How far would you go to you save someone dear to you?
That’s the question asked by Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo, a horrifying new visual novel from Square Enix. At the heart of this adventure lies the Rite of Resurrection, something which is said to be able to bring a loved one back from the dead. But at what cost? That’s for you to discover.
It’s hard to talk about Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of the Honjo without spoiling things – this is the type of game that’s better to go into blind, so that its twists and turns have more of an effect. But being a visual novel, there are some things you can expect.
There’s an abundance of text, for example, otherwise it wouldn’t be a novel. And as you’d hope for this type of game, it’s well-written and thoroughly engaging. Over the course of the game you’ll be in control of numerous protagonists, and thanks to brilliant characterisation you’ll probably become attached to them all. It’s just a shame there’s no voice acting to bring them to life a little better.
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Also, what would a visual novel be without eye-catching graphics? Along with the game’s dark subject matter comes a dark visual style, with foreboding environments and edgy characters. Needless to say, on the presentation front, Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is strong.
Ultimately though, it’s the story here that will keep you hooked. You’ll start out in control of just one character, Shogo Okiie, who’s struck up a relationship with a girl who’s really into the occult. But agreeing to help her look into the Seven Mysteries of Honjo leads to disaster. It’s then that he comes into possession of a cursed stone.
It seems that these cursed stones allow their holders to instantly kill people once certain conditions are met, with their victim’s soul dregs then being absorbed. But there’s a catch: while the soul dregs of a typical person are negligible, those of another cursed stone user are much more potent. And so, if someone wants to fully charge their cursed stone, hunting down other cursed stone holders and killing them is the way to go.
The question is, what does a fully-charged cursed stone do? That’s for you to find out while playing Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo. Along the way, you’ll have to solve puzzles, think outside the box, and make important decisions that will shape your adventure. It’s safe to say that this is a game that keeps you on your toes; you can’t simply turn off and just click through text.
To some, the words “visual novel” will probably be an instant turn off, but we implore those who are fond of attention-grabbing mysteries or horror to give Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo a go. A visual novel it may be, but it doesn’t bog players down with too much reading between its bouts of investigation and problem solving. It’s truly tense at times, too. Death is part and parcel of the experience, but you’ll still be on edge at the prospect of it.
Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is something a little left-field from Square Enix, but we’re very glad it exists. With its budget price, this should serve as an enticing intro to the visual novel genre for many, while those who are already fans of the genre will simply lap it up. A dark narrative with lashings of humour and some clever gameplay touches make this one of the best surprises of 2023 so far.