Top Critic Average
Oddball design decisions aside, I Am Setsuna is a lovely little tale and a game that’s well worth your time. At ~20 hours, it never feels dull or grindy, and in fact it felt like a perfect length for what the game wants to achieve.
Those golden-era JRPGs are beloved because they were packed with memorable locations, characters, and combat. I Am Setsuna unfortunately falls short on all three counts, and instead delivers an average and forgettable adventure, albeit one with wonderful music.
Still, curiosity outweighed my better judgment and I decided to give this game a try anyway. I’m glad I did—I Am Setsuna has its moments of being enjoyable—but the poor writing was enough to ruin the whole experience by the end and cause me to question why this game falls so short.
This game, which is about sorrow, provides us with a mournful look at humanity and yet also gives us hope that there is good in people, even in the darkest of times. The game itself is a nostalgic hymn for so much of what we’ve lost in the JRPG genre as it pushes ever closer to visceral action. Wrapped together they make for one of the most heartfelt and meaningful games that you’ll play for quite some time to come
I love a beautiful piano piece in games, don't you? Well upon launching the game, configuring the pre launch settings, going through the usual splash screens, you arive at the title screen and I honestly just sat there for a few minutes.
Honestly, I am Setsuna may be the best RPG I play this year (Trails of Cold Steel is excluded because it released last year). With its simple title, emotional story (try to get through it without feeling something), perfect soundtrack, enjoyable battle system, and pretty aesthetics, I am Setsuna is an admittedly short title with a few flaws that, on the whole, succeeds.
While Square Enix is largely focused on the future with upcoming games like Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3, they are not one to forget the past and I Am Setsuna is one game that not just '90s RPG fans will love, but even general fans of the genre should really enjoy.
Though it's narratively, visually and aurally filled with anguish and sorrow, I Am Setsuna's charming personality has the strength and the warmth to melt all but the iciest of hearts, which couldn't make me happier.
I Am Setsuna is a game from a different era in the best kind of way. For better or for worse, it borrows many of its mechanics from some of gaming’s classics. While its graphics are outdated and its story gives only the illusion of choice, the rest of the game is good enough to make up for it: the characters are likable, the story is engaging, and the gameplay is fun. RPG fans will find a lot to enjoy here, especially those who love games like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger.
While not as challenging as some of the JRPGs of the past (no Emerald Weapon here, sorry), I Am Setsuna makes it clear that someone is listening to all of those grumbly veteran gamers who miss the adventures that made them fans for life. They long for a story to care about, and that's what this game provides.
Everything from the length of the game (around 25 hours), the battle system, difficult, art, music, characters — this has proven to be a treat of an experience for me and one I would happily recommend to any Switch owner.
A lovely little low-key JRPG that feels like the work of a small, passionate indie developer that just wants to pay homage to the classics it looks up to. 'I Am Setsuna' isn't a revolutionary game or a rebirth of the genre, as the marketing seems to imply. What 'I Am Setsuna' ultimately ends up being is a remarkably well-made, charming game that's endlessly endearing and entirely devoid of cynicism.
The Switch version of I am Setsuna looks good and feels great. It might be only 30FPS but that doesnt affect the overall experience. If you enjoyed the JRPGs from the 90s, you should not let it pass.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
I Am Setsuna is a very good JRPG. Its combat system is very good and despite its long story, the combo mechanism doesn’t allow the game to get repetitive. I Am Setsuna’s Locations are very beautiful and exquisite and it also has a very immersive story. It is not flawless but every JRPG player will enjoy this.
Review in Persian | Read full review
It’s been too long, and man… was this nostalgic. The game offers everything that I personally enjoy in traditional JRPGs, however, I did realize that a lot of the content seemed “recycled” from other JRPGs (story, battle system, etc). While it may not be a bad thing for some, I am Setsuna delivers with a well-crafted soundtrack, great visuals, and even revived traditional RPG elements that we enjoy, such as crafting and tech combos.
If you are looking for a classic JRPG experience, you will love I Am Setsuna. If you are looking for the second coming of Chrono Trigger, however, you will be disappointed.
I Am Setsuna is a nostalgic JRPG: it takes Chrono Trigger's gameplay and put it into a fascinating setting. The adventure is brief but enthralling, and the game represents a great debut for the Tokyo RPG Factory, a little Team Square-Enix assembled to create old school game experiences.
