Tech

Live the life, the experimenter

No need to get around it: Live A Live will be inundated with the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, which will hit our real or virtual shelves just a few days later. However, in reality, JRPG fans can easily play both, because Live A Live is not a very long experience, despite being very replayable, and we know that because it was actually released in 1994 for SNES, and what will arrive in a matter of weeks few. on Switch is an HD-2D remake, a graphic style that caught on after being erased by Octopate Traveler. With the latter, Live A Live has more in common than you might think, starting with the fact that Octopath Traveler has also worked Takashi Tokita This is the original directing for Live A Live, but also for Chrono Trigger, Parasite Eve, and the Nintendo DS 3D version of Final Fantasy IV. Is this approach enough to tickle your taste buds?

If not, we recommend that you read this Try Live A LiveBecause Square’s brand new RPG is a real gem that might deserve your attention. or not. Actually, it’s complicated.

seven stories


Live A Live, story selection screen

We assume Live A Live is not an RPG, but Collection of “mini” role-playing games, can be selected from the home screen and divided by eras: Today, Near Future, Wild West, etc. Each of these stories has its own hero, its own narrative, and they all seem separate. Not only. Each of them features certain gameplay elements or specific structures that ensure a good variety of the entire experience. In this experiment, we’ll focus on four stories we’ve already completed, while deferring our overall assessment to future review: Our goal, at the moment, is to get you to understand whether or not the very special structure of Live A Live works for you.

No, we’ve mentioned it before, but Octopath Traveler is very different, for better or worse. In this RPG, the eight heroes share the world and the era, and in fact the player can recruit other characters during each hero’s campaign.

Live A Live doesn’t experience the same narrative dissonance—characters who live their stories as if they were alone, though the other seven heroes follow them who become mere tools for play—because the new RPG’s characters, who exist in different eras, have no way of meeting. approx. Anyone who knows Title 94—which later translates as an amateur—knows what we’re talking about. Here, this aspect of the game acts a bit like the end of Octopath Traveler, but we’ll be back in the review phase.

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For now, in short, know that the heroes of these seven primary stories do not meet and live Completely independent adventures You can take them as they last a few hours each.

Our first four adventures


Live A Live, Chapter of the Day is a turn-based fighting game
Live A Live, Chapter of the Day is a turn-based fighting game

Live A Live is a true remake: Tokita redesigned the game, which certainly wasn’t among the best exponents of SNES back in 1994, with HD-2D Among the prettiest and most unique colors we’ve been pleased to see on the Switch OLED display. More accurate in animation and in sprite detail than Octopath Traveler, and free from blurring images triangle strategyLive A Live offers the perfect experience…a modern classic, so to speak.

We started our test by choosing the class todaybecause we remembered its peculiarities in terms of gameplay: everything revolves around a lone fighter who wants to become the best in the world, defeating all participants in a martial arts tournament.


Live live, distant future chapter is science fiction
Live live, distant future chapter is science fiction

If it reminds you of Street Fighter, well done, you hit the bull’s-eye: today it simulates the fighting games of the matches of that time, but offers an opponent selection screen that in some ways reminds you of Mega Man. Choose the challenger, you end up right in the ring to fight him in a turn-based dynamic. The protagonist – who you can rename – has elementary skills, but can learn the skills with which the enemy will hit him, even if he is a blue wizard from Final Fantasy. Rounds are numbered by the time a pattern is reloaded active time battleEach ability has a scope and area of ​​effect, and in some cases, it is associated with a natural element such as fire, water, or wind.

By choosing opponents in the correct order, skills are unlocked that guarantee us an advantage in subsequent boss battles, up to the final confrontation with the champion of the tournament. Today gives a little public of combat systembut we do not deny that from the point of view of the narration it is really indecisive, and lasts little: we completed it in less than an hour.


