This is a big week and a bit for video games here at Biff Bam Pop!. It started with a fun review from E.A. Henson abou the less than thrilling Krut: The Mythic Wings, which sounds like it wasn’t too much fun for our trust writer. I’m happy to say that one of my many video game experiences has been far more enjoyable.
Let’s talk about Live A Live for the Nintendo Switch.
First of all, thanks to an in-store video at GameStop, I know that the proper name for this Square Enix title is “Lie-v A Lie-v”. Believe me, this was an actual mystery in the house, and probably was for gamers across North America, who were picking up this long-heralded title that had never been available here before.
Read the logline from Nintendo:
This storied RPG directed by Takashi Tokita, known for his work on CHRONO TRIGGER and FINAL FANTASY IV, has been revitalized in the stunning HD-2D visual style and is being released outside of Japan for the first time. Each story features rearranged versions of the original music written by KINGDOM HEARTS series and FINAL FANTASY XV composer, Yoko Shimomura.
I had never heard of Live A Live before its release, but I’m certainly glad I had the chance to dive into this game. First of all, it’s a gorgeous looking game, IF you’re into the 2D style of it. I’m sure there are some gamers out there who aren’t interested in going back in time to another visual era, and that’s totally fair in my mind. We all dreamnt of big leaps forward in video game visuals, and we’re there now with so many titles, 2D might be too retro. That being said, the environments throughout the multiple chapters of Live A Live are just really vibrant and you never feel like you’re stuck in the past when playing the title, even though this is technically an older game.
From a story perspective, Live A Live is still a mystery to me after playing through three of the chapters/stories. All of them are separate tails, and depending on which you’re playing the length of the chapter varies. For instance, it took me virtually no time to complete “The Wild West”, and the same with “The Present Day”. “The Near Future” takes longer than either of them, though, and while they’re all well done, I’m still searching for the connective tissue between the various chapters.
Live A Live features pretty standard RPG battles, which is not a bad thing at all, as it makes the game fairly simple to pick up and play. I definitely lost a few battles multiple times, but in losing, I was able to come up with strategies to eventually defeat the big bosses in every instance.
The voice acting througout the game is strong for the the most part, though I’d say the reptitive music can start to grate on your ears. There’s a Jukebox feature that allows you to mix up the background music, which is a nice to have at least.
HD-2D games are definitely popular these days, and Square Enix’s offerings of both Live A Live and the recently released Triangle Strategy make wonderfuly cases for embracing the style, as they find a way of feeling both retro and contemporary at the same time.
Ultimately, though not positioned as a mystery title at all, I feel as though that’s a big part of Live A Live‘s appeal, as you play through engaging chapters in hopes of undercovering a larger whole.