Square Enix's most elusive JRPG is finally getting more accessible

The cast of Live A Live stare into the distance
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Square Enix is bringing its spruced-up version of cult classic JRPG Live a Live to PS4, PS5, and PC next month.

The developer announced the news in a blog post on its website, also sharing that a demo for those platforms will be released later today. You'll get to play three of the game's seven main story chapters. If you like what you play, that progress can be carried over to the full game if you decide to pick it up on April 27.

Considering that the original was released for the Super Famicom back in 1994 and stayed local to Japan until the remake launched on the Nintendo Switch with an English translation last year, it's heartening to see a beloved JRPG become available to those who haven't been able to get their hands on it. Until last year, I was one of them.

Live A Live was considered novel when it was released in 1994 as it contains numerous, smaller stories that each feature unique mechanics until everything intertwines into one for a grand finale. Combat, meanwhile, features the turn-based battling you'd expect from the time, with an added layer of strategy in that positioning on the field of play influences who you can hit or be hit by.

The JRPG was also released during a hot streak for Square - that being before the Enix part was later added following a company merger - coming after Final Fantasy 6 and before Chrono Trigger. In fact, Live a Live director Takashi Tokita also served as a director on the latter.

There's plenty to Live A Live that makes it a good time, then, though its lack of availability over the past 28 years ensured its status as a poorly kept secret among hardcore JRPG fans until news broke of a remake.

So, what are you getting with the remake? The core of Live A Live is very much intact, though the most striking difference is the HD-2D visual style made popular by Octopath Traveller - a modern JRPG that borrows some ideas from how Live A Live handles multiple stories. You've also got a rearranged soundtrack supervised by original composer Yoko Shimomura.

A Nintendo Switch release last year brought the game to hordes of fans curious to see what the fuss was about, though barriers remained to those without the portable console. With Live A Live due to release for PS4, PS5, and Steam on April 27, those barriers are only becoming fewer.

Game-breaking Legend of Dragoon bugs recently ruined that classic JRPG's return, let's hope Live A Live fares better.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.