Originally posted July 27th 2015 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Thanks to ATLUS USA for the review code.
Title: Lost Dimension
System: Playstation Vita/TV (Version reviewed), Playstation 3
Release date: 7/28/2015
The main game/story
This is a tactical RPG game published by Atlus here in the states, originally developed by Lancarse, the same team behind the Etrian Odyssey franchise. In this game you take control of the main protagonist, Sho Kasugai, as he and a group of eleven other members set out into The Pillar to defeat the mysterious entity known only as The End, who has revealed that there are some traitors in the group… So not only do you have to carefully plan your strategies as you move along, you need to be careful and find out who the traitors are on every floor, which change upon every playthrough!
This game uses full 3D graphics during battle and most of the cutscenes, and it looks really nice, giving it a futuristic vibe. During conversations between party members outside of battle, the characters take on a cel-shaded style, similar to their official artwork, which is a neat touch that they were able to do that without making everything clash. Despite some minor framerate issues when a lot of big enemies appeared on screen, it really gets the job done well.
Music and Sound:
They really did an amazing job with the music here, with sweet music that fits each area you battle in rather well, along with the many, many awesome compositions that play outside of battle. Honestly, I don’t want to spoil the game too much so I encourage you to play the game and listen for yourself, as it’ll really surprise you with the quality of the soundtrack. There’s also voice acting for each of the characters, helping to give each of them a unique personality without making any of them irritating. In battle they only say a few lines here and there, so most of the high quality voice acting comes from key story scenes. Still it’s clear that a lot of love went into making the music and voice acting excellent.
General gameplay is rather simple. Before starting a mission you can choose which party members go into battle and in what positions, depending on the map you’re playing on. During battle it plays pretty similarly to your basic strategy RPG, with you moving the characters towards an enemy and planning your attacks while also making sure they don’t do serious damage to you, whether it would be through using special Gift attacks or physical attacks, depending on the enemy. If you position characters next to each other that trust you, they will even help provide an extra attack on an enemy, which makes talking to them outside of battle worth it. However this strategy also applies to the enemies, meaning that they can team up on one of your party members and do some serious damage, so it’s a good idea to be careful nonetheless. Each mission gives you experience and Gift Points for party members, encouraging you to play the side missions to gain more EXP and GP for your character’s stats and abilities to increase.
It all starts out as basic strategy RPG fun until you reach the end of the first floor, where you learn of the judgement mechanic and how it works. What essentially happens is that one of your party members is a traitor for the floor you are currently on, and you must vote for whoever you think is the traitor (while also persuading the other members to vote for that person as well)! You can help figure out who exactly is the correct traitor for the floor thanks to the Deep Vision feature, which allows Sho to use one of his vision points to investigate the thoughts of one of his party members from a recent mission. After each mission you can talk to the others and try to persuade them to vote for who you think the traitor is, while also having them avoid voting for innocent party members. You only get three vision points per floor, so it’s strongly encouraged to use them wisely so that you don’t end up having someone innocent get erased! The traitors change whenever you reach a new floor, so a party member that may have been innocent on the previous floor may be the new traitor, keeping you on your toes at all times!
This is what makes Lost Dimension a fresh and interesting experience, due to the fact that you need to focus on making your party members stronger, but also while trying to find out who the traitor is in time before Judgement begins. While erased members won’t come back, they do leave Materia behind, which are items you can equip onto your other characters to give them some of the abilities your former party members had, while also unlocking some exclusive abilities that require the Materia and Gift Points for certain characters.
Outside of missions, you can also talk to certain party members, increasing their bond with you, making them more likely to assist you in a turn as well as unlocking character quests, which are rather challenging side missions that can only be completed if you and another party member get a very close bond. These don’t give any hints towards who the traitors are, but they are a nice addition to the game as it will gradually give the backstories for each of the characters depending on your relationships with them, encouraging you to talk to them whenever you can, and making it even more difficult if they get erased in the end.
In conclusion, Lost Dimension was a very nice surprise, adding to the Vita library with a fun yet challenging title with a great atmosphere, thanks to the fact that no two playthroughs will be exactly the same due to the random traitors, forcing you to try different party members with every playthrough, since you never know which one may be chosen as the traitor to be eliminated. Honestly, I’d go as far as to say that this is definitely the game to pick up if you are on the fence about buying a Playstation TV, as it’s definitely worth every penny and will keep you busy for a while, especially if you happen to be a trophy hunter due to the decent amount of trophies you can collect during your adventure.
I give Lost Dimension an 9 out of 10, and strongly recommend it to fans of Strategy RPGs or anyone looking for a good game to play on a Sony system this summer!