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Written by Dustin Murphy
+Strong character cast that brings the game to life
+Highly animated character portraits allow the game to feel as if it’s an anime
+Combat situations play out as a hybrid between Japanese RPG and Strategy genres
+Characters are unique in every way regarding combat and play style.
–Vita version frequently experiences crashes when WiFi is connected
–Vita framerate while in the central hub is almost painful to watch
–Leveling system can be difficult for some players
Developed by Lancarse and published by Atlus USA, Inc., Lost Dimension is a game that has caught my attention since its launch in Japan last year for both the PlayStation 3 and the lovely PlayStation Vita. Entering into the game at first began to let me see that the game was setup to prepared to self-sabotage itself while luring me in for more. The title pushes players to investigate a team of rather gifted youngsters who are attempting to divulge who the traitors are throughout the course of the title.
The game is clever, truly clever in how it does this thanks to the main villain known only as “The End”. This enemy at times can feel repetitious, annoying, and truly drive you to want to complete the game just upon the first time of meeting him, but what the game does do is lure you in as the story unwinds. Choosing from a team of eleven can be hard at times since each of them have their own powers, combat traits, and even situational uses, unfortunately Sho’s don’t seem all that gifted throughout the game, but regardless of this is the fact his companions do.
Much like any traditional RPG or even hybrid strategy RPG the game manages to follow through with a unique play style that will push fans to explore The Tower in order to take out a host of enemies, and power uses. When stepping out onto the combat floor for the first time players will be quick to note that the game is separated into two types of missions: side missions and main missions. Each of these mission types will allow the player to take on a team of six through multiple turn-based, and heavily action-oriented combat scenarios; here you will control each character for their turn where it’s to attack, maneuver, or activate a device. From here players will take out the remaining amounts of enemies, which at times can be quite tedious, and grueling. During the combat scenarios, players will be able to use basic attacks, Gifts, Defend, or even give some of that characters SANs to another character in order for them to go again. While the battles can be seemingly fun it is unfortunate that they can also grow boring and repetitive rather quickly.
Platform(s): PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita/TV
Publisher: Atlus USA, Inc.
Cost: 39.99 USD
Release Date: Now Available
To break the monotonous flow and ebb of combat, Lancarse has included a bonding team where players are tasked with interacting with each of the characters in graphic novel like scenarios. Through these bonds players will find the characters helping each other out in combat by assisting with each attack in follow-up maneuvers. This is where team positioning will play a rather important role within the game and ultimately find itself becoming a synchronized factor when players are in combat. While finding combat as well as conversations as fun as I did, it was time to look at each of the characters in the combat scenario where they would shine the brightest. From there I found myself commonly taking the team as follows: Sho (he’s picked by default and locked in place), Yoko, Senji, Himeno, Agito, and Toya. Thanks to each of these characters having their powerful traits, I quickly found myself using Himeno thanks to her fire-based attacks, Sho for his crits, Zenji for his self-buffing gift that copies another characters stats, and so on. My team consisted of heavy hitters and synchronicity between each of them to ensure my team would make it through combat.
After combat ended and the brontide of combat ended, it was time to return to The Tower where I would discuss occurrences with my team. The most important part I overlooked during my review on both Vita and PlayStation 3? That the social links play a VERY important role within the game in order to unlike the True ending, which can only be done by maxing out social bonds. After completing the game this way? I was given a post-credit glimpse of something about “the chains of fate”, which makes me wonder: Does Lancarse plan on a sequel? If so there is definitely a subtle hint about it with this ending.
At the end of the day, I was sitting flabbergasted and in dismay due to how important these roles were. Little did I know the game would feed quite deeply upon them, I left myself insatiable for the true ending, which lead to once more going through the game and working on the social bonds, which can be truly hard to master. Each conversation can go in good or bad ways depending on the responses Sho gives to his partners. Downside? This didn’t affect the outcome of who the traitor was since it was handed to me like a kid waiting for a slice of birthday cake; or so I thought until it randomized the traitors again in my next playthrough. After stepping away from the social links, it was time to look at the games rather interesting itemization system, which included taking resources gained from combat in order to make new weapons, get healing items, and even get new equipment. This lead to me carefully itemizing each character in order to put them at the peak of their game for each floor.
Leveling up came quite simple thanks to each ability being able to level up more than once, which in-turn unlocked new abilities, and even grew the older ones to peak out at high performance rates than before. This also made combat a bit more interesting since different abilities allowed for different experiences when said and done. Even with this all at hand, Lost Dimension is a unique game that is captivating, fun, and at times completely off the wall. Luckily the wackiness works out into one enjoyable and at times a flustering experience that will make players come back for more in order to complete the twisted labyrinth The End has set before them be it the two week free DLC or the games base missions. In The End the game is a must have for PlayStation Vita owners and PlayStation 3 owners that want a game that they can enjoy on either a pick-up and go basis or by binging it.
Our review is based upon a pre-release version we received from the publisher of the game, Lost Dimension is now available on the PSN store or at local retailers for 39.99 USD. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.