Not The Cat’s Meow – Catlateral Damage review

Catlateral Damage

Developer: Chris Chung | Publiser: N/A | Available On: PC, OS X, Linux, OUYA, Razer Forge TV, PlayStation 4 (reviewed), HTC Vive | Release Date: May 27, 2015 (PC, OS X, Linux); June 11, 2015 (OUYA); February 18, 2016 (Razer Forge TV); March 22, 2016 (PS4); May 27, 2016 (Vive)

Catlateral Damage is a simulation game that lets you play as a cat whose sole purpose in life is knock shit over and fuck things up. Which, let’s be honest, is that not the sole purpose of every cat? In theory, it seems like a blast. A super simple yet fun concept that I can’t believe didn’t come up sooner. When I first found out about this game before its PS4 release, I was freaking pumped about it, consumate cat lady that I am. However, it wasn’t until recently that I justified the purchase to myself, and I almost wish I hadn’t. This is one of those things that just seems to be good in concept but rather poor in execution.

Visuals & Gameplay

Visually, I don’t have much to complain about. It looks cartoon-y and cute, and that seems fitting for this kind of game. The layout of the levels remind me a quite a bit of Katamari, which is definitely not a bad thing.

Gameplay wise, that’s where it starts to fall apart. There are different game modes, but they all equate to the same idea – create chaos. Which fine, good! That’s what I signed up for! However, I couldn’t play for more than an hour without getting incredibly motion sick. Basically the kind of sick that incapacitates a person for hours. I honestly don’t think anything has made me that sick in years, especially not a game. Sickness aside, between wild swinging of the camera and the lack of responsiveness for button pushes and objects in the environment, there’s literally nothing about this play experience that feels good. As a matter of fact, I don’t even want to begin to try and comprehend what this plays like on the Vive. I can’t imagine the level of sick I would be with that when it was already so bad on just a console experience.

To add to the already less than pleasant play experience, the play sessions are interrupted by timed events that get you bonuses for completing them. This would be fine and actually pretty fun if not for the aforementioned misery that is the game’s mechanics. Completing the events becomes a chore that makes it almost impossible to complete the actual objectives of the level.

Characters, Story, & Atmosphere

There really isn’t very much to say here, which is fine, that’s the nature of this game and in no way is that a complaint. All there really is to talk about is atmosphere, which that’s fairly good! It’s vibrant and fun looking and reminds me a little bit of the Katamari series in its delivery. Which, hey! I love Katamari!

Final Thoughts

It doesn’t make me happy to give this game this kind of review. I was excited. I really wanted to play it and love it and use it as a palate cleanser between more in-depth games. Unfortunately, I found next to nothing honestly enjoyable about my experience with this game, and have no want to even give it a seond shot due solely to how sick it made me. When I first started the game up, I felt like it would have been a great VR experience, but after how sick I got, it kind of makes me cringe that it’s on the Vive.

This should have been a fun review full of cat puns. Instead, all I’m left with is the memory of laying face down on my couch and groaning in misery. If you have a spotless record of no motion sickness ever in your life, maybe try it if you’re that determined? But I just can’t recommend this game at all. And that makes me sad.

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