Pokemon Conquest's fun setting and rewarding strategic elements are hampered by slow, overly simplistic combat.
- Territory expansion and kingdom management are satisfying
- Plenty of precious Pokemon to collect
- Puts classic Pokemon themes in a new setting
- Gimmick-filled fighting arenas make for unique battles.
- Combat is far too slow-paced and easy
- Pokemon combat abilities are too limited
- Certain gameplay elements aren't explained well.
The Pokemon franchise has thrived for decades as a collect-'em-all adventure, but the potential for more outlandish experiences has always been there. Enter Pokemon Conquest. One part management simulation, one part combat extravaganza, this new approach to the expansive universe forces you to think beyond the rock-beats-paper routine that has been a staple since red and blue were the only colors that mattered. Although this dose of inventiveness breathes some fresh air into a sometimes stagnant world, the combat has been simplified to such an extreme that much of the fun is sapped away.
Pokemon Conquest takes place in the faraway land of Ransei, an island country modeled after Japan. You begin as an up-and-coming warlord. It's important to note that in this universe, warriors and warlords aren't highly trained soldiers that terrorize the battlefield--they're special individuals with the innate ability to train and control Pokemon to do the terrorizing for them. The local legend states that once Ransei is united, a legendary, incredibly powerful Pokemon will appear, and there are those who want such power for themselves.
The characters in the game are based on real-life historical generals from Japan's tumultuous Sengoku era (though copious liberties have been taken with their portrayals), and much as they did in reality, they are constantly fighting over territory in Ransei. The primary villain, Oda Nobunaga, is likely familiar to anyone who has played a game in this setting before, and he's out to wreak havoc by using the legendary Pokemon to destroy Ransei. It's up to you to conquer and unite Ransei's kingdoms under your banner and put a halt to Nobunaga's ambitions.
You shift between two primary game modes in Pokemon Conquest: simulation and combat. In simulation mode, you're in charge of managing your kingdoms, warriors, and resources by moving a cursor about a map of Ransei. Each kingdom has an array of facilities, including shops, energy-restoring Ponigiri dealers, and unique structures that confer stat boosts or produce bonus items. Up to six warriors can be stationed in a given kingdom, and the arena lets you recruit and train new warriors as well as new Pokemon.
The simulation mode is turn-based, with each warrior getting a single action per turn, thus forcing you to think carefully about how you want to spend your time and resources. For example, do you want to spend a turn feeding a warrior's Pokemon to raise its energy for a while, or instead risk sending it into a skirmish in a weakened state to try to boost its strength? Using your time wisely and strategizing effectively helps you expand your kingdom and build your Pokemon army's strength, and seeing the results is satisfying. The simulation sequences are enjoyable, though they may take some getting used to since some of the elements of this mode aren't explained well in-game.
What will ultimately determine your success as a unifier of Ransei, however, are the combat sequences. These play out in typical strategy-RPG format: you and your opponent take turns moving characters around a grid-based combat arena, using your Pokemons' movement and combat skills to try to either eliminate your opponent's troops or perform another victory objective within a certain turn limit. Things like spacing, arena height, and positioning all play a key role, because certain Pokemon use exclusively ranged or crowd-clearing attacks, and friendly fire can and does happen.
7.5 would be the score I would give it, but this review is pretty accurate for the most part. If you do not like the kingdom conquering element, you're better off with the Devil Survivor series which has a much more in-depth combat system.
@SI3DN3R I thought the same thing but once I saw all the high reviews for it (except for gamespot) I bought it and have put in over 200 hours of gameplay.
I have to agree with the review for the most part; I enjoyed the game for what it was, but the combat was far too simplistic. My favorite games on the DS are turn-based strategy RPG's such as Devil Survivor and the combat systems in those games are much more complex. But all in all decent game if you like Pokemon more than SRPG's
i dont like it they just downgraded the pokemon games and it may feel like your playing the first one which i have played
This is one of the greatest games I've played in years, best on the DS period. I love pkmn and this is the best game since the original Gold Version.
There's plenty of instances in cinema of film critics giving their thumbs-down to movies, only to have audiences enjoying those very same productions as they go on to be a roaring box-office success.
It doesn't necessarily mean the film critic (or game critic, in this case) is wrong. It is just how subjectivity works sometimes, even so far as to create completely opposite viewpoints where neither party is strictly right or wrong. Just different.
