There were many games in the early generations of consoles that were “ahead of their time” and thus don’t always get the appreciation they deserve. Live A Live was one of those titles, as it came out only on the Super Famicon and never made it to America. But then, everything changed when a certain game came out and showed that there was a way to do a remake and yet keep the spirit of the original title. And now, a remake on the Nintendo Switch is coming out on July 22nd.
But, what’s really important here is that the game was meant to come out sooner. But the team could never make it work. In an interview, original director Takashi Tokita talked about this and what changed everything for the team.
“I’ve pushed internally for a remake or sequel a number of times, but the circumstances never quite worked and the idea was abandoned. One of the big reasons we were able to create the remake was because we joined up with Mr. Asano’s team, who was responsible for the HD-2D RPG Octopath Traveler from four years ago. When we were planning the project, we wondered if we could use HD-2D to create a Live A Live remake, and after discussing with them we made it a reality.
As an outside observer, Octopath Traveler left a big impact on me. It made me realize that sort of an approach would be possible. I think that a full 3D remake of the game would have changed the look of the game too much, but an HD-2D remake fuses the beauty of pixel art with the unique effects possible with 3D.
There are several plots from the get-go in Live A Live. The science-fiction sections might be better suited to 3D, while hand-drawn art can be used to highlight more important elements. HD-2D allows for a lot of variety, which is something we kept in mind from the very start of development.”