Review by XRhinehartX
On the Surface...2/5
I am Setsuna is half arsed. It's not bad, but it's not good, either. It's just meh. It was supposed to be a spiritual successor to Chrono Trigger, but calling it that feels like an insult. It was nowhere near as ambitious as Chrono Trigger. Sure, I am Setsuna brought back some familiar names of items and skills, but the writing and plot is laughable. You're a mercenary turned assassin once hired to kill a girl who's going to die anyway, even if you do nothing because she's a sacrifice. Right off the bat, the story quest is pointless. And don't get me started on the characters. Even for a silent protagonist, Endir falls flat. Setsuna herself is boring, too. Half the cast is boring. The other half has some compelling stories (Nidr, Julienne, Aeterna), but even then, I didn't really like Nidr enough to ever have him in my party.
Under the Hood...2.5/5
The thing I like about RPGs (especially JRPGs) is their approach to in-depth mechanics. The more you know a game, the more richly you're rewarded. Not in this case. The flux system is fun and interesting, once you figure out how it works, as it allows you to customize and increase the potency of your skills (both passive and otherwise), but if you really wanna do anything with it, it'll take forever and it's tedious as hell. You get flux for spamming skills on enemies, whether they hit or not (it's actually better for you when they don't hit and you spend half an hour whiffing attacks on one single enemy, which is a kinda stupid thing to have to do to become so ridiculously OP), but if you use a skill enough throughout your playthrough, and have the right talisman equipped, you're bound to get some good results simply playing through the game. But not so much for people like me who want to minmax all their crap.
There isn't even a point to grinding 'cuz you can kill everything in the game at what I assume is half the level cap. I only assume it's half the level cap 'cuz I'm currently over level 70 and I can get 5k EXP per attack on this one battle ('cuz I kill everything in the battle with one attack, leave, come back, lather, rinse, repeat), but it's BORING, and there's no need for it 'cuz I can already one shot the game's final boss without reaching the level cap. The postgame is lacking. It just gives you a few towers with boss rushes. That's it.
The graphics are nice. I like how detailed everything is while still keeping the characters chibi like the traditional JRPGs, but Chrono Trigger didn't really have a chibi art style, and Akira Toriyama this ain't.
Sound and Music...3.5/5
The sound's good. Everything sounds the way it should for a traditional JRPG. The music's mostly piano remixes of Chrono Trigger's soundtrack and some original compositions. It's okay, but it doesn't really make me feel like I'm in the world or that I should care about it.
Boring and tedious, but otherwise not bad. It's worth playing once, but only once. And definitely not worth $40. It's too short (only about 20 hours or so), the postgame content is weak, the story and writing is meh, three characters are interesting, the rest are meh. I like the idea of a Squeenix classic JRPG style revival, but you've gotta try harder than this, guys, come on.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: I Am Setsuna (US, 07/19/16)
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