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A great game and fun time

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    Lost Sphear

    Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding

    A great game and fun time

    This is only my second review ever, and I had been trying to write a review for Lost Sphear for about a month now but I could just never gather my thoughts cohesively, so, I’m just going to write from the heart and what comes to mind.

    I loved the game. The music is fantastic, the art style is adorable and nostalgic-feeling, the battle system is fun, unique and with the setsuna system it keeps you engaged in every battle rather than completely letting you sit back and wait for your next turn. I enjoyed the story, which seems a bit complicated at first, and in fact I felt confused all the way up until the end of the game, but not confused in a bad way, but more like the game just gives you bits and pieces of what’s going on throughout the story, and you aren’t able to piece it together up until the very end when they give you the last piece. I felt it was very original, yet at the same time I feel the mythos of the world is kind of weird (the world’s background is confusing, but the main story can be understood by the end). I can’t explain well without spoiling but it’s basically a question of "well, how is this even possible?" for the "creation myth" of the world of the game. This is something where I think you should just apply suspension of disbelief and not think about it too hard.

    First thing I want to make clear: The boss battles in this game are BRUTAL. I lost at least once to every boss in this game. You might think I just suck but no. It is easy to start getting 1 or 2 hit kills on field enemies very early on, making you think the whole game will be like this, but the first boss you face at the Valley will instantly teach you otherwise. It was an Awakening moment for me haha. The boss at the end of a dungeon or quest, their difficulty is like 4 times the enemies you just finished smacking around. I would literally get anxious whenever I felt I was getting close to a boss, because I knew I would have a hard time, and I struggled every. single. battle. There is no mercy, so if you like challenges then this is definitely the game for you (don’t forget to load your post game save and look for the 2 hidden superbosses, the second one made me cry and nearly broke my controller, for real).

    The world map is pretty small but I didn’t mind. Every point on the map you will eventually visit as part of the story so there’s not much exploring to be done, or many "secrets" to find, (besides the superbosses), some people might be disappointed by this. I liked the idea of the Artifacts to help you in and out of battle. Artifacts are these structures you can place at a limited number of locations on the world map (there are more artifacts then you can place in the world) that give you benefits, for example, the absolute MUST HAVE Artifact which makes your attacks never miss, ones that gives you more XP or money depending on how many Setsuna kills you get in battle, then you have ones that work out of battle, like one that lets you buy food ingredients at the weapon shop, rather than having to harvest them from the shiny points on the map (this is helpful for a certain trophy actually, but in my playthrough I found the food items useless). However I thought some were stupid or "unfair", like the first one you get is an Artifact that displays a mini map on the top right, and also lets you view the world map by pressing iirc R2. I was just like, really? I need to make space for this Map artifact instead of putting something else more useful here? As I said though, the world is small and I easily memorized the location of everything so I eventually just got rid of it, but there are ones that are silly that you just can’t do without. For example needing an artifact to be able to summon your airship from anywhere, I mean, come on, really? -.- I actually replaced that artifact a few times and ended up getting stuck/having to retrace my steps a long distance back to the airship, which was so annoying.