Review in Italian | Read full review
As far as old-style RPGs go, I Am Setsuna was worth looking forward to after the showing at E3 this year, and just as worth playing. All of the little elements to the nostalgia part of my brain have been tickled, and at parts of the story I was nearly ready to shed a tear or two. I don’t know how much this will appeal to younger gamers grown up on more sophisticated role-playing titles, JRPG or otherwise, but for anyone who can appreciate the legends Square (not Square Enix as much) put out generations ago, this won’t just scratch your back—it will tuck you into bed, safe and sound, just like the end of a good story should be.
I am Setsuna is a love letter to JRPGs of the past, and while it offers a style of play oft forgotten by the modern age, it is an exceedingly well crafted and thoughtful journey that should make you wonder whether the genre’s progress is necessarily all it’s cracked up to be.
To many this would seem like filler to bolster a meagre launch lineup, but I am Setsuna is a game that is worthy of your time and a heritage that deserves your respect.
I Am Setsuna brings to light all the memorable aspects of what made classic games classics. With the good outweighing the bad, I Am Setsuna embodies old concepts and creates a challenge worth undertaking, even if the pilgrimage to the end is as difficult for the player as it is for Setsuna.
Two years ago Square Enix announced it had created a new studio, Tokyo RPG Factory, to create RPGs in the image of those golden age games. In that time Tokyo RPG Factory managed to catch hold of the spirit of those games and pull it forward into 2016 with the release of I AM SETSUNA. Tokyo RPG Factory managed to not only tap into that nostalgia vein but crafted a solid game that stands on its own.
The first console I ever owned was a Super Nintendo Entertainment System, back in 1996. Occasionally, I’ll get it out and play it on an old CRT television, just to relive the memories of the countless RPGs played on it.
At times, this journey can come dangerously close to pulling back that curtain on the great and powerful Mr. Oz, revealing shortcomings not readily apparent in the 90s. However, I Am Setsuna succeeds in its goal despite almost falling on its face, and I couldn’t be more happy about that.
I Am Setsuna is a wonderful game which, while bittersweet, is told beautifully. It fits the Nintendo Switch wonderfully and is a great example of what the console is aiming to achieve.
It's disappointing to see nothing new in the Switch version of I am Setsuna, but we're still talking about a very good JRPG and the only offering right now for all the Nintendo fans on their new console. A recommended choice if you didn't get to play it elsewhere.
Review in Italian | Read full review
I Am Setsuna adds a lot of value to our memories and shows us just how far these games have progressed over the decades. But the lack of momentum and good controls hold it back from greatness.
Like an experienced chef with a garden of spices, I Am Setsuna borrows from classic RPGs in many areas without feeling like a fan game or a ripoff. While minor flaws detract from the experience, the brilliant presentation and nostalgic gameplay are enough to make Setsuna worthy of standing with its ancestors.
There are better JRPGs that could be played portably on the GBA, DS, and Vita, but I Am Setsuna is the best JRPG that can currently be played on Nintendo Switch. The game isn't without its faults, though - namely the repetitive nature of environments, enemies, and bland NPCs. However, it has a powerful narrative that is driven by its backdrop and score; elements that should be greatly appreciated by all fans of the genre.
I Am Setsuna is perfect for those hoping to get their JRPG fix without sacrificing all their available free time for the next six months or anyone interested in completing a role-playing game that prioritizes enjoyability over hours played.
I am Setsuna may not blow you away - it’s simple and understated, but there’s a lot of charm in that. This quiet JRPG is a solicitous throwback that makes its case through thoughtful moments instead of flashy cutscenes.
I Am Setsuna is an interesting take on the classic JRPG genre. Tokyo RPG Factory has managed to take one of the best turn-based battle system from fan favorite Chrono Trigger and used it to create a simple but memorable experience that might satisfy the thirst of JRPG fans.
There is something inherently magical about I Am Setsuna. This throwback to the past is a memorable one, that, despite the game's simplicity, Tokyo RPG Factory's reliance on traditional design results in an experience that rediscovers an age old mastery in the genre.
With a story that delicately balances sadness and beauty, yet never tries to be anything other than a callback to classic games, I am Setsuna lands among the stars of the JRPG genre.
I am Setsuna is a wonderful tribute to the SNES era. Even with all the familiarity from the older titles that it pays homage to it doesn’t come across as a copy paste and instead is capable of standing on its own even with the heavy nostalgic feel. Graphically and audibly beautiful sounding this RPG is more than worth the time in the snow covered reaches that are traversed.
