- System: Nintendo Switch, PC, Mobile
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release Date: March 8, 2023
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Visual Novel, Horror
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://paranormasight.square-enix-games.com/en-us/
Visual novel horror has definitely led to some of our best gaming memories here at Honey’s Anime. Games like The Letter, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, and the great Higurashi franchise are some of the best examples of how a visual novel can really instill into a player fear, dread, and chills. Well, folks, we might have found one of the best horror VNs we’ve ever played here at Honey’s Anime and it comes from Square Enix!
PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is the latest title from the well-known developer/publisher and we were blessed enough to play this title before its release. Is PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo the next true horror VN to join the legends or should it be a mystery left unsolved? We find out in our review PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo for the Nintendo Switch!
Kill…Kill Them All
PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo (PARANORMASIGHT) takes place in Honjo, a small city known for a long history of paranormal mysteries but specifically, The Seven Mysteries of Honjo. These various tales seem straight from fiction but in reality, they are rooted in tragic tales of death, curses, and horror. Several individuals one night are given the title of Curse Bearers and each is given a power from the mysteries that they must use to kill each other for one gift, the Rite of Resurrection and the ability to resurrect the dead…
We would love to go further than that but let’s be real, you don’t want spoilers in PARANORMASIGHT, this is a VN that going in as blind as you can not only increase the narrative tension but equally make the horror that much scarier. What we can say is we absolutely loved every second of every character/plot in PARANORMASIGHT. From the titular main character Shogo Okiie—we say that because he really isn’t the main man—to the various other odd people you’ll meet, each has a uniqueness that many VNs and horror games lack.
Take for example one Curse Bearer named Harue Shigima, her son was killed—we won’t say why—and it seems obvious why she’d want to kill to bring him back to life. However, as you play through her story in PARANORMASIGHT, you’ll see she might not be too choked up about having to kill other Curse Bearers. Each character has a big role to play in PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo and witnessing each story intertwine is just so exhilarating.
Control the Fate of These Men and Women
Early on you’ll soon realize that you are kind of acting as an observer of these various people. After you meet the very weird observer of sorts, you’ll soon learn that your main goal in PARANORMASIGHT is to guide these various souls to their proper fate and that is done in a very simple but intuitive VN formula. Like most VNs you’ll do a lot of reading—no voice overs here sadly—but there’s more to PARANORMASIGHT than just clicking one option of several to see where it leads. You might need to find an item and use it then discard it later unless you want to meet a grizzly fate. You might need to alter in-game menus to avoid a cursed attack and there are times when trusting someone for an entire story could spell doom later.
PARANORMASIGHT is chock full of various little actions the player needs to take in order to solve various puzzles and find alternative routes per story. Even moving the camera—yes, you can maneuver a camera to examine an area—might lead to death if done while talking to someone. PARANORMASIGHT is a simple VN at its core but there are a lot of additional gameplay mechanics that make you feel like you’re not just reading text but really solving a mystery.
Dead End…Or Another End
Akin to many horror games like Corpse Party, there are a multitude of Dead Ends in PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo. These dead ends could happen from failing to obey an on-screen action or just not figuring out what you needed to do during a dialogue. Thankfully, PARANORMASIGHT’s Dead Ends are kind of necessary sometimes.
There is a lengthy flow chart system that gives players the ability to move around to other stories, witness various paths/conclusions, and sometimes requires completing one segment before unlocking further ones in another. Honestly, not a single Dead End felt silly or not worth seeing once in PARANORMASIGHT and some are downright scary. We may have thrown our Nintendo Switch onto a bed more than once…luckily it has a heavy case…
Junji Ito x Higurashi x Corpse Party
The art for PARANORMASIGHT kind of reminded us of a Junji Ito story with themes of Corpse Party and Higurashi for good measure. What does this mean though? It means PARANORMASIGHT looks fantastic and equally has some wonderful audio that basically BEGS players to use a nice pair of headphones while playing. The creepy ambiance of the various nightly settings and the creepy ghosts/curses screams Junji Ito but the setting/themes harken to the oddities of Corpse Party and Higurashi. Even on the Nintendo Switch, PARANORMASIGHT looks incredible for a VN, and the pseudo 80/90s feel—as shown by the TV-like menu—just helps the game more than one can understand.
The screenshots we show in this review only capture just a bit of the visual greatness you can expect while playing but trust us…there are even greater—and truly scary—effects just waiting to be discovered…whether intentional or by accident.
PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is what we hope EVERY horror visual novel learns from going forward. Not only is the story interesting and deep but the horror elements are genuinely scary! We loved how this isn’t your typical VN experience and has players do more than just read hours of text with minimal decisions or actions. PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is excellent and if you love horror VNs, then you need to pre-order this game immediately!
Are you hyped for PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo? Especially after reading our review? Comment below to let us know! For more game reviews and all things otaku keep stuck to our spooky-hive here at Honey’s Anime!