Review: I am Setsuna is a love letter to PlayStation one era RPGs

Game: I Am Setsuna

Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory

Publisher: Square Enix

Platforms(s): Ps4(reviewed) Ps Vita( Japan only) Windows

I am Setsuna is a brand new fantasy RPG from Square Enix’s brand new studio Tokyo RPG Factory. For those that haven’t heard of this studio, or the game in question. This studio was founded with one thing in mind, making games that harken back to those unforgettable role-playing games of the PlayStation one. Games like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, and Suikoden, just to name a few. In this charge, I am Setsuna is undeniably successful.  I am Setsuna doesn’t isn’t just a good old style role playing adventure, it’s one that grabbed me in a way no game has in years. It reminded me of what it was like to be a kid with endless hours to throw at these games. Sadly, as an adult I don’t have all that time explore every inch of this world, I did check out most of it for you guys, though.

I am Setsuna follows the journey of Setsuna, a girl destined to die for the good of her people. You begin the game as Endir; a mask-wearing mercenary contracted to kill Setsuna. Upon discovering that his target is fated to die, Endir agrees to accompany Setsuna until the end of her journey, at which point his contract will be complete.



Some great art of the party


As you travel from village to village, Setsuna’s guard increases its ranks with a cast of colorful and delightful character, from elderly swordsman to child magicians. The sacrifices guard welcomes all types.


Combo attacks in practice


I am Setsuna uses an ATB or active time battle system. For those of you unfamiliar with this it uses most of the same rules as turn based combat. Drop down menus, control of multiple characters, etc. the main difference here is that characters take their turns once a meter fills. This means if you wait too long to act the enemy might do so before you. The combat style borrows quite a bit from Chrono trigger. Three man party’s along with the combo system that Chrono trigger is famous for. Abilities such as spell as well as more powerful physical attacks and passive stat boosts can be set by equipping Spritnite. For anyone familiar with Final Fantasy VII’s Materia system, simply think of that. IF, however, you have no clue what I’m talking about, don’t worry it’s fairly simple. One of the games few traveling merchants allows you to trade items dropped by monsters for Spritnite stones. When a character equips a particular type of Spritnite, it allows them to use certain attacks and cast certain spells. If two characters are equipped with a certain Spritnite, it may also allow them to perform a massively powerful combo move when fighting together.


Graphically, I am Setsuna is pretty but nothing impressive. It uses simple looking 3D models for both characters and towns. These simply designed villages do often look beautiful across I am Setsuna’s snowy backdrops. When combined with it’s snowy, somber landscapes, the music of I am Setsuna is quite lovely. The soundtrack was composed by Tomoki Miyoshi, who has games like Soulcalibur V and Steins Gate under his belt. The music felt, in particular very reminiscent of Final Fantasy IX for me, one of my favorites in that series.


hey, she said the thing


I am Setsuna is proving to be my favorite game of the summer. While the story is shorter than most games in this genre, it has plenty of end game content that could keep me around a bit longer. This game shines, not because it is the perfect example of this sort of RPG, but rather because it came at a time when these kind of games are few and far between. For now, at least it seems the old school role-playing game will be kept afloat by Tokyo RPG Factory. I for one can’t wait to see what they do next. For old school RPG fanatics like myself, I am Setsuna is a must buy this summer. You can pick it up now on PSN or Steam for $40.00

Score: 10/10

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Top 5

Top 5: Video Game Swords

Ah, crap, here we are again. I’m sitting on a few games and won’t be review ready for a few more days. In the meantime, I thought I could satiate the masses with some more of this buzz feed bullshit. That’s right it’s time for another top 5.

So swords are pretty neat. Just a big hunk of pointy metal, in the real world they’re typically pretty boring. In video games, however, they’re over the top monstrosities of death. So let’s get into my top 5 swords in video games.

5. Z-Saber ( Megaman X):


The Z-Saber is a lightsaber like energy sword used by Zero in the Megaman X series. As far as swords typically go the whole “energy sword” thing has been done to death, but we can give Zero some credit for doing it while it was still cool. It’s not so much the design of the weapon itself but the way it has become such an iconic part of the character that puts the Z-Saber in at number five.


4. Rebellion ( Devil May Cry):


In the Devil May Cry series, Dante wields a massive Claymore by the name of Rebellion. All though it looks pretty standard save for the skulls and what not, this magical blade is Dante’s only keepsake from his father, Sparda. The Sword was otherwise ordinary until Dante’s blood awakened its magic potential. This magic demon blade is number four.

