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I am Setsuna

The I am Setsuna Collector’s Edition includes the full game and the beautiful 27 melody original soundtrack ‘Winter’s End’ by composer Tomoki Miyoshi. This is the story of Setsuna; a young woman of incredible inner strength and the sacrifice she must make to save the people of her land. The Island had a custom. To maintain peace, once a decade, a sacrifice was offered to a fiend on the island. However, one year, the fiend grew violent before the next sacrifice was due. Those living on the island were afraid and tried to calm the fiend by offering a sacrifice; Setsuna, chosen because of her powers of enchantment. Setsuna must leave with her safeguards for the farthest land, where the ceremony of sacrifice will be held.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

It's a nice throwback to the golden age of JRPGs from my childhood. (Late 90s to Mid 2000s era).

Review from Steam

This game gets a lot of hate from some quarters, partly because it gets compared to Chrono Trigger a lot. Chrono was a masterpiece, while this is ....good. So while its a good game, it is set up to fail by the comparison. This is a shame as I Am Setsuna does a lot of things right.
Graphically the game is a mixed bag. The environments are beautiful and the character animations great, but when you get into caves and in particular dungeons the reused tiles start to become noticeable. This is only a real issue in the actual dungeons, but it is forgivable. The overall snowy aesthetic works well and there are lots of subtle little touches when you pay attention.
The music is superb - even if its basically one guy with a piano 90% of the time. It fits the environments perfectly, and rises from sad to angry to dramatic at all the right times. I'm not sure if its an OST I'd listen to extensively on its own, but in the context of the game its very good.
Gameplay is basically drawn from that chrono trigger style (thus the comparisons) and as someone who loved that game it is similar enough to be a big plus. Indeed its lovely to play this style of combat again. It does mix things up though with Spiritnite as collectable material that unlocks active and passive commands and effects. You can only equip a certain amount, and while I did most of the game with a similar build, there were some bosses that I ran a special spec for, and for end game trash its possible to speed it up immensely with the right combos. Food is available by collecting sparkly dots on the map and when you have the right mats on you and you speak to an (otherwise unmarked) npc in each region she will give you the recipe for the item. Food only lasts 1 fight, so generally it is used to buff before a hard boss only as it is also expensive.
The characters are decent, but not outstanding. Setsuna is the obvious exception as she is well written, unbearably kind and someone I kept in my party just to have her around, even though there were better combat options. The rest are a bit less well rounded - Endir is basically the player so has no real personality which I can forgive, I took Aeternea most of the time who is ok. Kir and Ndir were ok, while Julienne wasn't too likable (but very strong).
The story is also a 'good' but not 'great'. In particular I did feel the game was DESPERATE for multiple endings, which as I understand it may have not happened due to time only. Overall its a well trodden path 'vulnerable person needs to make journey to sacrifice themself to save world'. It does subvert that near the end only to pull the rug out from you - definitely at least 2 endings needed here! I actually liked the story more than it probably deserved, again due to Setsuna being so adorable, but wasn't a fan of the VERY end. No spoilers but multiple endings would have solved that!
Overall you can look at this as a 'fairly decent but not great Chrono rip off' or as a homage to some of the Chrono style but going its own way. For me its the latter, and what stands out is that really this game is not about you, it is all about Setsuna and you are almost just along for the ride. That's not a criticism - you feel (mostly) that you are in control but the last hour of the game adds a new perspective.
So this game for me is a 'recommend'. Don't expect a masterpiece, but it has so many lovely touches - the graphics, the environments, the retro style ATB combat and Setsuna herself that it was an enjoyable experience. I get the haters, but I think a bit more generosity is needed to look beyond its flaws and cliches to a short story that is heart warming while also being enthused with poignant sadness. It's more enjoyable that it looks on paper, so pick it up in a sale and get ready for a trek through this snowy world.

