing to do with him hating anime, but instead that the story and the character re so idiosyncratic that they don't work together. When he mentioned that you can make Vincent say he wants to be faithful but the game makes it so that he has to cheat I lost a lot of sympathy for that character and, as a result, interest in the game. Anime's got nothing to do with it.

While I can see the point you're making I feel that Jeff's comment about Vincent is a bit misleading. I don't want to give away too much, but it isn't as simple as that. If you were interested in the game previously and that comment threw you off, I'd reconsider.

Posted by Binman88
@DaBuddaDa said:

@Binman88 said:

People moaning about this game getting this score are silly.

However, I'd love to see what the crossover is between people who blasted Jim Sterling's 6/10 score for Bastion (the lowest score by a fair margin on Metacritic for that game, at least upon release) as being "purposefully contrarian", and considered his opinion irrelevant and attention-seeking, and the people who are now saying that we should respect Jeff's opinion on Catherine, despite it being an even lower score and by an even larger margin when compared to the rest. If there's no evidence to suggest any underhandedness, then you should accept their opinion for what it is; but I'd love to see who was both quick to berate Destructoid and quick to jump to Jeff's defence here.

The content of the review text is the major difference between Jeff and Jim's reviews. Jeff's are honest and straightforward, Jim's are snotty, unreasonable and agenda-driven.

You're going to have to point out those parts of the review to me, because I didn't find anything particularly snotty or unreasonable in Jim's review of Bastion, nor do I see any reason to think there was an agenda behind his opinion of that game (an opinion and score which was still quite favourable). What it boils down to is a vocal group of people getting in a huff when they see a single slightly less glowing review of the game they love. Instead of accepting that their favourite game isn't loved by everyone, they find it easier to accuse the reviewer of trolling and proceed to tell everyone how awful that reviewer is.
 
As I see it, the people that are quick to disparage Destructoid every time they post a review are simply jumping on the bandwagon. The idea that some of those same people would come to Jeff's defence here would ultimately prove that fact. 
 
At the end of the day, the only way to approach reviews is to get to know the reviewer that's writing them and making up your own mind. Personally, I don't place much trust in Jeff's reviews, or Ryan's for that matter, but I don't need to start a thread telling people to stop reading them. For some people, Jeff and Ryan's reviews will be extremely relevant. Same goes for Jim. Same goes for every reviewer out there. Throwing insults at reviewers because their opinions don't line up with yours is extremely childish. 
Edited by Raineko

I disagree with this rating. The puzzling is awesome.
 
Also I have already lost faith in Jeff.

Posted by Swifdemon

Negative reviews are my favorite ones on this site, especially for games I've enjoyed. They usually highlight points I glaze over, yet recognize in retrospect. Good points, opinionated, and I can usually see why the reviewer didn't like it rather well. Just because they've given it a bad score doesn't mean you should not like it either.
 
Also, the rage from such low scores is always delightful.

Posted by sgt_waffles

Classic...

Posted by Potter9156

Anime fans rage. This is funny.

Posted by Quacktastic

500 comments.  2 user reviews.

Posted by Nekroskop

I hope Jeff never changes this score or the review. Keep on trucking, man.

Posted by Braumeister

Anyone old enough to legally buy this game will probably find their intelligence insulted by the big reveal before the 9th and final stage. Psychosexual drama isn't compelling when characters and plot aren't believable, and the plot twist... I shudder to call it that... near the conclusion of the game is ridiculous even for a Japanese anime title. Particularly a mature rated game, which, let's face it, this isn't. This is T&A for teens. Even with that intended audience, dumb and lazy is the only way I can describe the wrap up of this particular game.
 
But the first 4/5 are pretty enjoyable. If you stretch your mental muscles a bit, the puzzle elements can be rewarding. And even Catherine, who, as a femme fatale is too blonde bimbo vacuous to be truly sexy even when homicidal, is still modeled well enough that you don't care, and pushy, controlling Katherine manages to get more appealing as the game goes along. 
 
Taken on their own, neither the puzzle elements or the characters and story of Catherine would justify a game on their own. The puzzles can be excruciatingly hard and without libido driving completion, probably not worth the effort. The story needs some sort of interactivity to break up the cutscenes. I can't help but wonder which came first, game or movie, but together it kinda works. For a while.

Posted by i77ogical
@JacDG said:

@oysteinBrenne said:

WOW this review is fucking terrible sorry jeffs this is the worst review you have ever done


Here go watch a better Review

Why is it the worst review he's ever done? I think he explains what he likes, and do not like, pretty clearly. I'm guessing you are saying this just because you disagree, not a reason to call it a terrible review.

It's not that Jeff doesn't like a game, it's the WAY he doesn't like it. He is broodingly negative, eviscerating what is really just an entertainment. It's not like he's saving us from driving faulty cars that are going to explode on the freeway. 
 
Jeff Gerstmann is a certified buzzkill more often than not these days. Did you hear Ryan ask him on this week's podcast, "Did  you play anything you LIKED this week?" Then, when Ryan turned it over to Brad, to try to lighten the mood, Jeff was a downer about Starfox 64 as well.  
 
I'd buy a yearly sub to Giantbomb if only Jeff could lighten up. Maybe he's aged out of reviewing video games. He only seems to get excited when it's a game that reminds him of the past, like fighting games. He's a talented guy. He should do something he's passionate about, not cranky and surly.