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Pokemon Conquest review

One of the very best Pokemon spin-offs

It's one of those strange ideas that makes more sense the longer you consider it. Dropping one of the most famous videogame franchises of all into a niche genre like the strategy role-playing game seems at first like madness, not least because it results in feudal-era warlords sending platoons of fluffy animals into battle as they fight over the 17 kingdoms that form the region of Ransei.

But if you think of each warlord as a trainer and each kingdom as a kind of gym you will find that it all begins to slot together rather neatly. After all, what is Pokemon, if not a turn-based RPG with a strong tactical focus?

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Way Of The Samurai

To unite the land, first you'll need to amass an army of warriors, each of whom has their own Pokemon and a special ability that can be used once per skirmish. Though warriors can possess a number of monsters, they're only able to take one into battle with them, and the Pokemon themselves are limited to a single attack and a special ability.

Thankfully, you can command up to six warriors per scrap, which offers you a range of tactical possibilities. The idea is to try to maintain a balanced team,

though for much of the game you simply need to use Pokemon that are strong against the elemental type of the kingdom you're invading. Pretty basic stuff for any Poke-fan and the early stages are very straightforward, even by Pokemon standards.

Adding to your army is a simple case of defeating a rival warrior while fulfilling an additional battle condition, like ensuring the finishing blow is a super-effective move, say, or winning within just four turns.

It's worth recruiting regularly, as you can leave warriors at each kingdom to defend it while you're away conquering more distant lands. They can also be set to train Pokemon, or mine to swell the war coffers, enabling you to spend money feeding your Pokemon to raise their energy levels, and also your warriors' affi nity with them - the closer the link, the more potent the pairing.

Generation Game

You can also directly recruit Pokemon during battle, by moving your own monster next to them and completing a rudimentary mini-game. There are more than 200 in all, spread across all five generations, including some rather rare Pokemon that are unlocked via special passwords.

Catching 'em all doesn't quite have the same compulsion here, not least because your time is best spent forging strong links with a smaller number of Pokemon rather than spreading the love too thinly.

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Indeed, many of the minor systems in the game feel extraneous: you won't need to leave too many warriors at home because your kingdoms are rarely attacked, and it seems to us to be slightly unnecessary to have warriors in the first place - why not have players command six Pokemon directly? It would seem to be a more logical arrangement, after all.

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12 comments so far...
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  1. thecoolmana777 Wednesday 25th Jul 2012 at 14:42

    Sounds OK, not sure if it is my type of game :?

  2. HughPR Wednesday 25th Jul 2012 at 15:39

    From this and the gamespot review, it just looks to easy and, as ONM suggested, more of an entry into the genre. Shame as I had high hopes, but I might be leaving this one.

  3. imbusydoctorwho Wednesday 25th Jul 2012 at 17:20

    I knew this was going to be one of the better Pokemon RPG,hopefully I might get it when it's released on Friday.

  4. Pyron12 Thursday 26th Jul 2012 at 07:37

    80% percent is a great start for entry into the genre. Over time that will hopefully improve.

  5. DynamicPunch202 Thursday 26th Jul 2012 at 14:26

    This looks like a great game, but I still have some doubts. If someone bought it for me, I'd play it, but I'm still unsure if I would buy it with my own money.

    EDIT: I got it in the end out of pure curiosity, It is really good and i'm glad I did. In fact, I'm still trying to complete all of the side quests.

  6. pokemonboy Thursday 26th Jul 2012 at 14:33

    it is a good game and all I'v played it before but it is over rated

  7. Samster296 Thursday 26th Jul 2012 at 17:54

    There hasn't really been many good Pokémon spin-offs recently. But Pokémon Conquest looks like a game I will buy one day. I'm sure it won't be better than Pokémon Snap. :wink:

  8. Commandervideo Saturday 28th Jul 2012 at 16:05

    The review says:

    and it seems to us to be slightly unnecessary to have warriors in the first place - why not have players command six Pokemon directly? It would seem to be a more logical arrangement, after all.

    If there were no warriors then it wouldn't be much of a crossover

  9. bloominblathers Tuesday 7th Aug 2012 at 23:56

    Sounds OK, not sure if it is my type of game :?

    honestly if you like pokemon spin offs, get it! i only got it today and i rate it higher than mystery dungeons and rangers definitely worth it in my opinion

  10. redeye Friday 10th Aug 2012 at 19:27

    I'm not good with strategy games, but I'm learning with this. Just hope it last until Black & White 2 :twisted:

  11. Nelsonator15 Saturday 18th Aug 2012 at 13:18

    Definitely tempted to get this game, and that comes from someone who hasn't played a Pokémon game in quite a while. :P Sounds like Samurai Warriors meets Advance Wars meets Pokémon, which does intrigue me, but I'll probably play through my other games first. If its price comes down during that time, it may be the encouragement I need to buy it. ;)

  12. ProfPikachu Tuesday 4th Jun 2013 at 18:49

    I reviewed this on my game review blog and I must say, this game is one of my favourites! It's just so much different from the typical main Pokemon games :)

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