@charizard1605 i guess gamespot just doesnt like nintendo at all
@LordPinto really, no way! they gave so many stupid Mario games such high score yet I find them a complete horrid., and Mario are the official Nintendo Mascot game. Pokemon is from Game Freak, working partly with Nintendo, but I love Pokemon.
@WillyChong Yes, but they hate anything with nintendo's name on it. Quite honestly this is my favorite game in quite a while.
Pokemon games need to be a little harder. Theres no pull to the game if you know you're just gonna beat it without trying. Same reason Diamond+ didn't interest me.
@hugo2495 Agreed, even kids nowadays get bored of it quickly. Not to mention stupid dialogues and in-game "tutorials" which are structured in such a way that makes you feel like a complete d*mbass.
The entire pokemon series needs a huge revamp to make it relevant. It's going the way of the Final Fantasy series, and is just way too dated.
i enjoy the game. and i kinda like that each pokemon have only one move. it makes it challenging and makes me to play with more tactics. i only wish there is a difficulty ratings.
Having played the game myself, this review is 100% accurate. Great job GS. I also found it way too easy and boring after a few hours. It's too bad because this game had great potential.
Okay. If the review mentioned this, I overlooked it, and I apologize. The combat is fairly simple for the main quest, but while I don't want to spoil anything, I must say that Pokémon Conquest has a LOT of content that only becomes available after the credits--I've completed three or four "short story"-esque scenarios, and there are ... around thirty more that I've not touched, a number of which aren't even available to me yet. These missions are given difficulty ratings, and even the ones on the very lowest end are more difficult than anything the main quest has to offer.
I really enjoyed the main story, easy and short as it was, but I'm loving the stuff that becomes available afterward. Hardcore turn-based strategy fans will find quite a lot to like once they find that the game is forcing them to stretch its "simple" mechanics to their very limit. The AI is much more aggressive in terms of conquering territory, and the odds of achieving victory are much more heavily stacked against you.
Well if this game is anything like Fire Emblem, then I might have to pick it up. And I don't think that the reviewer deserves this much flak that people are giving. I mean it's just an opinion. I don't just look at one persons opinion before i buy a game, because that person may not have liked the game very much whereas I might really enjoy it
Either this reviewer doesn't like pokemon games or I don't know, because, as a die hard pokemon fan, I loved it, very addicting and the link mechanic fits everything perfectly. The game strategy is based on the pokemon's strengths and weaknesses, the characteristics of the move each pokemon has and map positional awareness. This reviewer clearly expected a heavy tactical fire emblem or something, It felt right for me from the start, and I too play fire emblem, advance wars, etc, so I'm sorry this game got a reviewer who had no idea what she was reviewing.
I know that a game like pokemon conquest might be a bit of a letdown to diehard strategy fans (Although I have it and have yet to grow bored of anything), and, yes, many of the game elements are not explained well, especially things like delegation and energy.
What I'm trying to say is that this reviewer is pointing out very legitimate criticisms of the game, and I'm not mad for that. What I am mad for, however, is that these few criticisms led him to give the game a 6.5 XP 7.0 is supposedly a very average game according to Gamespot. Are you telling me that, just because it's a little too easy and you need to run a google search to learn how to play it well, that it's worse than the average game? Ridiculous.
Sorry guys but this game is really boring, I'm playing it right now and I can barely stand the boredom. Give me Fire Emblem or Advance Wars anyday over this...
Here's an eye bleach from the cesspool of ridiculous text: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mYFuWCv7nM
Have never even heard of you, Heidi... lol This really is a great game though. Just don't compare it's depth to Disgaea !
Love the manchildren crying over a mealiness number given by a stranger they will never meet in their lives. LOL
I'll tell you why this review sucks: First paragraph, rock does NOT beat paper. How can I believe anything following that?
@Noodlefoxes Japanese rules man, learn your stuff
Personally I disagree with most of the bad issues in this review. I'm only going to run through the bad bullet points.
There are options in the settings menu which fastens the pace of the gameplay, so even if it does feel slow on the default settings at which it's set at you can change that easily. Personally I found everything to move too fast on the higher settings, and I feel more involved in the combat on the default options.
I agree that each Pokémon having one move feels slightly limited, but in my opinion the warrior recruiting system makes up for that, and being able to use their Pokémon in battle. By 'removing' the other 3 moves, it adds a new layer of strategy to the game, as you now have to choose which Pokémon is best for each of your enemy Pokémon, and use that to your advantage.
