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вторник, 2 август 2016 г.

I am Setsuna - What sacrifices are made for this revival attempt




This is going to be one strange review...because the obvious thing to do with Setsuna is to compare it to other JRPGs. And if you do that it’s really easy from there. The problem is I almost haven not played any other JRPGs and those I have played - I did for very short time therefore comparison is not possible. But if you are not new to this blog I believe you are used to it as this is not the first such case. Anyway...

Created by Tokyo RPG Factory and published by Square Enix I am Setsuna is a game trying to revive the JRPGs while at the same time using modern technology to bring great experience to the player. This is what it tries to do...


In the game you...no, you are not playing as Setsuna...you are a mercenary - Endir (or any name you choose for him) who is hired by mysterious person to kill a girl which is about to be sacrificed. Why someone will want to kill someone else who is about to die anyway? Well that I leave to you to learn. The whole story is filled with a lot of feelings - past regrets, sorrow, happiness and new hope...may be even too much feelings. Despite that the story is rather good it has few interesting twists and puts some moral questions up. There is also a nice pallet of characters both the ones joining your party and NPCs you will meet around the world. There is also a good bit of character development. Sadly although you are present with dialogue options it almost does not matter what you will say especially in important situations. There is only one right answer and if your choice is "wrong" someone of the characters will literally correct you. This was the first disappointment for me. I can only imagine how much better the story would be if your choices mattered.



Another thing that impressed me from the start of the game is how cute it looks. Both characters and enemies are really cutsy and funny. At the same time the game looks great. With a lot of small details which add to the already beautifully drawn scenery. Together with this also goes great soundtrack which you will quickly find yourself humming while playing.

And before someone say that I am trying to distract you with the beauty of the game, because the gameplay is bad, let us take a look at the game mechanics. And oh my does this game have mechanics?!
As in every JRPG you will gather a party of characters, equip them with items, manage inventory etc. You know, RPG stuff. Usually here I will also include improving skills or something along those lines, but in Setsuna this is a bit more complex. Skills are called Tech and for Tech you need Spritnite which you will buy with the different materials you collect from enemies. When members of the party have certain Techs they can trigger combos and unleash devastating attacks. Additionally there is something called Flux which improves the Techs in various ways. But even if you do not have special combos with the skills of your party you can always use Momentum which also triggers bonus effects based on the skills with which you use it.



Something which I have not seen in other turn based games is how the characters behave during the fight. What I mean is for example the fact that enemies will randomly wander around the battlefield while their ATB fills up this way surrounding party members and ruining AoE attacks. The same goes for your party also. Sometimes after an attack someone may remain among the enemies also certain moves like backstabs will separate characters from the others. This together with the ATB bars brings very interesting dynamic to the fights. Setsuna is supposed to be inspired by Chrono Triger and to some of you this may be familiar but as I said I am not well versed in this genre.



Other than that the game offers some pretty standard things like cooking recipes, Overwolrd map, airship to travel around, hard bossfights and nasty save system. The game does not use auto-save and honestly as someone who gets caried away in games I am not sure which is worse - this or only auto saves. And because this is not enough you can save only on special places which thankfully are always close to important fights. You can also save in the Overworld map.
Mentioning the Overwolrd map there is almost nothing to explore on it. This was my second disappointment.

Conclusion


I am Setsuna is a JRPG with great looks, interesting story and polished mechanics which tries to revive a genre loved by many. To me this is the first JRPG which made me play it for so long.  And while I understand this might be because I do not compare it to others from the genre I think it is a good game on its own and its worth it if you are fan of the genre. Also it is not very long as people report it is around 20-25 hours. There were some things which I did not like - the meaningless dialogue options and the lack of places to explore. Which sadly give this feeling of a rushed game. Which is a contradiction to some degree as the game works well and looks like a finished product in every other area. 

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