Tradition can be a rote and outdated drill in the forehead, or it can be a respectful study of golden age blueprints. I Am Setsuna may very well be the latter. It appears to be a story of memory. Of hope. Of sacrifice. Lots of snow, too, apparently. Ocean voyages. Skyships. Adventure. Love and love's inescapable partner, loss. There's a warm, tender atmosphere to this one. A richness in detail that doesn't overreach those traditional 1990's Japanese role-playing game conventions. I Am Setsuna looks like it could become a quiet favorite of 2016. At a time when genres are mashing together and the lines between video game categories are blurring, there's something nice, like a cup of warm cocoa, about a lovingly crafted game that isn't trying to be everything to everyone.
Watch the launch trailer below. It's sprinkled with applause from no-name individuals, but it's still a lovely set of images and peaceful movements, even admidst battle. I Am Setsuna is available today in the US, July 19, on PC, PlayStation 4, and PS Vita.