LIVE A LIVE

Posted:  Apr 24, 2023
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Cloud Saves

Review

LIVE A LIVE was provided by Square Enix prior to release for review. Thank you!

The cult classic SNES game has been remade and finally releasing on Steam! LIVE A LIVE is a JRPG that tells a unique story with stories spanning across different time periods. Choose your hero, each with special abilities, and discover their tales taking place in the Prehistoric era, all the way to the distant future. Fight enemies, get new equipment, level up, and follow along as the shocking developments that link together each one of the characters and culminate in an epic finale.

LIVE A LIVE was originally released in 1994 for the SNES and was recently remade in the HD-2D style similar to Octopath Traveler. It also features remastered music, updated artwork, and full voice acting to help immersion even further. It had originally not been released outside of Japan, but now we have a fully English worldwide release of the game and I couldn't be happier.

I love the story and concept of LIVE A LIVE. Taking 7 individual stories and making each of them interesting, but finding a way to weave them all together in the end is such a nice touch. The updated HD-2D graphics, voice acting, and rearranged music heavily complement the game and highlight the beauty of the game. While the combat took a little to get used to, and it isn't as customizable as other JRPGs, with each character having set skills, it grew on me as I started to understand the movement and which skills to use and when. I personally love the game and highlight recommend it, and luckily, playing on the Steam Deck feels right at home.

LIVE A LIVE - Best on Deck

When I started LIVE A LIVE on the Steam Deck, I had a feeling it would be able to play just fine without much issue, and I was right! Without any changes, the game can hit and keep 60 FPS with a max battery drain around 14.5W. With the default settings at max, the game looks phenomenal and if you're playing while plugged in, there is no need to change a thing, but we can make a change to save the battery exponentially without reducing quality settings!

I did try out all the settings and figured a couple of things. First, there is little to no change in render resolution and shadow quality until it hits to the Medium or Low setting. When these changes are implemented, the game looks way more blurry than it should and really only saves 1W - 1.5W, so I wouldn't consider it worthwhile.

This can be saved a little by turning Anti-Aliasing off, which ends up sharpening the image, but again, the battery doesn't improve enough to warrant the reduction in quality. Turning Anti-Aliasing off when rendering resolution is at Maximum or High will result in an overly sharpened image, which doesn't look great nor does it help much with battery.

LIVE A LIVE AA Off

The biggest change I have seen is actually changing the framerate. Going from 60 to 40 saved about 3W - 4W of battery while surprisingly keeping the smoothness that 60 has. Compared to the lowest settings at 60, changing to 40 drains around the same but keeps the maximum quality settings. Overall, since this feels just as smooth, I would recommend keeping everything on the max settings and just lowering the refresh rate/framerate cap to 40!

Compare
60 FPS Lowest Settings
40 FPS Max Settings
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40 FPS Max Settings
60 FPS Lowest Settings

LIVE A LIVE doesn't support 16:10 resolutions, so there will be little black bars above and below on the Deck screen, but there controller support and cloud saves.

Conclusion

LIVE A LIVE is an underrated JRPG that I am so glad got the remake treatment. The HD-2D artstyle is just perfect for this kind of game and bringing it to life after so many years and the story's structure is one that captures me consistently. The combat grew on me after awhile, but sticking to it was so worth it and I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a new and wonderful JRPG experience. And with almost no changes, this is perfectly playable on the Steam Deck and well-deserving of its verified label. The changes are optional, and while they do help, it isn't necessary to fully enjoy the experience, making this a Best on Deck game!

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

LIVE A LIVE is a fantastic JRPG that, with some wonderful upgrades, is one we can fully enjoy on the Steam Deck with no issues!

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Community Rating

Let us know what level of playability you consider LIVE A LIVE to be. Help our community determine the viability of playing this game on Steam Deck!
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$49.99
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Proton DB Rating

Should SDHQ re-evaluate this game review?

Other Builds
60 FPS Build
SteamOS

Limit

60

Refresh Rate

60

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

No

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

No Changes Needed!

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

10W - 14W

60c - 65c

3 - 3.5 hours

related Settings

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