Live a Live
Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that to have a quality RPG game you need to consider two different factors. The first is always which console, the second (once you’ve realised that the SNES is the only console to consider for this task) is which company? Square or Enix.
Fortunately, before the mass merger happened in 2003 each company delivered across the board and innovated what an RPG is today, and whether you lived through the golden age of gaming or you’ve become an enthusiast over the years, RPG gamers are truly spoilt rotten with their back catalogue and the precious gems gifted from within the translation community.
In 1994 square decided to release a game that showed their true innovation in the form of Live a Live. Live a live is no ordinary RPG adventure, instead it does what all great Square games of then and now have done, it gives you choices.
In the beginning, when I first had the fantastic opportunity to play said game, I was truly surprised with what I found. On the start menu a list of 7 different roles in which to immerse yourself into the shoes of 7 different protagonist. This is where the variety of choice excels but also where the rumblings of problems begin.
The first character I chose was that of the gun-slinger in the western setting. The way that it draws you in, is with the usual back story (good versus bad) with the added niche of the weapons used representing the era of which they are set. This was further shown within the caveman era and with the other five.
As I began to grappled with an unfamiliar battle system, a combination of tactical RPG meets turn based role play, the story had barley progressed. Then it ended.
The problem with this game, once you feel confident with your characters strengths, story and setting, everything is thrown out of proportion as you undertake a new challenge with another character. This would be a problem until you realise the different stories are designed to be undertaken more than once (sure you can complete the scenario within a matter of minutes but can master the habitat and truly vanquish your foe).
Although at times each story does feel limited in size, this game is like viewing an art gallery, sampling different artwork, numerous times until you appreciate their significance. The time for each scenario caters for every RPG fan, yes there is easy stories to en-thrall and obliterate, but for advanced gamers, there is remarkable depth and difficultly.
The game has you levelling up, collecting items, gaining/losing members, a whole host of different setting and the best part is, there is seven variations of the aforementioned. My favourite aspect of this game is its replay value. Upon first completion I realised (after consulting google) that there is secrets within the game, within the scenarios of the game. This adds further to the depth of the genre imposed, as alongside the usual plot I had loved, I found another lease of life for each individual story.
Personally my true overall feeling is if you haven’t experienced this game, I must state that if you love RPG’s in any form, this should be regarded as possibly the most unique game of its genre, and if you are looking for value for money this has seven different games on one cartridge with endless amounts of hours per scene.