The title screen for I am Setsuna had its hooks in me immediately. Down to the simple logo and the instrumental piano piece for theme music – it had everything I was in the mood for within the first few seconds.
Though there was that “Press the Options Button,” message. I’m a purist – I miss my start button. Why the PS4 and Xbox One decided to go away from that I’m not sure. Sure sometimes it gives you more options, but most of the time it starts the game like it’s meant to do. Here’s hoping the Nintendo NX keeps the start button.
Back to the topic at hand! I’ve been craving that old school RPG feel. And, thankfully, I am Setsuna for the most part scratches that itch.
A Walk With Setsuna
After completing the first scene you get the above title screen.
It’s reminiscent of Final Fantasy VI where they are marching towards the town in the snow on their huge mechs. It might not be exactly the same, but it sent me back to that scene and I could feel the chills as Endir walked to his new quest: slay the sacrifice, a girl named Setsuna.
The plot has a similarity to Final Fantasy X – sacrifice a girl to keep the monsters at bay and bring peace to the lands. Endir is sent to kill Setsuna before that happens and obviously being a main character something changes his mind very early in the game. I won’t get into too much about the story, play it for yourself. So far it’s rather simple, but has enough substance to keep me motivated to trek through the palette-pleasing snowy landscape.
Dialogue boxes. Who would have thought I would miss those, the dialogue slowly typing across the screen making that strange sound effect. No voice acting, but that sound of the creation of text brought more and more memories to mind. A simple act and I felt right at home – always the simple things.
I am Setsuna takes an interesting turn and so far only takes place in the snow. Every town, trail, and open area is covered with it. Usually most RPGs give you a taste of more than one type of setting whether it is a forest or a desert – there is variation. I am Setsuna doesn’t seem to do that. I think I’m OK with that. It’s telling a specific story for a specific journey.
I’m Level 15 thus far and I think I’ve gone through a decent chunk of the game already – still not tired of the tundra.
For some reason I only do a certain procedure in older school RPGs compared to modern ones. When there is no vocal dialogue for the NPCs in the towns I generally talk to all of them. It could be old habits, but I notice that I don’t do it as much in more modern RPGs.
I am Setsuna though I do. It’s not even a trying to find all the secrets and maybe an NPC will show me the way – I’m just interested in the lore of this world. I find myself talking to every character I can find in every town I visit.
I can’t remember the last game I did that for. Even in I am Setsuna most of the dialogue I hear from the NPCs is odd and pointless. Some reason I like that and I’m glad this game has given me the drive to become part of the world through that method.
I am Setsuna has its flaws. Why doesn’t it track my time? I like to know how much time I spend on my RPGs. My characters don’t really have stats – only Hit Points and Magic Points. The enemy types are rather bland at times. Are any of these deal breakers? I don’t think so.
I am Setsuna is worth the time.
I’m excited to see what Tokyo RPG Factory comes up with for their next endeavor.