I am Setsuna is now on the Nintendo Switch and comes to us from newcomer developer Tokyo RPG Factory, and tells a beautiful tale with what feels like a nod to games like Chrono trigger and Final Fantasy. One girl’s brave sacrifice to please monsters that are terrorising the land lived in by Setsuna and our stoic and wearisome main character, a mercenary of sorts tasked with the job of killing Setsuna.
I am Setsuna straight from the get go feels and plays like any traditional JRPG. In fact the story itself is somewhat similar in a way to that of Final Fantasy 10. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is also a tale worth listening to and experiencing. My biggest gripe is the main hero, Endir. I cared more for Setsuna as a character than I did my own. He wasn’t an overly silent protagonist as most conversations or interactions with other characters could be replied to using a selection of dialogue options.
Combat is turn based and after each fight you are rewarded with experience points to help level you up and unlock new abilities to combat the monsters you come across. These fights are done in the form of encounters, the closer you get to an enemy the higher a chance they will spot you and a fight will ensue. After a fight enemies drop loot and depending on what moves you use to defeat them the loot can vary depending on the fighting style and move set you used. This helps to save you from using the same move over and over to quickly get through fights, which is possible. I found myself using the same technique to get through grouped fights just to pass them, only changing my style when I came across stronger enemies that required different tactics.
Your attacks are performed using your ATB gauge (active time battle). Monsters also have them but you can’t see them. Once you use an attack you have to wait for it to build up again to perform any action. Along with standard attacks there are techniques that can be use via acquiring special spritnites that contain your characters techniques. These techniques can drastically change the battle and can bring an end to a lot of encounters faster than attacking normally would. Make sure to watch your MP gauge though because that’s how you’re able to use Techniques and combos. Combos are performed once the SP (special power) gauge is full. This allows you and fellow team mates to team up in one full on attack.
The beautiful world of I am Setsuna is set up like a map with small little hub sections that you can visit by moving your characters sprites across the map. Each of these areas that you can visit are either small towns, caves or forests that you navigate your way through that contain treasure chests, enemies or if you find yourself in a town characters that all have their own stories to tell. None of the villages I visited though were anything amazing. Just small little areas with about 10 or so characters in each that you could interact with.
Graphics and Sound
I am Setsuna is a wonderful JRPG created using the most beautiful art style. The environment looks like it was created using a fine water based paint job. Beauty really is in every part of this package from the art, to the story and even the soundtrack. The game is accompanied by a beautiful soundtrack that is very entrancing and draws you into the world as you play.
I am Setsuna is gorgeous game with a beautiful story of sacrifice and love. The team at Tokyo RPG Factory have definitely showed their love for classic JRPGs here with a somewhat caring love letter to games of old. I am Setsuna is definitely an amazing experience however for its current price on the eshop I would recommend waiting for a price drop. But if you have the cash to spare I am Setsuna is a worthy collection to your Nintendo Switch library.