[PS Vita Review] Lost Dimension
Lost Dimension is a tactical role-playing game, where the twist is that you’re trying to root out the traitor in your team. It is the eve of the world’s destruction by an evil person called The End. He is planning to eradicate the whole planet, which is why an elite team of 11 sealed members who have abilities known as “gifts” is called into action to stop The End before it is too late.
In order to accomplish this, Sho Kasugai – the game’s main protagonist – and his team have to fight their way through a weird tower that is full of deadly enemies, and on top of that he must root out any traitors in the team. The tower is split into several floors, and each one has main and sub-missions (side quests) to keep you busy.
On the battlefield you choose 6 members of your team to deploy in each mission or sub-mission, and even though the gameplay is turn based you get to control each character’s turn and use their abilities to defeat enemies as you see fit.
The most important mechanic in Lost Dimension is assists. Assisted attacks will occur if there is a member of your team nearby with assist displayed above their heads. Assists won’t occur unless the team members trust each other, and this is where the affinity system comes into play – if you have played the Daganronpa series you will know what I’m talking about. So, if a character doesn’t like another character, then an assist won’t take place.
After completing each mission you will return to the lobby, and you will have the opportunity to get to know your team better and earn their trust. Beside their names are cute little square faces that change as you grow closer, so the closer you become the happier the little face will be. Also, you will see speech bubbles next to their names. White ones are unimportant conversations (nothing comes from them), but the blue ones are important since these give you the opportunity to get close to someone. On top of this, the gold conversation bubbles are extremely important and occur after becoming close to someone. You only get to pick two people to bond with, so pick wisely! Make sure you talk to everybody at every opportunity you get as it will help you greatly in battle.
Each main mission and sub-mission have fail and clear conditions that you can view in the start menu. The missions have varying difficulties, up to eight stars total, with 1 star being the easiest and 8 being the most difficult. On top of that, you have the added challenge of S ranking all main and sub-missions, so there’s plenty of replayability here. And don’t worry if you don’t get an S rank the first time since you can level up and try again until you get it right.
The party members have some amazing gifts. For example, Agito can teleport, Marco can use telekinesis to crush enemies, and Nagi has the ability to levitate, to name a few. All these gifts can be leveled up and each character can learn new abilities within their gift. Going back to Marco’s telekinesis, thanks to his skill tree he can learn Go Away and I’ll Crush you abilities.
The most important aspect of Lost Dimension is rooting out traitors in your team. After each mission, Sho Kasugai makes the most of his gift: Premonition. With it he hears bits of thoughts from each of his teammates that help him sense who the traitors are. The problem is that for each playthrough the traitors are randomised, so it is impossible to pinpoint the “real” traitors except through Sho’s Premonition gift! To give yourself the best possible chance of picking the correct traitor, you must make sure to change your party for every mission as often as possible so that Sho can hear the thoughts of everybody. Once you are confident and you think you have the right one you will have to cast your vote and hope for the best! When the vote is done someone dies, and you are down to ten team members. After this, you rinse and repeat for the rest of the game, hoping to make the right choice or else your mistakes will come back to bite you in the ass!
Getting the platinum will require a bit of luck because of the traitor randomization since you need to bond with every party member, and depending on who the traitor is, you won’t get a chance to do so before they’re go. So you’re looking at 2-3 runs for getting all bonds, and at 15-20 hours per run… well, you get the picture!
Lost Dimension is a fantastic tactical JRPG. The graphics are great, the story is engaging, and the judgement system will leave you glued to your Vita! My only gripe is the traitor randomization. Sure, it’s an interesting mechanic, but if you make a mistake, you will end up getting a bad ending. But I suppose that is part of the charm of the game, and it is definitely worth playing!
[review pros=”Great graphics
The judgement system is fun.” cons=”Loading when using skills.
Traitor randomisation is a bit of a pain for trophy hunters” score=90]
This review is based on an European PS Vita digital copy of Lost Dimension provided by NIS America.