I've been playing an unhealthy amount of Pokémon Conquest. Since I'm sure there are many of you out there who have not yet decided whether or not to splurge some of that hard earned cash on yet another Pokémon side game whose cartridge you will undoubtedly lose (R.I.P. my copy of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time,) I thought it would be helpful for me to espouse some of my opinions on Pokémon Conquest. Here are those.
Let's get something straight. If you don't know what a "tactics" game is (think the "Fire Emblem" or "Final Fantasy Tactics" series, specifically the latter,) this game probably won't be what you're expecting, unless you've seen gameplay. (If only to add an additional parenthetical to make the ratio of parentheticals to paragraphs an improper fraction so far in this article, here's a video of PKMNcast's good friend Marriland showcasing that gameplay: http://youtu.be/xoiuMAqTdRo You also get to hear Marriland do silly voices.) In Pokémon Conquest the player controls a group of warlords, with each warlord in turn controlling a group of Pokémon. When battle occurs, the player controls a group of Pokémon on a grid-based map. Each Pokémon has a certain number of steps on that grid that they can move, as well as one attack to be used to defeat your opponent's Pokémon. The game involves maneuvering up to six Pokémon at once in either traditional last-team-standing battles or banner capture battle modes.
That'll do for gameplay summary. Now onto my thoughts. I love this game. Wholeheartedly. I've always completely dug tactics games, and adding Pokémon into the fold only heightens my already astronomical bias towards this game. The gameplay is tight, challenging, while also not having too rough of a learning curve. The game also features the ability to micromanage your horde of warlords (as well as the choice to let those elements of the game play themselves out automatically with the "delegate" feature,) which can be almost as satisfying as the combat that keeps me coming back.
However, it's not by any means a perfect game. It lacks many of the intricate class-based features that similar series feature. This element of those games gives them a great customizability, as well as replayability. However, each Pokémon in Pokémon Conquest can only have one move, which only changes upon evolution, and there is only an extremely bare-bones equipment system. While the omission of these details does add to the welcomed simplicity, it takes away from what could have made this game an unadulterated success.
So, overall, Pokémon Conquest is super-good, even if it has some flaws. I'd recommend you pick it up if it sounds remotely interesting. That'll be it for Rare Article this week. See you next Friday!
Also, I hate the timer system. Screw. That.