Live A Live: Nintendo Switch remake, HD-2D … We take stock of Square Enix’s legendary role-playing game

Play news Live A Live: Nintendo Switch remake, HD-2D … We take stock of Square Enix’s legendary role-playing game

It was during a Nintendo Direct that the remake of Live A Live on the Nintendo Switch was announced. A harmless announcement for some, but which nonetheless marks the return of a mythical JRPG. Why is this an event? What will this remake bring? We take stock of Live A Live before the release.

Summary

  • Live A Live, what is it?
  • Why is the release of Live A Live on the Nintendo Switch an event?
  • What are the differences between the SNES game and the Nintendo Switch remake?
  • Who is working on the Live A Live remake?
  • What is the release date of Live A Live?
  • Is a demo available?

Live A Live, what is it?

Live a Live is a remake of the JRPG of the same name released on September 2, 1994 on SNES (Japan only). With an emphasis on polished and complex storytelling, Live A Live invites you to embody not one but eight characters that develop in different eras: Pogo in prehistory, Shifu Mountainheart in Imperial China, Oboromaru in late Edo Japan, Sundown Kid in the Wild West era, Masaru Takahara in the present, Akira in the near future, Cube in the distant future and Oersted in the Middle Ages.

Moreover, each period offers a different story and gameplay mechanics (especially on the fights), making it one of its strengths for a rich and rhythmic experience. Note that you can choose to follow these different stories one after the other or go from one to the other to discover them in parallel. However, it is only after you have completed the first seven chapters that two new ones emerge to tie it all together and end the stories of Live A Live.


Why is the release of Live A Live on the Nintendo Switch an event?

Live A Live is a true JRPG juggernaut, acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. In our columns, it had especially achieved a score of 19 out of 20 in our columns, where we even qualify it as a masterpiece, “one of those cult games that is completely inspired and from which an eternal magic comes”. Innovative, engaging and well-brought, Live A Live deeply shaped the world of JRPG at the time and served as the inspiration for many titles. And yet, it’s a safe bet that you’ve never got your fingers in this game. First of all, because it is not newer. As we said, the game was released in 1994, almost 30 years ago. At that time, the game was developed and released by Squaresoft, which became Square Enix in 2003, so some of you were not even born when it was released.

And even if it was, it was not easy to get a version of Live A Live. The game was only released in Japan, so you have to import a Japanese version (and understand Japanese) to try it. If the game was re-released on the Wii U in 2015, it was again only in Land of the Rising Sun. Sits release on the Nintendo Switch therefore marks its very first official entry into Western countries. (with a French localization in particular). Therefore, the announcement made during Nintendo Direct last February was a real event.


What are the differences between the SNES game and the Nintendo Switch remake?

Whoever says remake necessarily says differences between the original game and the new one. Nevertheless, expect a profound change as for the FF7 Remake. The developers have really wanted to keep the DNA and the old school side of the title. The scenario and gameplay mechanics will therefore essentially remain the same. However, there will be a number of improvements. The game should be slightly easier and adapt to current constraints, to be more accessible to the public.

But the biggest change, of course, is the graphical overhaul. The process used is now well known and bears the name HD-2D. It is the one that was especially used for the development of Triangle Strategy and Octopath Traveler. It was by joining the team of Tomoya Asano, head of Octopath Traveler, that Takashi Tokita and others got the idea to develop a remake of Live A Live using this technique. As a reminder, HD-2D is a graphical process used by Square Enix to blend old-fashioned 2D pixel art and 3D backgrounds, providing a very pleasing diorama effect. Note that the game’s original soundtrack will be rearranged by the same composer as at the time, Yoko Shimomura.

Live A Live: Nintendo Switch remake, HD-2D ... We take stock of Square Enix's legendary role-playing game

Who is working on the Live A Live remake?

We just mentioned that Yoko Shimomura, who had composed the soundtrack for Live A Live from 1994, sets the stage for this remake. And she’s not the only one! Takashi Tokita, director and screenwriter of Live A Live, is actually overseeing the project. It must be said that the idea of ​​a remake had been in his head for several years. He pressed Square Enix for a long time to get it, but it was only with the development of the Octopath Traveler that he finally got the object of his desires. With these two names on the bill, we can be sure that Live A Live on the Nintendo Switch will retain its DNA from the past.

Live A Live: Nintendo Switch remake, HD-2D ... We take stock of Square Enix's legendary role-playing gameLive A Live: Nintendo Switch remake, HD-2D ... We take stock of Square Enix's legendary role-playing game

What is the release date of Live A Live?

Live A The live remake is scheduled for July 22, 2022, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. Pre-orders are already open. On the Nintendo eShop you will need pay € 49.99 to get it. Note that the game weighs just under 5GB. You therefore need to have as much free space on your console to download Live A Live.

Live A Live: Nintendo Switch remake, HD-2D ... We take stock of Square Enix's legendary role-playing game

Is a demo available?

A demo is available from the latest Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase. The latter invites you to discover three of the nine chapters of Live A Live, namely, those taking place in Imperial China, the end of Edo Japan, and the distant future. As with the last game, you can choose to review each chapter from start to finish or follow them in parallel. Good news: saved data can be transferred to your final version of the game afterwards.

Note that we at JV tested it for you. If you feel like it, you can already find it our preview based on these three chapters. And the least we can say is that they only announce the end for the rest of the game.


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