Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo Assessment

Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo caught my eye upon its unveiling on the final Nintendo Direct livestream in Japan. I used to be apprehensive for a second that it might solely launch there, although fortunately it was introduced as a worldwide launch shortly after. A brand new horror mystery-adventure recreation developed by Xeen Inc. and printed by Sq. Enix… signal me up. RPG followers may acknowledge Xeen Inc. as the event studio behind the pleasant 3D remake of Trials of Mana.

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Admittedly, Paranormasight is a difficult recreation to speak about and is finest skilled realizing as little as attainable. If you happen to’re the slightest bit eager about an occult thriller set in 80s Japan, I extremely suggest Paranormasight. Shut this overview now and play it as quickly as you get the possibility.

If you wish to know extra, it’s virtually unattainable to speak about Paranormasight earnestly with out spoiling what occurs within the prologue. It’s roughly the primary hour of the sport, however it establishes many core pillars of its premise and construction – which can be, as soon as once more, finest skilled with out realizing the specifics beforehand. 

I’m glad I skilled it with none prior information, so take into account that going ahead.

I actually loved my time with Paranormasight and can strive my finest to maintain spoilers to a minimal past the prologue. With all that mentioned, that is your final spoiler warning. 


Upon beginning Paranormasight, gamers are instantly greeted by the enigmatic, and moderately dapper, Storyteller. He introduces the essential parts of the UI and candidly asks the participant what they’d do in the event that they got the chance to resurrect somebody. 4 responses are laid out – doing it at the price of your individual life, doing it at the price of another person’s life, doing it if there was no value hooked up, or merely passing the chance onto another person.

Regardless of how gamers reply, it supplies a primary pattern of the anticipated tone of Paranormasight to come back. The Storyteller mentions that gamers will likely be assembly characters that every one have completely different solutions to this similar query. Then, gamers get up as a person named Shogo Okiie.

The very first thing that caught out to me is the 360-degree rotational view of the digital camera. Paranormasight typically lets gamers look at the world round them to look at their common environment and any related objects of curiosity. If a participant has exhausted all the pieces there may be to find out about one thing, the sport will present a helpful checkmark when hovering over it to allow them to know that they will relaxation simple in analyzing one thing else. Because of the 360-degree digital camera offering a panoramic picture of the participant’s environment, there’s naturally a fisheye lens impact utilized when wanting round most environments; it took me a bit to get used to, however I finally didn’t even discover it after some time.

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Persons are rapidly launched to a different character, Yoko Fukunaga. Shogo and her are at a playground wanting into the rumors surrounding the Seven Mysteries of Honjo, based mostly on the real-life city legends of the Seven Wonders of Honjo. In Paranormasight, these tales feed into the supernatural Ceremony of Resurrection – a ritual that enables an individual to resurrect somebody they’ve misplaced. Occult fanatic Yoko continues to be heartbroken over the latest lack of her canine and seeks the Ceremony of Resurrection to get them again.

Dialogue choices are a peculiar factor in Paranormasight when talking with somebody. There are a handful of matters to select from, however they’re typically reusable; individuals normally have a number of various things to say about every one, so gamers normally should exhaust every level earlier than continuing. Much like analyzing issues within the atmosphere, a checkmark will point out when an individual has nothing new to say a couple of speaking level. Generally, different dialogue matters should be “accomplished” earlier than continuing ahead with an earlier one, too.

After chatting with Yoko for a bit, catastrophe strikes. A terrified Yoko factors to one thing behind Shogo. Gamers examine behind him to search out… nothing. 


They appear again at Yoko.

She has slumped to the bottom – useless immediately. 

A panicked Shogo requires an ambulance in a close-by phone sales space. Caught ready for assist to reach, he senses the unsettling presence that shook Yoko up. Close by her corpse lies a small trinket and upon touching it, Paranormasight turns right into a recreation I, frankly, wasn’t anticipating.

The trinket is the Curse Stone of the Whispering Canal – one of many Seven Mysteries of Honjo. It provides its person the supernatural energy to kill anybody that faces their again in direction of them with the intent of leaving them. Those who wield Curse Stones are often known as Curse Bearers and every of Honjo’s paranormal tales has a Curse Stone related to them.

Each life {that a} Curse Stone takes is transformed into vitality within the type of ‘soul dregs’. As soon as a Curse Stone collects a certain quantity of soul dregs, it might supposedly provoke the Ceremony of Resurrection. Non Curse Bearers aren’t price a lot soul dregs, however different Curse Bearers have a substantial quantity of soul dregs that rapidly refill Curse Stones.

