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Posted by Al

Lost Dimension character breakdown: Marco Barbato and Yoko Tachibana

Welcome back to my series of Lost Dimension character breakdowns. Last week we investigated the strengths of Sojiro and Zenji, two of the more unusual characters. This time we’re hanging out with Marco Barbato, who is a telekinetic, tank-like character, as well as the group’s resident empathic psychic, Yoko Tachibana. These two have some pretty awesome skills and are well worth ranking up, as you’ll find out below.

Let’s start with Marco. Along with Mana and George, he’s a tank-style character, though a bit more fragile to begin off with.

In the end, though, I think he’s probably the more dangerous of the three. While initially something of a glass cannon, he makes up for this with skills that minimise or negate damage altogether. Here are some of my favourites:

·         Stay Back!: This is one of the very earliest area-attack skills you’ll unlock and for me one of the coolest looking ones early in the game.

It will affect your teammates, so it needs careful use, but will see you through early group encounters and it upgrades well.

·         Not This Time!: As readers of previous entries in this series will know, I love passive skills in games! This is a great one, as it gives a chance to totally negate damage from enemy attacks, with no action required from you.

 

It's a real winner for a guy who’s effective up close – this really encourages you to 'tank it up'!

·         I’ll Get You!: My favourite of Marco’s skills (I love all skills that have a chance to insta-kill. Who wouldn’t?)

Rank this baby up and you’ll cut a swathe through your foes. Plus, it’s not too GP expensive, which is a real bonus.

·         Destroy Them!: I included this one as it’s a real ‘do or die’ skill. It’s hugely expensive and takes you to the brink of insanity, but I like berserking Marco, since he’s such a hard hitter.

On maps where the team is split this can be kind of valid. Send him off alone to go nuts on a larger enemy, deploy Destroy Them! and watch him berserk-kill the enemy next turn. That said, this could just as easily backfire, but risks are fun, right? ;D

Now we’ll move on to Yoko who I initially dismissed as not particularly useful, what with me being more of a direct-combat kind of guy.

But I was so wrong. In the right hands, Yoko can provide devastatingly good help to her teammates. Here are my favourite of her skills:

·         Demotivation: A great debuffing skill to employ on tough ‘boss type’ enemies, after which you can get the rest of the gang to wail on them.

A nice early-stage acquisition.

·         Psychotherapy: Great for those times when you’ve got SAN-sapping skills that you can’t wait to redeploy. Gives a boost to an ally’s SAN meter and means you needn’t worry about using up previous SAN-restoring items.

As Yoko’s own attacks aren’t powerful, she’s a character who’s better off boosting her allies, so this needn’t be a pain.

·         Brain Hacker: I’m cheating here, as this is a skill that’s unlocked as a Materia by acquiring other skills.

That said, Brain Hacker gives all team members (regardless of range) a boost to ALL stats, so it’s a total beast of a skill.

·         Noise Blaster: A great area attack, as it has a chance to confuse all enemies in range, without affecting any allies mixed in with them. Better still, if you use it again, it’ll deal higher damage to enemies who are already confused.

It’s also cheap for its power, so it’s a real win-win skill and probably my favourite of Yoko’s abilities. It’s acquired fairly late, so you may need to plan ahead in order to grab it on your first couple of runs.

So, there we have it – Marco and Yoko explained! Next week I’ll be back with our final character breakdown blog, where I look at Agito and George's skills. We are nearly there… See you then!

(Blog written by Ghostlight Ltd.  All screenshots are taken from the PS3 version of Lost Dimension.)

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Posted by Al

Lost Dimension character breakdown: Sojiro Sagara and Zenji Maeda

Hi everyone,

Before I begin this week's character breakdown, I've got some great news for anyone who hasn't picked up Way of the Samurai 4 yet, as it has been chosen to be part of the Humble Encore Sale, meaning that the fantastic 60% discount will be extended until the 29th May.  Giving you another chance to pick up this brilliant game, for less than half price!

In last week's Lost Dimension character breakdown I wrote about what I consider to be Mana and Nagi’s best skills.  This week, Sojiro Sagara and Zenji Maeda step into the spotlight.  These are two of the more interesting, unconventional characters in Lost Dimension, so it’s fun to look at their skills in a bit more depth, as I hope to do now ;)

First up, here are my pick of Sojiro’s skills.

As the game’s lone healer it’s useful to unlock as many of his skills as you can, as quickly as you can.  Why's that?  Well, if he’s picked as a traitor you'll want to be able to carry as many of them on with you as possible; especially Rejuvenation.  Anyhow, here are my thoughts:

·         Strike of Samael: This has a chance to insta-kill and is not too GP intensive.

Also, when playing against enemies of a lower level the chances of a kill seem to rise dramatically, which makes grinding less of a, well, grind ;)

·         Revive: Life Packs are VERY expensive in Lost Dimension, so this skill is well worth having, particularly later, when things start getting tough.

             Then again, you could always hold out for…

·         Rejuvenation: This is a bit of a cheat, since it’s not a direct ‘purchase’ on the skill tree, but it is unlocked by unlocking other skills first.

Still, this is incredibly useful as everyone benefits from maxed out GP and full health.  It’s a very expensive skill, but can really pull it out of the bag and works on all characters at all ranges.  Superb.

