Live A Livestar of today’s review, is the remake of the video game of the same name originally released for Super Nintendo. A videogame experience in some ways of other times but not really aged, indeed, with game mechanics that are all in all unique and peculiar for today. A title that also draws a line for what it probably is the best way to revitalize the video games of that period (but we will talk more about this in the technical analysis). Was Live A Live more than just a nostalgia operation? Let’s see it!
A classic experience, but not an old one
Playing Live A Live for this review was like a blast from the past since this title represented the video game philosophy of the time. Few mechanics but well structured, instead of an overabundance of the latter but with fewer facets as often happens in recent years. Live A Live itself is a Strategic RPG, where the battlefield is a sort of invisible chessboard on which both your characters and enemies move. You can attack enemies and support your companions through moves that, and here comes the first peculiarity, do not require mana or usage points to be carried out.
How is their use regulated? Simple, through one loading bar, which fills up whenever any character takes an action on their turn. The shift through the boxes is unlimited and it does not take up the use of a character’s turn, so you could potentially move indefinitely before attacking, but as mentioned, every action loads the bar of each character on the ground, obviously enemies included. If an enemy finds the bar fully charged, and has an attack available in his move pool that he can launch without moving, he will launch it immediately and then give the player the opportunity to move his character.
Each attack differs in damage dealt, any secondary effects and position required to score: for example an attack that hits within 3 squares to your left and right needs a positioning type, one that hits within 2 squares in all directions of another, and so on). Some more powerful attacks may even take a turn to charge and hit the next. The most effective are certainly attacks with a ‘wide range, which require as little movement as possible and consequently do not allow enemies to attack while we prepare our offensive. But keep in mind that hitting an enemy with an attack will completely fill their loading barno matter how full it is.
As in any good RPG, even in Live A Live we also have a way to equip our characters with items of various types, such as weapons or protective clothing, increasing their offensive and defensive statistics. For reasons that we will discuss shortly when talking about the narrative structure, however, it is one not very thorough component and it is not possible to structure a long-term growth of one’s equipment.
There strategy comes into play in choosing which move to use, whether to prefer immediate damage or less offensive moves that however inflict malus, whether to use moves or healing tools or aim for moves that give bonuses to one or more allied characters and so on. Nothing transcendental, mind you, however, although it is a rather classic gaming experience, it “doesn’t taste old”. We certainly found it enjoyable, light And difficult the right. The gameplay is ultimately of good quality and probably, with some flickers here and there for a possible future revival of a similar game, it could also become more than excellent.
Many small converging stories
There main peculiarity of Live A Live is presenting many little adventures instead of a single story. I’m 7 the initially accessible campaigns by the player, each with a completely different historical setting. We move from prehistoric times to Imperial China, passing through the Far West and then leading to more modern settings. A peculiarity that made Live A Live in its own way iconic, with the gem of having a sort of common thread between all these stories which flows into the octave and last. Not just fiction though, the gameplay itself takes on new nuances and activities based on the chosen story (while maintaining the same structure). A detail that greatly enhances the gaming experience.
However, since these are so many short stories, so many dynamics and characteristics of classic RPGs are absent. There is no classic dualism between main quest and side quest, the narrative growth is fast and steep, having to develop and conclude in a very short time and, finally, there is a practically no sense of progression. For example, in the story set in the Far West is totally absent any type of farming, there are something like 3 fights in total and you don’t even get experience points at the end. Something definitely atypical for a standard RPG, which no matter how much you like it or not like it anyway contributes to the uniqueness of Live A Live.
The ideal technical sector for a similar game
One of the strengths to be emphasized most of Live A Live in this review is definitely the graphics. Not because it is spectacular or realistic, but because is the ideal one to re-propose similar games without ruining its aesthetic spiritrather improving it while remaining faithful to the original work. A 2.5D pixel art that has already been adopted in titles such as Octopath Traveler and Triangle Strategy (here our review).
In our opinion this is the best way to go for the next remakes of GDR (and not only) of that videogame era, and in this Live A Live it can certainly be a reference point. Note of merit also for the audio sector, with some ost that will literally enter your head.
Definitely Live A Live is an absolutely promoted game, an excellent title from many points of view. The hope is that perhaps its base can be resumed and evolved in the future, because it has all the potential for this to happen. Recommended, especially for nostalgics and those who want a different RPG experience than usual.
Live A Live
Live A Live is a classic game, but it is not an “old” game. It brings to mind the videogame philosophy of the 90s but, with mechanics and narrative choices still little inflated, it can still and paradoxically turn out to be a breath of fresh air in the RPG genre, albeit atypical in several things. Recommended, especially for fans and nostalgics.