Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is the latest gem from Square Enix to release with little promotion, and fans are starting to spot a trend.
The new horror visual novel launched earlier this week across PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices, though not following a great deal of enthusiasm from its publisher, so you'd be hard-pressed to know that.
As the tweet below points out, Square Enix hasn't just done this with Paranormasight. The likes of Neo: The World Ends With You and Theaterhythm are certified bangers, though they also released with little push. That's not even to mention hidden gems like Dungeon Encounters or Harvestella.
Square Enix continues to be a weird one. I think they put out nearly 40 games in the last physical year.You occasionally get something like forspoken and Babylon’s fall, but then they sneak out a masterpiece like Paranormasight, Neo TWEWY, and Theaterhythm with no marketing https://t.co/ZcckqpcwaV pic.twitter.com/kpZdflcEA9March 10, 2023
As Eurogamer reporter Liv Ngan points out in the tweet below, Paranormasight's soundtrack and visuals are popping. Two features that could help the game find an audience among dedicated visual novel/horror fans.
ok paranormasight is REALLY good. I love the framing of the game, introduction of the branches and story chart early on. soundtrack be banging, animations are solid. I suppose one thing I'm missing so far is the genuine stakes - in 999 you can make a bad or worse decision [1/3]March 9, 2023
On top of that, as YouTuber Bowl of Lentils points out across several tweets below, Paranormasight marks the return of visual novel genre veteran Takanari Ishiyama. If you weren't already familiar with Ishiyama's work, he also previously worked on Metal Gear Solid as a sound designer before working on a Final Fantasy 12 spin-off.
Square Enix's Paranormasight may just seem like another random release by the Final Fantasy company but the title actually marks the return of a veteran to the ADV genre named Takanari Ishiyama. His career is totally unknown in the West so I thought I'd make a thread about him.🧵 pic.twitter.com/40Mf2YgxenMarch 9, 2023
Ishiyama has a boatload of visual novel credits under his belt. With the tweet above, it's hard to see why Square Enix didn't lean into this angle when promoting Paranormasight, touting it as the grand return of a visual novel master (or, you know, just promoted it at all).
It's hard not to be critical of Square Enix's marketing for some of its smaller games. The company released what felt like a generous helping of gems towards the end of 2022 in particular, including the likes of Harvestella, Dragon Quest Treasures, and Valkyrie Elysium, all of which received barely any promotion before launch. Paranormasight could end up finding its way into the hands of fans who'll appreciate it, though it looks like that happen through word of mouth rather than marketing.
Check out our new games 2023 guide for a look at all the other games that Square Enix and other publishers have lined up for the coming year.