Lost Sphear – Review
Follow Genre: JRPG
Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory, Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC
Tested on: PS4

Lost Sphear – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Refreshing story, clean graphics, good mechanics
Bad: Might be a bit shallow, voice acting
User Score
7.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Imagine a world where everything is built out of memories. What would happen if these are forgotten? In Lost Sphear, this phenomenon is currently happening, which leads to quite some issues. Solving this is harder than it looks, as being forgotten means it’s gone forever although there might be someone that is able to save the world from this impeding fate.

Lost Sphear logo

Story

Kanata is a regular young man, although he had a rough youth. His mom disappeared, leaving him stranded in the town of Elgarthe. Together with two other orphans, Lumina and Locke, he took up the duty to keep the city safe from monsters or any other events. Daily life was ok, until some strange things started to happen. At a certain moment, the whole town was shrouded in a white mist. Unable to enter, it becomes clear that something serious is going on.

Thanks to a lifelike dream, Kanata discovers he has the power to return these ‘lost’ objects with the help of memories. It seems this phenomenon is terrorizing the world and together with his friends and the mysterious Van, they go on a mission to save everyone from a looming doom.

A solid story and a rather refreshing subject, what more could you need? The problem is that, although the idea is great, the characters and the conversations sometimes feel shallow while it could have had so much more potential. It would have been nice if some of the responses were a bit more ‘adult-like’ written.

Lost Sphear

Graphics

You’ll be treated to rather nice, clean and well-finished graphics but it’s not like the developers went all-out and added loads of colors or details. For example, Kanata and his friends have rather basic outfits, which is really atypical for an RPG. They still stand out in comparison with the rest of the game, as their hues are bright compared with the darker backgrounds. In the end, the combination of the several aspects makes it rather special and great to look at, although it might not spark that much excitement.

Monsters blend in well with their environment and fit in their natural habitat, while the battles themselves are clear and engaging. Thanks to the flickering portrait and the pointing arrow, it is obvious which enemy you’re going to attack, while you can see a shadow of your character as you can run around and place your party on a strategic spot.

Lost Sphear

Sound

If you were hoping to find some bad-ass electronic beats or rock-and-roll, you are barking up the wrong tree. Lost Sphear has mostly classical tracks with a hint of danger here and there but nothing to get your blood pumping. To be fair, the music fits the game so well that you actually won’t miss something more dramatic. What is a missed opportunity, is the voice acting. At the beginning of the game, you are asked if you want to enable or disable voicing, but the only location where there is actual ‘talking’ is during battles. Okay, sometimes it’s distracting to have your characters mumble some Japanese words so it’s good to see that the developers kept this in mind, but it would have been nice if there was a bit more than there currently is. The sound effects do help the player get into battle mode, so kudos for the team.

Gameplay

Lost Sphear is a JRPG with a turn-based battle system where you must restore the world by returning items that are lost and stripped of memories. You will mostly have to follow the story and fight against monsters to survive and fix these changes. Before actually diving into battle, it’s a good idea to understand how this world works. The key element in this game are memories, which can be obtained from monsters, by extracting them or by just finding them on the ground. You need an amount of these memories to build certain structures, so it is a good idea to keep an eye out for shiny sparkles. Sometimes you also find other materials for you to use. Sometimes you’ll be able to build artefacts on the world map, that will have their effects during battles so keep an eye out for these locations.

Lost Sphear

Story is an important aspect in this game and there are two important aspects to help you immerse to the fullest. First of all there is the Rewind function where you can return to a previous point in the conversation if you want to refresh your mind, while there is also a party chat function when you’re running around. This gives some extra information that you could otherwise miss and some fun remarks now and then. Also, if you’re lost the party chat will also guide you in the right direction.

While you’re venturing on the world map, there aren’t any encounters. You can bump into packs of mobs in certain locations though. It’s a good idea to try and get a side encounter or pre-emptive strike. Depending on what you can trigger, the ATB gauge is half or completely full and even a Momentum attack can occur. Each character has their favorite weapon to fight with, each with their respective range. Getting into a fight means you sometimes have to move around, getting the sweet spot and hitting one or more enemies. For instance, even melee weapons with a really short range can hit multiple targets when positioned on the correct location, while ranged fighters can target different monsters as well. Positioning is key, especially when you’re taking up arms against a boss.

Lost Sphear

Landing hits or getting hit during a fight means your Momentum Gauge will charge and when it’s completely full, you gain a Momentum attack. You can stack up to three charged attacks, but they aren’t combined into one powerful strike when used. As you lose this stack after each battle, it’s actually best to use this Momentum whenever possible as it gives you a boosted attack and when you kill an enemy with such a move you even obtain better loot.

Next to memories, Spiritnite is the other tombstone in this world. There are three kinds of this matter, namely Skill, Counter and Momentum. With the first one, you can equip certain skills to a character like healing spells. With Counter Spiritnite you give your party the chance to react on an attack while Momentum Spiritnite can be linked to a skill. To trigger this kind of effect, you must wait until you have at least one charge and use that specific skill with the Momentum Spiritnite attached. If you do this multiple times, the special Momentum skill will be ‘locked on’ that ability and it will be permanent. This is the only way to actually customize your character as there isn’t any skill tree or any other way to deepen your abilities.

Lost Sphear

If normal battles aren’t your thing, you can also jump into Vulcosuits after you’ve unlocked them. These armored mechasuits will enhance the strengths of your characters and have a special function called the Paradigm Drive. With this suit, you’ll be able to go all-out, although this will deplete the amount of Vulcosuit points. When this is gone, you won’t be able to change anymore to these suits, although resting in an inn or using special items can regenerate this gauge. Next to battling, you can also utilize suits in the normal map, for instance when you want to dodge enemies or crush some annoying stones.

Conclusion

If you like JRPGs and you’re looking for a refreshing story, Lost Sphear might be something for you. Memories are an important aspect of this world and together with the graphics and music, you’re in for a treat but don’t expect a wide range of colors. The only downsides might be that some conversations are shallow and there isn’t much customization for you to exploit, but if you can see past that, you will enjoy this title.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Lost Sphear - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Chun-Li
Chun-Li


Faster than lightning

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