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Pokemon Conquest

For:   Also on: DS3DS
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Gridoran

Product: Pokemon Conquest | Publisher: Nintendo | Format: DS | Genre: RPG, Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Pokemon Conquest DS, thumbnail 1
Pokemon Snap, Pokemon Pinball, Pokemon Trading Card Game, Pokemon Puzzle League, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon - the Pokemon franchise is the gift that keeps on giving.

Pokemon Conquest is yet another promising prospect for a spinoff, mixing your regular Pokemonteering with the turn-based grid-battling of Final Fantasy Tactics and Advance Wars.

Conquered

You start out as a Ransei Warlord, ruling over the people of Aurora, and your mission is to attack and conquer all 17 kingdoms in the region. Each kingdom has its own Warlord, and you must do battle with Pokemon to claim the land.

Starting only with an Eevee, you befriend other Pokemon trainers and bring them along to do battle with you on an isometric grid. Each turn sees you moving your Pokemon around the grid, moving into the spaces adjacent enemy Pokemon and firing off punches, swipes, and blasts until they're down and out.

There's plenty of depth to the gameplay, with moves that require you to be a couple of paces away to connect with enemies, and special one-time only abilities that can really turn the tide of battle by giving extra health to every member of your team or increasing your attack and defence capacities.

It's not just about the battlefield, either, as the overmap provides plenty of strategic opportunities. Each kingdom is connected, and not only do you need to build up your forces and invade other kingdoms but you also need to make sure your defences are built up so that opposing kingdoms can't easily overthrow you.

Each kingdom also has special facilities, such as gold mines and shops, which you can visit and use to your advantage. You don't need to worry about checking every single kingdom every turn, either, as a simply automated system allows you to put other trainers in charge of your kingdom, where they will continuously get to work fulfilling your wishes.

Gotta gatecrash 'em all

The Pokemon series is all about catching them all, as we are all now very much aware. Pokemon Conquest is no different, although it tackles the idea in a slightly different way.

Rather than catching Pokemon, you form links with them, based on how good the link between a trainer and the wild Pokemon is. This is done via a simple rhythm mini-game, which is solid if unremarkable.

There are also multiple trainers to find, battle, and bring over to your cause by fulfilling special conditions, such as beating them in fewer than four moves. Scouring the land for all the Pokemon and trainers you can find becomes ridiculously addictive.

Pokemon Conquest's main issue is that, what with all this focus on battling and linking, there isn't much explanation about the best way to push on through the pretty tedious storyline.

We got to a point where we simply didn't have strong enough Pokemon to take on the next kingdom, but it wasn't obvious how to make our Pokemon stronger other than simply fighting the same battlefields over and over again.

You also end up relying on the same team of six for the whole game, no matter who you're up against, simply because it cuts down the time you have to spend training every different team up.

We were really hoping this wouldn't be the case, given that there are so many possible teams to mix up and choose from.

If you're a Pokemon fan, this will be right up your alley. If you're an Advance Wars fan, this may well be your best means of entry into the Pokemon world.

Either way, you should be banging this game into the back of your DS/3DS and shouting "It's super-effective!" like the ten year old Pokemon-maniac that you used to be.
 
Pokemon Conquest
Reviewer photo
Mike Rose | 25 July 2012
More Pokemon spin-off delight as Pokemon Conquest proves an entirely enjoyable ordeal
 
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