I intend to judge this game for what it is: a spinoff, and a pretty good one at that. For those of you bitching that it sucks just because it's not a main series game, go play the main series and shut up. With that out of the way:
Pokemon Conquest (aka Pokemon + Nobunaga's Ambition) is a very unique entry to the series. It takes the elements we know and love, and places them in a new setting and genre. Now, I will say first off: anyone expecting a fully Darker And Edgier
story with death, violence and Seppuku is going to be disappointed. This game is almost entirely family-friendly. (though some of the outfits on the female Warlords may raise some parents' eyebrows...) However, young kids probably won't get all the historical references or appreciate the characters' personalities as much.
Which brings me to the game's main strength: the characters. Just looking at their artwork, you can tell they're all massive badasses, and it shows. Every unique Warlord has their own personality, multiple different characterful 'emotion' portraits (think Ace Attorney
sprites), and their own stats and powers. Once you find their "Best Link" Pokemon, it'll even appear and pose with them in portraits, a nice touch. They all have their own episode after the main story is complete, for added development.
Running out of words, so I'll get straight to gameplay. I'll be honest here, the gameplay here is nowhere near as deep as other strategy game series like Fire Emblem
. This mostly comes from Pokemon only having one move. This of course causes some serious Crippling Overspecialization
problems, e.g. Kenshin's Gallade, a Psychic/Fighting type, it useless against Darks as its only move is Psycho Cut. Still, most moves have a variety of interesting aplications.
The game is not overly difficult, but the real challenge comes from not only winning, but winning while recruiting the enemy Warlords. This provides an interesting tactical challenge early-game, where you need to manoeuvre and weaken so that Eevee or Jigglypuff can deal the final blow.
To sum up, this game is easily the best spinoff yet, though it lacks the depth of the main series games and offerings like Fire Emblem
. Definitely worth a look for its premise alone, and if you're you're one of those rare people like me who enjoy both Pokemon and Strategy RP Gs
, you'll probably enjoy it.