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Shogo learns a lot of the fundamentals as quickly as he turns into the Curse Bearer of the Whispering Canal. He intends to hunt out different close by Curse Bearers to carry out the Ceremony of Resurrection on Yoko.


Sure, that’s proper; the prologue to Paranormasight isn’t too far off from what you see in JoJo’s Weird Journey.

Gamers make their means round city from one locale to the subsequent to search out Curse Bearers. It provides the sport an opportunity to regularly train gamers about extra mechanics they’ll encounter in Paranormasight. 

Widespread journey recreation parts, equivalent to avoiding unhealthy endings by having the correct merchandise and utilizing it on the proper time, are all current and simple. As an example, a Curse Bearer’s reliance on darkness as a prerequisite to activating their Curse Stone is rapidly countered by an deserted lighter that was picked up shortly beforehand. Each time the participant mistakenly will get Shogo killed, the Storyteller steps in and permits them to re-do it accurately to proceed.


After all, anybody that tries to flee from Shogo naturally has to indicate their again in direction of him. A ‘Use Curse’ immediate exhibits up when the Whispering Canal’s Curse Stone may be utilized, so the participant can begin saving up soul dregs. Not everybody Shogo meets is a direct enemy; different vital characters are launched and aren’t instantly hostile. Nonetheless, it’s troublesome to not be amused by Paranormasight exuding the vitality of JoJo Weird’s Journey when Shogo monologues to himself if the individual standing earlier than him is a Stand Person Curse Bearer and whether or not he can activate his Curse Stone earlier than they will.

There are a couple of segments on this introductory prologue that genuinely shocked me; these particular fourth wall features have been finished in a number of journey video games and visible novels earlier than, although it caught me off-guard in how Paranormasight offered it.

With out delving an excessive amount of additional in how the prologue performs out, this sequence of occasions regarding Shogo looking down Curse Bearers ultimately ends – maybe far quicker than some gamers could also be anticipating, in the event that they have been anticipating the entire recreation to be about Shogo’s bloody journey to revive Yoko.


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The Storyteller transports gamers again to the flashpoint the place Yoko was terrified at one thing. Now armed with the information of Curse Stones, Curse Bearers, and so forth, gamers now know that they shouldn’t look behind Shogo in any respect prices. As a substitute, they’re now given the brand new choice to calm Yoko down with out turning away from her. Shogo calls a cab for Yoko to get her house. All the things must be fantastic now, proper? Yoko is okay now and all of the questionable issues Shogo dedicated within the “tutorial” path technically didn’t occur right here. Good one-hour recreation, Sq. Enix.

Paranormasight fast-forwards a bit to the subsequent morning.

A report is coming in that somebody has been discovered useless… at a playground.

The digital camera slowly pans down on the corpse of a person recognized as Shogo Okiie; gamers will instantly acknowledge that the character they have been controlling only a few moments in the past has handed away in the identical means as Yoko beforehand. Now, the sport has formally begun.

Welcome to Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo.


From right here on, the Storyteller opens up the story paths of three new characters. These persons are acquainted faces to the gamers at this level after they have been Shogo. All of them share one thing in widespread; all of them turned Curse Bearers that evening as nicely.

Piecing collectively all the reality of Paranormasight revolves round bouncing between these three characters. A personality’s story could also be blocked from progressing additional till the participant reaches a sure narrative level with one other character. There was an attention-grabbing occasion the place I needed to “park” a personality at a particular location for one more character to fulfill up with them, as soon as I converted to their story.

There are lots of small particulars I appreciated in Paranormasight’s narrative design and circulation. It by no means does the identical factor for too lengthy, and sometimes switches up how the participant interacts with its story. Though this recreation is much less puzzle centered, followers of the Zero Escape video games will most likely like what Paranormasight has to supply on this respect.

Paranormasight after its prologue is much less JoJo’s Weird Journey and extra of an investigative thriller; it kinda jogged my memory of Destiny/keep evening weirdly sufficient. As soon as the story totally switches into daytime, the seek for Curse Bearers turns into safer as a result of Curse Stones can not be activated on this time; that isn’t completely dissimilar to how Destiny/keep evening dealt with an analogous narrative beat.

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Every character has a companion they’re with more often than not, so there aren’t lengthy stretches of being utterly stranded alone. I discovered Paranormasight to be a reasonably accessible horror story on account of this facet. There are not often any soar scares thrown at gamers. If it does, it’s just for a split-second and isn’t involved with conserving gamers in a panicked state. As a substitute, the kind of horror that this recreation instills leans extra on sustaining an eerie ambiance. There are lots of disturbing particulars unraveled all through this 12-hour journey, however it does an admirable job switching up its temper, so gamers aren’t always afraid or dreadful on a regular basis.

