5 Reasons to Hype Up Live A Live’s PC, PS4 and PS5 Release

Square Enix’s RPG Live A Live was released on Switch in 2022, with a PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam release on the horizon. As we get closer, we want to highlight what makes this release so exciting and why there’s no excuse why you haven’t played this truly memorable JRPG.

1) An originally Japan-only classic

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Live A Live is a remake of the game of the same name developed for the SNES by Square with director Takashi Tokita at its forefront. Unfortunately, it hadn’t come west back then, just like many other Square RPGs from that age, such as Bahamut Lagoon, Rudra no Hihou, Treasure Hunter G, and the first Front Mission.

It was a dream come true to see the remake would not be exclusive to Japan again, finally giving the title an official English release. Having it come to more platforms is an opportunity to rectify the missed opportunity back then, allowing even more people to play it.

2) A myriad of worlds

live a live several worlds screenshot

Live A Live was a unique RPG, offering an ensemble of multiple main characters, each with wildly different stories and even variations to the game mechanics. Not only was this uncommon in 1994, but few RPGs have been daring enough to use this concept since then. The result should still feel novel in this day and age.

There are eight main characters, ranging from a caveman who communicates without words, a ninja trying to use their stealth skills to infiltrate the castle of a daimyo, and a maintenance robot investigating the case of a monster escaping into a spaceship. These disparate settings add a spice called variety to the narrative.

3) One of the few Team Asano RPGs on PlayStation platforms

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Team Asano has become one of the staples of Square Enix in the last decade. With big hits like the 3DS classic Bravely Default and Switch’s timed-exclusive Octopath Traveler, they have carved a place among the best RPGs on Nintendo platforms.

All of their Switch games have come to PC at some point, including those published by Nintendo in the West. Meanwhile, the only games on PlayStation systems so far have been Various Daylife and Octopath Traveler II, which were released simultaneously with the Nintendo platform. A curious fact here is the first Octopath Traveler game was even released on Xbox but not PlayStation. As such, Live A Live is one of the few opportunities for enjoying their games on Sony systems so far.

4) A great example of Team Asano’s HD-2D

live a live edo era screenshot

Since Octopath Traveler, Team Asano has become well-known for the graphic format called HD-2D. Mixing 2D sprites with 3D backgrounds and high-definition effects creates a unique mix of retro and novel. It’s an interesting direction to make some pixel-based games.

As a remake of a classic SNES game with an intriguing variety of settings, Live A Live is one of the games where the HD-2D style truly shines and shows the possibilities of the tech. Our review of the Switch release even praised how the game featured improvements to the lighting that contradicted the reviewer’s initial bias against this art style.

5) PC Optimization Opportunities

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A good PC port usually includes an array of optimizations, especially graphic settings the player can use to enhance their experience. Some games may only offer barebones choices like adapting the screen size and framerate, but having the possibility to adjust graphics and other aspects of the game may tremendously impact player experience.

I’ve previously played the Triangle Strategy PC port, which I consider acceptable on this feature but not an example of the highest standard. Even so, it allowed for adjustments to post-processing effects, anti-aliasing, shadow quality, depth of field, brightness, and resolution. It’d be great to see if Live A Live can offer more options, but even the same settings as Triangle Strategy would already be a great addition.

Steam Deck players can also rest assured: the game can run on the Deck, as Square Enix previously confirmed. So, even if you are like me and prefer a handheld system experience, you can still take the PC version anywhere with the Deck like you would with the Switch.

Live A Live is coming to PC (Steam), PS4, and PS5 on April 27, 2023.

Demos are currently available to see the game in action, and players can transfer their progress to the complete game. Pre-orders are also open with a 20% discount until May 11.

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Ivanir Ignacchitti

Random Japanese games are my jam. Handhelds, RPGs, VNs and PC banzai.