Atlus has something special for Vita owners in Lost Dimension, a strategy RPG that is available for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3.
Anime visuals and story-telling are common trademarks for most Atlus titles and Lost Dimension is no different. The game centers on a group of young adults with psychic powers that work with the government to stop a madman from destroying their city. The catch however is that one of your group is a traitor sent by the enemy to destroy your team from the inside out. And while you ascend a tower full of baddies towards your true goal, you must find and stop the traitor from taking out your team before it’s too late.
Playing through each stage of Lost Dimension is similar to other strategy RPGs like SEGA’s Valkyria Chronicles. Enemies and allies move set distances on a level as you eliminate opposing forces and complete objectives. You select from a group of characters to deploy on each stage, with everyone having unique abilities and traits that can be leveled up over time. Choosing the right team before each stage is vital to efficiently completing tasks and scoring a high rating. You can customize each character to increase their strength and abilities as you play, which can be the difference between success and failure.
On the game’s different levels, your party characters must work together to take down enemies and complete objectives. Attacking an enemy head on with one character isn’t enough to be victorious; characters must assist each other in battle with Assist Attacks. By attacking an enemy that is close to an ally, you can execute team attacks that have increased damage. This is super important throughout the entire game and is necessary for getting the best ranking in a stage. As powerful a tactic as assist attacks may be you must be careful, enemies on the map can do the same thing to your party. This makes planning out your actions and attacks an integral part of how the game is played.
What makes Lost Dimension different amongst others in the genre is how the main story can change each time you play. In between certain stages, you are made to choose a character that will be erased, eliminating a character from your party and possibly finding the traitor in the story. The dialogue and events afterwards change depending on who is left in your party in each stage of the game.
This can be either hit or miss depending on how you play and level up your party. The chance of eliminating someone that may be helpful later on is always there, but if you balance out each character in your group you can effectively pull through the challenge the game presents. You are made to never feel comfortable with just a select few in your party throughout the game, as catering to a traitor in the group is always a constant possibility.
Finding the traitor in your party is done through the story sections of the game, which are told through great looking cell-shaded anime style cutscenes with lots of dialogue. You’re given Vision Points at certain points of the game that allow you to search the thoughts of your party members for anything that might hint towards a traitorous action.
Even with this ability however, it isn’t always clear who the traitor in your group is. This makes erasing a character a huge risk each time you do so. If you aren’t careful and plan your next move accordingly, you will end up either erasing a strong character needed for later stages, or accidentally keeping the traitor in your group.
Lost Dimension is a great strategy RPG that forces you to constantly think carefully about the actions you take. The story is interesting and has a variety of outcomes depending on how you play through towards the ending. While some of the level design is a bit monotonous and bland, it’s the tense strategy gameplay and story that will keep players invested in the experience.
If you are someone who loves stories told over 30 hours of challenging gameplay, then pick up Lost Dimension for your PlayStation Vita now. You will definitely not be disappointed that you did.
This review was based on a digital copy of Lost Dimension for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3 provided by ATLUS.