Game Info: (Box Display)
- System: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory
- Release Date: Jan 23, 2018
- Rating: E10+ Everyone 10+
- Genre: RPG
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://www.lostsphear.com/home/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
On paper, Lost Sphear is a very easy game to explain. Players control Kanata along with his various allies as they explore a sizeable world saving it from destruction. However, this destruction isn’t from giant magical beasts or horrible kings with a power fetish. Instead, players are saving the world of Lost Sphear from becoming “lost”. A strange white fog/mist has begun to envelope various people and towns causing those affected to disappear from the world. Luckily, Kanata has the means of reversing this affect via a hidden power and can use memories obtained from various places to restore those “lost”. Thus, Lost Sphear is like all older JRPG titles, travel the world beat up baddies and save towns from their doomed fates. However, Lost Sphear utilizes a few elements from older titles to make for one enjoyable experience.
Outside of exploration, players of Lost Sphear will be battling enemies both large and small. When battle commences this is where Lost Sphear borrows heavily from Chrono Trigger or even Xenogears—to some extent---making for an enjoyable experience. Players will manipulate their party like all older RPGs and attack enemies in semi-real time to defeat them. You’ll have to choose how to best attack an enemy for maximum damage and to avoid a whole party from being wiped out from a solid attack. Will you surround an enemy or have warriors go from behind for a chance at critical damage? The choice is yours in Lost Sphear and while it doesn’t reinvent the wheel—in terms of turn based gameplay—it does some neat tricks.
Players can utilize skills from items called spirinite to enable skills and also will use a system called momentum combat. As players attack with any of their characters, you will see a circle on the character’s portrait fill up and will fill one of several little orb indents on your character’s portrait. During a regular attack, players can hit the square button at just the right time to use one of these orbs to increase the amount of hits an attack does. Equally at one point in the game players will gain mechs—think kind of similar to Xenogears—that will allow their characters to utilize even more attacks and special moves. It’s not revolutionary in terms of gameplay designs, but in Lost Sphear, it keeps battles from becoming stale as the story goes on. Plus, some bosses are truly ferocious and learning how to handle them can be a fun challenge in of itself.
Graphically and sound wise, Lost Sphear does an impressive job. Visuals reminded us here at Honey’s Anime of I Am Setsuna and that is perfectly fine seeing as how it was a solid looking game with strong sprites and gorgeous backdrops. Lost Sphear’s greatest strength graphically is easily some of the towns and characters you’ll see during your travels. Equally, the music is the same with strong battle themes and solid background soundtracks for the towns and dungeons alike. Lost Sphear won’t push your console of choice to its limits but it will show a nice design reminiscent to the good ole days of JRPGs.
The biggest problem with Lost Sphear though is that while all of the things we mentioned above work for it, nothing feels truly unique about Lost Sphear. Combat, exploration, cooking, level grinding and even the concept of saving those who have become “lost” just feels like a hodgepodge of elements from older JRPG titles. Lost Sphear almost feels “lost” itself as it seems to want to be games like Chrono Trigger, Xenogears and even Final Fantasy all while being unique. Does this ruin the experience of Lost Sphear? Absolutely not, but those expecting Lost Sphear to be a new age JRPG with elements from the older greats will be a bit sad to know that’s not the case here. Lost Sphear works at a mechanical level but is far from revolutionary or something we’d consider classic ten to twenty years from now.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Impressive sprites and backgrounds
- Strong story with a truly great cast of characters
- Solid use of old school JRPG mechanics
- Fun combat system
- Good boss designs
- Tries too hard to be too many things
- Some elements of Lost Sphear feel underutilized (the cooking elements for example)
- Regular enemy designs are ho hum at best