We mentioned that Witch on the Holy Night doesn’t support branching choices—one of the most common elements of a visual novel. Instead, it’s classified as a kinetic novel, where the story is presented in a singular fashion, accompanied by artwork and effects.
We didn’t feel like Witch on the Holy Night suffered from the lack of choices—the story is clearly intended to follow a certain path, and our experience was akin to something like an animated light novel. That’s probably the best way we can explain the amazing presentation delivered by TYPE-MOON here—a light novel with incredible special effects.
Even if you’re new to visual novels, it’s immediately apparent how much professional polish TYPE-MOON has put into Witch on the Holy Night. Scenes are directed with transitions that don’t just move you between places but instead direct you through the narrative with soft fades and dynamic slices of artwork. When magic battles ensue, there are splashes of brilliant color and innovative uses of inverted color, grayscale, and other visual techniques to slow down or speed up the action.
Even better, Witch on the Holy Night’s enhanced release is fully voice-acted in Japanese, with every spoken line being delivered via a very skilled cast. Coupled with soft background noises—like raindrops against windows, closing doors, soft footsteps—and this is certainly a game you’ll want to play with headphones on.
On that note, we played the game entirely in handheld mode on our Nintendo Switch OLED, using the touch-screen to advance the story. Honestly, docking the game and reading on the television felt incredibly awkward, so if you have the choice between the PS4 and Switch release of the game, we’d encourage you to read on the smaller device where the action—and text—is more comfortable to experience.