I’m going to be straightforward with this game: if it wasn’t for the traitor mechanic Lost Dimension would be a disaster, as it lacks almost everything. But let’s start slowly.
Lost Dimension is a tactical jrpg in which you control 11 characters each with their own unique ability, from pyrokinesis to telepathy, but you control Sho Kasugai who has the gift of Vision which will be very important for the rest of the game.
The game works like your typical tactical game: you got a hub where you can talk to your companions, buy weapons, do quests and etc, and once you’re ready to continue all you need to do is to proceed with the main story. Repeat this for 5 floors, with each floor not taking more than 4 or 5 hours on your first playthrough – even less if you just skip everything. So far nothing really is amiss.
The combat it’s more reminiscent of games like Valkyria Chronicles where you move until you can no more and from there you choose a list of skills, which is unique for each character. Each character have 3 speccs and each have their own skills to unlock: unlock all of them and you get a powerful ability that can be either great (Brain Hacker) or utterly bad (Brutality).
The combat itself lacks depth and once you level up enough it’s fairly easy to breeze through enemies: there isn’t much else to say really because even bosses can be fairly easy to breeze through, even the final boss.
The story is where it gets at: an entity called The End is threatening to destroy the world with world nukes and everything, and your job is to get inside and stop him. While this plot is generic as ever, you’ll soon realize that you’re not alone and one of your team is a traitor.
And this is where the best mechanic of the game takes off: the traitor is always randomized each playthrough and you cannot check online for walkthroughs, as you really need to see for yourself.
With the exception of George being your traitor on your first playthrough (this is not randomized), the way it works is that each floor you have 1 traitor to find, but you also have 2 additional suspects that may or may not be the traitor and in order to find him/her you will need to bring them to battle everytime, and compare the voices earned with the voices lost: once you have a potential suspect you use a vision and see if you’re right and if you fail you can still do it again as long as you got vision points. If you find it, you’ll have to change the outcome of the votes by making sure to tell everyone who’s traitor…except the traitor himself, of course.
Fail to find the traitor, and he/she will betray you at the end of the game, fighting alongside the boss against you…or at least I think so, because It’s very hard to fail!
This is both the best and worst thing of the game: it’s definitely a functional mechanic that really makes each playthrough different and when a traitor gets erased you get to keep their abilities by specs, so you don’t lose anything and it helps creating variable characters.
However, this mechanic is too simplified and while it works, it’s often underwhelming: when a character gets erased you see him talking some generic stuff but that’s about it – only way to see a different dialogue is to have them survive the fourth floor and doing their quest. There’s not even a unique dialogue in case you get voted and attempting a “bad ending” by having the last characters be traitors is so hard that it’s not worth it. BUT it works, it really really works well, and I had fun playing it. Infact it’s so fun that I highly recommend it doing in a party: it makes for great detective game!
On the other hand, this is where the game’s plot breaks too: while I won’t spoil anything here let me just say that in order to reach the true ending you NEED to have all 11 characters at maximum bond, which can be trouble considering it’s RNG. And even then the characters don’t have a lot of development and the story itself is very bare until you reach the true ending, and even THEN it’s underwhelming. The true ending is good, happy and very cheesy, but it’s underwhelming…and considering I played the game 3 times (I was unlucky on my second playthrough), that’s a lot of time just to see your character turning super saiyan and save the world.
On top of that, the game is very unstable: I had a total of 4 crashes in a span of 6 hours, including one before the final boss battle, and I almost had one at the end credits .This makes the game even less desirable and that’s without mentioning the constant micro-loading between skills.
Do I recommend it? Yes and you can also find it on steam, but considering the issues I had and how annoying is to restart the game (you only keep gift points but no levels or money or even equipment), I’d recommend treading carefully.
The traitor mechanic alone saves this game from a total disaster and it shows it, because nothing else really stands up on its own.
Credit: Lost Dimension