Nobody’s gone at length about cellphones in Catherine yet, so I will.

One of my favorite aspects of the game so far is the cellphone mechanic. While you’re chilling in the bar (ie, not asleep and tormented in Kafka’s Inferno) you often receive little SMS texts on your cellphone from various people. Often you can respond to these, and the mechanism you use to do it is to sort of choose haiku style responses by madlibbing text back to the original author. The fun part about this is the mechanics: When you get the prompt to “respond” you bleep a button on your controller and Vince will write the first line back. If you don’t like the line Vince has written you delete it and try again until you get a response that’s closer to your feelings on the situation.

So, example: Catherine sends an SMS saying “Can I come by tonight” and you can respond like this:

*bleep* Hey
(delete) *bleep* Hi Catherine
(delete) *bleep* Sorry, I was working late

*bleep* Tonight’s not a good night
(delete) *bleep* I’m at the bar right now

*bleep* I’m not feeling well
(delete) *bleep* I’m feeling tired though, let’s hang out later

*bleep* Byeeeeeee
(delete) *bleep* Goodnight
(delete) *bleep* ‘Night

Final message:

Sorry, I was working late
I’m at the bar right now
I’m feeling tired though, let’s hang out later
‘Night

The game will then evaluate your response for (I guess?) morality, chaos/law leanings / cheat leanings / etc. and the plot will diverge slightly based on your respones, evasiveness, etc. Whether you reply at all, whether you stay late at the bar or go home right away, etc. The beauty of the SMS thing is that responding takes maybe 10 seconds max and it adds a lot to the sense of immersion.

Read another way: If they put this mechanic verbatim into Persona 5 as a method of social link interaction it’d be fantastic.