Lost Dimension: First Impressions

So, as hinted at in my last post, I did put Dungeon Travelers 2 aside for a while, and instead turned to Lost Dimension. The main reason for this was that the grind was getting me down a bit, and Dungeon Travelers 2 is a good game to play when I want to play something for a couple of hours … and I’m off for a while, and so have time to play for longer stretches.

Anyway, Lost Dimension is a game built around a climb to the top of a tower to face a terrible evil (stop me if you’ve heard that one before). In this case, the evil is a terrorist known as “The End”, who’s blowing up parts of cities from orbit and threatens to detonate nukes in most of the major cities of the world. You are part of a team of psychic-powered teens sent in to stop him. So far, a pretty standard JRPG setup. However, there’s a difference. There are traitors in your team, and you have to root them out. One of them is either revealed or remembers being one every floor — I’m not sure what the procedure is supposed to be — and at the end of each floor, before moving on, you have to choose one team member to be “erased”. But it isn’t the case that you simply decide that, as it’s determined by vote, with the three characters with the best record in the battles getting two votes each. You, of course, are always one of those characters, as you’re the only one guaranteed to fight in every fight. Okay, I suppose it’s possible if you take mostly the same characters every time and you don’t really do anything, but at least on “Easy” that’d be hard to pull off.

At any rate, it isn’t just guesswork and randomness. First, after every battle you “hear” the voices of your team mates. There are three potential traitors generated each turn, and their text is displayed in red. By subbing team mates in and out and watching the text, you can get an idea of which of those three are the ones that might be the traitor. From that, you can then move on and deep scan each of them, which involves a little mini-game where you run through their heads chasing their words, and once you reach them you’ll know if they’re the traitor or not. This means that you should know who the traitor is long before the “Judgement” phase, especially since you can replay almost any mission at any time (the exceptions to this are the character specific missions you need to run to build up bonds).

Okay, so you’ve figured out who the traitor is. Now all you have to do is convince the others that that is who the traitor is. You, in general, have two main ways to do this. First, the characters with the worst record in the battles are automatically suspected. So if you have a traitor with an excellent battle record, all you have to do is run a number of missions without them and with the current character that is believed to be the traitor and eventually that will change. In addition, the rest of the team will talk to you after every battle, and either suggest a traitor, or else ask you who you think it is. Tell them the truth, and the projected vote will change to be the way you want it to go.

The combat system itself is interesting. It’s a turn based approach, where you have to face a number of enemies with different abilities. Early in the game, there’s not much to it, but later you actually have to learn strategies and know what your objectives are. For example, one mission threw a number of enemies and a number of devastating fixed emplacements at you, and I died a couple of times with it … before realizing that the objectives were only to kill the two main tank mechs. Focusing on them and taking some deaths led to my getting an S-rank on that mission, after getting slaughtered the first couple of times (I did grind a little to get more levels as well). You have a number of weapons and a number of powers at your disposal, and you even get to use the abilities, to some extent, of the characters that you’ve “erased”, which is how I now have a really, really nasty Himeno (I hope she doesn’t turn traitor).

The number of missions is a little light, and the game is probably a bit short (I’m almost to the final floor after playing it a bit starting on the weekend). But the game seems to be built for you to play it once and then immediately play it again to get the true ending, which I might do considering how short it is. So far, it’s fun and worth playing, and the character interactions are deeper than the first part of the game would suggest … but the character interactions are also a bit repetitive, and so doesn’t have the depth that you get in a Persona game or even, really, Conception II (which might shock people, I know). At any rate, so far, like Dungeon Travelers 2, it’s a good game and I’m thinking about looking for other games like that for the Vita or PS3.

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