Lost Dimension: Review (PS3/Vita)
Much needed JRPG
Interesting "traitor" mechanic
Tons of content
Levels feel empty
Can seem "talky"
I didn't get the moe DLC
Not cross save enabled
Take one part Phantom Brave, one part Danganronpa, and some almost future/psychic setting and you would get something akin to Lost Dimension. The game gives the player some throwaway plot points in the first couple minutes of the game, and then simply expects them to save the world, which if we are being honest is kind of the only thing that is needed. The player is then informed that one, or several, of the party members have turned to the enemy and must be discovered—which even the cast seems to find odd as no one seems to be really sabotaging the missions.
The mechanic of people turning seems odd, as everyone in the party seems to have a reason to not want to be there. You are supposed to suss out who everyone really is through small visions you get after every battle, but they are –in all truthfulness—pretty worthless. Not only is that an issue but the traitor is determined at random, which can lead—and does—to losing key members of the party for seemingly not a ton of reason. I honestly like this mechanic because it adds replay value to the game, but it can be painful when the only person who can revive a party member in battle betrays you.
The gameplay is really the standout area of the game. While everything else does a good job of delivering the medium in their intended ways, the battles normally just feel fun to jump into with the motley crew of 11 (and shrinking) random “gifted” person that are gathered. Once enough time has been invested into any one of the character they even actually start to play differently than when they first are thrown into the party. While it can be jarring to move to a character you have used for hours to one you haven’t touched, it speaks to some of the depth of the battle system and character’s skill trees that that does happen.
You can actually watch, if you are interested, Zack almost start turning on the game about 45 minutes into the Let’s Play that we did last week of the game. Not out of lack of interest, or because any of the mechanics are bad, but because many of the levels feel devoid of—it is kind of hard to put this delicately so I won’t—anything meaningful. Most of the stages have one clear and very poignantly stated object that must be met, and almost everything else can be ignored. The window dressing that is done for each new floor wears off almost universally on the second area.
Lost Dimension is a flawed game, but not one that is overly so in any really meaningful way. It is also coming out at a great time, pretty much directly in the middle of the summer draught—also during a time that there hasn’t been a game like it in a rather decent chunk of time. Lost Dimension probably isn’t going to win anyone’s game of the year, or be remembered nearly as fondly as a Persona game, but it still deserves to be played because when it comes down to it it is just fun. And if we are being honest, that is why we play games.
Review note: I played both the PS3 and the Vita version. The game runs better on the PS3, looks better, and has less load time. But for some reason it feels like it was intended to be played on the Vita. For this reason I am giving both of the games the same score as it just feels right on the Vita.