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S&S; Reviews: Pokemon Conquest

Posted on the 25 June 2012 by Sameo452005 @iSamKulii
S&S; Reviews: Pokemon Conquest
Title: Pokemon Conquest
Format: DS
Release Date: 6-12-12
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Tecmo Koei
Price: $34.99
ESRB Rating: E
Pokemon Conquest is a refreshing new take on the incredibly popular Pokemon series. Although it is unlike the previous Pokemon games, it is still successful in it's execution but lacking in it's core gameplay elements.
Story/Presentation
Pokemon Conquest takes place in the region known as Ransei. Your character, accompanied by an Eevee, sets off to take over the region by battling each city's leader. Interestingly enough, the game's leaders are based off of Japan's Sengoku era, and the map is modeled after Japan itself. History buffs will appreciate this, and I'm sure many players will find each leader's personality unique, interesting, and sometimes even goofy. Your ultimate goal is to take over each city, and thus the entire region, in order to trigger the appearance of one very important Pokemon. Legend says that the warlord who is able to unite the region as one will have the privilege of seeing this Pokemon and ultimately creating peace within Ransei. Beyond that, the story is simplistic and not too in-depth. Character development is short-sighted; although in it's defense, most strategy games are not meant to have detailed characters or stories.
S&S; Reviews: Pokemon Conquest
Core Gameplay
I would consider Pokemon Conquest a mix between a turn-based and a wargame subtype. Taking over a city involves a Pokemon battle. Each battle takes place on a map in which Pokemon can move to a certain position and choose to wait or attack. You are restricted to a certain number of "turns" in which you can attack. Failure to defeat all Pokemon within those turns results in a loss of the battle. Pokemon only have one move each, and the typical weakness/strength system still applies (Grass is strong again Water, Rock is weak to Water, Water is weak to Electric, etc.). Planning is essential to winning a battle, especially since environmental factors play a large role in your success/failure. Rock slides, floods, electric barriers, blockage fences...these are only some of the random "acts of God" that occur during the battle, which can drastically change the outcome. Collecting a strong and diverse crew of soldiers is essential to winning a battle. You are able to recruit other trainers once you beat them (within a certain criteria) as well as direct them to defend a city, train their Pokemon, or go recruit other trainers. While I praise Conquest for successfully creating a spin-off Pokemon game (one that has not been successfully done since Pokemon Snap, in my opinion), it can become very boring and slow paced. Environments feel bland, and most battles are very easily won with only a minor amount of planning. The restriction of one move per Pokemon also makes the game feel confined. The constricting feeling of what should be a large city is magnified when you are within each city. There are only usually 2 or three different places to visit within one city, and almost always only one battleground. Combine that with the empty threats of invading cities (I was invaded once, in my only unprotected city...I still won), many players may feel unchallenged.
S&S; Reviews: Pokemon Conquest
Final Thoughts
Pokemon Conquest is a game many people thought would utterly fail when it's competing against games with Pokemon HeartGold, Diamond, Red/Blue, etc. The unique Strategy element brings a enlightening new take on the Pokemon series, but falls short with it's repetitive battle tactics and boring gameplay elements.
Final Score: 7.75/10

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