The line to give I Am Setsuna a try was surprisingly short, so I jumped in and found out immediately that this was the Square we all used to know and love. The art is of course amazing, but all of the gameplay mechanics, dialogue, and little bits of the story I was exposed to were old school Square. It felt like I was playing Chrono Trigger.
If that last line didn’t grab you about I Am Setsuna, nothing that follows will. The ATB gauges are back in the combat, which made the battles feel much more tense. It goes beyond that though, as you can sit there and wait, building up a separate meter, which will increase damage and do other effects later down the line.
What made me think most about Chrono Trigger was the combat combined with the battle screen. You don’t load up something new, it happens on the map itself, just like Chrono Trigger. And also like Chrono Trigger, positioning of both yourself and your enemy is very important in setting up and avoiding abilities. I didn’t get to play long enough to get some companions to see if there are something like the double techs in Chrono Trigger where you could team up with a party member for a devastating attack.
The dialogue screens, artwork, and the dialogue itself was very reminiscent of the 90s era Square as well. It was quirky, even the smallest characters were interesting, and it was fun to read. I didn’t get a good glimpse at the overall story, but it’s all about a land beset by demons and the people’s attempts to quell them.
So, I Am Setsuna is the old turn-based RPG action we all loved, the golden era of Square RPGs. Anyone who enjoyed Chrono Trigger or other similar titles from that time period should definitely be excited for I Am Setsuna. Japan already has the game, but the rest of the world doesn’t have to wait long as I Am Setsuna comes to PC, PS4, and PS Vita July 26th.
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