I Am Setsuna Review Roundup

What do the critics have to say about new JRPG I Am Setsuna? Find out below.

12 Comments

I Am Setsuna is out now, and many critics have already given their verdicts on the new JRPG. And if you were hoping it would be good, then you'll be happy to hear that the reception so far is generally positive.

The Square Enix-published JRPG is inspired by games like Chrono Trigger. It tells the story of Setsuna, a young woman of incredible inner strength who must make a sacrifice to save the people of her homeland. You play as a mercenary named Endir "whose destiny is changed upon meeting Setsuna."

I Am Setsuna releases for PS4 and PC on July 19. A Vita version was planned, but it was cancelled earlier this year. We've collected a selection of reviews that should give you a good idea of the game and its quality. For a wider view of the critical reception, visit GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: I Am Setsuna
  • Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory
  • Platform: PS4, PC
  • Price: $40
No Caption Provided

GameSpot -- 7/10

"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. There are times when its familiar music and faces feel comforting, like returning to your hometown after a decade away, so as someone who grew up playing Japanese RPGs, I enjoyed my time with I Am Setsuna. It's like any trip down memory lane: it was nice to look back and remember the good times." -- Peter Brown [full review]

Rock Paper Shotgun

"Those golden-era JRPGs are beloved because they were packed with memorable locations, characters, and combat. I Am Setsuna unfortunately falls short on all three counts, and instead delivers an average and forgettable adventure, albeit one with wonderful music." -- Kirk McKeand [full review]

Kotaku

"If Tokyo RPG Factory's goal was to create a sad, stirring adventure that evokes memories of the past without feeling too antiquated, they nailed it, with big assists from Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy X, and even a little Xenogears at the very end. If this is the type of story we'll continue to get from the Tokyo RPG Factory, then hey, maybe RPG assembly lines aren't so bad." -- Jason Schreier [full review]

The Verge

"I Am Setsuna is fairly short by JRPG standards; depending on how much grinding you do, it'll probably take you somewhere around 20 hours to finish. But over that relatively brisk adventure, it gets at the heart of what made these kinds of games so beloved, with combat, narrative, and presentation that stand up with the best the genre has to offer." -- Andrew Webster [full review]

Destructoid -- 7.5/10

"I actually quite like the adherence to nostalgia, as Square is only giving fans [what] they want after years of complaints that projects like Final Fantasy XIII strayed too far. But by the same token of goodwill, it plays it a little too safe in regards to its at times predictable story, and doesn't really do anything new that moves the genre forward in any way. Still, if old school is what you want, you'll get it." -- Chris Carter [full review]

Eurogamer

"Even so, I Am Setsuna exhibits an unavoidable tightness of focus. There are no great side-quests to follow. The world map is barren. There is no equivalent to Chocobo breeding. This is a game that conjures the spirit of the golden age rather than its bulk. What's here, however, is enough: an enchanting story, supported by simple, lost pleasures. It's the way in which your characters leave deep furrows as they run through the drift. It's the sound of rested snow thumping to the ground as you nudge past a tree. It's the old sea, watched from a cliff. It's how Tokyo RPG Factory has managed to rekindle the wonder and innocence of a once great genre." -- Simon Parkin [full review]

GamesRadar -- 2.5/5

"It's a real bummer, because I Am Setsuna's heart is in the right place. It's got lovely music, its simplistic visuals have a real flair, and its attempts at evoking both a specific mood and gameplay style are admirable. But all the heart in the world doesn't matter if you have no soul, and I Am Setsuna's soul is painfully absent." -- David Roberts [full review]

RPG Site -- 9/10

"I Am Setsuna bestows upon the player a strong sense of warmth and contentment. The beautiful scenery pulls you in, and the delicate soundtrack keeps you enthralled as you progress through the long journey filled with well-developed characters that had me genuinely caring about their plight. While much of its charm comes from its attention to traditional design minus the frustrating elements, those with the patience to explore the opposite spectrum of big budget, hollow excursions may find satisfaction in this wonderfully mature experiment in the modern era." -- Zack Reese [full review]

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Elranzer

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I want to get this, but $40 seems much. I know it's Square Enix, but a 20-hour RPG seems short for them. Since it's on Steam, I guess a sale is inevitable (Square Enix's other Steam releases get sales all the time).

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Halloll

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Edited By Halloll

Reviewers would've slaughtered this game if it was released in the 90s. the jrpg bar went down after their bad performance last gen.

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Tiwill44

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I never really understood the appeal of these old-school JRPGs. Most people (even some fans of the genre) agree that the gameplay is subpar and boring, and yet they play them anyway.

If I'm going to play a game only because of the story, then... I'd rather play a VN or a text adventure, and save myself the hassle of going through this inconsequential, uninvolved combat. It's basically filler, and a huge waste of time.

At least this one doesn't have annoying random encounters, but the combat still looks tacked on and pointless. Why not have your combat be more like Paper Mario (timed hits, etc.) or Undertale (active dodging, etc.)? Is it just devs being lazy? or nostalgia pandering?

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Elranzer

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Edited By Elranzer

@Tiwill44: Ironically, the same devs (Square Enix, then Squaresoft) were responsible for pioneering Super Mario RPG's "timed hits" battle system.

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namitokiwa

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For more details score of I am Setsuna. Metacritic: 77/100, OpenCritic: 79/100.
But it has pretty good reviews after all. I have played for 3 hours and really like it. Here is some more score:
.
Digitally Downloaded - 10/10.

The Daily Pot - 9/10.
High-Def Disgest - 9/10.
Game Rant - 9/10.
Dualshockers - 9/10.
CGMagazine - 9/10.
Attack of the Fan Boy - 9/10.
RPG Site - 9/10.High-Def Disgest - 9/10.

Polygon - 8.5/10.
God is a Geek - 8.5/10.

Everyeye.it - 8.2/10

GamingTrend - 8/10.
MMROPG.com - 8/10.
Playstation Universe - 8/10.

Destructoid - 7.5/10.
Playstation Lifestyle - 7.5/10.
Game Informer - 7.5/10.

Gamespot - 7/10.
Push Square - 7/10.

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Bahamut50

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Edited By Bahamut50

And the negative i initially saw was from gamesradar. Sorry guys, i don't trust them radar reeeviiieeews xP.

I have read a few of the other more negative ones, but overall it seems like a bunch of people complaining about things I don't really care about xD. But as we all know, opinions are opinions. make your own decisions!

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Thanatos2k

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So add the customary 1 point bonus because US sites despise JRPGs for no reason, and you get a pretty good game?

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Elranzer

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@Thanatos2k: Going by your username and avatar, you'd probably just die if Square Enix made a Secret of Mana HD Remaster.

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@Elranzer: Square Enix has disgraced the mana series over and over, it's now F2P mobile trash.

If they were to make a Secret of Mana remake using the graphic quality of Legend of Mana, I would be all over that. But no, gotta be crap 3D now.

Square could also RELEASE SEIKEN 3 at some point between now and the heat death of the universe, but Square Enix is run by morons so of course not.

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Pyrosa

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@Thanatos2k: Because "derivative" and "reliant on nostalgia" doesn't satisfy for very long (unless it's Star Wars).

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Mirimon78

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@Pyrosa: or cod, or halo, or pick an retro scroller....

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@Pyrosa: As someone who replays his SNES RPGs from time to time, it sure would.

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