Lost Dimension is very good for different reasons you might find in most SRPGs. For starters, the strategy is there, but it’s not exceptionally difficult. You just need to win in a timely fashion to get that S rank that earns you free gear (usually potions and shit). Your allies can die, but allowing them to fall in combat might alter their opinion of you.
The main draw to the game is the Danganronpa aspect. The story has your characters, special individuals with unique powers, trapped in a tower that is believed to have been created by a psychopath that calls himself “The End”. When you get to a certain point, The End reveals that someone in your group is a traitor. This is where it gets interesting. After the first traitor reveals themselves, The End reveals that there may still be a traitor in your group. Each level of the tower, a new traitor will reveal themselves. Your main character has the ability of hearing the others’ voices and can purge their deepest thoughts to try and find the true traitor and convince the others that they are, in fact, the traitor. There won’t be a definitive guide for this game as the traitor changes depending on how you play and who you put in your party.
The battle system and the Danganronpa aspects are the most endearing part of the game because the story itself is kind of lame, and the characters are mostly uninteresting. The artwork is pretty shit, and the conversations to help you learn about the characters are seemingly random. I think this is because of the game’s way of offering different outcomes, but it’s particularly jarring when you just told someone that you believe they’re the traitor, and they turn around and act all chummy with you in the next scene. More dialog options for the other characters/potential traitors would be awesome here. While most of the characters are very basic, cliche anime tropes, there are a few who stand out. Unfortunately for me, they all ended up being traitors. I don’t want to go too in-depth into the character developments as that’s a major aspect of the story and could contain spoilers.
In one of my Now Playing articles, I gave some details about what your party make-up consists of, but I’ll reiterate that here. This is specifically for the battle system. I’ll break it down a bit more here, but the concept is that each character has a special ability and a weapon. I’ll list each character and what they’re base abilities are. If you would rather discover these things on your own, skip the next sessions.
●Sho Kasugai – He has the gift of premonition and can purge the thoughts of his allies to find the traitor, but there’s a limitation to it. He uses a handgun and has the most attack range, but average movement.
●Himeno Akatsuki – Her gift is pyrokinesis. Basically, she burns the shit out of enemies, but she can’t take a hit at all. Couple this with the fact that her weapon of choice, other than burning people to a crisp, is a dagger and her extremely low defense and, she’s bound to die frequently.
●Toya Orbert – He can manipulate magnetic fields in various ways. He uses a sub-machine gun which can attack in a spread, hitting multiple enemies and/or allies or with burst fire on a single target.
●Mana Kawai – She’s a little school girl obsessed with cuteness, but her power is super strength called overdrive. She is a hand-to-hand melee character who is very hard to kill. Tough little girl.
●Nagi Shishiouka – Another sub-machine gun user, but her power is levitation. Her movement is astonishing, but her weapon damage is weak as is her armor. She’s mostly good at moving into place to make assist attacks. Make her go first if you can and position her well to get the most out of the assist system.
●Sojiro Sagara – Rejuvenation is his specialty. He’s a medic and his power is one of healing. Go figure. He uses a melee weapon and has a fairly low defense, but he can regenerate his own HP.
●Zenji Maeda – Equipped with a shotgun and the gift of resonance, Zenji can create a link with his allies, increasing his stats. Later skills allow him to share buffs with his linked ally. It’s quite good for healing the melee classes or to gain Sojiro’s regeneration.
●Marco Barbato – A nervous, ferret-like boy, constantly afraid of everything. He’s a telepath, and his power grows exponentially as he levels. He uses handguns like the protagonist, but his main damage comes from psychic blasts and things like that.
●Yoko Tachibana – Also using the handgun, her power is called “Brain Hacker”, but she serves mainly as a buff/debuff character.
●Agito Yuuki – Daggers! This guy is a master assassin. Using his gift, he can teleport behind his enemies and deal massive damage.
●George Jackman – He’s a melee expert who wields a katana and can detect weakness in an enemy’s defense.
As you might expect, you can customize these characters’ abilities through leveling. Each one has different paths and, when one of them is deemed a traitor, they are disappeared and leave behind a gem of some sort that you can equip to another character and give them all their learned abilities. You cannot increase these abilities further after they are gone though; only use what they learned before dropping the gem. Some abilities require certain gems from other characters to obtain. The strategy in this game has far less to do with the battle system and more to do with how you build your team using Sho’s abilities and how you level them.
I found the game very enjoyable, and I suspect that many other JRPG and SRPG fans will enjoy it as well. Atlus rarely releases shit games, and Lost Dimension upholds their level of quality. One gripe I had with the game is that the Vita version slows down and lags from time to time where the PS3 version doesn’t. Graphically, the two games are about the same, but whenever you use an ability that has special effects, there’s noticeable loading (about a hiccup’s worth). The PS3 version doesn’t have this, but it’s also not portable and I truly enjoy games like this on portable systems much more than on set-top consoles, so it evens out.