Memory Card: Live a Live (1994)

Ahead of this year's remake, Kefan Chen reviews the 1994 original.

Kefan Chen
7th March 2022
Image: Nintendo
There is no denying that Square Soft has been around for quite some time now. Although they publish a wide range of RPGs, their final output is always high quality. Aside from Hanjuku Hero, another Japan-only game, Live A Live is Square's most creative effort.
The game's cover art.
Image: Square Enix

Character designs, story structure, and everything else will astound you in Live A Live. There are no uncertainties as to why this game was never officially released in English, even if it wasn't. We're all grinning, laughing, and shaking our heads at the same time because of the game's startling and humorous style. 

Graphics: 8/10 

Although there will be no beauty pageants in this game, there will be a lot of fun. The game's visuals aren't horrible, but their quality suffers due to the fact that it was launched in 1994. Far superior visuals in the year of Final Fantasy VI. During the course of a battle, the characters are very well-designed and animated. Despite the improved graphics, they don't measure up to the aesthetics of the previous generation of Final Fantasy games. Aside from that, the settings are varied and well-thought-out. 

Storyline(s): 10/10 

The impossible has been achieved in this game. Seven seemingly unrelated plotlines are woven together to form one cohesive whole in this game. At one point in the game, you'll see a scene straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The writing is so great, though, that you won't even realise that many of them are unexpectedly derivative in nature. The Medieval chapter makes up for the previous plot surprises with numerous more shocking ones. There is no need for more information. 

A Feudal Japanese city at night.
Image: Square Enix

Gameplay: 8/10 

The bouts are a joy to witness. Traditional turn-based gameplay was replaced with a strategy/RPG approach. Despite the fact that the characters in random conflicts are scattered over the map, the action moves along swiftly. The strategic combination of skills is fun and fascinating to play around with. When it comes to battling, the emphasis shifts from one chapter to the next. This is also an excellent notion. As the game progresses, so does the gameplay and experience. The job you've done is fantastic. 

Sound: 8/10 

A high-pitched voice announces, "Squaresoft," as the game gets started. That is the worst sound in terms of gameplay. With every hit being exact and the level-up song (suited for each character) being just delightful, the music is great. It's not as good as the rest of the music on the console. However, the game benefits from it. 

Cast of the game.
Image: Square Enix

Replay value: 9/10 

Good writing and a non-repetitive gaming experience are the hallmarks of this title. A lot of the choices you make directly affect the game's outcome. 

Totally out-of-the-ordinary things.

Some of the more terrible things you'll encounter in the game may be found here... 

  • Their legs were encased in lizard skin. 
  • Sexism Is Proliferating 
  • Cookies are being baked for the deceased by a group of individuals. 
  • Breast-bearing apes (with one male ape for all of them) 
  • Robotic chickens pursue and try to kiss you on the lips as you run about. 
  • Nothing can prepare you for the sight of that. 

You wouldn't expect a game like this to be that good, but it is. In terms of innovation and gameplay, this is one of Square's best games ever. As bizarre as it may seem, the outcomes may surprise you.

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