Once a long-lost classic, the excellent Live A Live makes it way to PC and PlayStation

Just more than a year ago, Live A Live remained a sort of white whale of golden-era RPGs for those of us in the West. The game was a well-regarded classic by most accounts, but without an official English release, its praises could only be sung by importers or those who played fanmade translations. Luckily, the game is about to become much more widely accessible, as nine months after its launch on Nintendo Switch, Live A Live soon makes its way to PlayStation platforms and Steam on April 27.

I had a chance to check out Live A Live's PC version ahead of release, and I came away absolutely delighted with the experience.

Paige reviewed the Nintendo Switch version when it launched in July 2022, so I won't re-introduce the game in its entirety here. Please, read her review if you're looking for a full opinion on the game itself and its classic but unique stylings. We also touched on Live A Live several times in our 2022 awards, where the game made our Top Ten RPGs of the Year. The present review will mostly touch on the options of the PC version.

With that said, let's start with the PC configuration options:

Live A Live PC Configuration Options


Live A Live's PC configuration settings are perfectly adequate for a game of its nature. This may sound like faint praise, but considering how some PC ports fail at even basic options, I'm glad to report Live A Live doesn't have any major issues or omissions. The game has support for mouse/keyboard controls, support for high resolutions, support for high (120hz) & even unlimited framerates, plus options for shadow quality, borderless window functionality, V-Sync, and anti-aliasing. I do not have an ultrawide monitor, so I can't state if the game supports ultrawide resolutions, however.

I can't say for certain how well the game performed on Nintendo Switch, but the PC version feels fluid, controls are snappy, and load times are minimal. Of course, being a 2D game, the game's recommended and minimum specs are very manageable on low-to-mid-range builds or laptops, so you absolutely do not need a top-of-the-line PC to check out Live A Live. A demo is available on Steam, if you want to check out the game's performance on your machine before buying.

Here are the specs as listed on the game's Steam page.

Minimum Specs

  • OS: Windows® 10 / 11 64-bit
  • Processor: AMD A8-7600 / Intel® Core™ i3-3210
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon™ RX 460 / NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 750
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: 8 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: 1280x720, Preset "Low", 30FPS

Recommended Specs

  • OS: Windows® 10 / 11 64-bit
  • Processor: AMD A8-7600 / Intel® Core™ i5-3330
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon™ RX 470 / NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 (3GB)
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: 8 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: 1920x1080, Preset "Maximum", 60FPS

To be frank, Square Enix's tendency to stagger many of its releases across multiple platforms and storefronts is tedious at best. Ideally, Live A Live would have had a multiplatform release from the get-go, but in any case, PlayStation and PC players can soon check out Live A Live, and I strongly recommend it. At about 25 total hours in length, it's an experience that doesn't wear out its welcome.

Live A Live is told through multiple protagonists in a way not often seen. In fact, each protagonist's chapter is almost a mini self-contained RPG in itself, with each exhibiting its own stylings, format, or gameplay gimmick. Near Future is a bit more traditionally-styled scenario, set in the realm of mecha anime. Present Day is more like a boss rush as you tackle colorful opponents in a tournament reminiscent of '90s wrestling. Distant Future plays more like an adventure game or visual novel with minimal battling. Prehistory, The Wild West, and Edo Japan all exhibit different time periods with their own charms, with evident inspiration from classic movies sprinkled throughout.


As you play through the various scenarios, the connecting tissue between them becomes more and more apparent, culminating in a satisfying but not overwrought conclusion.

Personally, I'm really glad that in recent years, Square Enix has decided to bring back a few of their classic unlocalized RPGs with official translations. Whether it's the original Trials of Mana included in 2019's Collection of Mana, Radical Dreamers included in the recent Chrono Cross re-release, or this HD-2D remake, these efforts are greatly appreciated. 

Live A Live is a delight, and honestly, even nearly 30 years after its original release, it's still quite a unique offering in the JRPG genre space. Sure, some elements of the game may not completely hold up to modern scrutiny, or might not feel as groundbreaking as they once were, but it is still well worth the visit nearly three decades later. If we're lucky, maybe Square Enix will follow up Live A Live in some fashion, or revisit other long-lost classics with similar remaster efforts. Bahamut Lagoon, anyone?