Nintendo Switch Review: Live A Live

Should you live through these 7 different times?

Seven different stories featuring different protagonists, time periods, and gameplay styles await. In The Wild West, a wanderer with a bounty on his head fights for his life. In the Twilight of Edo Japan, a shinobi undertakes a secret mission. Experience these tales in any order you choose—the adventure is yours to control. What other stories will you uncover on the horizon…?

Live A Live originally released in 1994 for the Super Famicom and was never released in the West, so 2022 marks the first time that this classic JRPG has finally come to these shores and with a new lick of paint to boot. I’m not entirely sure why the game didn’t come out here, but especially since two eras feature no dialogue at all but instead just speech bubbles with symbols to vaguely explain what is going on or what you need to do.

Combat itself takes place on a 7×7 grid with turn-based mechanics featuring your team of fighters from whatever time period you are playing in. Each story is short, and you can play them in literally any order you wish as doing them all will unlock a final 8th scenario which ties the narratives together for the end chapter. Each story is great, featuring plenty of humour but also great storytelling, even the ones that literally have no dialogue. I honestly find it incredible to think that this game has been hiding from the West since 1994, it pains me that we haven’t seen it before now.

The HD 2D conversion from the original game is well done by the team at Square Enix and the soundtrack is also impressive overall. Load times are short, and the animations are decent, especially considering this is a 90s JRPG.

The Verdict

Overall, Live A Live is a great JRPG that should have been released in the West years, if not decades ago. It tells great stories, has solid combat and has plenty of humour thrown in to make it a must-play for any fan of classic 2D JRPGs.

Score: 8.5