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Title: Live a Live (2nd Review)
Author:Square
Rom Player: ZSNES
Reviewer: ragingtofu

Synopsis: Okay, so I was skeptical when I fired this puppy up in my emulator. First, it was released in Japan only which instantly gave it one of two results in my mind - it was a huge flop, or it was one of those gems of a game that people on the other side of the pond never got to see. Now, I'm one for quirky games, which may be why I enjoyed this one so much. I'd like to say this is an RPG, I'd like to say it's an adventure game, I'd like to say it's a lot of things - because it really is... no two games will be alike.

Every single character you play as is different, and has a different mechanic to it. For example, if you decide to play the characters in "order," you'll start out with the prehistoric age. One of the most interesting things about this is that there is no speech. By that I don't mean "wise fwom yow gwave" sound bytes, I mean there's no scrolling text to go through. Why, you may ask? It's the stone age, they don't have a freaking language, that's why! But back to the gameplay. You see, the gameplay is different for each character, as I have said. When you finish with the Prehistoric, you may decide to move on to, say, the Ninja's level, where you're on a mission to either a.) kill everyone or b.) kill nobody except your target. My personal favorite would be the sci-fi level that has almost no fighting in it. "But it's a semi-RPG-action-type game," you say. Well, that's the thing - there's something in this game that everyone will be able to enjoy. And just when you think you're done, there's always something new to further along the several stories that all come together....

Game Play: Very, very, very quirky. It's going to take a while to understand the battle system and how it works, but once you get that down you'll have no problems. The controls are solid, and shouldn't give you problems.

Graphics: Pretty standard fare for Square - still, each environment and it's characters are very distinct and colorful. When you're in the wild west, you'll feel like you're in the wild west. Or at least act like it. Am I the only one who does that?

Music: I know it fit the mood depending on which scenario you were playing, although I can't really call it memorable. From what I remember it's not detracting, but it's not something you're going to be humming to yourself when you're done playing.

Originality: This whole game is, more or less, an experiment in originality, and I feel that it passed with flying colors. Each scenario you play through is distinctly different from the one you played before and the one you will play afterwards. None of them have that "been there, done that" feel to them.

All in all, Live A Live is still at it's core one of those quirky games that you'll either love or hate right off the bat. Either way it's worth an afternoon to see what it has to offer. And hey, it has a giant robot... who can restist giant robots?

Best Cheats: These aren't cheats so much as they are important (or unimportant) tips: Prehistoric: When the girl is hiding in the straw? Well, let's just say her reaction changes depending on what you give her.... Sci-Fi: I can't stress this enough, REMEMBER THE NAME THAT THE SCIENTIST FIRST GIVES YOU. REMEMBER IT. YOU HEAR ME? R-E-M-E-M-B-E-R I-T. Oh, yeah, and make a lot of coffee. Master: Put all your training into one character. Take my word on this one. Just do it, okay? I'll give you a cookie. Final: Once you've finished every character's scenario (including the one that opens up after you've beaten the initial character's scenarios), choose the one that has nothing left to live for. Being evil never felt so good.

Game Play: 9
Graphics: 8
Music/Sound: 6
Originality: 10
Overall Rating: 10



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