Pokemon Conquest Review
- Developer: Tecmo Koei
- Publisher: Nintendo, and The Pokemon Company
- Platform: Nintendo DS
- Release Date: June 18, 2012
- Genre: Tactical RPG
If you haven’t heard of this game before now, you’re probably living under a rock. Pokemon Conquest is the highly anticipated crossover between Pokemon, and the RPG series, Nobunaga’s Ambition.
Gameplay: Pokemon Conquest is an entry-level Tactical RPG at it’s heart. For the most part, you go around collecting trainers, and “linking” with Pokemon, so you have a nice enough army to take out your enemies. Each army has a max of 6 trainers in each battle, and each trainer can only use one pokemon. The system is pretty straight forward, Pokemon have one of a few abilities (my Eevee could move/attack again after each pokemon it knocked out, whereas another Eevee might just get an extra move after each turn), but only one attack (All Eevees can only use Quick Attack).
Unfortunately, this did mean battles could get stale pretty quickly. Unlike Nobunaga’s Ambition, Pokemon Conquest was still designed for a younger crowd, and you can definitely see that in the gameplay. Despite being a tactical RPG, there really wasn’t much tactics, and it was mostly just repeatedly grinding up levels, so you had enough strength to capture the next kingdom.
From what I understand, you were supposed to be training trainers in each kingdom, so they could hold your castles in the event of a hostile takeover. Unfortunately though, in my 8 hours of play, my castle was only attacked once, and I found later that it was a scripted event.
There isn’t much else to say about the actual gameplay, at the end of the day it was a kids Pokemon title, divorced from the breeding/training/battles that made Pokemon great, and the tactics that make tactical RPGs great.
There is a storyline in there, but it is almost laughably bad. It is basically “capture and defeat all of the kingdoms, so the bad guy can’t.” Of course this is a children’s game, as I repeatedly remind everyone, so I wasn’t expecting you to play a bloodthirsty Warlord, but I was expecting them to have something better than what they had.
Only good note is that the game is only 8-10 hours long (unless you are terrible), so you won’t be stuck playing it for too long.
Sound and Graphics: Thank god for Pokemon games always having killer soundtracks. I can honestly say the music in this game is one of the best parts about it.
Graphically speaking, it is nothing super special, but it is in fact a Nintendo DS game, so it’s not like you could have been expecting much.
Replayability: The core storyline takes about 8 hours, and there are a few missions available post-game, but it honestly isn’t anything interesting. I can see maybe playing this game again if I have a power outage, but I doubt I’d replay it again without some sort of extraneous circumstances.
Final Thoughts: I have to admit I was more than a little disappointed with Pokemon Conquest. As I said previously, we took all the elements that make these 2 genres/games great, and totally split them up. If we had allowed Pokemon to have multiple moves, or even put in a slightly darker storyline, I could see this rating changing slightly. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any of these things, and at the end of the day, it feels more than a little gimmicky.
If you want to play it because it is a Pokemon game, more power to you, but don’t expect it to be the great adventure that the color-coated main games are. If this holds you over till the launch of Black 2 + White 2, I’d be surprised.
Rating: 6/10: If you want a Tactical RPG, go back and play something like Final Fantasy Tactics. If you want Pokemon, all of the main series games have an infinite play value, let us just not combine the two.