22 years after its launch in Japan, Square JRPG Live A Live has been given a rating in Australia.
A rating for the Live A Live remake has appeared on the Austrlalian Classification website overnight. The Classification Board has awarded the game an M rating, citing moderate impact themes and violence, as well as mild impact language, sex, and nudity (ooh la lah).
Live A Live is famous for never having been released outside of Japan. Even when it finally appeared on both the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Consoles, it was only made available in Japanese territories and did not receive any Western localisation.
Earlier this year, a Live A Live remake was announced during a Nintendo Direct broadcast. The remake will mark the first time the game has ever been officially translated or released in the West. For JRPG historians, a major hole in the golden age SNES canon is being patched.
Nintendo’s RPG library is rife with phenomenal titles that have never seen the light of day in Australia. It took years to get Chrono Trigger in any form, and then Square Enix released it on mobiles at a markup. Earthbound and Earthbound Origins have only recently made their way to the Nintendo Switch Online library.
Square has also been focused on remakes of its Seiken Densetsu (aka the Mana series) RPGs, several of which also never found their way to Aus. Trials of Mana never made it to PAL regions Square Enix launched its 2019 remake. Legend of Mana met a similar fate, finding its way to PAL territories in 2021. PlayStation 2 era title Dawn of Mana has, to date, never been released in PAL territories.
The reason a lot of these games never made it to Australia is bound up in what is now an outdated view of Oceania as a games market. Back then, Australia and New Zealand were considered the market equivalent of an afterthought. The perception was that we were too small to be bothered with. This line of thinking continued until well into the late 2000’s, until Oceanic players starting using the internet to voice their frustrations. Super Smash Bros. Brawl released in Japan in January, 2008. The US followed in March, and Australia and Europe in June. Imagine a staggered launch window like that happening today. We wouldn’t put up with it.
Look, in the end, perhaps its a “better late than never” situation. Live A Live is set to release worldwide on June 22, 2022, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.