Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory Publisher: Square-Enix Platform: PS4/Vita, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch (REVIEWED ON NINTENDO SWITCH) Genre: Role-playing Mode: Single-player Available Now
By: Mitchell Cole
“I am Setsuna introduces the authentic JRPG style of yesteryear to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Steam! Journey with Setsuna as she prepares to make the ultimate sacrifice and save the people of her land. A powerfully nostalgic experience, blending a classic style of story-telling, battle system and gameplay.”
Back to Classic
I Am Setsuna is a JRPG game delivered from Tokyo RPG Factory and Square-Enix. This JRPG is a throwback classic in the form of the old-school Final Fantasy, or the more current successful, Bravely Default. Assemble your team of adventurers and quest forth in the classic adage of, ‘save the world from ultimate evil’. Take control of Setsuna, Endir, Kir, Nidr, Aeterna, Julienne, and the Reaper, as your party travels to the ‘Last Lands’ to sacrifice Setsuna for some obsure reason of ‘appeasing the monsters’. Through your journey, players will discover more of each characters’ past and how each person will factor in for the future.
I Am Impressed
I am a HUGE classic JRPG fan. I Am Setsuna is a pure gem for me in that regard. Tokyo RPG Factory did a great job in re-creating the nostalgic JRPG feel. Everything about the title screams classic. From the title screen, to the menu screen, I Am Setsuna feels every bit classic in presentation.
Graphically, I Am Setsuna shines thanks to the Unity Engine. Characters are well designed, both on the battlefield and off. Attack designs are great. The magic attacks, along with defensive booster spells, are fun, cute, but not obstructive to the overall pace of a battle. The background is beautiful but cold. Most of the entire map is based on a large island covered with snow and ice. This snowy wonderland glistens with snow, with winds whipping along realistically. Enemy design is good, not great. I could’ve used more variety rather than color variations of the created enemy to be honest.
The sounds for I Am Setsuna is a mixed bag. While I enjoyed the music very much, the voice-overs were annoying and trite. Controlling characters was easy while choosing your battleplan on screen was a breeze. Players will have the choice to set their battle preferences such as an active or passive battle. For the most part, I chose the ATB function where enemies would attack if I took too long to decide my next move. Only in a few boss battles did I revert to making the enemy wait for my next decision. Either choice worked great for the need and controls were swift and responsive.
A story is the most important aspect of a JRPG. Tokyo RPG Factory did a really good job but I will stop short of saying a great job. For the majority of the game, the story and dialogue deliver yet in a few areas, the story falters however briefly.
I AM Setsuna is a relatively short JRPG that takes roughly 25-40 hrs. to complete. For what it’s costing players, however, this is a great jaunt through JRPG memories. That being said, the game still feels small and restricted to only one island for exploring.
A true annoyance however is the exclusion of ANY map. No world map, no on-screen dungeon map, whatsoever! While the menu features a description of locations, I was sorely wishing for a map during my travels to cities with forgettable names. (Tenderville, really???) Beyond the first playthrough, there is little to revisit. This hurts the overall replay value but certainly not the satisfaction of the game completed.
Graphics – A | Story – B | Controls – A | Replay – C | Sounds – B
Overall, I Am Setsuna is a beautiful reminder that Square-Enix still remembers how to make a proper JRPG, albeit a short one at that. I found myself choosing to play this title more so than my copy of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” with my new purchase of the Nintendo Switch. That should mean something to players on the fence! Though not perfect, there is little reason NOT to endorse this title for an investment to players. Gamers Unite!