Review from Steam

I absolutely fell in love with this game
I adore its stylistic visuals and story I 100% recommend

Review from Steam

I Am Setsuna gets a lot more credit than it deserves. I would say the game is fine, maybe even a cut above the standard cookie cutter jrpgs. But the crazy comparisons to some of the greatest rpgs to exist is something I genuinely can't understand. The gameplay of Setsuna is ATB and for almost the entire game it's fairly easy. As long as you fight your way through the dungeons you won't have to really grind and none of the bosses are a struggle up until the very end. Hell you could even use the starter spells and any character combination without any repercussions. However the last parts of Setsuna really start to drain on you as you instantly hit a wall. The final boss is extremely limited on what spells you need and what party members you can use. Not to mention the game throws you into the worst possible way to get end game gear and consumables. Near the end you are supplied an airship and a key to go back and open all the locked chests that you found during the beginning that were locked. These chests greatly help the final sections of the game and is the most shitty forced backtracking experience I have experienced in a long time. It really feels like they just wanted to extend the game by a few more hours rather than just wrapping things up nicely. As far as writing goes it's a weird mix. You have a lot of heavy themes that should be impactful to you as a player but all the emotional problems each character faces gets solved within the next 3 speech bubbles where they are told to move on and act like it never happened. Only during the final boss do you get to see the characters once more go over their traumas and within seconds they are fixed instantaneously. It's extremely jaring especially when each member of your party (except Setsuna and Endir) carry some very weighty themes as well as depressing backstories. If anything it feels rushed or the focus wasn't directed properly. The protagonists of the game are probably the overall least enjoyable part. Your character Endir is a blank slate where none of your multiple choice questions have a different outcome. Then you have Setsuna who is in turn a wet napkin Mary Sue who is such a good wholesome person that can do absolutely nothing wrong. Not to mention for someone who's being sacrificed you'd think she would have some more development and a pallet of emotional turmoil. But let's sort of end on the positives of the game. The villains and their character development is really well done. Especially the final boss and the monster disguised as a human were some really well done villains. Kirs village was a really well done concept with a lot of good heavy themes about life and death. The game looks great albeit gets a little bit stale looking at the snow landscape for 20 hours. Lastly the melancholy piano is nice to listen to and while it's supposed to insite depression it really just makes you feel a sense of calmness. Overall it's a decent jrpg and I would say it's worth playing if you pick it up on sale.

Review from Steam

I enjoyed this game quite a bit. It can be very sad. Overall a good experience, but I dont see myself doing a second play through. Highly recommend giving it a try however.

Review from Steam

So after a very long 65 hours, I'm ready to review "I Am Setsuna". Is it worth it? Absolutely. Read on.
The game takes inspiration from many classic titles. To start, the storyline is more or less a modified version of the one from Final Fantasy X. Your main character is a mercenary named Endir, who is tasked to kill a woman named Setsuna. Setsuna is a girl chosen to go on a pilgrimage to a distant land, accompanied by guardians, to stop an ancient evil. Sound familar? In this case, she makes a deal with Endir. If she suceeds in her pilgrimage, she dies anyway, so why not tag along? Against all logic, Endir accepts.
The map and the combat system are ripped right from Chrono Trigger. No lie, it's not much different. You navigate the map the same way, and battles happen on screen with a menu that pops up when you encounter an enemy on screen. You can get access to double and triple techniques as you progress, just like in Chrono Trigger.
The double and triple combos come from a rather unique system called "Spritnite", which is similar to FF7s materia. You sell monster materials, and get Spritnite, which you equip into talismans that activate the skills. If you have the right skills on the 3 party members, you get the double and triple techniques. There's also a number of passive skills available this way as well.
In battle, you have a momentum bar that fills when your ATB gauge is filled. When it's filled, you can activate it via a 'timed hit' akin to Super Mario RPG. This adds extra damage and other effects depending on what skill you used. As I said earlier, there's a lot of mechanics from older games that are tied into this one that work together very well.
A unique aspect of it, is that the entire soundtrack is on piano. Every track, in every town, every battle, it's all piano, and it's very nicely done as well. And while the graphics aren't groundbreaking, they fit the setting nicely.
It's pretty easy to get all of the achievements, although towards the end there's a few hours of grinding to be done to make the last few easier. The game, all together, is excellently made and anyone who likes the old school style of turn based JRPG combat, will feel right at home, and you will defintiely get your moneys worth out of this game.

Review from Steam

It's been several years since I have played I Am Setsuna. Looking back, I recall a serviceable story that bore many similarities with FFX, a serviceable battle system that plays a bit like a simplified Chrono Trigger, and a game that overall scratched my JRPG itch with a nice manageable ~40 hour playtime to complete.
Two things really stick with me though. The first is the beautiful, intricate, all-piano soundtrack, which I get is cheaper than a full orchestra, but it really *really* works. The second is that the whole game takes place in various icy, snowy environments. Far from being monotonous or samey, this bold choice really sets this game apart for me as a fond, cozy memory.
I am not sure when, but this is a game I will revisit.