I am Setsuna is a beautiful, snow-filled love letter to former JRPGs. While the lack of variety may strike some players as boring, it sticks to its aesthetic and presents us with bits and pieces of what we loved from older JRPGs years ago.
I Am Setsuna is a carefully crafted JRPG that will appeal to the nostalgia of fans, but also intrigue JRPG newcomers. A beautifully emotional story underlines a solid battle system that is equal parts familiar as it is unique. Some lenient money and ability hand-outs make the game easier while an empty overworld can make the walks a bit dull. The 15-20 hour average completion time might be shorter than what many JRPG fans would expect, but it is also a good entry point for newcomers without being a daunting 100+ hour experience. It is safe to say that I am Setsuna is a worthwhile journey.
I AM Setsuna is a fine short little experience that brings back nostalgic feelings for the 16-bit era of role playing games, but doesn't do much to explore the twenty years of depth since then.
I am Setsuna is a wonderful game. The game has excellent characters and it has a very strong emotional story. That being said this game is very short and loading times can be long and repetitive.
Capitalising upon nostalgia can be a tricky task. If you don’t innovate enough to distinguish yourself from your contemporaries then your game can suffer as a result and come off as too derivative and this is a pitfall that I Am Setsuna doesn’t entirely manage to avoid.
It may be bland, but the experience doesn’t make any unforgiveable missteps. The combat has occasional moments of brilliance that recall the glory days of ‘90s RPGs
I actually quite like the adherence to nostalgia, as Square is only giving fans with they want after years of complaints that projects like Final Fantasy XIII strayed too far. But by the same token of goodwill, it plays it a little too safe in regards to its at times predictable story, and doesn't really do anything new that moves the genre forward in any way. Still, if old school is what you want, you'll get it.
A lack of balance robs the combat of much of its fun and renders many of the more interesting gameplay systems moot, but it didn’t dampen the emotional impact of I Am Setsuna’s heartfelt message for me. Few story-driven RPGs are so thematically focused or so gleefully disinterested with being “entertaining” or “fun.” To say it attempts to stand on the backs of giants is disingenuous really. I Am Setsuna isn’t a “Chrono Trigger-like;” it’s just a game that might easily have existed in the same time, if a creator with different storytelling sensibilities had been around. Its strength comes not from the ways in which it emulates the conventions of the classics, but the ways in which it defies them.
I Am Setsuna is bold in the way it explores its themes, and it immediately moved me with its soft art style and beautiful piano score. I also really enjoyed the battle system’s Momentum, Flux and Singularity elements, which added some much-needed variety to the otherwise standard turn-based combat. Unfortunately, a few major problems kept the game from remaining entirely enjoyable as the experience went on. Cheap deaths at the hands of superpowered enemies sent me back to a save point, losing me valuable time, on more than one occasion — an infuriating and needless flaw, given that other retro-fueled titles like Bravely Default include optional autosave. As I was getting to the end, I also started to feel like everything was blurring together, between the reused assets and the predictable structure. Overall, the cumulative effect of the game’s themes is still a very powerful one, and I enjoyed most of my time with it, but I can’t help but feel a little let down by the flaws that kept it from reaching its full potential.
I Am Setsuna is an unabashed love letter to fans of classic JRPGs, featuring solid, turn-based combat and a beautiful snowy world that looks like a moving painting. It’s a tad on the short side for an RPG and the journey can feel rushed, especially with the lack of extra content. Overall, it feels like it's at the cusp of JRPG greatness but just needs that little extra something to reach its full potential. Still, if you’re looking for an old school-style JRPG fix, I Am Setsuna will hit the spot.
Overall, I Am Setsuna is the good kind of nostalgic. It utilises the best elements of the past to its benefit, rather than to excuse an otherwise lacklustre game. And yet, while playing to the nostalgia it also makes sure to do something different to set it apart. The more sombre tone of the story means you’re not going to be adding a chivalrous frog knight to your party here, but the package you get it doesn’t suffer as a result. Clocking in a bit shorter than the average Square Enix RPG, I Am Setsuna is a great game to play between the big releases ahead.
An homage to the amazing JRPGs of the 90s, I Am Setsuna is a love letter to your childhood written with passion and penned with respect by equally passionate developers.