·         Cell Mutation: One of my favourite skills in the game because it’s passive and the chances of binding or poisoning an enemy with a regular attack are high when it’s maxed out.

When you consider that even assist attacks carry these effects, this is a great passive skill.

Sojiro is one of those characters where it really pays to unlock as many skills as possible in the briefest time possible, then focus on boosting the ones you like later.  He’s somewhat unconventional as is our next subject, Zenji: a loud-mouthed chameleon who’s best used to complement the others.

See below for my thoughts on his best skills:

·         Charged Link: This means that, when linked with an ally, your stats are boosted beyond their own, giving you a very handy increase to any ‘short falling’ stats of his.

·         Reversal: Handy this - if Zenji is attacked while he has status ailments, he can project them back on to his attacker.

Given that he can have healing status projected onto him from a linked character, you can use him as a kind of ‘ailment bait’ for enemies and be confident he won’t die in the process.

·         Ability Link: This is an essential skill. No, really… It is.  It only costs 1 skill point and means you’ll have access to all your linked ally’s powers.

             This can give you access to 2 healers, or 2 tanks – the benefits are obvious. ^^

·         Full Helix: Probably my favourite of Zenji’s skills. This gives everyone in the party a boost to STR, VIT and PSY stats, regardless of distance from Zenji.

             Well worth it, especially if he’s away from the action.

Zenji is best looked on as a bridging/enabling character, a bit like Yoko (more on her next week!)  His Brutality skill can push healing and other effects on to other characters and means you can extend item usage to distant characters, using him as a bridge.  Some of these perks may not be apparent in your initial run through the game – underestimate Zenji at your peril!

Next time I’ll be back with a look at Marco and Yoko’s skills. See you then! :)

(Blog written by Ghostlight Ltd.  All screenshots are taken from the PS3 version of Lost Dimension.)

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Posted by Al

Lost Dimension character breakdown: Mana Kawai and Nagi Shishiouka

After my previous Lost Dimension character breakdown of Himeno and Toya, this week it’s the turn of Mana Kawai and Nagi Shishiouka.  As with Himeno and Toya, these two are fairly opposed in terms of the skills they bring to battle.  Mana is an eccentric close-up powerhouse, while Nagi is a highly mobile and evasive character with some longer-range attacks.  Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

Mana is one of my favourite characters in the game, because of her direct approach to combat; get in there and beat them senseless!

That’s my own default approach to most games, so she’s a more natural fit for me than some of the others.  Here are my favourite of her skills:

·Barrage: This is available quite early on Mana’s skill tree and is certainly one of the most powerful skills that feature in the early part of the game.

It inflicts plenty of damage for a reasonable outlay of GP, so you’ll be relying on this a lot when starting out.

·Mounting Rage: Since Mana is best utilised in CQB (due to her short range, high strength and good resistance to melee attacks) Mounting Rage helps take advantage of the high likelihood of her getting hit by enemies.

Every time she’s hit she’ll do higher damage in the next turn.  This can stack up well and make life tricky for tougher enemies.

·Earth Crash: Mana’s finest area attack, although it’s not going to get unlocked until midway through the game at best

It’s a hard hitter and has good range, although it only ever centres around her.  Also, she punches the ground, which always looks epic.

·Runner’s High: Mana’s low movement makes her a natural candidate for other characters to defer their turns to.  Each time you defer to her she gets bonus strength, more hit resistance and becomes harder to hit.

It's well worth utilising this skill, but you may have to plan wisely to unlock it on your first couple of runs.

Now let’s look at Nagi.  She’s a very fast mover which makes her perfect for performing tasks like seeking out items, flipping switches to open doors, or going out to find those pesky hidden Tips files.

More so than most characters, I’d recommend unlocking as many skills as you can rather than levelling them up.  This will allow you to unlock her passive skills, Zero Gravity and G-Force which boost her best stats even higher.  Here are my favourite of Nagi’s skills:

·Assassin’s Blade: This makes an already long-range character even deadlier at a distance.  It has EXCEPTIONAL reach and hits hard.

·Dive: This is my go-to skill for Nagi.  It’s available early, has 10 levels, is cheap and – best of all – can’t be countered by the enemy.  This makes it great to initiate a flurry of assist attacks against powerful enemies with zero comeback.

I often find myself using Nagi to rush enemies with assists in this way.

·Thousand Knives: This is my favourite of Nagi’s area attacks.  While Dragon Dive hits hard and wide, it must be centred on a particular enemy, which often means you won’t be able to hit all enemies in a large group.

Thousand Knives avoids that problem, so that’s what I use most.

·Neutron Wall: If you find Nagi at a loose end – say, when she’s heading back towards the action after whizzing off to collect a distant item – then this is a good skill to use, as it makes her even harder to hit than she already is.

It’s always nice to make the most of those ‘wasted’ turns! ^^

So, there you have it: Mana and Nagi covered. They’re two very opposite but useful characters who I use an awful lot.  In particular, Nagi’s high movement is a great asset and both characters' ‘survivablility’ up close makes them great for rushing enemies when assists are available.

Next time I’ll be looking at two characters who are some of the most interesting to use in the whole game: Sojiro and Zenji.  See you then!

(Blog written by Ghostlight Ltd. All screenshots are taken from the PS3 version of Lost Dimension.)

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