I have just finished I Am Setsuna and all I can say is thank fuck for that! Never have I wanted a game to come to an end more in my life, in fact I immediately deleted it from my hard drive as soon as I finished it, so intense was my hatred for this arse of a game. Normally I like to over level in an RPG, do all the side quests and things like that, but in this case I rushed through the main story just to end my suffering.
The plot is essentially just chibi Final Fantasy X, except they have removed the original characters, the well told story, awesome music and expansive universe. You play as a mercenary hired to kill the titular Setsuna, who is the main reason for my hatred of this game. Setsuna decides that you are the perfect person to protect her on her journey, (I know, right?) because “there is still good in you”, a sentiment she extends to almost every arsehole bad guy you meet, all who are trying to kill her I hasten to add. Throughout your journey you are joined by the standard JRPG tropes, cold bitch who warms to the protagonist, old and grizzled warrior who’s past it because he’s in his late 30’s and of course cute child with magic.
What I liked
We’ll get this out of the way quickly, because I have more ranting to do. To the games credit, it looks amazing; the world (what little there is of it anyway), and the characters are both beautifully designed. By not trying to make the game look photorealistic, the developers were able to make it beautifully stylised and cartoonish, but never the less gorgeous. The gameplay mechanics are also really well done, you level up your spells and commands by collecting spritnite, which you get by killing monsters who drop components, it forces the player to explore the world looking for rare monsters and items, it’s just a shame the world, is so small and empty.
(Were the fuck is everyone?)
What I disliked
Strap in folks, this will be messy! Right first things first, Setsuna I hated her. She is a fucking moron, if she was a real person she would be the kind of person who pets strange dogs, walks on train tracks or takes candy from strangers! She has the self-preservation of a gerbil in a speedbag, she constantly whines about how she must survive to complete her mission, but deliberately puts herself in deadly, yet avoidable, situations. For example, there is a mayor of a town early on, who feeds woman and children to the monsters to appease them ( I know what a bastard), but Setsuna decides that rather than killing him to stop him, they all should hug and sing, while he is literally getting ready to blow them up.
Another thing I disliked was how one dimensional the characters were, they never grew or changed along the journey, never moving past the trope they embodied , it made the game predictable and very un-fun to play. And finally, the choices in game, the game will ask you to make a choice in certain situations and despite what you want or choose, the game goes fuck you and picks the “correct choice”. I honestly had one of the characters say to me “we all know that’s not how you really feel, we’ll do it Setsuna’s way”. It was fucking infuriating.
(I know the monster is eating your arm, but we have to consider it’s feelings)
I have had bowel surgery and I once went septic and was unconscious for days, both of those things were preferable to this game. Badly written story, stock characters with no growth, a fucking idiot lady protagonist and even though its only around 20 hours of game play it was still too long. It’s simply not worth the time or the money, people shouldn’t even pirate this, it’s that awful.