Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Game Review! Pokemon Conquest (DS)

     Well, there's sort of this mostly unspoken rule out there that to review a game, you must play the whole thing first. And, before we start up, I have not played through all of Pokemon Conquest (or Pokemon X Nobunga's Ambition in Japan). However, I need you to hear me out on this review because with a turn based strategy JRPG, there's a formula that you stick to, and if that's true for this game, then... well, you'll just have to see.

     To start off, Pokemon Conquest wasn't originally intended to come to America. It was going to be a Japan-only release, but some strings were pulled and some fans said they wanted it and out it came in America. BRIEF STORY TIME! This game's release date was set to June 18, 2012. However, when I set out to purchase my copy on the 18th, all of my local dealerships said the game would not ship until the next day, and wouldn't arrive till 11:30. Why is this? I certainly don't know, but for a game to be released one day and ship the next is... strange. Oh well.

     Alright, you guys didn't come here to hear my conspiracy theories, you came here for a review! So here goes everything! Pokemon Conquest is a combination of two things: the Pokemon games, and the Nobunga's Ambition games. From what I know offhand, Nobunga's ambition is a turn-based strategy RPG where you conquer kingdoms (please correct me if I'm wrong). And, Pokemon is a turn based strategy RPG where you capture tiny magical creatures and have them fight for personal gain! Pokemon Conquest serves as a blending of the two into one game. Can it be done well? The answer is yes. Very yes.

     Gameplay in Conquest is simple on the outside, but hides a very intricate and complex inner working. For those of you who have played Fire Emblem, Conquest is very similar to that. You maneuver troops along a grid and attack enemies that correspond to your position. Tactics and strategy are key, giving you a game that will tax your mind and your morality (you'll see).

     Now, you may be thinking: "So what? All they did was take Nobunga's Ambition and slap Pokemon on it to make more money! Why should I play this pile of jellyfish feces?" and if you are thinking that, you need to slap yourself across the face and drink a gallon of soy sauce because Pokemon are what makes this game so awesome! They didn't just slap the Pokemon label on the game and go home, they added the deep mechanics from Pokemon into the gameplay as well! I.E. type weaknesses/advantages, stats, evolutions, and moves. Now, each Pokemon only knows one move (that changes when they evolve), and that can be a little off-putting to some players. Keep in mind: this game is not meant to be a traditional Pokemon game. It's meant to be a Nobunga game with the added depth of Pokemon. Either way the gameplay is super fun, super addicting, and super rufus (woah, bet you didn't see that one coming).

     As you continue on your journey, you will encounter many battles. One of the coolest things about these battles is that, if you defeat an enemy under certain conditions, you can recruit them to fight for your army! Also, each warrior has a "capacity" stat which shows you how many Pokemon they can "link" with (more on that in a second). You can encounter wild Pokemon and link with them too, so that you have a variety of Pokemon and warriors. Also, there are downloadable "episodes" which allow you to encounter new events and add characters from the main narrative to your army!

     As far as the story goes, Conquest has kept it rather simple so far. You're a kid in charge of a kingdom with an Eevee in a world where select few "warriors" have the ability to wordlessly communicate with Pokemon. Since you rule this kingdom, you're a warlord who needs to recruit warriors for your army so that you can conquer other kingdoms so you can summon a mythical Pokemon, all while trying to defeat Nobunga, who is trying to destroy Ransei (the game's central location, I think).


     Pokemon Conquest is possibly the best Pokemon Spin-Off in the history of all time and space, with amazing addictive and intelligent gameplay that offers deep strategizing, a solid story, and cool DLC. All in all, I would give this game a 


     Yeah, I know I said I was gonna stop giving games high ratings just because, but this game really earns it. It's worth your time and money, so please give it a try!