Impressions on Pokemon Conquest

Earlier this week, Nintendo announced a new game in the popular Pokémon franchise entitled Pokémon Conquest.  This title looks to be putting a very fresh spin on the series, shying away from traditional gameplay styles and even taking a step back in time!

The upcoming game is going to take place in a timeframe new to the series.  Where the majority of titles take place in a more modern setting, Conquest is set in a world called Ransei, which is based off real-world feudal Japan.  Here, players will be taking on the role of a young Warlord, who is “linked” to a Pokémon (presumably some sort of friendship pact).  Together they set out across the lands to find Warrior allies to help strengthen their growing kingdom.

To me, this is sounding like a game that will feature an in-depth story (if not one we haven’t already heard some variation of before), but we can’t be certain until we hear more. Still, a story-driven Pokémon title would be greatly welcomed, in contrast to the simple earn-all-the-badges goal.  If it turns out this way we can probably expect a story about honor, friendship, maybe a bit of betrayal – the standard for any game set in feudal times. We may even see the origins of the Pokéballs or the Gym systems as well, if technology has advanced far enough, though this is all speculation at this point.  Perhaps we’ll finally even see a more serious Pokémon game that touches on some mature themes, such as death and sacrifice.  With its E for Everyone rating, however, my wish may not be granted.  Regardless, colour me intrigued.

Gameplay in Conquest is also a first for Pokémon, with players taking part in six-on-six turn-based battles across a grid-based playing field (think Final Fantasy Tactics or any Disgaea game).  Players will also need to use different Pokémon types (such as fire and ice) to their advantage as the battle unfolds to keep a leg up on their foes.  There will be about 200 Pokémon from all generations (including Black and White) as well, to help give the gamer some extra choice.  Expect battles to be more varied than constant Pikachu on Pikachu.

With Conquest looking to have all the fundamentals of a good strategy RPG, here’s hoping that other elements (like equipment, items, diverse character progression, and maybe even some economy aspects) from the genre find their way into the game, as that would take the title to a whole new level.  Even Nintendo mentioned that the title is a “nod to the classic game Nobunaga’s Ambition”, so there is a lot to be hopeful of.

All things considered, Pokémon Conquest is looking to be an interesting title that’s breaking out of the series’ usual mold.  Whether or not it will be just another spin-off, or a strategy RPG actually worth its weight, will be determined at launch; Fingers, paws, and claws crossed it’s the latter.  For now though, I can personally say that I’m very interested and want to see more.  Stay tuned for additional info as we get it!

Pokémon Conquest will march its way into stores not too long from now on June 18, 2012, and will be available for the Nintendo DS, but will be playable in 2D on the 3DS system.  Check out the trailer below, and stay tuned for more info as it becomes available on Gamer Living!

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April 6, 2012 - 8:30 am