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Games : Highly Recommended
Release Date: July 19th, 2016 Movie Release Year: 2016

I am Setsuna

Overview -

'I Am Setsuna' is the first title from Square Enix's new studio Tokyo RPG Factory, a developer that aims to make games that hearken back to some of Square's most beloved years, with this first title being a spiritual successor to the classic SNES game 'Chrono Trigger'. The game promises a sorrowful tale that sees players exploring a faraway, snow-covered land. Between the young Setsuna and her two bodyguards, all the trappings are there: inner strength, bravery, self-sacrifice and a promise for the people back home. It's a pilgrimage to save the world.

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
July 19th, 2016

Video Review


Like 'Bravely Default' before it, 'Setsuna' does a great job with the limitations placed upon it. While the game clearly has a low budget, the developers hide this using the absolutely gorgeous art direction. The snowy aesthetic can at times feel repetitive, but it lends the game a striking look and feel, and the first time I saw snow falling off a tree, revealing the color of its leaves, it was utterly charming. Character models are extremely simple, but they animate surprisingly well and feel endearing, rather than simply cheap. There's a pleasant, painterly style to it all that I ended up stopping to appreciate on quite a few occasions. There's some unfortunate jagginess and stuttering during certain visual effects and spells, but it does ultimately feel minor, and never inhibits the gameplay.

Audio Review


'Setsuna' has such a lovely, low-key soundtrack that works so incredibly well with the game on a thematic level while still providing some really catchy tracks. Every single song uses nothing but the piano, yet there isn't a single one that doesn't feel ultimately distinct. It's absolutely beautiful in its greatest moments, and sticking to a single instrument has led to prioritizing memorable, interesting melodies over simple walls of sound. It's an absolute joy just to stop and listen to the game, and the music greatly enhances the somber tone it often strives for without feeling overbearingly sad. There's some extremely light voicework in battles only, which I understand, given the era the developers are trying to evoke, but it does feel like a bit of a shame. That said, the soundwork outside of that, from the beautiful score to the effects that make the game sound as cold as it looks, are absolutely wonderful outside of that.

Final Thoughts

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. While some small gripes certainly sting a little, this is a terrific debut for Tokyo RPG Factory, and I absolutely can't wait to see what they make next. For anyone who misses the SNES era, it's a great throwback, but in its own right, it's a fantastic game that absolutely shouldn't be ignored.