To label Lost Dimension as either a traditional or modern JRPG would be a misnomer. Atlus’ newest PS3/Vita game shares a lot of the same tropes that we’ve come to expect from conventional Japanese roleplaying games, with a fresh approach to gameplay and world design that has the potential to pique your interest from the get-go.
Lost Dimension is a tactical 3D RPG that takes place in a science fiction-inspired alternate future. An elusive evildoer called “The End” has decreed that the world has thirteen days before it’s destroyed, and has transported a gigantic building called the Pillar smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood. A team of psychics known as SEALED has been assembled to fight The End on his own turf, taking on level by level of the Pillar in typical dungeon crawling fashion.
You play the role of Sho Kasugai, a young psychic gifted with future sight but who somehow has amnesia at the start of the game. Sho quickly learns that he’s been thrust in with the other ten members of SEALED, each of which has their own unique personality and skillset. There’s Yoko, a high-school would-be singer who’s gift is the power of telepathy, alongside Toya Orbert, a young man who can bend metal to his will (who doesn’t want to play as Magneto?!). All of the characters in Lost Dimension bring a new facet of the game’s personalities to the table, and they work well together in developing the story.
There’s a catch, however. One of the members of SEALED is a traitor, presumably working with The End or at least against the protagonists. I can’t say more than that yet, but let’s just say that the game hinges upon whom you choose to trust, and more importantly, whom you don’t.
The gameplay in Lost Dimension is familiar in its structure but fresh in its execution. In battle, you’ll control each of up to six characters in your party, using the game’s turn-based system to engage in tactical combat. Movement and distance are both essential, but rather than requiring you to traverse on a grid, Lost Dimension gives each character a circle around them within which they can move per turn, with an overlay of the range of their attacks and skills. You can use your characters’ basic attacks as well as special attacks known as Gifts, which range from Pyrokinesis to Teleportation.
Using Gifts will reduce your Sanity levels, which, when drained, will make your character(s) go berserk and attack anything in her/his path for a few turns. You can allow another character to have an extra turn by Deferring, which will replenish a small amount of Sanity for the character who chooses to Defer. Additionally, you’ll be able to count on Assist attacks from other nearby characters, which in turn will increase their trust levels with one another.
Lost Dimension is replete with inventory management, crafting, and skill tree systems that all add to the depth of the gameplay experience. I’ve really only scratched the surface of Atlus’ new RPG, and am looking forward to playing more.
Lost Dimension releases on PS3 and PS Vita on July 28. Stay tuned for more of our impressions!