Okay, by now you probably have heard that a new role playing game has been translated to English. This science fiction RPG is also for the Turbo Grafx-16 console (known as the PC Engine in Japan). That makes it even more interesting as we don’t see a ton of games translated on the old NEC console. Out Live was released by Sunsoft in 1989. Yeah, in Japan, a lot of game publishers supported the NEC platform. Before you go through the trouble to play Out Live, remember it is an old school (basics anyhow) RPG from the extreme late 1980s. You are not getting your hand held by any means here.
The story behind the game is quite similar to other role playing games: you are on a quest to rescue someone. Your brother, in the case of Out Live. He has gone missing on the planet Lafura. You are armed with a mech, some basic weapons, armor, and have a few credits to upgrade and buy supplies. You are going to need supplies and many upgrades, but you are not going to be able to afford what you need right off that bat–where would the fun be if you could?
Where Out Live is different from the competition is the setting. This is not your standard Dungeons & Dragons fantasy setting. No, here you are in the far future fighting in dungeons and passageways between safe zones in a single manned mech robot. Your enemies are not orcs and hobbits either. Instead, you are fighting other mechs, big and small, that are out for whatever salvageable materials they can gather off your smoldering body.
Everything is viewed from the first person, so don’t get excited thinking you are going to get to see this hulking beast in all of its glory as you upgrade it. No, your view in the dungeons is from inside the cockpit–of sorts–and it is a very rigid view. Much like the classics such as Wizardry and Alternate Reality, you are moving one square at a time and turn in 90 degree increments. Now, if you were raised on Baldur’s Gate or Fallout 4 you will be painfully trudging along here wondering when it is going to be all over. If that is you then Out Live is probably not for you.
Just be prepared to have your butt handed to you repeatedly for making dumb decisions.
For me, it is just right. There is an overarching story to be worried about, but it is not beating you over the head. You are free to go where ever you can survive and upgrade your mech as you see fit. There is not even a tutorial forcing you to do the basic upgrades that everyone gets when they start the game.
One problem I have with Out Live is the dungeons, which make up a good 90% of the game. There is precious little variety to them (for the most part, it is just color changes). This can become tedious after long bits of playing, so make sure to take breaks and even keep some graph paper around for mapping.
Out Live English patch is available on ROMHacking.net but the game is not available as freeware so we cannot link directly to it.