The Midnight Sanctuary
Top Critic Average
A curious, haunting tale.
Is it salvation which the Saint who descended into this isolated village brings... or is it the end of things?
An occult horror visual novel wrought by mystical visuals & talented voice artists.
"What ending do those eyes desire, little watcher?"
-- Mysterious Graphics --
Gorgeous graphics like cut-paper art that blur the line between realism and surrealism.
Experience a trip into a mysterious world that's not quite two or three dimensional.
-- Fully Acted, Fully Animated --
Animated by the two-person team at CAVYHOUSE and voiced by a team of professional Japanese actors, Midnight Sanctuary comes to life in ways you'll never expect.
* Voice audio is in Japanese.
-- Mysterious Doings --
Hamomoru Tachibana has been invited to catalogue the traditions of Daiusu Village, long isolated from the rest of Japan. But once she arrives, a being the villagers identify as the Saints also appears. What could it mean?...
The Midnight Sanctuary is certainly not what I expected. I will always applaud any game – or graphic novel – which teaches the audience something new. Educating the player about the history of Japanese Christianity, even if just in passing, is commendable. However, as an experience, The Midnight Sanctuary is a little too slow and disjointed to be truly gripping.
There is no doubt in my mind The Midnight Sanctuary will find an audience. Fans of CAVYHOUSE and Carpe Fulgur may give it a chance out of loyalty and visual novel aficionados may pick it up out of curiosity. This is not a game for a more general audience. Hell, I have been playing visual novels since before they became popular in the west, and I had trouble sticking with it. Lots of strange choices were made in this game, and all of them made it more difficult for me to connect with the story and its characters. I imagine others will feel similarly. But hey, people who enjoy constantly shifting and awkward camera angles, a storyline that takes about an hour and a half to really start getting good, and playing peek-a-boo with a stylized crane will definitely dig it.
Overall, The Midnight Sanctuary's mind-boggling, yet ambitious, storyline failed to impress me. The visual novel could be developed further to improve replayability and entertainment value. Kudos on trying to use 3D graphics in visual novels, but the graphics and pace of the storyline needed much more work, so that it increased the visual novel's quality.