Could we see a LIVE A LIVE 2?

Could we see a LIVE A LIVE 2?

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Live alive was originally released in 1994 for the Super Famicom, but only in Japan. Luckily, in 2022, the world was blessed with a wonderful HD2D remake of this classic. *Cough* read my review of the game *cough*. So what about Experience a live 2? Could Square Enix really give us a complete revival of the series? This is a question I’ve been pondering ever since I played the Switch version of the game. Things really started spinning in my head when rumors started circulating on X (formerly Twitter), suggesting that A new title could be in development. These emotions in my mind led me to ask myself the following question: “What would be my hopes and wishes for a Experience a Live 2 be? »


Live One tweet Live 2

A game like Live alive practically begs for sequels. The formula fits easily into almost any RPG idea. Stuff in more temporal shenanigans or even use the multiverse as a concept. Anything like this forms the heart of the game and makes for some very interesting storytelling. This can even accommodate a wide variety of characters, just like the original. I could get used to a series with lots of juicy, delicious bites of unique ideas and presentations wrapped up in a nice little RPG bundle. The only question that arises here is: “In what form does a Experience a live 2 take? »

The next set of lives – new paths to travel in (un)familiar lands?

Live A selection of characters Live with Akira
Live A selection of characters Live with Akira

One of the biggest attractions of Live alive is the variety, the crux of which lies in the characters and the settings in which they evolve. The original game had a good amount of variety that contained characters such as a cowboy, a ninja, a knight, and even a psychic teenage thug, along with their time periods ranging from fantasy to science fiction. I can see a few different possibilities as to what approach could be taken for a potential sequel. There could be new characters and new eras, or they could reuse settings while changing the character archetypes you play as.

As for creating a whole new cast and collection of zones, I think that’s the most up-to-date option. This allows developers to play with different ideas and inject RPG quality into other genres that don’t see it as much. Some interesting concepts they could use are things like a chapter of Magical Girl or something like a Space Opera. These examples take the broader time periods established by the original and push them into a different realm. I love Alien and 2001: a Far Future chapter inspired by Space Odyssey and with a taste of horror in Live alive. But I couldn’t help but wonder about a Star Wars-inspired adventure with more action… A chapter of Magical Girl could even reuse the Near Future setting! Exchange the original Live aliveThe shounen based story with a shoujo magical girl tale would be a fun swap!

Even ignoring the reuse of periods, Experience a live 2 could just stand up and invent new eras! An era of pirates? War era? These don’t exist! But I want mini RPGs from them. We could seriously see entirely new periods with different gadgets. This is the trendiest option for me! Yes! Give me something I couldn’t guess and didn’t know I wanted! Imagine receiving cooler gaming tributes. The unabashed adoration of today’s chapter in Live alive a for Street Fighter is awesome. We need more chapters like this in a sequel, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Live alive
Live alive

With imagination, there really are no limits. I could sit here and happily daydream about theoretical mini-RPGs for hours, but when it comes to things to do, many of the ideas are close enough to the premises found in the original game. But… What if this was used to the game’s advantage? I think another path the game could take would be to reuse the eras but remix them with new characters and new directions.

There are many ways to change the settings of the original game. Edo in Japan? Let’s explore this setting further from the perspective of a samurai facing another threat elsewhere. A young psychic delinquent in the near future could easily be traded for a Yakuza part of a Toku team or something! Hmm, mixing around the protagonists and settings of the first game could be interesting! Put a robot in medieval times! What about a mind-reading martial artist? See? Even a massive reuse of ideas from the first game could lead to an incredible sequel.

Fight for Your Life – Stop the Spread of Hate

Live alive
Live alive

You know what they say… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… Polish it! Or, uh, something like that. Anyway, I think Live alive‘s combat system has a lot of potential, even without radically mixing things up. In my review of the game, I compared the gameplay to a “puzzle box”. I really want this element to be preserved in a sequel. Understanding the exact move combination and the ability to end a battle with a flash of inputs is satisfying. Despite this, I understand that this element is as strong as it is because of the pace of the fights. If they were to expand the combat mechanics, these perfectly paced “puzzle box” encounters might suffer. But let’s play devil’s advocate.

