SENSEs: Midnight Reviews
Bite-sized survival horror inspired by the classics
SENSEs: Midnight feels like a quick cash grab, rather than a complete product. It lacks the heart of its - otherwise very flawed - predecessor, resulting in a bland, buggy, and unattractive experience. Rather than taking what made SENSE work, and removing what didn't, this is actually a step down… and that's if you want to be polite.
This homage to classic survival horror manages to become boring long before the three hours that are required to reach the end. SENSEs: Midnight is a painfully slow, generic adventure game, that's a step back from Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story, which played better, looked better, and had a far stronger and creepier atmosphere. Oh, and be aware of the bugs - the bite more than supernatural apparitions.
So perhaps skip this one if you’re looking for a satisfying survival horror experience — but keep an eye on Suzaku, because there’s definite potential here. It’s just not realised in SENSEs Midnight.
SENSE: Midnight is an old school survival horror inspired by several memorable 32-bit and 128-bit horror game titles. With a set of playable mechanics that we will soon recognize, we will try to ensure that our protagonist Kaho can escape alive from the abandoned park of Ikebukuro, where evil spirits will try to hunt us down. But this mixture of mechanics will end up colliding or will not be developed to a sufficient extent, leaving us with an experience that could be improved. Despite this, SENSEs: Midnight will find its audience among lovers of the most classic survival horror, offering an adventure with certain edges but at a contained price that will invite us to give it a try.
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In its current state SENSEs: Midnight feels unfinished and rushed to be released. I cannot recommend this title for multiple reasons, but it seems like Suzaku Games is listening to the community's feedback and will make changes.
A short budget cyberpunk romp that should have some interest to horror fans.
While the environments do give off a retro eeriness to them, the sound design and general graphics are dated with awkward polygons and jarring instrumentals. The run animation in itself is comical not a feeling wanted from a survival horror title but here we are. The inspiration is clear but an over-reliance on nostalgic gameplay such as a fixed camera and tank controls doesn’t necessarily add to the fun factor. While the throwbacks to classic horror games start strong, it isn’t strong enough to survive among more modern mechanics. SENSEs: Midnight shows promise in theory, but in practice, it doesn’t stand up to its spiritual predecessors.
SENSEs: Midnight manages to take all of the ingredients that made 1990s survival-horror games fun and bake them into a hellish experience with few redeeming features. There’s zero atmosphere to accompany you as you (slowly) backtrack across Ikebukuro Park, avoiding bland, almost-invisible enemies as you go. With a protagonist who is entirely inanimate except for her breasts, dizzying camera angles and a complete lack of quality gameplay, SENSEs: Midnight should stand as a warning of what not to do for developers looking to capture 90’s survival-horror nostalgia. This is a huge step back from an opening title that, while flawed, at least showed some promise.
At the end of my hauntingly simple mission, I really wanted to walk out liking SENSEs: Midnight more than I did. There’s a great aesthetic, cool ideas, and some real potential with the fixed camera angles, but it’s all buried by bad stealth mechanics, a puddle-deep story, and horror disarming bugs and hiccups. Still, for its price point, consider giving it a whirl, at the very least to give some money to the developers because they seem like they really wanted to make something great here. I do hope to see a much more refined sequel in the future.