It’s starting to feel like western Nintendo Directs are downright incomplete, because the games being shown off exclusively in the Japanese version are basically the games I need in my life. Last year, this was The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story. It turned out to be a great game (my review here)! So while yesterday’s Nintendo Direct was easily one of the best in years, it was no surprise to me that what would have been one of my top games was only shown off in Japan. Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is described as a “new and exciting single-player, supernatural mystery-adventure,” and is presented as a visual novel.
The game is set during the Showa Period (1926-1989) in Tokyo’s Sumida City, Honjo. It is a multi-layered collection of ghost stories that centre around protagonists (yep, multiple) who possess the power of curses. Playing as these cursed people, investigate Honjo’s mysteries. During the day this means exploring the city, solving puzzles, and finding new clues. When night falls, though, it’s kill or be killed by other cursed people. Master the control of the protagonists’ powers while not falling to the predations of those held by others.
There are no dead ends; players can make the wrong decision and the wrong time, die, and not have to reload the game. Sometimes, death may even be considered advantageous. The “Seven Mysteries” referenced in the title are based on real life urban legends set in the area, and include The Whispering Canal, The One-Sided Reed, The Beckoning Light, The Haunting Clappers, and more.
According to Square Enix, “Players can expect to travel through the haunted underbelly of Honjo and be immersed in selected areas of the game through ambient, panoramic views of Sumida City.” The scenery is based on real-life, using a 360-degree camera with the full cooperation of Sumida City Tourism Division, the local museum, the tourist association, and the local community. That’s something very rare, especially in western game development, so it’s really great to see an entire community – from individuals to businesses – supporting a video game.
Developed and published by Square Enix, Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo will be released for PC via Steam on March 8 and Nintendo Switch on March 9.