Paranormasight eases up on the strain with its implausible soundtrack from Hidenori Iwasaki; followers could acknowledge him from his contributions in Ultimate Fantasy XI, Entrance Mission 4, Entrance Mission 5: Scars of the Struggle, and the latest Stranger of Paradise: Ultimate Fantasy Origin. Iwasaki’s method in Paranormasight is, understandably, much less grandiose than his earlier RPG endeavors. 

In alternate, gamers are handled to a extra grounded, city sound that matches the small city setting. The sport even has an amusing 80s beat cop monitor that’s typically utilized for a pair of detectives as they run round city for solutions; generally, this monitor oddly overstays its welcome because it continues to play throughout emotionally charged scenes that considerably betrays the gravity of the scenario. Apart from that, Paranormasight’s musical path ranges from whimsically enjoyable tunes, enticingly horrific melodies, and hopelessly miserable items. There’s an vitality to it that jogs my memory of the stainless 428: Shibuya Scramble.


There’s a definite visible fashion that makes Paranormasight an absolute deal with to take a look at. Backgrounds encompass actual images captured in 360-degrees which are traced over with a number of filters so that they mesh extra elegantly as background property. They mix in, so that they don’t overshadow the characters that gamers are speaking to, nor are they detailed sufficient to obfuscate any environmental objects {that a} participant can look at – but it’s nonetheless simply recognizable sufficient to know what the encompassing atmosphere appears like. It’s a fantastic elegant line that Paranormasight balances, which supplies it an intriguing visible id.

Illustrated character fashions laid on prime of this recreation’s backgrounds have a novel look to them too. They’ve heavy edges to make them stand out, so the gamers don’t miss them; the fashions are particularly daring and placing when gamers work together with them. 

I actually loved that character designer Gen Kobayashi (who just lately labored on NEO: The World Ends with You) wasn’t afraid to have Paranormasight’s characters categorical themselves in ways in which, in truth, make them look dumb or ugly – however in an earnest and comprehensible method. Once I sob, I don’t look fairly doing it; after I’m tremendous enthusiastic about one thing, I’m not involved about conserving a relaxed, cool demeanor on my face. In that very same method, Kobayashi has finished an incredible job giving the characters in Paranormasight a layer of over-the-top expressiveness of their physique language and facial expressions that complement the temper of a given scene. Generally it eases the strain and generally it multiplies it.


Paranormasight additionally takes benefit of the 80s time interval it is set in for different components of its presentation. The sport is displayed inside a retro coloured tv by the Storyteller, so lots of its aesthetic is guided by this side. Opening the menu to learn the log is met with the acquainted buzzing chime when firing up a kind of early TVs. Even the general picture constancy all through gameplay displays some movie grain that gives a slight classic really feel to Paranormasight as an entire.

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Lastly, I wish to commend the event staff in how they stuffed Paranormasight with a number of the most detailed journal entries I’ve seen in an journey recreation. 

Every character entry has a lot written about them that successfully sums up all the data the participant has discovered about them, and most of them are regularly up to date with new data because the story progresses. There’s additionally a wealth of supplemental details about a number of characters that aren’t all the time spelled out within the story itself.

There are additionally dozens of key phrases which have an incredible quantity of textual content, particularly the Seven Mysteries of Honjo themselves. These include an outline of the city legend and ultimately, what every of their Curse Stones do – and the expansive story of the Resentful Reminiscence inside them. The entire real-life and fictional locales are additionally given elaborate descriptions and explanations for these wanting to study extra concerning the locations they’re visiting on this recreation.

It is vitally simple to really feel the event staff’s love of the occult all through these journal entries as they break down the state of the occult craze in 80s Japan and the way it formed Japanese society in that period. I used to be fascinated by it.


All through Paranormasight, gamers may encounter one of many recreation’s a number of endings. They’ll simply soar again to an earlier story department to proceed additional and there’s a true ending that’s slightly difficult to succeed in, in the event that they aren’t positive the place to provoke it.

Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is certainly one of many greatest surprises for me this 12 months. I wasn’t positive what to anticipate out of its very transient announcement, and I’m glad I didn’t look too deeply into what was shared. I urge individuals to enter this realizing as little as attainable, although I assume in case you’ve learn this far, I did spoil a tiny little bit of its surprises as a way to overview it. Hey, I did repeatedly offer you a spoiler warning earlier than laying all the pieces out.

If you happen to bear the slightest little bit of curiosity in what you simply learn or what you’ve seen from this recreation, I closely suggest enjoying via it. Fortunately, it isn’t a full-priced title both and I believe it’s completely definitely worth the asking value.



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