Monday, December 26, 2022

Live-a-Live Remastered (Nintendo Switch, 2022) Pt 1 - Prehistoria


Got a pretty sweet 2D-HD remake thing goin' on here. After how good the SaGa Frontier remake was, I had high hopes for this one. It still shows its age, but it's worth a play. They fixed some of the issues the original had, and the new visuals are great.

Going to be a bit more concise with this remake since the original had a massive amount of posts. One scenario : one post. It's different enough to be worth covering all over again. It even got an "RPG of the Year" nomination which is pretty awesome. Then Elden Ring rolled over it like the HK tank rolling over the skulls in the Terminator movies, but Live-a-Live was there. It was there.

Playing on the Switch OLED with 3rd party controller-joycons, the Hori Split Pad Pro. Pronounced "Whore-y"

Turns the Switch into a full-on top-of-the-line portable system, which is the main thing it excels at in OLED form. The PS5 is wildly superior on a TV (Crisis Core has 4k/60 on PS5 and.... 720/30 on Switch, which would be good if this were 2007) but I can't take that on the go. A lot of the time I just leave the Switch un-docked like this and just play it wherever, making it my system of choice for non-TV time which is like 95% of the time. The Switch also takes screenshots with a lot less of a delay, which helps for posts like these.

The character select is NICE.

I thought about starting with Oboro like I did in the SFC version, but I think I'm gonna try something different.

I'm gonna do 'em in chronological order, starting with prehistory.

These 2D-HD graphics are SUPER nice to look at. Especially on the Switch OLED.

Game is pretty similar to the original. Still have way too many accessory slots, and equipment tends to be either really good or really bad.

There's a new material-farming "minigame" at the beginning here where you guess which haystack has more dudes hiding in it.

If you just guess the same one every time (basically, hammer the A button for a while) you have a 50% chance each time of getting a bunch of free mats. Put on an episode of a show and do this for like 30 minutes and you'll be able to get all of Pogo's best equipment right at the beginning. It's not necessary at all but it definitely makes this chapter easier (and it's a bit of a chore otherwise).

The cave common room is full of people just sort of wandering around and grunting. With no spoken dialogue, this chapter is a bit rough to get through. You don't realize how much you miss dialogue in general until you play something like this where nobody says anything.

After lots of trading, I get a decent weapon. There's a lot more you can do with the trading post here, and it basically comes down to A) How OP do you want to be and B) How much busywork do you want to do.

Pogo is REALLY good in the final chapter so I think he's worth the extra effort to beef up in his individual character scenario.

Here's how he looks with a bunch of higher-end equipment. There are still a couple of upgrades he could get, but I think this looks good. Especially the Quick Spear which ensures that he frequently attacks fast.

Pogo has a strong nose that can sniff out prey animals...and women's scent glands.

Speaking of, he uses his keen senses to sniff out this beautiful woman, Beru.

Here's her official artwork.


And for comparison here's the official artwork for Pogo:


Pogo and his gorilla accomplice dress Beru up as a haystack to sneak her out. I don't know how she got in here, but we don't want her to be spotted by a bunch of horny cave-dudes.

After smuggling her to their lair, we get some really tedious and annoying quests where you have to bring Beru stuff to get her to stop hiding in the haystack. One at a time, and it's vague about what you need to bring.

......after doing this stupid quest for like 10 minutes of trial and error, she finally yanks Pogo into the haystack with her. That's all well and good but it isn't going to help us get out of here.

30 seconds later... Pogo is no longer a virgin.

Meanwhile, the caves are being attacked by an enemy tribe! They've got the elder cornered, and they want Beru. I guess she escaped from them?

Our heroes fight their way out of the cave. Finally, some action!

At level 2 Beru learns a crucial heal. I think around 6 she learns a big AOE attack, as well, that's critical for making this scenario easier. Though apparently if you miss getting it during the brief window of grinding that you have, it's easy to not have it for the final boss of the scenario. There's a weird structure to this scenario where Beru is only available in certain sections.

The boss of the bad guys is Zaki, this dude with 'tude. I think he's flipping our hero off.

The gorilla guy, Gori, has a nasty range attack.

What's even nastier is I just realized this was probably the first range weapon in human development. Before we had Patriot Missiles, Mortars, Longbows, or even thrown rocks, we had to fund our proxy wars by sending over large quantities of Throwing Poop.

Here it is, the big level 6 AOE. This DESTROYS everything. Too bad Beru isn't in the final chapter of the game because she'd immediately be the best character.

To put this AOE in perspective, other attacks do like 40-50 around this time.

After much research and development, Gori has a new weapon: Stink Poot.

The final boss of this scenario. With Beru's abilities and good gear, it isn't bad at all. I imagine people playing this scenario without any guide assistance or heads-up on what to do could run into a serious problem here though.

Zaki joins us for the T-Rex fight, bringing to the team powerful abilities like Whee Butt.

That's it for this scenario. Kobayashi here is who we can thank for Beru's succulent character design. 

...and also Pogo's "Master Higgins on bath salts" character design.

I think Pogo and Beru get married. Also I think Zaki was actually her brother, not some jilted lover. So she ran away from her tribe and he was just trying to get her back before she got into trouble.

What follows is a Chrono Trigger style PREHISTORIC DANCE PARTY~!

The gorilla dude gets home late with FIVE WOMEN, HEE HEE

Next door, Pogo and Beru are doing...whatever it is that people do in caves when nobody is wearing any clothes. And I think this is the only word uttered by anyone in this entire chapter.

More Live-a-Live later.

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