Finally! Something new that can bring us back to the good ol’ glory days of our Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, and all those other nostalgic JRPG’s that we go back to on a regular basis to get our “fix.”
Why do we go back to those games? Is it because we long for the strategic time based system that makes you able to line up your ultimate abilities just right? Or is it that in-depth story that can somehow bring laughter, sadness, and classic betrayal in one instant? Here’s what I say if you don’t know. Play I am Setsuna. This video game will bring you back, but also remind you that stories are not meant to be happy and fluffy like your favorite pillow.
The absence of hope, happiness, and sun tan beaches are the general theme when it comes to I am Setsuna…and for good reason. This video game is punishing in it’s story where everything is against you and your hope for saving the planet from an onslaught of monsters that all want to kill you. Isn’t that just fantastic? Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to be part of the guard for the “Sacrifice” that goes to the Lost Lands to not return. If you have questions, play the game! Along the way, you find the standard amount of characters you would in any JRPG, but have fantastic character building backgrounds. You’ll find abilities through the system of Spritnite, which you can think of as Materia from the iconic Final Fantasy 7, which can be used with other charaters’ Spritnite to use incredibly aggressive or defensive abilities. For example, you can use Cyclone with Charge as a combo to have two of your characters use the combo ability X-Strike. By using the combo, you use each character’s turn, but typically do more damage combined than alone. On top of that, the abilities have some great secondary status boost effects to help the party, or debilitize the enemy when you use Momentum. Think of Momentum as an extra “charge” that can be saved up to be used to activate those extra effects mentioned earlier. One thing you should always remember – if you don’t pre-plan the Spritnite before battles, the Spritnite can easily destroy you or betray your sense of ease.
On top of all the strategy and colorful characters, the landscape and music play a seductive melody to the soul. The music was created by none other than the one who created the soundtrack for Soul Calibur V. Say what you want about the actualy story of Soul Calibur V, but the soundtrack was fantastic. Now put that type of sound track while only using piano. It sounds crazy, but the composed piano works great with the snowy landscape you find throughout the entire adventure. As you can imagine, with only a piano forcast to make your game enjoyable, you do find yourself in many sad situations. The aforementioned is exactly what you want, and what you need to completely embody the theme of the game, and to endure the intense emotions through the questline.
All in all, I am Setsuna sets you straight on the fact that a great JRPG can be made again. I can’t say it’s the best, but it has some fantastic elements of what all great JRPGs are all about. The music is absolutely fantastic along with the landscape, and with the moving story. The only unfortunate thing about the game is the small amount of extra’s in it. There is a solid 5 hours in total that you can put in to extend the gameplay, which is quite small. However, the original storyline, music, and nostalgic battle atmosphere makes up for it all. The one thing I stress that you need to do right now, is to buy this game. You will not be disapointed. And my hope is that you will enjoy it as much as I did.
Just looks at this video and you’ll see what I’m talking about.