Lost Dimension is a new tactical game developed by Lancarse, a Third-Party development team that works mostly with Atlus on games, including Etrian Odyssey and Strange Journey. Almost a year after the Japanese release, Lost Dimension follows a group of 11 gifted individuals who are tasked with defeating a global threat by the name of The End. Crawling through the large tower that has appeared out of nowhere the team will have to face inhuman creations and robotic monstrosities, though those are not the only threats they will face in the tower.
The game starts off with the destruction being wrought by The End, the creation of his tower and the ultimatum he gives to the leaders of the world that if they want to save themselves they must defeat him at the top of his tower. With the world’s militaries not able to even scratch the tower they decide to send in a covert to infiltrate and take care of The End quickly. The team they send in is SEALDED, a group of people with physic powers ranging from pyrokinesis to healing, which they are able to use against enemies as well as on their allies.
Making their way through the tower, SEALED are visited by The End at several points to either give them advice or monologue to instil doom in them. One major point he brings across is the possibility of traitors in the team and not just the one. After a certain amount of Main Story missions you will be able to walk into the Judgement room and vote on who you believe to be the current traitor in the group, which you are able to deduce between missions.
After each floor of the tower you will have to erase one of your teammates to proceed, if he is the traitor or not only makes a difference at the end of the game, where you are left with more or less people to aid you in the final battle.
Your first playthrough can reach up to 10 hours in length, but that changes a lot depending on how much time you spend talking to your teammates and completing side missions. There is a bit of replayability to be ha due to traitors being randomised every time you play, but beyond seeing different cutscenes or getting to talk to specific people for longer might not be enough to tide you over.
Lost Dimension has 3 parts to its gameplay, the everyday battles that RPG’s seem to contain to continue along the story, talking and downtime with your teammates to gain their trust and information, then finally a Danganronpa style vote to see who is chosen as that floors traitor to erase. Each part has varying lengths, with the voting part taking up little to no time if you have concrete evidence but it is affected by the other parts of gameplay.
When in battle you will control up to 6 of the SEALED team, each with a turn to move some amount of meters distance, then to attack with their guns or psychic powers. It feels like a more free-flowing grid based fighting style, with tactical positioning coming into play with back attacks and follow-up attacks by nearby allies. Items are placed around the stages for you to pick up and use, as well as being a stage important switch or level to continue onwards. Besides the normal stages you will also have boss stages where you will face larger, strong enemies that you will need all 6 teammates to fight together and work as a team to take down. After every stage, be it side or main, you will hear voices from your in-battle party to help you find the traitors in your midst.
Outside of combat you can talk to all of your remaining teammates to gain their trust and votes in the Judgement stage, though the first 2 you talk to are the only ones who will gain “Comradery” points. When talking to people you will be given choices in answer to their questions or how you want to take the conversation, sometimes with drastic outcomes, the choices are rather clear most of the time but with most systems like this it will give you an option that means something completely different.
Once you have completed a floor of the tower you will enter the Judgment room where you can look over your evidence and voices per stage to figure out who is a traitor. Depending on how many teammates you have on your side you can singlehandedly choose a person to erase, however if you are wrong the innocent will not come back to help you later. After every traitor you will be given a Materia that contains their psychic power to equip to others and make the game a little easier, whilst still being down a teammate.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The music is a culmination of trance, techno and rock style tracks that meld really well with the themes and look of the game, with action packed tunes for battles and bosses but also containing calm and bittersweet tracks for failure. The music can fall away into the background at times when you are moving about the battlefield and making plans of attack, however as soon as bullets start to fly you will feel the music pick back up again along with the action.
There are quite a few issues to be found on the PSVita version of the game, from bad framerate to constant load screens between almost every action. The moving menu animations are slow and jittery, cutscenes are sluggish and FPS drops are felt constantly outside of combat. Whenever you select an action in battle you are put into a black screen for 2 seconds, this can pile up when you have 6 teammates, 6 enemies as well as combo attacks making half the battle a loading screen.
Lost Dimension is trying to combine some well-loved mechanics into one game, similarly to how Persona combined dungeon delving, dating Sims and monster melding, but it just falls below the mark in each area. Judgement stages are fun to start off with, but one small mistake can leave you hating yourself at the end-game. Levelling up and making the best team set-ups can feel rather accomplishing, but all of that can go to waste when one of your team at the end turns out to be a traitor. Hardware faults, or the game itself, making the fps and jittery scenes really make the game feel unpolished and long-winded.
Overall Lost Dimension gets a 2.5/5, customisation and tactical gameplay make this game so fun, but with throwaway characters it is hard to become attached to them, especially with their cliché backgrounds. The Music is great and battles can test both your characters stats and your tactical mind, but difficulty increases are too sporadic, sometimes reverting to a fight for survival from a cakewalk. The PS3 version is better, but not by much, this game could be good for some play here and there, but if you don’t keep up with it you can fall short at judgement stages.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.