There have been a lot of great games over the years, including the ones that came out in the 80s and 90s. And they’re so great and memorable that developers are doing remakes. So remakes are becoming a thing right now. And if the success of the Final Fantasy VII Remake is any indication, then we can expect this trend to continue. One such game that recently released a remake is Live A Live. It’s an RPG developed and published by Square for the Super Famicon in 1994. Let’s find out more in this Live a Live Review.
The game’s remake was launched in July 2022 for the Nintendo Switch. The remake pretty much almost followed the original, from its storyline, gameplay, and even graphics. Of course, there are new features involved to make the game more modern. But if you’ve played the original game in 1994, you’d likely still recognize many of the elements of the original game in this remake.
It’s way different from how Square Enix remade Final Fantasy VII, which is a completely different game than the original. But did sticking to the original game paid off? Let’s find out in this Live A Live review.
Live A Live Review – The Gameplay
Let’s first discuss the gameplay of Live A Live to understand how the game works. The game follows the story of eight different protagonists in their journey through seven different scenarios. The scenarios happen across different periods, which makes it seem like each one has no connection with the other. But you can unlock two more scenarios after completing the seven and those two will link the narratives and storylines.
As a role-playing game, the gameplay is split between progressing the story with various twists and turns, and the tactical turn-based gameplay. The battle system is fought on a grid landscape where players can move characters around on the grids and attack enemies. Being able to attack will depend on the character’s range and on the skill or ability they’ll use. It’s the same for the 1994 game, and it’s pretty much almost unchanged for the 2022 remake.
Of course, there are added features and improvements made to make the Live A Live remake more modern. The game is redesigned and updated a bit to make it look modern. But it still features the classic RPG look, which is cool. There are also bars added to show the character’s health and charging gauge for using abilities, as well as sparkling effects on items. During the battle, there’s also a display that shows the area where your character can move.
You can see that they’re mostly minor improvements and updates to add a few modern elements to the game. But generally, the gameplay and story remain the same. And seeing how the remake is played, it’s a good thing on the developer’s part. The classic look and gameplay bring back a lot of nostalgia. Additionally, the updates and new features make it even greater to play right now. Let’s now look at what’s good and bad about Live A Live.
What’s Good About Live A Live
There are a lot of good things going for the Live A Live remake. And in this section, we’ll look at and discuss what those good things are.
The Unique Storyline is still in the Remake
Probably one of the best things about the Live A Live remake is that it kept the game’s storyline intact. It’s a unique storyline, not typical of any RPGs, which usually follow a linear story progression. With Live A Live, players get to choose which character’s story they want to play first. And what’s interesting is that the stories span different periods. There’s the wild west period, prehistoric period, futuristic, and so on.
Then the different storylines are linked together when two more scenarios are unlocked. Therefore, making for a unique and fun game to play that every player will enjoy. What’s more, the gameplay for each storyline is different as there’s one that features more battles than there’s another one that’s more story-telling. It’s one of the best things about Live A Live.
The Retro Design Blends Well with The Modern Features
The developers also try to keep the game’s retro style, using pixelated characters instead of updating them and improving their graphics. But they did update the overall graphics and gameplay, to make it fit the modern game. And what you have is a very wonderful game that doesn’t feel classic at all. Sure, the graphics are still a classic, but everything else is already modern, including the battle system.
So the game makes for a wonderful blend of classic design and modern gameplay. It brings back a bit of nostalgia, especially to players who grew up in the 90s. But it also doesn’t feel outdated with the modern features and gameplay it possesses. It’s a great game that any gamer regardless of their generation, will enjoy playing.
What’s Bad About Live A Live
As great as the game is, there are still things that can be a point of frustration for players. In this section, we’ll discuss what those are.
Final Act Slows The Game Down
One of the issues that many have with Live A Live is that the final act is a bit slow in comparison to other scenarios in the game. It’s primarily because of random battles that tend to pop up constantly. But it can be okay at first. However, if it happens too often, it can get tiring, especially if they’re challenging battles. There’s a way to avoid this much battle and it only requires the players to just concentrate on the game’s storyline.
You don’t need to explore the dungeons or look for other secrets the game has to offer. But where’s the fun in that? It would be much better if there’s a way to avoid too many battles, so it doesn’t get exhausting to play.
Attack Animations are Lengthy
Aside from having tons of random battles constantly, the battle system itself has an annoying feature. And that’s the lengthy attack animations. They’re okay at first, during the early parts, making you amazed at this part of the game. But as you engage in more battles as you progress, it gets boring and annoying. And there’s no way to speed it up or turn it off. It would be better if there’s an option to turn it off or to cut it short to speed up battles.
Live A Live Review – The Verdict
Live A Live is a great retro game that also has modern features. It provides a good and unique storyline, as well as awesome gameplay. Yes, there are some annoying and frustrating things about the game. But they’re minor than what the game has to offer. It’s a highly recommended game and we give it a score of 4.5 out of 5. And for more awesome reviews like this one, make sure to stay tuned here in PlayPC.