A lot of great games have come out featuring Pokémon aside from the main series games we all know and love. I’d like to take a look back at some of these, and reflect on what I thought of them. What made them great, terrible, mediocre, unique.
Pokémon Conquest was released last year, March 2012 in Japan and June 2012 in the states. I’m a big fan of Tactics style games, such as the Fire Emblem series and Shining Force games. The thought of playing a game like this with Pokémon was exciting to me, and I was eager to see how it would be executed.
I’ve never played any of the Nobunaga’s Ambition games, so my evaluation of Pokémon Conquest is based on only playing Pokémon games.
The tactics of Pokemon Conquest are executed well, in my opinion. They’re reasonably simple, which makes sense for a Pokemon crossover, not wanting to make things too complicated. Each Pokémon only has one move, which means the move that a Pokémon has determines largely how useful they are. Some Pokémon that could be really strong for example are limited by having a poor move, while some Pokémon like Dratini really shine early on with Dragon Rage. Which brings me to the next point, the balance.
A lot of things are pretty unbalanced. For example, early on anything with Dragon Rage dominates. They can literally take on entire teams. It deals 40 damage, which is enough to oneshot most lower level Pokémon (I say level, but it doesn’t have level in that sense, you have “link %”, which is just like level). Secondly, Musharna is basically useless. It has Dream Eater, which means it can only attack if it puts a Pokémon to sleep, which it can do with it’s ability. This happens infrequently however, and when you attack a sleeping Pokémon, it has a chance of waking it up. So if you’re lucky enough to put them to sleep, you might wake them up again by attacking!
One of the things I really enjoyed was Perfect Link. Basically each warrior has a Pokémon they link perfectly with, and can link up to 100%, which is the equivalent of level 100 in Pokémon. Normally, you’re limited to a percentage based on what type your warrior or warlord is good with. For example a warrior might specialize in fire Pokémon, and be able to link up to 70% or so with those Pokémon.Having perfect link can really give them an advantage. Also, when you complete a campaign, if you encounter a warrior you’ve had in a previous campaign, they keep the stats that they had, in regards to what Pokémon they have. Their link is scaled based on how strong you are when you get them though, but if you’ve evolved their Pokémon previously it’ll start out evolved.
In general I really enjoyed Pokémon Conquest. It had some weak points, and if you don’t like tactics games or Pokémon (which you wouldn’t be here) it’s probably not worth playing. But if you do, you’ll probably end up having fun with it, and getting frustrated a lot at the same time.