Review Live a Live

Review Live a Live

The year is 1994, and Square Enix –which at that time was called Squaresoft–, released a JRPG for the Super Nintendo like we had rarely seen, it was a story divided into 7, where the player could choose which story to follow first, and which one to follow.

As expected, said game never made it anywhere outside of Japan, and today, 28 years later, Square Enix has decided not only to bring it back to market, this time in a global way, but to do it in the form of a remake with a new design.

A story divided into 7 parts

Live a Live is not a JRPG like the ones we are always used to seeing, and as soon as we start the game we are given a menu in which we can choose one of the 7 stories that we want to follow, all very different from the previous one.

These stories are all set at a defined time in Japan’s history and are as follows: Prehistory, Eastern China, the Bakumatsu era, the Old West, the Present, Near Future and Far Future era.

It may sound like a lot, but the truth is that the game is designed so that in a couple of hours we can finish each of these stories, which presents us with a great advantage for those who want to enjoy a concise story without having to commit hundreds of from hours to a game.

All the stories are independent of each other, or so it seems, because when we complete them we will realize that There is a small common thread that will lead us to want to continue playing until we play them all.

Thus, there are stories where our protagonist has mental powers like Akira, who uses them to control a giant robot, or stories like Oboromaru, who is a ninja shinobi who can complete the story without killing anyone, since he is able to disappear. of the map by pressing Y, but if we want to use it in battle, it is perhaps one of the most pleasant to use, since it uses fire and water effects to move on the map.

As we can see, Live a Live is not a conventional JRPG, and we are very surprised that such a strange format for a game of this type can be transformed into something so pleasant, which speaks highly of the title.

A striking battle style

As expected, a JRPG is not a JRPG without an appropriate battle system, and Live a Live is not far behind in this section, giving us a 7 x 7 battlefield system for when we have to fight.

This system is very well achieved, since there is an intrinsic movement system that allows us to move within this map, but every time we do it, we are going to consume a little of our attack bar, and at the same time we are going to fill the enemy’s With every space we move.

This makes the battles have an additional element that reminds us a lot of a chessboard, and that is that this JRPG is not focused on defeating the enemy using as few resources as possible, Well, after each confrontation, our health bar will fill up completely, unlike what happens in a traditional JRPG.

We also have the traditional elements like a system where we can use new weapons as we find them, items when we run out of life, or some that we can trade to get other things.

And this is exactly what makes this game unique, and that is that since we don’t have such a rich history to play for hours, new weapons have a great impact when we manage to get a new one.

And since the stories are all different, so are the battle systems. Thus, in the far west we have Sundown Kid, who only attacks with his pistol, making the battles long-range, where we do not have to be next to an enemy to be able to hit him.

The opposite is the case in the present, where Masaru has to eliminate each of the combatants in a fighting ring, and once he does so, he can learn different techniques from his rivals while eliminating them one by one.

Perhaps one of the most striking is that of Imperial China, because here we meet Master Shifu, who is already at the maximum level as soon as the game starts, and his objective is not to defeat enemies, but rather to he seeks is to train and seek his disciples once he understands that life is not eternal and his knowledge must be passed on to someone who is worthy.

This combat style, then, is striking, and never fails to give us a new air.because we can jump from one story to another with absolute freedom and experience a new combat system whenever we please.

A triumph of HD-2D graphics

Square Enix over time has been experimenting with these remakes, and just as we saw with Octopath Traveler, they again dared to experiment with a new style in Live a Live, again with successful results.

This is HD-2D, a style that gives us the best results when it comes to nostalgically remembering the original SNES gamebut giving us a refresh in the graphics, with vibrant colors, and a new level of detail that evokes satisfaction.

Here there is no waste, and it is that each one of the elements of the game looks good, from the forests to the deserts of the different stories, but without a doubt that the best of this style can be seen in the Bakumatsu Era, where the castle where Oboromaru is located is simply beautiful.

Some chapters can be frustrating

The 7 stories of the game are well told, but unfortunately not everything can be good, because in some of these 7 chapters we have problems deciphering what we have to do and what we don’t have to do in linear history terms.

Thus, the lack of a map worries us, and despite the fact that in some chapters it is understood that there is not one, in others it is necessary, Well, we can waste a lot of time trying to guess what to do after some events.

In favor we find a mini radar, where with a system of flags it tells us where we have to go, but it is not very detailed, and despite having it, many times we find ourselves lost without knowing where to go.

The same thing happens to us with the voice acting of the game, because despite the fact that it is appreciated that we now have our own voices, the same many times they feel out of place, and that they can take us out of the immersion that if they achieve the style of play .

conclusion

Live a Live is one of those games that we could never see in the West at the time, and now that we can enjoy it, we realize that we missed a lot in its time, but better late than never.

The game is not the typical JRPG that we are used to, and without a doubt its main strength is being able to divide the story into 7 parts without one being clearly weaker than the other.

Each of the 7 parts, despite being independent, give us a sign for the end, and without wanting to fall into spoiler territory, once we finish them, we are going to find a surprise that will give us more hours of play.

A unique combat system, where we do not have to be aware of our weapons at all times, and where we have to plan each one of our steps on the battlefield very well is a great plus, and in terms of difficulty neither is the The game is one of the easiest, but thanks to the addition of auto-saving, no matter how many times we are defeated, we will always be able to retry the battle.

The visual style of the game is also impeccable, because after Octopath Traveler, we didn’t think that such a game could achieve great results again, and Live a Live is even better than what Square Enix offered us at the time with the other title. .

Those who only have a couple of hours to play a week, or simply don’t want to play a story where we have to commit hundreds of hours to simply finish the game, will be able to find one of their best alternatives here.

Live a Live is one of the most interesting pieces of JRPG history, and it is that its director Takashi Tokita could clearly experiment here and then get involved in Chrono Triggerand we all know how that adventure ended.

Almost 30 years later, it is worth applauding that Square Enix dared to give us a title that many of us could never play, and they achieved it with very good results. Yes, maybe Live a Live is not the JRPG that lovers of this genre are used to enjoying with hundreds of hours defeating enemies and looking for new weapons, but what we have here is a piece of history that laid the foundations for one of the best sagas of games in chrono Trigger.

I can only recommend this game.but not before playing the demo that is available in the eShop, and if you like it, the rest of the game will not disappoint you.

Now, if you are not in a hurry, you can also wait for the game to appear on sale, as Square Enix traditionally gives us this type of offer during the year.

Live a Live is very well done, and it is a pleasant surprise for all those who could never play it at the time, but now they can.

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