This nostalgic RPG suffers from an unispired storyline, and poor technical aspects, such as frame rate drops. It´s too easy (even when battling final bosses) and the only Switch exclusive feature is online pvp mode.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
I Am Setsuna is an unapologetic homage to beloved Japanese RPGs that plays well but takes few risks. Tokyo RPG Factory has accomplished their implied mission statement: to make Japanese RPGs the way many of us remember them back in the day. As a result, I Am Setsuna walks in the footsteps of giants, and is thus dwarfed by the memories of games that inspired it.
From a presentational and mechanical standpoint, I Am Setsuna manages to lay the foundations for an incredibly solid role-playing game. Unfortunately, this experience is often marred by a wholly predictable story, forgettable characters, and dungeons that feel completely uninspired.
It's all wrapped up in familiar dressing to get you hooked, but once you get to the substance it's clear I Am Setsuna needed a bit more time in the oven, or perhaps a master class of what made the games that inspired it memorable in the first place. If you're aching for a familiar and exciting JRPG, there's better to be found out there. While this is a serviceable option, there are plenty other more memorable ones out there.
The cool combat mechanics, its common ground with the likes of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI and the intriguing story of I am Setsuna will please fans of old school JRPGs, but it's far from perfect: it's quite linear and monotonous
Review in Italian | Read full review
I Am Setsuna capably fulfils its role as an echo of past Japanese adventures, but in doing so, it seems unwilling to take risks and forge its own legacy. Its story is predictable and its battle system struggles to define itself, but its traditional charm and fantastic atmosphere do more than enough to ensure that this an inviting and thoroughly pleasant journey. It may not measure up to the genre's best, but Tokyo RPG Factory's first outing is a warm and well crafted reminder that the classic formula still works.
As an ode to the RPGs of the past, I Am Setsuna succeeds in recreating the sort of adventure you experienced on older Nintendo hardware. Its combat system is the main supplier of this nostalgia, with the deep active time battle system, the number of weapons and moves you can perform, and the time management aspect.But those not looking to take a trip down memory lane may be left wanting more, though in pure gameplay hours this offers a reasonable return on investment. The no-thrills plotline and gameplay outside of combat could have been fleshed out, leaving this one short of its full potential. I Am Setsuna could be the perfect complement to your Nintendo Switch, but if you're not foaming at the mouth with nostalgia it's certainly an optional purchase.
Setsuna is a good game and that’s really the problem, it’s just good. The games intention of being a love letter the to JRPG’s of yesteryear have kept the game void of any originality and spark. The game is stuck in the shadow of those games, playing it far too safe to rear a head of its own.
While the game doesn’t strive to evolve the classic gameplay, I Am Setsuna is a nice journey, a good 21+ hour charming adventure that despite its cold environments, warms the heart with its tragic themes, while answering the question that our memories of classic Japanese RPGs were not blinded nostalgia trips.
I Am Setsuna lacks confidence in itself but still tries to stand with the greats. Chrono Trigger was a tremendously ambitious and far-reaching game because iIt ventured across space time and took huge risks with its characters. I Am Setsuna wants to remind you of classic games such as Chrono Trigger but doesn't have the courage to do anything more than that. If I Am Setsuna had been released as a $20 indie title, it would be more understandable, but as a $40 game published by Square Enix, it is found lacking. RPG fans will probably have a fun, if forgettable, time with the game, but there's no need to rush out and buy this one unless you've exhausted your other options first.
I Am Setsuna is a great game, but that's all. It falls short of it's full potential in a few different ways, but fortunately the excellent soundtrack and brilliant art direction make it a joy to experience.
Overall, I Am Setsuna is a compelling experience that all RPG fans should try, just be aware that it’s a more personal and linear experience, as opposed to an epic adventure around the world.
Each nod to a title of JRPG yore is an acknowledgment of sampling from something fantastic. I am Setsuna is the sampler platter at your favorite restaurant. Not the one that gives you three tiny mozzarella sticks and a soggy onion ring – no, the place that puts a heaping of one of your favorite dishes in the center and surrounds them with generous quantities of the best of the menu. You know, the $20 appetizer tray that everyone can eat from. It’s not the full meal, but you can experience a taste of everything fantastic the chef has to offer.
I am Setsuna is an enjoyable and more than competent JRPG, which while weak in story more than makes up for this with a strong combat system and fantastic presentation.
