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  • Writer's pictureGameNChick




Developed: SQUARE-ENIX

Published: SQUARE-ENIX

Genre: RPG

Release Date: April 27th, 2023

Platforms: PC/PS4/PS5/NSW

*Review copy provided to me by SQUARE-ENIX*

Live A Live is a classic RPG brought back into the modern area that is developed and published by Square-Enix. Having been originally released nearly 30 years again, Square-Enix decided its now time to bring this classic RPG to a modern generation for countless others to enjoy. However, was this the correct decision? or should this game have stayed in the past? Only one way to find out, so lets go!



Meet seven heroes, each with their own unique abilities and lives to live across different time periods. Experience their stories in any order you choose, uncovering shocking developments along the way




Live A Live is an RPG that was released in 1994 and has recently been remade for modern consoles for all an all new generation of RPG fans to sink their teeth into. Live A Live, as an RPG in general, is a game that stands out from other RPGs of its time and even today, thanks to its unique story structure, diverse cast of characters, and well-implemented gameplay mechanics. Its not something you see too often and that's why when putting it side by side to even juggernaut franchises, this title still shines brightly and stands out from the crowd. Live A Live is divided into seven vignettes, each taking place in a different time period or genre, such as prehistory, feudal Japan, and the far future. Don't worry, it doesn't go as far into the future like you're thinking. So its fine, you won't have to protect John Connor and fight armies of Terminators, you're safe. Another stand out feature for this title is the variety in which the stories change, divert or separate and despite the differences in setting and characters, the stories are woven together seamlessly, creating a cohesive narrative that subverts expectations of JRPGs. For an idea of somethin that would be in its ballpark, look no further than in the direction of another great RPG, SaGa Frontier.

The HD-2D graphics of the Live A Live remake provide a beautiful and nostalgic backdrop to the game. The use of 3D effects enhances the 2D sprites, creating memorable moments and vivid colors. Despite the game’s original release being over two decades ago, the graphics remain captivating and visually appealing. One of the most interesting aspects of Live A Live is that players can start with any of the seven chapters and even switch between them at any point. This allows players to experience the game in a non-linear fashion, which is a refreshing change from the traditional linear structure of most RPGs. Like Auron in FFX said, THIS IS YOUR STORY. The game also tracks the player’s progress in each chapter, even if they save over their file, making it easy to pick up where they left off. I wish other games had this feature because with how dumb I am and accident prone I am, I tend to delete files or ruin my save file fairly often, thus making me have to constantly re-do stuff in games over and over. Sigh.




Each of the seven chapters is unique in its setting, characters, and gameplay mechanics. For example, in prehistoric times, the protagonist, Pogo, must use his sense of smell to track NPCs and enemies. In feudal Japan, the shinobi Oboromaru can choose to be stealthy or go on a killing spree, and in the Wild West, minus Will Smith, the Sundown Kid works with the townsfolk to set traps for a group of bandits, just like Kevin from Home Alone. These differences in gameplay make each chapter feel like a new adventure, and players are encouraged to explore and experiment with different approaches. The ensemble cast of characters in Live A Live is one of its greatest strengths. Perhaps even more so than in games like SaGa Frontier with its 5+ playable characters, that while have great stories, they don't really connect in a meaningful way, unlike the stories here in Live A Live. Despite every characters differences in personality, background, and abilities, they all manage to endear themselves to players in their respective stories, even if some are annoying, bratty, awesome, ego-centric, it doesnt matter, this title has at least one character that someone will find enjoyable and relate to in some way shape or fashion. The introduction of voice acting in the remake further enhances the characterization, allowing players to connect with the characters on a deeper level. Although its up to debate just how good the english voice acting actually is, so maybe just stuck to Japanese for the time being.

The battle system in Live A Live is turn-based and uses a grid system, where players can move around and launch attacks at enemies. Straight forward and not overly hard, so even people with the brain function of a gnat, like me, will be able to follow along and get the hang of things fairly quickly. Each character at your disposal has unique abilities that reflect their personality, such as Oboromaru's area-of-effect traps and the Sundown Kid's long-range gun, and Joe Biden's ''BIDEN BLAST''. Wait a minute, he's not a character, my bad guys. In regards to the enemies that you encounter during your skirmishes, the enemies in each chapter are designed around the respective character's abilities, and the game's grid system provides a tool for predicting enemy moves and avoiding them. The battle system is challenging at times, not overly difficult exactly, but its very rewarding, especially when players face off against well-hidden, ultra-hard secret bosses. Which of course you BETTER have prepared for, otherwise you'll be doing your best impression of Krillin as you scream for Goku to help you as you explode into a thousand pieces. So please, don't be a Krillin or.. a Yamcha. Gross.

Overall for me, when looking at the overall big picture of the battling, Live A Live's gameplay mechanics are integrated beautifully with each chapter's setting and story. The game's use of popular genres such as mecha and horror are seamlessly integrated into the gameplay, providing an enjoyable experience that is both familiar and fresh. The game's pacing is well balanced, and the variety of chapters ensures that the gameplay does not become repetitive. Well, at least not right away. Everything can become repetitive when played enough, but still, even knowing that, every character, even in their repetitive stages, are an absolute blast to play as and experiment with using their plethora of abilities.





At the end of the day, Live A Live is an RPG that stands out from other games in its genre due to its unique story structure, diverse cast of characters, and well-implemented gameplay mechanics. The game's HD-2D graphics are visually stunning, and the non-linear structure of the game allows players to experience the game in a refreshing and engaging way. Even more interesting than me showing my non-make up looking face in a haunted house to scary little kids, oh yeah. On top of those positives, the game's battle system is challenging but rewarding, and the variety of chapters ensures that the gameplay remains fresh and enjoyable throughout. Its not a perfect game, duh, with some mechanics in the day of modern RPG, being a bit outdated, some themes in the story being a borderline of cringe to cliche, or some characters not having as good of an ability selection as others. But no matter, no matter which way you slice it, for new or older fans, Live A Live is an RPG you should definitely check out when you have a chance. So with all that having been said, GameNChick says BUY NOW.