Nintendo's upcoming Switch has been under the spotlight of scrutiny since its announcement. One of the major criticisms leading up to launch is that the line-up looks thin. Well, the line-up just got a little bit thicker thanks to Square Enix confirming another launch title for the Nintendo Switch.
This announcement didn't just come out of the blue and nestle into a corner to stay there. Square Enix wanted gamers to know that the Nintendo Switch version of the game will be slightly different from the other releases of Tokyo RPG Factory's love letter to Chrono Trigger.
The Nintendo Switch version will include a brand new mode called the Temporal Battle Arena, where players will engage in a multiplayer battle arena against other parties made by other players.
I Am Setsuna will only be available for the Nintendo Switch as a digital download title for the system, which is a bit of a shame because it would have looked great on store shelves thanks to the awesome art. In fact they recently held a competition for the fan box art for the game over on the Steam page. It would have seemed like the perfect opportunity to use a fan's box art to plop the game on store shelves for a limited physical release. The Nintendo Switch will need all of the software exposure it can get for its launch in March.
As for the game itself... I Am Setsuna is a budget-made game from first-time developers Tokyo RPG Factory. The game is competently made with some inviting character art and soothing backgrounds set within a wintery set of isles. The story is a depressingly sad adventure about a girl named Setsuna who must set out on a journey to sacrifice herself in order to save her land. The story is way more complex than that but never ventures far from the core theme from whence it starts. The players take on the role of a mysterious mercenary who was contracted to kill Setsuna before she's to be sacrificed. From there, the story unfolds and we learn more about the mercenary, Setsuna, some of the companions that join her on her pilgrimage, and the truth behind the sacrifices.
This is probably one of the few games that starts and stays depressing throughout. It does feed players some hope for a happy ending, and it's worth playing if you've been longing for a serious JRPG that dearly pays homage to classics from yesteryear that helped shape the legacy of the SNES.
A word of warning: I Am Setsuna doesn't quite have the technical combat depth as Chrono Trigger. I know, it's disappointing given that the game is supposed to be a spiritual successor to it in some way, but the first time developers did manage to include team techs and various other special abilities for characters to utilize. It's just not quite a varied as the original Chrono Trigger. The soundtrack is remarkably fantastic, though, and it's worth listening to long after you beat the game.
You can look for I Am Setsuna to launch on the Nintendo Switch via the eShop on March 3 for $39.99.