I Am Setsuna is a mixture of beautiful, heartfelt, and depressing moments, one whose depth is unfortunately overshadowed by its over-abundant moments of shallowness. The worth in Setsuna may end up being not in what it did on its own, but the groundwork it provides for future projects.
A strong base game is at the core of I Am Setsuna, but it’s surrounded by some very depressing environments that make getting the best of the battle system difficult. Bundle up and get ready for a short story with a lot of snow.
It could have – and should have – been far better than it is. Held back by a lack of ambition and never daring to crawl from the shadow of better games, I Am Setsuna stops itself being something special.
If I am Setsuna stands as an example of what developers would accomplish if they more frequently looked back toward the golden age of RPGs, I enthusiastically urge the industry to continue pressing forward in further modernizing the genre.
I Am Setsuna for Nintendo Switch is disappointing with its uninspired story, a useless choice system and a primitive gameplay. Beautiful snow effects and lovingly drawn landscapes with atmospheric music, despite the duplication, feels great. But even that, most likely, will not be enough to get you through the game until the final credits.
Review in Russian | Read full review
I Am Setsuna does not reinvent the wheel of JRPGs and sticks to a formula which intends to put a smile on longtime fans of the genre by using several elements of the 16 and 32-bit era. That being said, it falls easily into a repetitiveness cycle, especially on its visual component and its plot and characters could really use more inspiration and magic, despite the quality of its combat system.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Yet, if you love JRPGs but think they need to leave the rose-tinted glasses behind, I Am Setsuna might not scratch the itch. It’s a shame it’s not more forward thinking but perhaps, should it do well, it could be exactly the thing to start bridging the gap towards a modern JRPG renaissance.
I Am Setsuna is a solid title. The story and gameplay both have their moments, even if they feel a little too reliant on nostalgia, and the wooden battles don't stop this from being something JRPG fans will still enjoy. A gorgeous soundtrack accompanies a beautiful, if not repetitive, snowy landscape, and the game holds its own and should feel right at home to people who like mobile RPGs.
Egal ob alt oder neu: I Am Setsuna verfolgt zwar einen spannenden Ansatz, konnte mich allerdings nicht über die komplette Spielzeit fesseln. Die inhaltsarme Welt sowie die über Strecken unnötig gezogene Story haben es mir schwergemacht, am Ball zu bleiben. Weiterhin hat mich das Balancing der Kämpfe gestört. Während die Zwischengegner fast immer mit nur einem Schlag erledigt gewesen sind, fahren die Bossgegner eine unausgewogene Stärke auf, welcher man nur mit Grinden entgegnen kann. Der Piano-Soundtrack ist stimmig und die Grafik nett anzuschauen. Dennoch hätte ich mir mehr Abwechslung im tristen Alltag der Welt gewünscht, welche mich immer und immer wieder an die gleichen Orte geführt hat. Hier wäre sicher mehr drin gewesen. Gleichwohl ist I Am Setsuna für alle Fans von RPG-Spielen der 90er Jahre mit Einschränkungen zu empfehlen. Das Spiel ist teilweise schwere Kost und die schwermütigen Piano-Sounds sowie das gewollt altbackene Gameplay könnte euch schnell vor den Bildschirmen einschlafen lassen. Wenn das nicht stört, gibt es immerhin solide Unterhaltung, welche selbst auf schwachbrüstigen PC-Systemen erstaunlich gut läuft.
Review in German | Read full review
At its core, I Am Setsuna plays precisely like a classic JRPG of the Active Time Battle variety, and requires smart, spur-of-the-moment strategy as those games once did.
I Am Setsuna starts out on a strong footing: offering what seems to be the perfect game for every JRPG fan with too little time on their hands. However, something is lost along the way, too much is trimmed and outside of the excellent combat system, the plot and characters simply fail to maintain my attention, some struggle to remain likeable because of their incredibly annoying dialogue.
In spite of its myriad frustrations, I Am Setsuna is far from a characterless husk, but its mechanical regurgitation of shallow tropes and the over-complication of a ready-made battle system manages to cast a dim light on its reserved tone and glacial atmosphere. Designed to be a reverential ode to cherished RPG classics, I Am Setsuna is a functional footnote rather than a sweeping fresh stanza.
Yet I’m met with the same response, from the many church-goers who don’t want that. They want the same thing they’ve heard before, slightly repackaged, but wholly recognizable and safe. It’s that hushed reverence that creates games like I Am Setsuna, and ultimately holds them back from being anything more than last week’s sermon.