Lost Dimension (PlayStation 3) Second Opinion Review

By Athanasios 01.01.2016 2

Review for Lost Dimension on PlayStation 3

There are many strategy role-playing games out there, and while lots of them are quite good, innovations are usually a rarity in the genre. The great thing about Lost Dimension is that it doesn't just blend tactical gameplay with a strong focus in storytelling, but it actually presents everything in a very unique way, by introducing a fantastic and original concept - just in theory, that is, as this second look at this interesting PS3 experiment (also available on PS Vita) clearly shows.

The end is coming. Why? A mysterious figure known as 'The End' said so from atop his giant tower, a pillar that appeared out of nowhere, and in the very centre of a half-destroyed city - one amongst the many in a heavily damaged planet. The solution is - what else? - a save-the-world team consisting of all sorts of psychics, ranging from telepaths and fire manipulators, to masters of telekinesis, magnetism, and premonition. In conclusion: 11 powerful individuals against one. Piece of cake, right? Well, not exactly, since The End has managed to plant the seeds of distrust within this newly formed party; a party that didn't exactly begin with the best kind of feelings for each other in the first place.

Screenshot for Lost Dimension on PlayStation 3

How did The End do that? The answer is: by claiming that there is a traitor amongst their ranks, and that they will have to actually find and "erase" him or her in order to proceed. The task of weeding out the turncoat of this tale falls into the hands of Sho Kasugai, a young clairvoyant who can "sense" the inner thoughts of his comrades after each battle, which will in turn help him find the black sheep through the process of elimination - additionally, he will have to gain the trust of the rest of the gang in order to manipulate them into voting for the right person at the end of each chapter.

In practice, that means that after a mission Sho will get the chance to have some brief chit chat with the various characters in order to raise his camaraderie with them (and, thus, be able to affect their opinion), and after that spend a Vision point (if available) to enter the mind of someone to find out whether he/she is the one or not. This system starts in a very exciting way, making it hard to leave the gamepad aside before reaching the end of the current chapter (and the traitor is auto-chosen each time), but, unfortunately, while this, otherwise intriguing, scenario is a breath of fresh air in the genre, the execution is somewhat lacking.

Screenshot for Lost Dimension on PlayStation 3

For starters, all characters are insanely one-dimensional, emphasising their personality traits so much that everything soon gets very tiring; like in how the cute schoolgirl only cares about cuteness, the soldier lady is all about military protocol, and so on. Secondly, the idle chit chat is, at least in the first three chapters, exactly that: boring and uninteresting small talk that makes it hard to connect with the characters; characters that may be killed from the hand of the player after a few missions. The worst thing, however, is the fact that narrowing down the list of suspects is an insanely easy task, which requires the use of a ridiculously simple and repetitive mini-game, and not any grey matter at all. In the end, though, the plot is just the tip of the iceberg in a turn-based strategy title, right?

The player can move the various characters around in order to directly attack an enemy, or use a specialised technique known as Gift, which is basically each character's unique brand of magic. The pros are: the variety in Gifts, the fact that the power of someone who has been "erased" can be equipped by another character, the wonderful Defer command that gives a person's turn to somebody else, and, finally, the way everyone can assist each other when at the correct distance from an enemy, which means that if, for example, Sho starts shooting an enemy and the rest of the gang is close by, they will add their own version of pain into the mix.

Screenshot for Lost Dimension on PlayStation 3

Now the cons, with the first one being the fact that the few available enemies get recycled over and over again, making everything feel pretty repetitive by chapter two. Next, the crafting system: after each battle, the team gets an amount of a resource called Energy, which can be used to create various items, ranging from weaponry and healing items, to attribute boosts and status-altering grenades. The problem here is the lack in diversity. Crafting a weapon, for instance, is just a matter of creating the strongest one in the list, instead of having to choose amongst many variations of one, like a gun that is better at critical shots, or has better accuracy, for example.

The final nail in the coffin, though, and by far the worst flaw that can be found in an SRPG, is none other than the zero need for any strategic thinking. Save for a couple of levels, the tactic in most of them is just to place teammates behind the enemy, always assist, and always focus on one-to-three foes per turn. In fact, even when things start to feel a bit more challenging, the solution won't be a different way of thinking, but instead a simple 10-minute grind for experience points, and that is mostly near the end of the adventure.

Screenshot for Lost Dimension on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

The generic cast of characters isn't very likeable, or at least easy to connect to, the underlying plot is great but the overall presentation is adequate at best, the battles provide entertainment, as well as boredom because of the little need for strategic playing, and the "Find the Traitor" part, which in some ways is the core feature here, hasn't be implemented very well. There are many 'little' good things that gamers can experience in Lost Dimension, but those will be soon crushed under the weight of 30+ hours of slow and repetitive gameplay and weak storytelling. In other words, unless an avid collector of SRPGs, better try something else.

Developer

Lancarse

Publisher

NIS America

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Did you play through a 2nd time?  It has a lot of hidden story that is INSANELY good about why there are random traitors etc, super cool.  The ending rd2 easily bumps this game up 2 points minimum in my mind.

Dragon0085 said:
Did you play through a 2nd time?  It has a lot of hidden story that is INSANELY good about why there are random traitors etc, super cool.  The ending rd2 easily bumps this game up 2 points minimum in my mind.

Yes I did, however my main issue are the things that must be done before getting to enjoy these small breadcrumbs of good plot - in other words, repetitive battles, repetitive "find the traitor" sequences, and, finally NO. STRATEGY. AT. ALL.

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

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