An exceedingly dull moege that you will either like (because you are a moebuta and deserve to die) or despise for boring you to death.
Release: 2015 (ゆずソフト)
Writers: Hozumikei & Touta & Amamiya Ritsu
Japanese difficulty: Medium (lots of modern slang)
Ratings: VNDB (7.87); EGS (7.99)
Yuzusoft and their games remind me of the Transformers and Twilight phenomenon — everyone articulate seems to hate them, yet they sell like hotcakes and dominate the sales. Well, while Sabbat of the Witch (not Son of a Bitch despite how they pronounce it on the title screen) might not be as outright terrible as those two, it’s still a tired trite of a novel following poorly written plot and a cast of one-dimensional characters.
If there was one thing that this year’s Pure x Connect has taught me, is that you can still be somewhat interesting despite having no plot whatsoever if you know how to write entertaining character banter; I wish the three hacks responsible for this game knew it. Everything that pertains to plot in Sabbat of the Witch is painfully dull to read, and the game would actually be improved if you cut it altogether — it’s almost laughable how underwhelming that whole witches and magic business ends up being.
I also felt that whoever came up with the concept for this little abomination just looked around for what were the popular fads lately and threw them all together without giving a thought for their context. One of the heroines has a very similar speech quirk to “pya” of Hatsuyuki Sakura, but in this game it comes so out of nowhere and doesn’t fit her personality that I legit thought my ears were playing tricks on me the first time I heard it. Then the protagonist has the same power as the one in Soreyori no Prologue — ability to sense the emotions of others —, but instead of a thought-provoking and heart-rending drama that the latter game offers, Sabbat of the Witch not only dismisses any sort of logical repercussions for possessing such a power, but also has the bright idea to have its protagonist as the usual generic MC who’s too dim to take a hint. Newsflash: mind reading and inability to understand that a girl is hitting on you are mutually exclusive, you damn morons. You have to either interpret that his powers don’t work when it suits the scene, or that he is too retarded to understand the feelings that he can actually read. Talk about aiming for new heights of dimwittedness.
Still you could technically skip the dull plot and ignore the dumb things if you’re enjoying character banter and the cuddling moments. Unfortunately, while characters, despite being shallow, are fairly likable and their banter is all right for the most part, the lethargic pacing and the repetitiveness of the jokes makes even that part of the game fall flat. With romance as shallow as seen in your everyday romcom, there is very little to like in Sabbat of the Witch… although I have to admit Yuzusoft does have a knack for writing arousing ero scenes, so I guess it’s not completely without appeal.
Now, it might sound like I’m condemning the whole genre, and I have to admit that moege are not really my thing, but I still give credit where it’s due — I loved Hatsuyuki Sakura which managed to build a legit dramatic story with actually interesting characters despite in essence being a moege, and OreTsuba has little other going than character banter, but it’s a damn masterpiece. Heck, I even enjoyed this year’s Pure x Connect that has less plot than this thing. Sabbat of the Witch is not only a lousy visual novel, it’s not even a particularly good moege. I guess it doesn’t have anything intrinsically terrible about it, but the whole thing is simply dull even for what it’s supposed be, and it never really delivers on anything. In any case, it was the first Yuzusoft’s game I ever picked up — mainly because it was also the first of theirs to ever make it to egs’ top 300 —, but it might as well be my last.
|Beautiful character art, although I wish the sprites weren’t as close-up all the time||Although likable, characters are shallow and not even particularly consistent|
|Kinda, sorta likable characters, I suppose?||Incredibly dull and shallow plot that only serves to torture you|
|Arousing ero scenes||Shallow, underwhelming romance|
|Exceedingly slow pacing and same jokes repeated ad nauseam|
3 thoughts on “[VN] Sabbat of the Witch”
Just here to let you know that you might’ve misunderstood his ability. Rather than straight up mind-reading, his ability is to sense the emotions of others through his five senses, albeit vaguely. Each emotion manifests as something distinct and he has been able to associate specific sensations with specific feelings. An example would be the taste of medicine when someone is lying. This makes it somewhat understandable (at least not straight-up dumb) that he didn’t catch on the feelings of the heroines since the emotions being directed to him were very new to him. Remember that he keeps everyone at arm’s length and he has only started to try to accept his ability more since joining the club. His ability operates on a visceral level since negative emotions make him uncomfortable to the point where it makes him nauseous. This goes both ways since once someone started directing pleasant emotions at him, he started craving it. This is quite apparent during Meguru’s route where he was actively trying to get a bittersweet taste (presumably love) out of his interactions with Meguru.
Though admittedly, the utilization of his ability felt underwhelming. Perhaps it was only appropriate for the tone of the game itself but it’s still lost potential.
It’s been so long I don’t remember if I misunderstood something or just stated it was mind reading to avoid the pain of long explanations, but thanks for clarifying.