Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna review

By the JRPG gods, it has been so freaking long since I've played a good JRPG that wasn't an old game! The JRPG I got before this, Exist Archive turned out to be a repetitive boring rubbish game from Tri Ace. I seriously thought that I would just have to play old RPGs for the rest of my life.

Square Enix, who now make boy band action games *cough* FFXV *cough* created this studio called Tokyo RPG Factory to make old school RPG games and Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna is the first game from the studio.

Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna is set in this world where every ten years, a girl has to be sacrificed to reduce the number of monsters in the world. The story is about a mercenary Endo, who is hired to kill Setsuna but ends up escorting her to be sacrificed and along the way they pick up various members in their journey.


+ An actually good story where characters didn't speak in anime cliches and didn't try to be too clever. I love the whole RPG tradition of visit a new place and pick up a new team member with an interesting backstory whereas most current games the characters are schoolmates or a harem cliche.

+ The dialogue is about the mission and not meaningless slice of life chatter. 

+ You can play the protagonist Endo as your typical good guy or be a jerk. :)

+ Chrono Trigger + FFVII materia inspired battle system where you can mix and combine special moves. Random battles are easy but I had fun trying to equip the right stones to unluck combinations.

+ The Setsuna system where the orb slowly fills out and when you use it, actions have a secondary effect. Although its a turn based game, time passes when you are not in an action menu and sometimes its better to wait to use your turn for the Setsuna effect.

+ Great piano music. Nothing Chrono Trigger good but sets the mood nicely.

+ Lots of powerful enemies for you to beat after clearing that make the last boss look like a pussy.

+ What little budget they had, Tokyo RPG Factory spent it on the important stuff which was story and gameplay. This is the opposite of Studios like Furyu who spend all their money on voice acting, moe pictures and non on gameplay.


- No freaking voice acting save for two points in the game. This game was made on a shoestring budget.

- Villages all look the same with the same people in every village.

- Could have been a great RPG if Tokyo RPG Factory were given a decent budget to work with. The last village really showed what they could have done with more time and money.

- No freaking cross save with the Vita version. WTF?


If you love old school RPGs, there is nothing else out there except maybe Stella Glow which was tolerable. If you accept the budgetary limitations, Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna is an RPG with heart and made with love. Do get the PS4 version because apparently the loading times on the Vita version are crap, just like Exist Archive. I'm going to double dip and get the Vita version just to support the studio. The Japanese level is pretty easy except for one character who speaks in formal archaic Japanese.

My next JRPG might be Summon Night 6 depending on how the demo is. My dream would be version 2.0 of the game with upgraded graphics and voice acting. Its been a while since I've played a satisfying JRPG so me very happy. I'm looking forward to whatever game Tokyo RPG Factory is going to do next.


Aarrrr said...

Interesting.. will wait for the english release hehe

Akiramike said...

You go finish FFVII first lar.

Anonymous said...

very good review! You got an eye for the important things. And yes Final Fantasy degraded into a soulless fashion puppet show.

-Ex Nihilo