I Am Setsuna
Top Critic Average
Not just a loving tribute to the JRPGs of the 90s, I Am Setsuna tells a memorable tale, with a few bright design jewels of its own.
A beautiful JRPG that captures the spirit of the genre's early hits while playing things a tad too safely.
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 aims to invoke the spirit of classic 16-Bit JRPGs like Chrono Trigger, but its obtuse combat and monotonous pacing keep it from reaching those lofty heights.
A well-crafted homage to Chrono Trigger, which isn’t scared to add its own ideas – ensuring this is far more than just a nostalgic novelty.
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 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.
I Am Setsuna is a somber yet joyful nostalgia trip
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.