The grid and charge-based combat system are very reminiscent of strategy RPGs. I think they might be more interested in some of these things. Expanding the grid slightly while adding elements like terrain could add some depth! Having to take into account moving through water or even moving on UP terrain like FFT could be very interesting and add a lot of variety in terms of mechanics AND presentation. Enemies designed around the terrain, such as flying or burrowing enemies, would make such a change even better. Heck, let’s give big enemy attacks an MMO-style damage meter too. This forces you to consider your movement options as well as evasion options that take terrain into account. From there, we simply add abilities that can affect or be affected by terrain, and you have a truly evolved combat system!

Honestly, I could go either way with a “pretty much the same” or “we added some cool new things” combat system. Having the same strong pacing and learning encounters from the Remake would be great with new abilities and characters. I might also appreciate combat updates provided they are well considered and implemented well. However, what if they threw caution to the wind and simply created an entirely new combat system? Could they upgrade to full SRPG? What about a more traditional turn-based combat system? What if they went REALLY crazy and decided to create the first HD2D Action RPG???

The Spice of Live – Devilish Details

Chapter variety in Live alive is quite correct. Some chapters have different story-to-combat ratios, but the presentation and little gameplay gimmicks change how you play each chapter. I think we should expect this to be expanded or better implemented in a sequel. Imagine a stealth-based chapter where you move around like a Metal Gear Solid game in the overworld. More personalized chapter gadgets in areas such as control would greatly add to the “omnibus” feel the original team was looking to capture. Even expanding the scope of each individual chapter would be a good thing to add. Having actual mini-games or more involved side content would allow players to become more immersed in each world.

Immersion in the world is important, but so is immersion in what’s happening in the world. Our connection to the events of any game lies, of course, in the characters. Live alive also has a rich cast aside from the main characters. I loved the additional characters you could add to your party in individual chapters. I think a potential sequel game could seriously scale by having more story and side character interactions. Ooooh, actually, let’s even involve them in the last chapter meeting that Experience a live 2 will surely have it. Having stronger bonds with your side characters AND being able to use them in the final chapter would be a dream! Do it, Square.

So, well-implemented supporting characters would be a huge improvement. What would be a small addition that would create a wealth of gameplay? Secret bosses. Secret bosses are found in a few chapters of the original and provide an additional objective for players to complete. Extra content like this pushes the player to search for something bigger than the main story. I think every chapter should have something like a hidden boss or an optional boss. Experience a live 2. Bonus points if they relate to the plot or theme.

Live aliveThe HD2D remake had excellent endings that reward the player’s choices. It’s even easy to get them all! This is a top reward for a great game. This “icing on the cake” is important. Experience a live 2 must have this, at the bare minimum. Ideally, Experience a live 2 will go beyond expectations and deliver a number of Chrono Trigger endings. Ideally again, we could see multiple endings for each chapter. Substantial ones, even!


Basaramanga
Basaramanga

Something I would like to see come back is the use of manga creators. The original version of Live alive featured renowned manga artists designing the characters for each chapter…Square Enix’s Ikushima did the updated designs for the remake, which is pretty standard for remakes. But we are talking about a SEQUEL! I love Ikushima’s work with all my heart, but the amount of variety and soul you get from having a large team of talented artists is unparalleled. This really helps drive home the point that these characters come from different times and places. Imagine seeing character designs from newer manga artists. What if we got character designs from big names like Oda or even designs done by Gege or Horikoshi? Even outside of Battle Shounen, we could have other awesome artists! Personally, I’d like to have romantic comedy or gag manga artists of some variety!

Rule over expectations – evolution vs. iteration

Really, the big question I have regarding a sequel to Live alive is: “Will the game focus more on evolving the formula with new and interesting…