Live A Live (PC) – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: Switch, PS4, PS5, PC
Tested on: PC

Live A Live (PC) – Review

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Good: Unique Storytelling, Great presentation
Bad: Story can feel disconnected
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When Square Enix released Octopath Travelers to critical acclaim a few years ago it was clear that 2D RPGs still had a fanbase in this day and age. Bringing back an old-school game of this style was a logical next step. This seemed to be the right choice when they released a remake of the classic Live A Live for the first time outside of Japan in the same 2D HD style. Now Square Enix brings this Switch exclusive to PC and PlayStation, introducing a new wave of fans to this unique RPG.


Most games tell one story, while others decide to ditch this principle and have no narrative at all. This is where Live A Live has a unique twist since it delivers eight separate stories. When players boot up the game they are greeted with a choice between these different chapters that they can play in any order they want. All of these cover a different time period, ranging from the prehistoric age to the far-off future.

During most of the 20-hour playthrough, Live A Live feels more like a short story collection than one big narrative. Each of the chapters tells a self-contained story that has a unique cast of characters and setting, lasting for about an hour or three. After completing all of these individual campaigns, a final chapter is unlocked that ties everything together, but you won’t see a lot of this coming during the individual stories.

This unique storytelling is the strongest part of Live A Live. Since the game jumps to a big variety of time periods, you’ll never get bored of any of them. Live A Live will present you with rather unique settings for the different chapters, like one in the Wild West or another in the prehistoric era. While this form of telling a story is one of the game’s most interesting features, it also causes the cast of characters to be a bit underwhelming. While a lot of main characters are fleshed out and memorable, others can become stereotypical since you only spend a couple of hours with them, leaving not much time for character development. This isn’t that big of a deal since the game moves at a fast pace and focuses more on fun stories rather than big emotional moments. Just don’t expect to be as invested in the cast as you would be in a Final Fantasy game.


When Octopath Travelers was first introduced, one of its biggest selling points was its art style. Square Enix wanted to return to the pixelated graphics of 30 years ago, while also updating them for the modern age. This was a match made in heaven, so it’s only natural they brought this 2D HD style back for Live A Live.

All of the characters in the game have a beautiful pixel art design that brims with personality and smooth movements. The developers clearly knew what they were doing when translating this game to these updated designs. Together with the great world designs and special effects for the attacks, the game is a joy to look at.


Square Enix has been releasing CDs, concerts, and rhythm games based on the soundtracks of their games, proving how memorable many of their titles are. For Live A Live, they yet again deliver a beautiful soundtrack. All of the campaigns feature fitting music, clearly influenced by the era the story takes place in The original music by Yoko Shimomura, famous for her work in the Kingdom Hearts games and Final Fantasy XV, is updated to deliver the best quality audio possible. We can easily understand that the Live A Live soundtrack was added to the newest Final Fantasy Theatrhythm game as DLC.

Another great feature is a fully voiced cast of characters, and this is one of the most significant differences from the original. All of the stories are completely narrated with a ton of great performances, except for the stone age chapter since all the characters here communicate with grunts or signs. This is a fun addition that helps to make all the stories feel unique.


Live A Live is a turn-based RPG that perfectly fits the gameplay formula of games of the 90s. you’ll collect a party of characters that defeat a bunch of villains with a fun twist on turn-based combat.

Battles are fought on a grid where each character has a collection of special moves that have a specific range. Where most RPGs will have you use basic attacks most of the time and conserve your special attacks for the bigger encounters, Live A Live only gives you these powerful moves that make the combat more dynamic and fast-paced. While these attacks aren’t overpowered, they focus more on using the right move against the right enemy. Using the right type of attack and placing your characters in the right spot delivers a fun and rewarding experience. To further improve your party, you’ll quickly gain levels and unlock new attacks, keeping you engaged and delivering a lot of variety. While this combat system hasn’t been used since the original release of Live A Live, we hope to see a lot more of it now that it’s brought back to life.

Outside of combat, each chapter also features unique gameplay mechanics to keep the gameplay fresh. You’ll be using stealth abilities in the feudal Japan chapter to avoid combat, while you’ll focus on fighting in the modern-day story to try and steal your opponent’s moves. Each chapter introduces something fun that will have you exploring fresh concepts with every new story.


We finally understand why RPG fans have been begging for an international version of Live A Live. The game features several fun stories, all told in a unique way. You’ll be exploring these stories with some great turn-based combat and a variety of mechanics unique to each era you’ll visit. All of this is delivered with beautiful 2D HD graphics and a great soundtrack. We hope this marks the beginning of a classic RPG renaissance, as we already have a bunch of games we would love to see getting the same treatment.

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  1. […] the success of the Live a Live remake it only seemed natural that Square Enix would keep on bringing classics back with the HD-2D […]

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