    I loved most of the characters. Kanata is your typical jrpg protagonist. He likes to help people in need, always wants to do the right thing, loves his friends, his friends are his power, etc etc, nothing new really, but I liked him enough. Lumina is the best character hands down. Omg, I can’t see how anyone who plays this could dislike her. She is the fastest character in battle, always gets the first move, and is also the strongest with the coolest skillset. It felt to me like she and Kanata shared the role as protagonists. She definitely sounded like one. A lot of her lines sounded as though Kanata could’ve uttered them himself and I wouldn’t think it strange. She’s the cheerful one who tries to keep everyone in good spirits, looks out for the others if they’re feeling down, keeps everyone on track with the current goal, but also knows when to get serious and isn’t one to shy away from a fight if necessary. Gardra (Galdra?) is somewhat similar to Lumina in these ways, I felt she was a bit motherly, maybe? She is the catalyst for Kanata and friends’ journey so when bad things happen to them she feels responsible and she tries to keep them safe, she also urges them to stay focused on what they need to do. Vaan is my favorite mostly because he was such a breath of fresh air. Going by his looks I expected him to be the typical brooding character, the likes of Sasuke Uchiha or someone, but he is a pretty light hearted, funny guy, sarcastic, a lot of the jokes in the game come from him surprisingly. I don’t really know why, I just simply found him to be cool. He was mysterious and I literally had no idea what his motivations were up until they actually came to light, his role in the plot was very well written in my opinion and that really helped his likeability for me. I think most people will like him the moment he shows up. Shera is hard to describe for me. I loved her strong will and the fact she was a bit trigger happy, always ready to put an arrow in somebody she didn’t like was funny. But she is pretty weak in battle, for the most part. She is kind of your white mage? But with the way healing works in this game, it’s hard for anyone to be a dedicated healer. However the healing and multi-targeting attack skills she has were defintely useful and a lifesaver at many points. I found myself using her in battle a lot because she is just so darn cute and tiny. Then there’s Obaro, who’s introduction I love because it was an "ah-ha!" moment. He is your typical "old mage" character, who knows a lot about magic and the history of the world, and he relays this info to the other party members/the player. I loved him a lot, and he is vital to the plot, and I think he’s cool, especially the way he talks (which can’t be replicated in the English dub). The last two characters I have some issues with. Duranto is kind of like Obaro, in that he also knows a lot about the world and fills the player in on stuff, but I felt the game didn’t give much focus to him, it’s almost like he’s just "there" to be there. Can’t really explain, but I just didn’t connect with him. I rarely used him in battle, and when I did he didn’t seem very useful, though he has many (or all?) defense skills such as Brave which lets him withstand one attack with 1HP, there was also a move called Invisible which was supposed to make your characters dodge every move for a few turns, but it never worked for me, for some reason? Simply, he is like your "Tank" character. Then, the last character, Locke… This guy is a walking spoiler so I can’t even say much. I will say that I was disappointed with how he ended up. Basically Locke gets few lines in this game which I really disliked. There is a plot reason for it, but still, I really liked him and wished he could’ve had more dialogue with the other characters, and when he does speak, it’s very short, taking up like one or two text boxes with just couple words. Actually, he almost talks like Fujin from FF8/Kingdom Hearts 2. Seeing this I began to dislike his character. However, the game actually forces you to use him in battle once and omg, this kid, once he gets his guns, is practically unstoppable, and it made me feel dumb for never using him before, especially if you can get his critical rate up high, him and Lumina are an unstoppable combo.

    There’s the Setsuna system I haven’t talked about much. Not much to say. I really like the concept and design of it, but my problem was that I felt the game didn’t explain well enough how it actually worked, or maybe I read too fast and didn’t fully comprehend what the game was telling me. The setsuna system activates when you’re character attacks. Simple enough. Then the game goes on to explain how attaching a Setsuna stone to a skill will give that skill the effects of the Setsuna stone. Example, you have a Poison Boost Setsuna stone, you attach it to Lumina’s skill Aerial Blast. You attack with Aerial Blast and successfully activate the Setsuna system in battle, now the enemy is poisoned (or not, there’s a % factor of course). Now, what I was confused about was that I thought that you could activate Setsuna with any and all skills. Regular attacking with the system lets you do a little bit of extra damage to an enemy. So my line of logic was that I could use a Skill, WITH NO STONE ATTACHED, and get bonus damage with the skill. But no. I learned on my own much later that skills cannot do bonus damage on their own, they always have to have a setsuna stone attached to them. I could not figure out for a long time why some skills got the trigger for Setsuna and some didn’t. Maybe I’m just slow lol. But yeah, this is CRUCIAL information because there are many, many, many bonuses you get for activating setsuna in battle and I lost out on them in the beginning by not understanding the skill system. But nothing too serious, really.

    Hmm, I think this mostly concludes my review? I wanted to be brief but well, I’m a talker. I hope this helped someone in determining whether or not to purchase the game. I think it’s wonderful, and you should give it a chance. It also made me want to play I Am Setsuna but I already have so many other games in my backlog, I don’t know when I’ll get around to that one. I also want to say this game was the first time I ever got a Platinum Trophy :D They’re pretty easy to get so I don’t think it’s something to really gloat about, but it’s my first Platinum, so I felt proud.

    I want to say the music is the best part of the game, but everything about the game is amazing and I loved everything, but the music really just makes all the other elements way better, you know? My only cons would be Locke not having more screentime and dialogue, the bosses being too hard, and well, the game ends on a bit of a somber note, and with all the recent games I’ve played being bittersweet or depressing, I was hoping this one would be a bit different. As for play time, it could probably be done in about 30 hours? My play time was over 100 though! Time well spent <3

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