Pokémon Conquest puts you in the roll of a budding male, or female warlord. The goal of the land of Ransei is to conquer all 17 Kingdoms in order to awaken a legendary Pokémon. The story follows the “be the best” mentality of the original games and it’s also quite minimal to the experience. It has its charm, but with the vast history behind the warriors from Nobunaga’s Ambition, I was expecting a little more for once.
Pokémon Conquest is a strategy RPG much like Final Fantasy Tactics. You can take up to six warriors into battle, each with their own Pokémon to fight for them. Unlike the other Pokémon games, these monsters only have one ability with fixed ranges. A water gun, for example, could shoot two spaces ahead. Warriors can also lend a hand in battle, using abilities and items. Unfortunately, abilities can only be used once per battle and Pokémon can only carry one item. The goal of the game is to capture as many warriors and Pokémon for aiding on your conquest against the 17 kingdoms, which act as Pokémon Gyms more or less. As a spin-off title and as an entry into SRPGs, Conquest does all right, but like the story, it lacks depth.
Conquest’s visuals aren’t all too great, even by Pokémon Black and White standards. The environments you traverse are bland and repetitive and there’s no imagination. Character portraits are at least a plus. The music is okay, but nothing memorable. The arduous menu systems are more than enough to make a man scream. Couple that with the fact warriors can only be used once per month even at a shop is ridiculous. The biggest plus to Conquest is the amount of content inside. The main campaign is about 20 hours, and there are at least 30+ hours in post game content delving into other warriors. This would be cool, except all the issues plague this content still.
Pokémon Conquest is as addictive and fun as a normal Pokémon game, though not as good. This was a decent entry into the realm of SRPGs, but it’s more for beginners, lacking the depth and standards of what SRPGs have established for years now. All issues aside, if you’d like a lengthy portable RPG for the summer, this should suffice.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on July 3, 2012 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.