Live At Live, in the Chinese Empire, you will need to train a disciple
Live At Live, in the Chinese Empire, you will need to train a disciple

Instead, the other chapters we played surprised us with the maturity and originality of the narrative. In the wilds of the westWe put ourselves in the shoes of a wanted man who ends up in a town set by a gang of bandits. Started by locals, including a bad-mouthed pub owner, we’ll team up with a bounty hunter who’s chasing after us to save the town. In terms of gameplay, the Wild West is divided into a timed exploration phase, where we will have to search the city for resources and select residents to place traps based on their abilities. The second stage, as you can imagine, is the fight with bandits.

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thanks music Yoko ShimomuraIn the steady pace of a narrative that generates real tension, Wild West is a linear but compelling chapter that reveals another important feature of Live A Live: the choices matter. At some moments, the devices chosen or the answers that are selected in the conversation can change the outcome of the story.


Live At Live, in Japan Edo, you will become a shinobi on a mission
Live At Live, in Japan Edo, you will become a shinobi on a mission

This is better understood sunset in edo japana class that seemed to us in some ways a kind of prototype for Sekiro: Shadows die twiceBecause our goal as a shinobi is to infiltrate a castle to rescue a prisoner. It sounds like a linear task, but the class is really very complicated. Suppose you can choose whether you want to complete everything stealthily, without killing anyone at all, or annihilating every opponent. In the first case, you will have to play cunning, use the ability to fuse and deceive enemies, use all consumables or equipment to beat the boss fight Is mandatory. In the second case, you can give yourself crazy fun in combat: the protagonist begins with special skills, and learns more as his level increases.

The peculiarity of this chapter is that it is huge and labyrinthine. The new version applies an unprecedented radar that indicates which direction to take, but level design It is unusually complex. You will then encounter various important moments: for example, you will have to choose whether you want to free a prisoner or not, who will join you in the first case as a member of the second, and there will be many optional puzzles to solve to get your hands on high-quality weapons and armor, Including an optional extra-rigid head.


Live, live, know that stories are not just seven...
Live, live, know that stories are not just seven…

Sunset on Japan Edo is the chapter we spent the most time in: It took nearly three hours to complete, many saves due to Game Over, and we didn’t see all it had to offer us. Like we said before, Live A Live is an experience repeatable, just because of the choices you might want to make again in a later game. This is evidenced by the last chapter we played before writing this attempt: The Near Future. If we played so far a chapter focused on combat, another on strategy and another on exploration, Next future It is the most popular RPG ever. The protagonist can read other people’s thoughts, and this greatly complicates the interaction with various NPCs, also because in this chapter we fight, solve puzzles and puzzles, explore and upgrade equipment as in the ultimate RPG. We don’t want to tell you more because it really is a gem.

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Live a prehistoric life is a funny chapter
Live a prehistoric life is a funny chapter

As you get it, we like Live A Live a lot, but we’re not sure that an objectively meager combat system and the choppy quality of the individual narratives can convince even more savvy players to dare to buy, not with a big hit like Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is around the corner. On the angles we found – for example, I Frequent downloads Every time you switch screens, especially the annoying one at Japan Edo – we’ll be back in the review because we want to put their weight on the overall experience first, but in the meantime, we can only advise you to give it a try. experimental Available on the Nintendo eShop, which allows you to play three chapters (Imperial China, The Sunset of Japan Edo and The Distant Future) and get an initial idea of ​​the technical sector and multifaceted gameplay of this new version.

We were curious to play a Live A Live remake – the original was one of the weirdest RPGs of the ’90s, and it’s no wonder Square didn’t risk localization at the time. Now that the public is more open to Japanese experiences and role-playing games in general, this little gem can have the feedback it deserves. We’ve played about half of the adventure so far, and appreciate the realization that modernizes the tech sector without betraying its antiquated nature, but we must admit that the choppy quality of individual campaigns can present a significant hurdle for those looking for a more cohesive and cohesive one. Organic RPG. In the meantime, try the demo: we’ll talk about it in our review in a few weeks.

Maggie Benson

"Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator."

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