Lost Dimension is a unique strategy RPG that left me extremely satisfied over the roughly 30 hour campaign; I’ll go over my experience with the game in The Game Fanatics’ Lost Dimension Review.At first glance the end of the world story and unique cast might seem to be the clear draw, especially if we start talking about the traitor mechanic, but the real gem here is the turn based battle system. Taking a lot of cues from Valkyria Chronicles, Lost Dimension takes full advantage of that setup to deliver some truly great moments of strategy. But more on that later.
Lost Dimension Review
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Each character in the party on a quest to save the world has different skills, personalities, and attack ranges. Very early on I found which ones I liked and stuck mostly with them. That is until people started dying and the game began rewarding using different party members to determine the traitor.
You’ll be given clues, based on who is in the party during a battle, as to who is acting suspicious. The hints are vague but clear enough to where you should be able to identify the 3 suspicious characters, of which one is the real traitor. At that point you can dive into their mind to confirm your suspicions or find their innocence. Using this knowledge you must influence the others so that they vote off the real traitor.
You can also see how the vote for killing off the traitor will go at any time. It is up to you to change public opinion but you can mess this up. It is shockingly easy to have an innocent person be killed. This has implications later that I won’t spoil so I’ll just say that there is more than one traitor and little wiggle room for killing innocent people. That’s part of the fun though; even at the end you still won’t be sure who’s up to no good.
However, the issues with dialogue that I brought up in my preview still persist throughout the entire game – including the ending sequence. All the characters either talk about their relationship with Sho, themselves, or vaguely about the death of their comrades. But again, as I stated before, in the vaguest way possible where you can tell the writing is purposefully trying not to engage with any of the other characters.
For instance, everyone constantly comments about how horrible it is to have to vote and kill off someone but when the specifics of what is actually happening (a friend’s death, who has a name and may/may not have been a traitor) are so painstakingly avoided, there is very little impact.
To sum it up, I still remember certain characters in Danganronpa and how everyone else took it when they died. The death meant something to these people and they all reacted to it. I understand that Lost Dimension is going for something much more ambitious by having the traitors be random with each playthrough but almost all of the emotional impact is gone. Instead I’m just annoyed that one of my best fighters has to be eliminated.
That issue notwithstanding, the story itself is intriguing but focuses too much on the least interesting aspects of the premise. It is clear early on that Sho and The End have some kind of connection, but I’m much more interested in my comrades and what they’re up to. Not to mention what’s going on in the real world, which is partially destroyed from The End’s shenanigans. That’s something that is never really brought up at all – even during the ending, which is rather abrupt and ineffective. It’s also very clear that more will be revealed in new game + but, as much as I enjoyed Lost Dimension, I’d rather not have to play through it again to get all the story details. Especially when I’m not sure if what’s left to discover will even be worth the time. Play through the game again because of the gameplay, not the storyline.
Between missions you can talk to the others and this is the primary way to gain their affection besides using them in battle. When you get closer to these characters, a special mission with them becomes available. This will unlock some backstory and make Sho and the character BFFs but it doesn’t really mean much.
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But you’re not here for the story, it’s the always fun and exciting turn based battles that will pull you through to the very end. The levels are all a lot of fun and do a great job of forcing the starting positions to be varied in ways that will either test your skills or force you to make an educated decision early on and stick with it.
The special attacks the kids in the group use are flashy and interesting but nothing you haven’t seen before. Additionally, there will be strange loading screens before all of these attacks. It’s only for half a second but it makes no sense as to what it is even loading. Additionally, these skills often have special camera angles and that regularly causes the camera to get stuck in the surrounding geometry. The levels themselves look decent but are very dated and pretty sparse as well. Not that that matters much when the strategy gameplay is all that I could really focus on.
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Using a mix of skills, status effects, movement, area of effects, berserk, and more make for a fantastic strategy concoction. The same can be said of the enemy variety, especially towards the end. The game gives you enough time to learn what enemies will do and then tosses you into new situations with them.
The big highpoint here though is the berserk system. All skills use a certain amount of sanity. When a character runs out of sanity they go berserk, regain all HP, become really strong, and go on a rampage attacking anything in sight for two turns. This can be a disaster if you aren’t paying attention to sanity but it can also lead to easy boss strategies – as long as you make sure to clear the area first.
Instead of punishing players for a character dying during a level, Lost Dimension almost wants you to treat them in a more expendable manner. Since it doesn’t matter if anyone dies in a level, I’d often find myself going for risky moves and overextending the party just because I could. Several times I’ve cleared the level with only two characters left standing. Other times risk led to a comical defeat.
One time I was left with only my healer alive as everyone else had be put into bad positions. So I took the healer and made him revive one of my best fighters in the hopes that the two of them would be able to finish off the three remaining enemies—one of which was right next to the body I was to revive. However, I forgot that the revive skill uses a lot of sanity and this made the healer lose almost all of it. Then it was the enemy’s turn and it attacked my revived warrior, using up all of his remaining sanity. He promptly went berserk and fired a pointblank shot at the healer, causing him to go berserk as well. Then the healer killed the person he just revived and was himself killed the next enemy turn. I had the best of intentions but that didn’t mean much in the end.
These moments of crazy failures and risky victories will stick with me for a long time. The battle system is truly a lot of fun and it isn’t so punishing as to prevent people from trying different and dangerous things. That being said, I would have liked the difficulty to have been bumped up a bit as the game went on. Through smart use of the berserk condition, most bosses and large groups of enemies can be dealt with rather easily. It’s also worth noting that I forgot to buy and equip any sort of new equipment besides weapons for almost the entire game. This led to all of my characters getting 30-40% boosts to vitality at the very end when I realized this. It also means that even at an equipment disadvantage, the game isn’t very punishing.
Lost Dimension is a lot of fun. The story may be a bit off but the characters themselves are more than interesting enough. Of course it is the excellent battle system that is the real shining star here. I could have easily played 15 more levels of this game and I would have loved every second of it. And maybe that’s the whole point of new game + in the first place.
Review code for our Lost Dimension Review was provided by Altus.