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Delayed Impressions: ‘I Am Setsuna’

We get it. You’re busy. We’re all busy. Not everyone has the time to take on the latest TV show, movie, comic book, and game the moment it comes out. Or maybe these things can age well or badly with time. Welcome to Delayed Impressions, where we take something we missed the first time around and look at it outside of the hype when it first came out.

Square Enix’s new studio Tokyo RPG Factory made I Am Setsuna, a game that tries to recapture the best years of JRPG. Everything about it, from its simplistic graphics, art style, and even the battle system recalls Chrono Trigger and other classics JRPGs of the 16-bit era. Whether they asked or not, the (sometimes wholesale) drawing of inspiration from said classics will inevitably draw comparisons. Some of the comparisons will be unfair. Those games are classics for a reason.

Does this RPG live up to the pedigree Square Enix and Tokyo RPG Factory try to imbue it with? Read our I Am Setsuna review and find out.

I Am Setsuna is set in a desolate world of perpetual winter.

Monsters roam free across the lands. To prevent humankind’s demise, a human sacrifice is offered every ten years to keep the monsters at bay. The game follows the titual character Setsuna as she travels the world to the Last Lands, where she can fulfill her duty as sacrifice. Accompanying her is the mercenary-asassin Endir, and they meet various characters along the way as they march on towards her death.

Yeah, this is a cheerful game.

The gameplay is very reminiscent of classic JRPGs. It has, for example, an Active Time System similar to early Final Fantasy titles and Chrono Trigger. I really don’t have much to say about the combat because it works. It’s not fantastic, and I never encountered a battle that stressed me – I believe that the difficulty was scaled down – but it’s serviceable. I just wanted to get every single battle done and over with just to continue on with the story.

The story is essentially Endir, Setsuna, and a mysterious girl named Aeterna travel the land, trying to get to the Last Lands. They predictably encounter setback after setback plus a couple of twists. It’s nothing fantastic, but I found the characters compelling enough and their character arcs meaningful despite the game’s short runtime.


I Am Setsuna is a very good game, but…

It is not something people will talk about years from now. Nevertheless, it’s a commendable first effort from Tokyo RPG Factory. However, I am excited to see what Tokyo RPG Factory has in store for us in the future. This relatively new team created a wonderful gaming experience that is compelling enough on its own terms.

What do you think of I Am Setsuna? Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it!

Ade Magnaye

Ade is a bassist who blogs way too much about Doctor Who and Batman. Check out his blog at Noisy Noisy Man and follow him on Twitter: @AdeMagnaye

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