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a game by Square
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 10.0/10 - 1 vote
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See also: RPGs, Turn Based RPG, Best Games of the Year 2022

If you were watching the Nintendo Direct for February 2022, you may have been caught off-guard by a title called “LIVE A LIVE HD-2D remake” that Nintendo showed a trailer for. Or rather, they showed a trailer for a 2D remake of the game.

I’ve been playing games for a long, long time and I was surprised to hear this referred to as a “classic” since I hadn’t heard of it before. But I did some digging and it turns out that yup, this was a pretty big sleeper hit for the Super Nintendo. The thing is, it never actually got localized outside of Japan. This isn’t particularly uncommon for games of that era, but now we’re living in the future, and more and more games are being localized.

Alive with a Beating Heart

What is Live-A-Live, and why should you care?

Live-A-Live was a Super Nintendo game originally published by Square in 1994, before they had merged with Enix to become Square Enix. At the time critics really liked it, but it got overshadowed by some of the larger JRPGs at the time, including Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy V, and Dragon Quest V.

If you’ve seen the trailer and you’re into JRPGs, this game should be right up your ally. In a manner similar to the recent Switch game Octopath Traveler, the game actually tells not one, but seven different stories from different points of history. From the Stone Age, the Wild West, imperial China, modern day, and even the distant and near future! Each story features unique characters and well-written dialogue.

Weird stories, Weird Combat (in a good way)

It’s pretty unusual for an RPG to take on seven different stories at once instead of just one, so it’s fitting that the combat system is just as unorthodox. Keep in mind remake is not actually out yet, so I’m referring to the original Live-A-Live for gameplay details, it’s probably safe to assume much of it will be similar.

Combat actually takes place on a large grid, and involves positioning your character in the right positions in order to have a strategic advantage over the enemy, or enemies. Some attacks are large and hit many squares, others require a certain number of squares to perform. Enemies also abide by these rules, and with multiple enemies battles can get complicated really quickly. So long as you are able to keep up, it looks like a fun time.

Not your grandpa’s RPG

We don’t know too much about the remake yet, but from what we’ve seen so far the graphics look spectacular for a 2D remake of this kind. The gameplay and animations appear to be modern, and feature many advanced modern features such as complex shaders, as well as a higher framerate.


It’s safe to say that the developers are really trying their best to bring this weird gem to the mainstream, and I think it’s fair that we give it a chance.


  • Classic JRPG storytelling with a twist
  • Unique combat system
  • Good length for an RPG


  • Older style of game may not appeal to everyone
  • Some stories are better than others
  • Combat may be overshadowed by more modern examples

Live-A-Live HD-2D Remake will be available for the Nintendo Switch on July 22nd, 2022.

Download LIVE A LIVE HD-2D Remake

Nintendo Switch

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

Nintendo Switch Screenshots

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