I am Setsuna is a Japanese role-playing game developed by Tokyo RPG Factory, and published by Square Enix. Tokyo RPG Factory is a studio that was created by Square Enix for the sole purpose of creating traditional RPG’s. The game launched on July 19, 2016, here in The States.
I enjoyed I am Setsuna thoroughly. It is very rare that we get a quality, traditional JRPG in this day and age. The game captures the magic from the Super Nintendo and PS1 era of JRPG’s perfectly. I found the story to be extremely intriguing, as well as being quite easy to follow. Some of these JRPGs, if not most, tend to go off the deep end with storytelling at times, but I found I am Setsuna to be pretty straightforward, a progressive design decision that this reviewer has definitely come to respect.
The plot follows a young girl named Setsuna…shocker! She has been selected to go on a journey to an area called The Last Lands, in which she is to sacrifice herself to help temper monsters’ aggressiveness towards villages in the world. Though the game’s core philosophy is about conveying sadness and sorrow, I found it pretty ironic how extremely relaxing it is to play. One specific thing that stood out to me was noticing myself so steeped in relaxation due to the instrumentals. The soundtrack is absolutely amazing. I loved how all of the music was produced on a piano. I find something very appealing about how the piano specifically, accompanies the mood being evoked.
The battling system for I am Setsuna was very enjoyable as well. For the most part, in tune with the overall vibe, the game’s difficulty was relaxed. I didn’t have particular issue with any of the monster encounters or boss battles. Some of the latter boss encounters did end up implementing challenge, but nothing of any real issue.
The combat is what you would expect from JRPG fare. You have an active time gauge, and once the gauge fills up, you select an attack to perform. One very cool thing I really enjoyed about the combat was that once your ATB was full, instead of attacking you could stay idle and let the gauge continue to fill, at this point, it fills an orb shaped gauge. Once the orb is full, you gain one charge, and you can gather up to three charges total. The charges are known as ‘momentum’, and it basically grants you more damage, and dazzling special effects on spells when used. To use momentum all you have to do is have charges, and then select the attack you want to perform. Once your character starts to perform the action, you tap the appropriate button at the correct time, and it activates your character’s momentum. You can also equip Spritnite crystals to your team, which grants them different abilities such as magic or physical abilities. I am Setsuna was very publicly advertised as being the spiritual successor to Chrono Trigger, mainly because you can use combos if you have the appropriate Spritnite equipped on your characters, much like how Chrono Trigger utilized cross streams with magic and abilities to create combos.
Overall, I am Setsuna is a wonderful experience, from start to finish. I found all of the individual story arcs for each character to be quite satisfying, as well as the overarching story of the game. If you are a fan of JRPGs, then I highly recommend checking this title out, as well as keeping an eye out for future endeavors from Tokyo RPG Factory. You can find this game on the PS4 & PC for $40. I definitely think the asking price is worth it, but if you see it on sale, then grab it for sure!