I Am Setsuna is a game that kind of came out of nowhere. Square Enix just suddenly announced that they had formed a new studio, Tokyo RPG Factory, and that they would be working on a classically inspired JRPG for the Playstation 4 and Steam. Not only that, but the game would utilize a lot of the same mechanics seen in Chrono Trigger, a title still held by many as the paragon of the genre. It all seemed too good to be true.
Now, the game is almost upon us. It will be releasing this summer, July 19th to be precise, on the aforementioned platforms. Today, Square Enix has released a trailer for the game (in English). I Am Setsuna revolves around the story of a young woman as she undertakes a journey in an attempt to save her people. Ultimately, it seems that this will require her to sacrifice herself. The somber tone of it all is perfectly accompanied by a bleak environment and piano score.
I had the opportunity to play the game at PAX East last month, and combat-wise it does not disappoint. It indeed features the same style of quick, turn-based combat as its Super Nintendo influences. Like Chrono Trigger, battle occurs on the same field upon which you travel and explore. However, I Am Setsuna does a lot more to make geography and positioning a part of the tactical game. Enemies can be knocked back or pulled in with certain skills, and area-of-effect must be taken into account when attacking. Certain monsters will also utilize skills like suicide bombing that will require the player to either keep them at a distance or stay in close quarters. It makes the battle mechanics less of a straight forward DPS game, and I loved it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to really explore the village present or engage much with the story, but I was hooked nonetheless.
I Am Setsuna will be available in North America on PlayStation 4 and Steam at a price of $39.99. Sadly, there will be no PS Vita release of the title in North America. In addition, if you pre-order the title from now and up until release, you’ll also score a special music track from composer Tomoki Miyoshi.