October 23rd, 2003

dd2guy

(no subject)

Live A Live. Oh man. Why Square never released this Super Nintendo game in the States, I may never understand. It was Square's answer to criticism that RPGs, especially the Final Fantasy series, were becoming too linear, too predictable, and too time-consuming. Live A Live blows everything we've known about Square out the window, and then some.

Quick summary for those of you who've never heard of it: It's a collection of nine short, unrelated RPGs (two of them secret), playable in any order, each one only thirty minutes to an hour and a half in length. They are all completely different except for the combat system (and even that works differently from game to game) and the name of the last boss, which, in an act of deliberate self-parody, is always some variant of "Odio". Each one presents a different design challenge for the game developers. One has no dialogue. Another has no combat, except for an optional minigame and a boss battle at the end. Still another has nothing but combat, and Street Fighter 2-style presentation. All of them are wonderfully original, fun to play, and very tongue-in-cheek. Lots of little jokes and running gags, too, like a kid who runs in and screams "DADDY! NOOOOOOOO!!!" when some minor male character is killed in every game. It's nice to see Square not take itself so seriously for once. My favorite one has got to be the ninja RPG; it's so non-linear and there are so many ways to beat it that you miss so much if you play it through just once. First time I beat it, I only killed two people; the second time, I killed 82. And the first secret RPG...well, let's just say that fans of the early Final Fantasies will appreciate the irony more than others. In a time when each RPG Square makes is more and more like the last, Live A Live is a wonderful relic of the days when game developers were allowed to do not make the same game every twelve months. Show this game to anyone who makes fun of Square for not being original.

If you have the SNES rom, you can find the translation patch here. No one who grew up on Final Fantasy VI or Chrono Trigger should miss this.

A word of warning though: DO NOT USE A WALKTHROUGH FOR THIS GAME. None of the puzzles are that hard, and there are lots of nifty little twists and surprises.
dd2guy

(no subject)

"Jesus, the palm trees. Swaying so convincingly in the wind that we wanted to be there in that paradise alongside them as ninja vixens performed complicated and stunning martial arts moves in an attempt to render each other totally senseless. How romantic is that?"

Ah, HerVerts. Gotta love 'em. If this was a print magazine I would so subscribe to it.

Andrew Vestal. Sigh. *shakes head* Mr. UnOfficial SquareSoft Home Page's crazy adventures in Japanland...