3. Brotherhood (Final Fantasy 10)


Final Fantasy 10’s protagonist Tidus, lucks into a pretty badass blade by the name of Brotherhood.Given to him by his pal Wakka the night before the party sets out from Besaid village. It was originally a gift for Wakka’s brother, Chappu. Chappu died before ever using it. Beyond it’s back story, the look of Brotherhood is what sets it apart. Originally designed to show off the graphical capabilities of the PS2, the blade appears to be made of pure water; you can even see bubbles rising to the surface in combat. For moving back story and visual WOW, Brotherhood wins number three.


 2. Crissaegrim (Castlevania Symphony Of The Night):


We all know the old story, Father and son kill Dracula, Father uses remains of an ancient weapon to forge a blade of pure death. After Alucard and Simon had defeated Dracula, Alucard returned to his old tomb; There he found the remains of his father’s old weapon, the Vampire Killer. By combing these remains with that of Glaciem and Igneas, the elemental swords of the underworld. The blade kept traits from all three, From vampire killer, it gained the ability to paralyze enemies, from Glaciem it acquired the icy  capability to drain the life, and from Igneas, a fiery touch that can melt any armor. If that all sounds badass that’s because it is, Crissaegrim is number two.

1.The Master Sword ( The Legend of Zelda):


You knew it was coming and sure I can admit, there are swords more visually stunning and far more powerful than that of the Master Sword. I dare you to name a more iconic one, though. The blade of evil’s bane is number one, not because it’s flashy or all ending but because it’s one of those few pieces of video game history that even those who don’t play video games may know about. Now if only we could make them realize that Zelda is a girl. The number one video game sword of all time is Link’s trusty MAster Sword, the blade of evils bane.

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Rumor: NX is a high-powered portable console with detachable controllers

Another morning, another rumor regarding Nintendo’s new console. This time, however, the story is coming out of Eurogamer, a pretty reliable source.

Eurogamer reported that the NX is a “High-powered handheld console with its own display.” They also reported that the screen itself would be “bookended by two controller sections on either side, which can be attached, or detached.” When the controllers are detached it can be connected to a tv via a sort of docking station, as previously reported.

These rumors seem to fall in line with what we’ve been hearing for months. That the NX would take the concept of the Wii U gamepad to the next level, by essentially transforming it into a full-on handheld system when needed. It’s also rumored that the NX will use cartridges that Nintendo is recommending at 32GB. They also stated that the console will use a new proprietary Nintendo OS and not an Android one as we had previously heard, and will be unveiled in September. They even have a breakdown of the Processor here.

So what do you think? Did Eurogamers sources get it right? I guess we’ll find out come September.



Sonic Mania is going to disappoint you; there I said it

This past weekend, in a special stream for Sonic the Hedgehogs 25th anniversary, Sega gave us our first look at Sonic Mania. This new 2D platformer which looks like a proper sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 3, made quite the splash and has more than a few people excited that Sega may finally be getting it right. Before we get into the nitty gritty of my cynical thoughts on all of this, I want just to say; I hope they succeed. I hope this game is the incredible Genisis cartridge we’ve always wanted; I simply have my doubts that it will be.

The formula seems simple enough, and I’ll admit seeing Sonic in the sprite style of his glory days made me pretty damn nostalgic for a hot minute.  That trailer even made me fire up some Sonic 2, the high point for the little guy in my opinion. The longer I thought about it, however, and the further I separated myself from that trailer, the more I couldn’t help but think Sega is going to let me down.



These screenshots actually look pretty good


It’s unfortunate but with Sega’s track record we are more than likely looking at a Sonic 4 situation. The only difference this time? They’ve prettied it up in an art style that made me remember my childhood. A simpler time, when playing a Sonic game didn’t involve getting physically sick to my stomach. The art does look great, though, no denying that. Seeing Knuckles off of the steroids is enough to bring a tear to your eye.



Sonic is a violent monster



The game will be taking the main gameplay components of Sonic, Sonic 2, Sonic CD, and Sonic 3 and Knuckles. Also, it brings a new drop dash ability as well as brand new zones and bosses. You’ll be able to play as Sonic, Tails, and a normal looking Knuckles as I mentioned earlier. Sega also announced a more mainline Sonic title for 2017 to be discussed at a later date.