If the reviewer is reading this, could you please elaborate on your meaning for 'some gameplay mechanics aren't explained well'. You don't seem to mention this in the review anywhere, and I fail to see which parts were not explained well, I was able to pick up Pokémon Conquest and after the short, brief tutorials, understand the way the game works.
@Heidi Kemps I haven't played this game yet so i can't talk out of experience. But when you say the game is too easy i can just only think one thing. Pokemon games are meant for kids. That people of all ages like the pokemon series is great, but their main focus are younger people. Kids around what, the age of 10 - 12 or something? Maybe you want to keep that in mind next time you review a game. Keep in mind that this game was never aimed for the experienced strategy RPG veteran before you say "If you're an experienced strategy RPG veteran, you'll find Pokemon Conquest to be quite easy". Even tough they make it a strategy RPG it doesn't mean it wants to appeal to the hardcore fans, we aren't all Fire Emblem veterans.
Maybe this game really isn't much more than a 6.5 but i read no where in your review for who this game is made. I get the feeling that you exspected it to be more than it is. That it was aimed for hardcore veterans. But it has the pokemon title, so please keep in mind that pokemon is aimed for a younger crowd, you can't review it as a game for much older and more experienced people, cause those older people are only a bonus for the sales, not the primary focus of the pokemon games.
Same reason i stopped playing Pokemon after Ruby. I was a huge fan from Pokemon red/blue till ruby. But when i look at the pokemon games these days those pokemon look way to fluffy and cute compared too those i used to play as. Still the pokemon games are great RPG's but not aimed for my age. Those pokemon they use now don't appeal to me but aren't made for my kind of gamer group anyway. That people of my age do like them is another story and again a bonus for the sales. But my younger cousin is the targeted crowd for these games.
@dutchgamer83 @Heidi Dude, First of all, Fire Emblem isn't a "hardcore SRPG". You're showing your ignorance there. It's a very basic rock, paper scissors SRPG, like Pokemon, ironically. A good example of a "hardcore" SRPG is the Disgaea series.
Second, I would argue that starting with Pokemon Black/White, Nintendo has been going after an older demographic and is certainly enjoyed by people of all ages. Just because some of the monsters are "cute", that makes it a kids game? I guess all the Dragon Quest games are kids games too. Same with Mario.
Third, the review is from the prospective of the reviewer. If you want a review for kids, I'm sure there's a website for that. Granted the reviewer could have mentioned something like "kids will love this", but I would argue that the majority of people buying this aren't 10-12 year old kids, they're people that have played RPGs for years that want to experience Pokemon in a new way.
I'm sorry you don't have the confidence to play what you want to without being embarrassed, but please, think before you post.
@dutchgamer83 The reviewer never said the game was too easy. It clearly states in the 'Bad' section that the COMBAT is too easy and slow-paced.
While you have a point that these games are primarily aimed at kids, and thus they should be easy enough for them, the point you're trying to state is irrelevant. The combat system in the conventional Pokemon games is one of the most intricate and complex you will find in any game out there. So it's only right that any Pokemon spin-off labelled as a strategy should be compared to the original game in the relevant categories.
The system is easily accessible and the single-player components are extremely easy in normal Pokemon games. But for those hardcore gamers who want more of a challenge, Pokemon offers that with its online elements.
When played right, the emphasis on strategy in Pokemon is immense; mindblowing. There is so much there that it would take years for someone to truly master the system. But then throw into the mix about 100 or so new Pokemon every 3-5 years - some of which who almost rewrite the rulebook entirely - and new combat mechanics also being implemented, and you have yourself a game that's more than just a kiddies game with a bunch of cute fluffy animals.
Also, you imply that the review shouldn't even cater to an older or more hardcore Pokemon fanbase because they are not the primary target audience. But go connect online on the latest Pokemon games and have yourself a few fights. I think you will find that it's actually the hardcore and older demographic that makes up the majority of the online population in Pokemon games.
@u1tradt "The combat system in the conventional Pokemon games is one of the most intricate and complex you will find in any game out there"
WHAT????? LOL, that a good one.
@Jestersmiles If you really look at the battle states, abilities and other things children and myself overlook then yes Pokemon's battle system is very intricate and takes into account a lot of different variables to decide how the battle will go but if you don't look for it you want think that.
Example. Pokemon takes into account a pokemons base attack, defense, etc and then the individual moves attack, effects etc, then it takes into account the pokemon nature and a bunch of other stuff.
