If you enjoy Strategy Role-Playing Games (SRPGs), Pokemon or need to kill a lot of time, you will love this game. Pokemon Conquest is brought to us by Nintendo, developed by Tecmo Koei. The new series is essentially a cross-over between Pokemon and Nobunaga’s Ambition, Koei’s original SRPG series. Upon first glance this game might strike the hardcore fans of either series as a pretty odd combination, and while it may look that way, it’s definitely far from it. For only $30 I went into this game with somewhat standard expectations seeing as it is still a Pokemon title and I was definitely blown away with the quality.
You start the game like most Pokemon games, choosing the gender and name of your hero. The plot follows your own hero (or heroine) and their Eevee through the journey across a brand new continent known as Ransei as you try to conquer each of the 17 kingdoms, dethroning their warlords along the way. You’re accompanied by another Warlord known as Oichi who uses a Jigglypuff in battle. Together you will build up your army by recruiting warlords and warriors, expanding your army and evolving your Pokemon much like the main series. The simplest way to explain it would be comparing warlords to gym leaders and warriors to trainers, but they’re recruitable for you to use at your disposal.
One of the most intriguing things about this game is linking with other Pokemon. There are approximately 200 in the game for you to discover, but certain warlords and warriors link more effectively with different Pokemon. For example, the main hero of the game “perfect links” with Eevee; so keeping him and his evolutions around as your partners would be ideal. Approximately 200 warriors can also be found as well, so the combinations are nearly endless, so get out there and start befriending people and Pokemon.
The battle system in this game is highly addictive and enjoyable for fans of this type of turn-based strategy gameplay. It’s comparable to that of Fire Emblem in the sense that you select your party and equipment before heading into battle. Once you’re on the battlefield your team of 6 Pokemon act as your battle units. They all have different stats such as Attack, Defense and Range as well as Pokemon and warrior-specific abilities. In Fire Emblem you have the weapon and magic triangle, and of course in Pokemon Conquest you have type-advantages (each type represented by 1 of the 17 kingdoms throughout Ransei). There’s nothing more satisfying than composing a team of fire Pokemon and trouncing the Grass type-oriented kingdom with ease. Everything such as evolutions and leveling up make their appearance in this game as well; leveling is represented by a Pokemon’s link percentage with their warrior, which will increase after doing battle, mining for gold, etc.
After completing the main story, which should only take you about 5-7 hours, you are able to continue playing with the other Warlords as your main characters, starting a new story from their point of view. Some of them take place directly after the main story, and some of them are just new stories altogether. They’re called “Special Episodes” and in total there are 34 of them. After completing the main story and only around 9 special episodes my play time was clocked in around 45 hours. Surely that proves that this game is well worth the cheap price tag as you’ll be playing for hours upon hours. Collecting everything and evolving all the warriors and warlords perfect link Pokemon in this game is insanely time consuming but well worth it once you have multiple powerhouse final-stage evolution Pokemon roaming your army. Legendaries also make their appearances in Pokemon Conquest and are triggered from various things such as Wi-Fi events, to special in-game requirements. It’s no easy task to catch ’em all in this one!
All in all it’s a very enjoyable experience and will keep you hooked for hours. I’d definitely recommend picking this one up if you have a DS.