Best bits of 2023: LIVE A LIVE’s Steel TitanWe’re celebrating our favorite gaming moments of 2023. Today, we remember how a long-forgotten place (Babylonia) gave us a precious memory.
In this series, the Square Enix Blog team looks at some of our favorite moments from throughout the year and why we think they stand out. To be clear, we’re not declaring them to be the pinnacle of the game, merely one of many moments that stand out. So don’t get cross at us if you disagree, okay?
LIVE A LIVE is a fantastic revival of the classic Super Famicom game of the same name, that brings the adventure outside of Japan for the first time, with a beautiful HD-2D pixel art style.
The game itself is a wonderful experience, as you take control of heroes through time, from Prehistory to the farthest depths of Space, boldly going where few have traveled to before.
Ultimately, what makes LIVE A LIVE so fantastic is that it’s a game about how optimism in humanity will always triumph over its pessimism. Also, there’s a chapter where you take control of a giant robot and smash enemies, and that’s really cool.
SPOILER WARNING FOR THE Near-Future SEGMENT OF LIVE A LIVE
What happens in the Near-Future
First of all, stop everything you’re doing and watch this.
Need I say more?
I am obliged by the rules of SEO to, apparently, need to say more
Each of the stories in LIVE A LIVE are self-contained, and tackle eras of the past, and those yet to pass. One of these stories takes place in the Near Future, where biker gangs rule the streets and people are kidnapped by them. Your hero, Akira, investigates these kidnappings and uncovers a dark conspiracy with the help of his psychokinetic and telepathic powers.
Resplendent with spiky hair, a friend with a cool motorcycle, and nobody morphing into giant monstrous blobs, you set off into the world of tomorrow in order to save what’s important to you. What follows is a fantastic adventure where your rebel with a cause protects the local orphanage, infiltrates companies, reads minds, and warms hearts.
You also, and I cannot stress this enough, get to pilot a giant robot and use it to pummel enemies. It is glorious.
Tell us more about the Steel Titan!
Okay, subheading, I will!
You see, in a long-forgotten place - Babylonia - the king was forged with fists of steel, and the heavens quaked, to defeat and destroy the evil that now comes...
...sorry, the song got stuck in my head again.
When you begin Akira’s story, the Steel Titan has been confined underground in the labs of Doc Tobei, your much older and kookier scientist friend. Despite many attempts to revive his robotic majesty, the Steel Titan remains inert, his gargantuan frame waiting to be reawakened once again.
During the course of this story, it’s discovered that the Steel Titan can only be powered by those with telekinetic abilities, like Akira, our protagonist. Ever a master of Chekov’s Robot, LIVE A LIVE teases you with the Steel Titan’s presence until it finally emerges from the depths in a climactic scene.
What do we love about this section?
For the rest of the chapter you finally get to pilot the Steel Titan, and it’s one of the many, many moments where LIVE A LIVE shines as brightly as the steel used to make the aforementioned titan.
HEARTS AFLAME WITH PURPOSE TRUE, CALL HIM TO THE FIGHT
Each protagonist in LIVE A LIVE has their own ways to battle foes, and many bouts will make you think strategically about how best to subdue your opponent. While each has their own quirks, abilities, and movesets, none feel as powerful as when you take the controls of the Steel Titan.
Armed with a whole new set of abilities, there’s a tremendous feeling to be had when you first see what new tools you’re about to play with. It’s suddenly much easier to target multiple foes at once, owing to some huge area of effect attacks like Marduk’s Rage, battlefield-filling Halogen Lasers, or potent, concentrated Babylon Stomps.
It’s not just fun to swap up the protagonist, but it’s a great feeling when the battle dynamic changes and you can loosen up your strategy and opt to unleash hellfire upon enemies that aren’t about to know what hit them.
THE KING OF KINGS, STEEL TITAN
Not only does the Steel Titan have fun moves to unleash on foes, it’s also extremely powerful. Taking to the streets before taking on the Near Future’s final boss is beyond thrilling, as you can near-effortlessly smash through the enemy hordes and robots that provided a much greater challenge when you weren’t piloting a humungous, destructive mecha.
It’s very satisfying to see a wave of enemies march up to the towering titan and fall to the wayside while you suffer nary a scratch. If any foe gave you trouble before, they won’t now.
After the trials and tribulations Akira and his most cherished go through, this sequence is one of almost total catharsis.
WE’LL GIVE HIM OUR ALL!
Did I mention that the Go! Go! Steel Titan! Theme plays throughout this section, and it’s as catchy as it is triumphant? You’ll be hard-pressed to get the song out of your head in 2024. I should know; I’ve been trying since the game launched in April 2023 on PS5, PS4 and PC, and it’s still there.
While we’ve focused on the Near Future story in LIVE A LIVE, the full game has several other tales to tell, from Prehistory, the Wild West, Twilight of Edo Japan, and even more to enjoy, each with their own characters, ways to play, and lessons to impart.
If you want to see everything this magnificent remake is capable of, the game is now available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and Steam and is verified for Steam Deck. There’s also a free demo available that lets you play through some of the chapters and carries your save over to the full game.
If you want to play through select tracks from LIVE A LIVE, you can also purchase the song pack or Season Pass 1 in THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE. You can even play through the Japanese rendition of the Go! Go! Steel Titan! theme:
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