Personally I don't look into all that stuff I just level up my pokemon and swich them up untill I find ones I like and train them :P
@Jestersmiles He's not talking about the main game, he's talking about the competitive scene, which is NOTHING like the fairly boring and easy main game in Pokemon. Sigh..no it alls
@Jestersmiles just WOW how ignorant people can be some times. Yes Pokemon is a deep game with a kiddy-look-theme in the out side, is the best example how a game can be easy to pick up by newcomers and dificult to master for hardcore players. Just go to Serebii.com or Smogon.com to have a more informed opinion
@Jestersmiles If you don't know then you need to know. Pokemon is up there as one of the most deep and complex fighting systems in video games in general. The level of depth is at least on par with modern strategy games. It would simply take far too long to explain it to someone unschooled in this. So I suggest you go to Serebii.net and school yourself.
@u1tradt But no where in this review has the reviewer took in mind its a kids game. As i said that older gamers play it is a bonus. And they might be the biggest group of the online players but one would need the sale numbers with the age behind it to get a clear view who is the bigger crowd. Something i don't have but still pokemon is meant for kids primarily. Secondary are the older people, they keep that in mind but again the focus is on kids. But okay let me put it otherwise. Pokemon is meant for all ages. So you have to keep that in mind when making the game, how many children do you know are master strategists? They gave it a pokemon theme, pokemon they know and they probably know all the strengths and weaknesses of these pokemon without ever touched the game before. They also try to please the more mature gamer. Hence the setting and using real historical figures. Beside the combat i don't know how this game plays. How the whole management stuff works cause again i couldn't really make that up from the review. Can you walk around? Or do you simply press a location on the map see some text and enter combat?
This reviewer never once seemed to have thought about that. All i see is her saying that the combat is dull for the veteran RPG strategist, that can be but this game wasn't made for that veteran, it was made for kids and people who aren't a veteran RPG strategist. For the veterans we got fire emblem, FF tactics, etc etc.And its okay to mention that, but it shouldn't be the main bad thing for the review...two pages and the only info one gets is that the combat is easy and isn't gonna please the veteran RPG strategist. Will kids find the game slow or too easy? Really one needs to place themselves in their position too when reviewing a pokemon game. How is this game for beginner RPG strategists, does it introduce them to the genre? And there is mentioning of not everything being explained so well. What are we talking about? Are it basic things that aren't explained? Are it really things one can't find out on their own?
I mean the overall score is a 7.5 from the press i believe i saw here on GT. So i really would like to know what the bad sides are, and really explained. Its not just a 6.5 only cause of the easy combat is it? But i stand at my point that this game is primary focused on a younger crowd and there for should be reviewed trough the eyes of a younger gamer and not trough the eyes of a veteran rpg strategist.
@u1tradt This site may not review games specifically for kids but when one is reviewing ANYTHING they should take into account what the target audience is and understand that. They are still free to review that for a different group then the target audience the game may not be as entertaining but that should kind of be expected.
The target audience of pokemon I think is probably children ages 8-13, male and who like fighting. This is not to see that older age groups such as 14-18 and 19-29 wouldn't enjoy the game or the females wouldn't enjoy the game because hey I'm 17 and female and I love this game and the Pokemon frachise adn know many others that do. But if I were to review a game or aything other form of media I would explain the target audience, why it is that audience and why that audience is the mostly likely to enjoy it but I would also point out what with groups/audiences would like it.
This being because this is a site where parents/teens and other older people come to look into games that they are considering buying wither it be for themselves, their child a family member or friend. So it would be best to cover as many different groups of people that would like a particular game so that one can successfully help the people find what they are looking for.
The reviewer is right, for really good strategic players this game may seem easy or too easy but the plot and events other then combat may be what will keep these players playing and who knows maybe the extra stuff will be harder like one of the other commenters said.
Overal though this reviewer did a very good job and pointed out so very valid points though for next time adding in information relating to the target audience or even just other audiences in general might make the reviewer a little bit more helpful when one is looking for a good game. :)
@u1tradt Yet Kinectimals got a high score because the intended audience was children?
@dutchgamer83 Well, this is not a site about kids games. They review games in general and no matter the target audience the game has to hold up well on its own merits when taking the score into consideration.
I mean Mario games are aimed primarily at children too. That doesn't mean reviewers should suddenly take their reviews less seriously; they have certain standards they should live and work by. Heck, even this review isn't aimed at children because, let's face it, what kid is going to want to read through all that text and understand it all?
The point is that the reviewer is fully justified in not only criticising the game objectively, but also by pointing out areas where the game is weak. Target audience has very little to do with it.