So am I right? Is Sonic Mania doomed before it begins? I guess we’ll have to wait for Spring of 2017 to find out. For now, let me know what you think in the comments and check out the trailer below.


King Of Fighters XIV shaping up

The demo for The King Of Fighters XIV is out now on PSN, and it’s shaping up pretty nicely. The changes in art style had me skeptical as long time fan at first. However, this really does feel like a King Of Fighters game.

Everything from the roster size to the weight of every punch and jump  has me remembering back to those old SNK games. I’ll definitely miss the beautifully designed sprite art of the past games. The new 3D character models and background are a much cheaper design direction so who could blame SNK and Atlus for making that call.

If you’re still on the fence about a new King Of Fighters, try the demo before you judge. I’ll see you all when the new King Of Fighters Tournament opens on August 30th.


Review: Necropolis

Developer: Hairbrained Schemes

Publisher: Bandai Namco

Platform(s): Windows(reviewed), OS X, PS4, Xbox One

Necropolis is a game that first caught my eye at this year’s PAX East. The first time I played the new Rougelite by Hairbrained Schemes, it screamed Dark Souls. This comparison still makes quite a bit of sense to me, and the idea of a procedurally generated Souls game is still massively appealing, that being said, Necropolis is not without its problems.


The plot is relatively straightforward; you’re a young adventurer attempting to reach the bottom of the Necropolis of the archmage Abraxis. On each run, you’ll be granted tokens of favor based on a score compiled of things like enemies defeated, potions consumed, or completing tasks given to you by the Brazen head, your guide through the Necropolis. You can use these tokens to purchase tomes, which can be equipped to give your character special bonuses, like increased strength, or a resistance to rotten food. Alternatively, you can spend one token at the start of each level to purchase a random piece of equipment from the Brazen Head.


The game features a basic roguelike formula, upon being killed you start with a new character, a son or daughter of a previous one with only certain things remaining unlocked. Namely, any tomes you’ve purchased or Tokens of Favor you have earned. The game also features a crafting system. You can use items from enemy drops to craft food or potions; new recipe cards can also be picked up as you get deeper in the Necropolis.

The biggest problem the game faces comes with its combat. Every action you take in Necropolis feels muddled and restrained. Imagine hitting an attack button in Dark Souls and instead of immediately attacking, your character thinks real hard about it first. Characters in Necropolis move like they’re constantly underwater, and it’s infuriating. Even the window that pops up to show you the stats of new weapons takes somewhere in the window of five seconds to pop up. It may sound like a minor complaint, but in practice, it drives me insane.

Graphically, I really like the look of this game. Simple Polygonal shapes, with dark lighting that makes the bright colors on the characters and enemies pop. This simplistic art style is what first drew me to the game. A polished fantastic looking game it is not, however, it has a certain charm in it’s aesthetic.


It’s worth noting that I never got any hands on with the multiplayer aspect of Necropolis outside of a Boston convention floor a few months ago. I don’t think multiple players would really sway my thoughts on this game, though. I’ve made it through the Necropolis solo and saw no reason to return. The slow moving hang-ups of the combat are just too much for me. You can pick up Necropolis for Windows and OS X now; the console versions will be released soon. Is a venture into the Necropolis of Abraxis worth the $30 price of admission? I say wait for a Steam sale.

Score: 6 out of 10

Thanks, as always for reading. What are your thoughts on Hairbrained Schemes latest game? Let me know in the comments, and please follow me.



They’re making a Pokémon movie; I hope you’re all proud of yourselves

Well it happened, the success of Pokémon Go in the past few days has been impossible to ignore. Everyone wants in on the money train, including Legendary entertainment. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has struck a deal to create a live action movie based off Detective Pikachu.

You may remember Detective Pikachu as that weird 3DS game released earlier this year, in which Pikachu, in some unholy manner speaks with the voice of a man.  The game even met with a rather large campaign stateside in which fans rallied for the English translation to feature the voice of Danny Devito as Pikachu. We’re still waiting for that Always Sunny crossover.



Look what you’ve wrought 


Legendary has apparently been in discussions with The Pokémon Company for months. Those conversations led to a huge surge following the success of Pokémon GO, but who could blame them. In an interview with Variety, Legendary said that details are under wraps, but the film is being fast-tracked to ensure production is underway by 2017.

So what do you think? Is a Pokémon live action film a good idea? Or will we all be crushed under Pikachu’s mighty fist? Let me know in the comments!