The world lies in ruin. You have 13 days to prevent the apocalypse from happening and save the world. Your enemy is but a single man. Several psychics have gathered to investigate a giant pillar that appeared out of nowhere and stop him. However, can you really trust them? I had the great honor to review the game Lost Dimension, a very underrated gem.
Lost Dimension is a tactical turn-based RPG developed by Lancarse and initially published by Furyu, Atlus and NISA for PS Vita and PS3 back in 2015. Now, two years later, it has been ported to PC by Ghostlight.
As mentioned above, your main task is to stop The End, a terrorist who is trying to destroy the planet. Together with your team called S.E.A.L.E.D. you are fighting your way through the huge tower. You control the 18-year old Sho Kasugai, who was gifted with the special ability "Vision", making him able to foresee events before they happen. You are not the only one with special powers however, as your team members all have individually useful powers, ranging from being able to teleport to telepathy and many more.
As you progress through the tower, the memories of you and your teammates are manipulated by The End more and more often. Thanks to your special ability, you soon realize that some of your team members are planning to turn on you in the future. The End explains to you that you need to vote that someone off of your team to be able to advance and now it is up to you to find out who the traitors are with every new floor you reach. In a manner similar to Danganronpa's class trials, you get your team members to choose the person who you think is going to stab you in the back and erase their existence.
The gameplay is rather easy to comprehend; you choose which characters you want to take to battle. Most of the time, your mission is to defeat a specific type of enemy; they all have a very futuristic, machine-like look to them and seem to harbor a certain level of hate for you and your team. As in most games, some of your enemies are easier to beat while others can take quite a lot of work.
Once you are on the battlefield, you need to control each of the psychics individually - you can move around freely within a certain amount of space and choose your actions - attack the enemy using either a normal attack or a skill, heal your team members or transfer one character's round to another in case you would like to use the other once again. Every character's range and hit rate is different depending on their powers and their main weapon. If the sanity gauge of one of your team members reaches zero, they go mad. This means that their strength goes up a lot but you will not be able to control any of their actions and they might eventually attack you as well. You strengthen your teammates after they level up by making them learn new skills which could prove to be vital in surviving or possibly defeating really strong enemies with just a few hits.
After battle, you will see a screen in which the characters you took to battle each say a voice line - if it is distorted then that means they are a potential traitor. To make sure you find out who is going to turn on you, you can go through a process using your [Vision] that will reveal the characters's feelings. Since the erasure is not only decided by your own vote but also by everyone else's, you will need to talk to and tell your teammates who you think is the traitor after each battle.
Once you reach the point of having erased a traitor, you will acquire their skill and be able to equip it to any character of your liking - this will often unlock new skills which could normally not be used otherwise. Note that the traitors are randomly generated and vary with every playthrough.
Outside of battle, you get to bond with your team members. You get to learn about each character's backstory, their past experiences with their psychic abilities, personal problems and so on. It really makes you wonder if there can be any traitors in your team as they all seem to lay their trust in you. Similar to Persona, if you choose the right dialogue option, your bond with your teammates will get stronger. The characters are all unique and rather likeable and trust me when I tell you that it will break your heart when the character you maxed out your bond with turns out to betray you in the end.
The soundtrack is pretty amazing. A lot of the tracks and sound effects have an electronic vibe to it, matching with the game's futuristic theme. The initial intro theme for the game, fripSide's song Lost Dimension, has been replaced by another original track for the PC version which is a bit of a pity, however it still fits perfectly. There is no japanese voiceover in the localized version of the game but the english voice cast did a pretty damn good job in my opinion.
I don't really have anything negative to say about the graphics or visuals overall. The art style is impeccable, the animated cutscenes are nicely done and while there probably are better 3D models out there, the ones used in Lost Dimension have come out pretty neat. The game runs smoothly and there are rarely ever any framerate issues. There are some DLC outfits, items and missions which you do not need to necessarily buy, yet I would still recommend them if you are planning to replay the game more than once or if you are just looking for some cosmetic diversity (especially because the DLC content is not that expensive.)
To summarize, I find that the game is one of the best I have played to date. It's rather sad to see that it's not as popular as other games, however the people who actually decide to buy and play it will not be disappointed. If you're looking for an RPG with great gameplay and an outstanding plot, you might want to look into this one. I personally would love to see a sequel happening and maybe more people showing it some love because it really does deserve a lot more attention.
+ unique characters and mind-blowing plot + amazing soundtrack + replay value + greatly executed PC port
- no japanese voiceover
- a little grindy at times
Lost Dimension is out now on Steam, Playstation Vita and PS3.