Australian Release Date: June 21st, 2012
Australian Rating: G
Pokémon Conquest was meant to be a combination of the two franchises Pokémon and Samurai Warriors, but it is more a combination of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon and Fire Emblem. If you like the Samurai Warriors games, this is nothing like it. The only way in which it is, is some of the characters and how each warlord wants to unite the nation under their rule. As for being like Pokémon, it is as far as the Mystery Dungeon spin-offs were. Each Pokémon only has one move.
The game is turn based and there is a maximum team of six warlords in any kingdom at any time. You must conquer each kingdom and recruit warriors to help build your army. Warriors can also ‘link’ with Pokémon to have them available for them (and only them) to fight with. Now, each warrior has a Pokémon that is their ‘perfect link’ and you need to find each of them and have them link. There is nothing to tell you what each warrior’s true link Pokémon will be, except for their speciality type and the colour medallion above a Pokémon’s head in the map (gold meaning a good chance it is their perfect link). There is also absolutely nothing to tell you how to recruit special character warriors or what conditions must be met. These two instances are where some kind of walk-through would be handy. At least the warriors come back for you to try to recruit again later.
The maps are really small and you only encounter a few Pokémon each time/month you enter. Sometimes as few as one. And since you can only ever have six warriors in a kingdom you can run out of space for warriors too easily. At this point you must dismiss someone, which is difficult as you need to determine who will potentially link with a Pokémon you need.
The beginning is very slow. It takes a few ‘months’ before you can recruit people, and then again for linking with new Pokémon. There is no introduction as to who your character is and how they became a warlord. Little bits of story get divulged as you go, but you look like a common warrior, not a warlord, and there is no back story. You begin to look more impressive once you ‘transform’, which is like a Pokémon evolving. Also, Pokémon evolve not by gaining experience and levelling, but by earning link percentages and then evolving at certain percentage points on the way to 100%. It is a very slow and tedious process, more so than regular Pokémon games as each warrior can only be used once per month and you don’t want to waste months to train every warrior even if you don’t need them yet. Ultimately there is too much grinding for my liking. It also slows right down when you get to certain points, as even though the game starts out easy it progressively gets harder in jumps. So to reach the next story point you suddenly have to train for a few months (or more) just to be strong enough to contest someone’s rulership over a kingdom.
The graphics are very colourful, reminiscent of past Pokémon games, but they are also very basic. To the point where I would consider them more basic than a Gameboy Advance version Pokémon game. The sprites for the Pokémon look like the versions you see when checking your Pokémon (not in battle) in regular Pokémon games and the sprites used during game play look like earlier versions of the same thing. The story graphics are image based not movie based, and are of the quality of the anime. The audio, again, is very basic and uninspiring. The Pokémon growls are true to the franchise but the evolution music is not. I found that to be a little disappointing myself.
It is a very basic game. Some will like its simple ways, others, like myself, will just find it very tedious. This does not mean I will not finish the game. No. I am a Pokémon fan and will endeavour to complete my warrior and Pokémon gallery (not Pokédex). But if you are not an avid Pokémon game collector, definitely try before you buy. One good thing about this game: it did, however, make me want to play Samurai Warriors and Pokémon again.
Game Play 7
Ease of Play 8