I’ve dropped off the visual novel genre a little bit over the last few years, but wow, I absolutely loved my time playing through Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo. On face-value alone, it might be seen as just another horror visual novel that’ll keep players guessing with its eerie storytelling, but everything here is so perfectly executed that it’s hard not to be blown away by it all.
Check out some screenshots down below:
I have to admit, I wish I wasn’t tasked with writing this review. Not because I don’t have plenty of things to say about it and not because it’s a bad game either, but rather that I don’t want to spoil a single aspect of it for players. Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is an incredibly clever experience that shows an array of bright ideas across its storytelling and puzzling mechanics, and I simply don’t want to spoil them for potential players. With that in mind, this is going to be a more condensed review than usual, though I will say this from the get-go: if you enjoy visual novels or simply being spooked, Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is a must play game.
Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo’s main story revolves around special artifacts known as Curse Stones, with the player finding themselves in possession of one following a horrific turn of events. These Curse Stones can be used to kill people provided *special* circumstances are met, with its victim’s souls then being absorbed to grant the Curse Stone more strength. If someone who holds another Curse Stone is killed? It’ll receive a greater boost of power, with it eventually being strong enough to perform the Rite of Resurrection, allowing its holder to bring a dead person back to life. It’s something that doesn’t only motivate protagonist Shogo Okiie, but also some of the other Curse Stone holders he encounters on his journey…
“Not only is Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo incredibly well-written and packed with engrossing twists-and-turns, but it also isn’t afraid to break the fourth wall and make the player feel like they really are a part of the experience.”
The storytelling of the game is absolutely spectacular. Not only is Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo incredibly well-written and packed with engrossing twists-and-turns, but it also isn’t afraid to break the fourth wall and make the player feel like they really are a part of the experience. You’ll see the story unfold from multiple perspectives to give you a better understanding of the overall plot, whilst the way everything is connected feels very clever and always gives players a wider understanding of the scale of the narrative. It’s just really, REALLY good, and whilst I won’t go into the finer details of the plot to avoid spoilers, it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.
If I had to complain about one little thing with the storytelling, it’d be the lack of voice overs. It’s a minor detail in the grand scheme of things, but it does detract from the cinematic vibe a little. It’s a shame too, because the artwork throughout the game is fantastic and really fits the dark and spooky theme of the game. I’ve often found it hard to be creeped out by visual novels, but Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is full of little moments that were eerily illustrated and really caught me off-guard.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Of course, there are moments of interactivity outside of simply reading text, with dialogue choices to be made and puzzles to solve. It’s also possible to die a LOT, with the players then expected to replay through sections in order to change their fate – something that can prove tricky, with some conundrums sure to keep players perplexed as they try to figure out what to do. What’s clever is that the game gives you little hints as to what you need to do in order to prevent your death, with it sometimes requiring you to make a different choice at a branching path or even do something a bit more… game specific. I won’t say more than that, but it ties into Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo breaking the fourth wall, and I really loved it.
Look, I really don’t want to say more about Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo because it is best to be experienced first-hand. All you need to know is that the storytelling is great, the puzzles are clever, and the visuals look great. I haven’t even mentioned the clean UI or accessible story chart that make it easy to track all of the information you’ve learned along the way, which really helps players keep on top of all of the finer details of the narrative.
Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo Review
Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is a superb visual novel that blends together gripping storytelling with some really clever gameplay mechanics. I was completely hooked in from start to end, so much so that I found it hard to stop thinking about the game each time I stopped playing… it’s THAT good.
I’d love to go into depth about all the things that make the game so damn good, but I don’t want to spoil anything here. Just trust me when I say it’s a fantastic experience and one that I’d recommend to both visual novel veterans and those who’ve been itching to dip their toes into the genre.
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), Nintendo Switch