Everything you need to know about the Live A Live HD-2D remake

The cult classic returns.

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Square Enix has already seen some phenomenal success with its HD-2D series of games, with both Octopath Traveler and Triangle Strategy selling over 1 million copies apiece. The next title getting the HD-2D treatment is a bit different, however, as it’s a remake of a cult classic JRPG from the ‘90s, Live A Live. Western fans likely aren’t familiar with Live A Live, as the game never made its way outside of Japan until now. Just like with the past two titles Nintendo is publishing the game as well, so here’s everything you might need to know about the Live A Live remake.

When is the Live A Live release date?

Live A Live launches on July 22, 2022 exclusively for Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo eShop does have a pre-load for the game, meaning you’re able to download it and play it the minute it releases. Because Nintendo is publishing the game is only planned for Nintendo Switch at the moment. However, it’s possible that it could come to at least PC in the future. Both Octopath Traveler and Bravely Default 2 were eventually released on PC via Steam, even though both games were published by Nintendo.

Is there a Live A Live trailer?

There’s already a host of Live A Live trailers released, and Nintendo even has a playlist made on its YouTube channel for the game. Part of what makes Live A Live so unique is the eight different stories and time periods you play through, and Nintendo’s releasing at least one trailer focusing on each one. There’s also the announcement trailer that gives an overview of the game at large, which you can see above.

Is there a Live A Live demo?

In the full release, players can go through the game’s chapters in any order.Nintendo

Yes, just like with other recent titles, Square Enix has released a lengthy demo on the Nintendo eShop, and even better is that your save data will carry over to the full game. The demo will feature the start of three chapters from the game; Imperial China, Twilight of Edo Japan, and The Distant Future. In the full release you’ll be able to play through the game’s eight chapters in any order you want, but getting a headstart is never a bad thing. To download the demo simply head to the Live A Live eShop page and select “Download Demo.”

What is the Live A Live story?

In the original 1994 game, the art style of each scenario was created by a different manga artist.Nintendo

Live A Live was the directorial debut of Takashi Tokita, who’d go on to direct beloved titles like Chrono Trigger and Parasite Eve. Released in 1994, Live A Live was an incredibly ambitious game that told eight stories across different eras but tied everything together near the end. After playing through each of the eight scenarios, a final one is unlocked that draws all the characters through time to take on a greater threat. Here’s an overview of the different scenarios.

  • Contact - Set in prehistoric times, the scenario follows a caveman named Pogo who’s exiled from his tribe.
  • Inheritance - Set in ancient China, the scenario follows the master of the Xin Shan Quan school of kung fu, who endeavors to pass on his teachings.
  • Secret Orders - Set in feudal Japan, the scenario follows a trainee Ninja named Oboromaru, who’s sent on a mission to assassinate a political target.
  • Wandering - Set in the Wild West, the scenario follows a gunslinger named Sundown Kid who meets his rival, Mad Dog, in a remote village for a showdown.
  • The Strongest - Set in the present day, the scenario stars Masaru Takahara a young man that wants to become the strongest in the world.
  • Flow - Set in the near future, the scenario follows an orphan named Akira Tadokoro as he hunts down a biker gang that’s kidnapped a child.
  • Mechanical Heart - Set in the distant future, the scenario takes place aboard a cargo ship called Cogito Ergosum and follows a maintenance robot named Cube.
  • King of Demons - Set in medieval times, the scenario follows a knight named Oersted who leads a party to save Princess Alicia of Lucretia, after she’s kidnapped by the Demon King.

As mentioned earlier, there is a final scenario that happens once all of the others are completed, but we won’t go into any details in order to avoid spoilers.

What is Live A Live gameplay like?

Each scenario in Live A Live has some kind of unique mechanic or feature.Nintendo

Live A Live sports a turn-based combat system very similar to other games of the time, like Final Fantasy. However, don’t go in expecting deep character customization, as each scenario instead focuses on bringing unique mechanics. The same basic turn-based system is used across the entire game, but each scenario is a little different. For example, Secret Orders introduces stealth elements fitting of a Ninja, while the Wild West scenario tweaks combat to be entirely focused on firearms.

Outside of combat, you’ll be exploring each time period on foot, which includes towns, overworlds, dungeons, and more. Another key difference between Live A Live and other RPGs of the time is length, as you won’t be spending dozens of hours with the game. The remake might end up a little longer, but the original game can be completed in roughly 20-25 hours.

Does Live A Live have any new content?

On top of visuals, Live A Live has a rearranged soundtrack and full voice acting.Nintendo

At the moment, it doesn’t look like the Live A Live remake has much in terms of new content. Most of what’s new comes down to the presentation, as the game has been rebuilt from the ground up in the HD-2D style. Another big addition is full voice acting across the entire game, similar to both Octopath Traveler and Triangle Strategy. Finally, the game’s soundtrack sports rearranged versions overseen by Yoko Shimomura, the renowned composer behind Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XV. It’s possible there could be more changes and additions, but at the moment nothing else has been talked about.

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