Does the idea of playing as a character who has the ability to look into the minds of others intrigue you? Have you ever wanted to play an Inception styled game? Well Lost Dimension looks like it may fill in that gap. At least some of the gap. You see while Lost Dimension lets you play in the minds of others it doesn’t create a whole new world. But let’s dig in a bit more first.
Lost Dimension isn’t your typical Strategy RPG. It mixes it’s story, gameplay and a group of “gifted” people with a traitor in the weeds. Something can be said about what Lancarse is doing here. What is the goal they’re trying to achieve? I asked myself these questions several times while playing. Before I get to far ahead let’s start from the beginning.
You play as Sho. One of the eleven gifted members of the team. Your power… the ability to see into others mind. You can hear their thoughts and even dig deeper from time to time. You utilize these abilities to help sort out who you suspect is the traitor in the group. While the first traitor in the game is set(at least the first playthrough) they become random with each Floor you reach. When starting off Sho can’t remember what his powers are, this allows the game to teach them to you over time. I’ll get more into this in a bit.
The story begins with the world getting a lovely death threat from the primary villain “The End”. Maybe not the most original name but it works. He also brings along his “Tower”. Somehow knowing what the world leaders will do this is the first step in his plan. Get all of these “gifted” or Sealed members into the Tower. Once you arrive you are greeted with the news there is a traitor in the group and the only way to stop The End is to reach the 5th Floor of the Tower. Well with this general starting point let’s get into the real meat of the game.
Lost Dimension utilizes a turn based strategy RPG system, with a few twist. First off your party has psychic abilities. These allow you to do things like Heal, increase stats and damaging spell like move. These all drain your Gift Points(GP). Or better known as MP. This however is the first twist. Using these abilities also decrease your characters Sanity(SAN). When your SAN reaches zero you lose control of that character and they enter Berserk. Once this happens they will attack the closest character, friend or foe.
Next in combat is the Assist ability. Each character has a distance requirement for attacks. If say you attack with Sho hitting the enemy but not killing them and follow up a second attack with Marco, Sho will follow up Marco’s attack with an assisted attack. This allows you to string together a huge amount of damage on one enemy when the whole party is nearby. I also want to mention, once you move a character, if they are not close enough to attack but near an ally you can Defer. When you Defer you give the ally another chance to move and take action. This system feels really good and I never felt like I wanted to skip over the missions.
Speaking of Missions, these are how you progress the Story. They are broken down into three groups. Main, Sub and Character. Main missions give Vision Points(VP). Which you use when entering Deep Vision Mode. More in a bit. Sub Quest are just that. They are additional missions to sharpen your skills and level characters. Character Quest help you build relationships with other Party members on your team. Of course after each mission you complete you are greeted with Sho “hearing” the thoughts of that groups members. This is your first look at determining who is the traitor. This is called Vision. Characters will slide across the screen. Words with zoom by, some will be red(hint). Them some of the team will speak, if they don’t you’ll hear “traitor” spoken aloud. Make sure to have a pen and paper ready.
When you are not battling the enemy you return to a hub location. It is broken down into five sections. First is Talk, where you build your relationships with the team. I learned a lot about the others and felt really invested with them. Second Setup, this is where you choose equipment, check your inventory/status and spend skill points to unlock more psychic abilities. Third is the Generator or shop. You buy and sell everything here. Fourth is the Gate. This is your mission hub. And Fifth is Vision. This area allows you to see who trust you, how each member ranks in battle, who they will Vote as the traitor and a history of the above mentioned Visions. While in the History you can highlight who you think might be the elusive traitor. It also grants you access to the Deep Vision mechanic.
Let’s talk about Deep Vision. This is where the truth comes out. You choose the “suspected” traitor and enter their mind. Once there you will chase after them. Upon catching them they will reveal whether they are or aren’t the traitor. Seems pretty easy right. Just run and catch everyone. Well each floor only has three Main missions. That means you only get three VP and each Deep Vision cost one VP. So be careful when entering. My first run through of the game left me constantly questioning who. A couple times I choose correctly, but I know at least once I didn’t. This leads me to the next point.
The Traitor. Each Floor has a traitor. Now let’s step back a second. I’ve yet to mention what you do about these traitors. Well once you complete the Main missions a new area opens in the Hub world, The Judgment Room. In this room you vote on who to “eliminate”. This is one reason you want to make sure and uncover the traitor. “What’s the other reason?” you ask. Well once you reach The End any remaining traitors will turn against you. This makes you go into the final battle with less party members and last I checked you always want to have as much as you can against the final boss.
Now let’s talk about the Visuals. The game has both Anime style and CG. The Anime cut scenes are, not surprising, very pretty. The good news is the CG is not that far behind. While the battle areas are a bit dull and the enemies a little uninspiring, the Sealed team looks pretty good. This is easily, in my opinion, one of the better looking Vita games. Now on PS3 not so much.
The Audio in game is strange. I enjoyed listening to the characters talk, but not every line is spoken. Heck I would say less than 20% of the games dialogue is spoken. So be prepared to read. The Music is good and helps bring you into the action. Quick fast tracks play when it’s the enemies turn. Where slower music plays while in the Hub world. Nothing out the ordinary here.
Now what did I think of my time with Lost Dimension? I really enjoyed it. The battle system is fun and engaging. The Story, while not a masterpiece, is still entertaining. The traitor system is awesome and really enjoyable once you’ve got a handle on it. But it took me one entire playthrough to figure it out. Spending time with the party, learning about what each of them wanted from life, it made me really feel for them. Not many games can pull me into caring about characters. I usually don’t get to wrapped up emotionally in games. But I trusted them all and when I was betrayed at the end, it hurt. But by bringing in these emotions I felt like this was more than just a game. Which for me is really something.
With all of this said I recommend picking Lost Dimension up. I found it more enjoyable on the Vita and think it easily ranks towards the top of the library. But if you own a PS3 it’s equally as good.
Let me know what you think about Lost Dimension. Leave a comment below and we can discuss. Of course we want you to follow us here, on twitter and maybe even check out our YouTube channel. Tell us what you think about it all.