Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars review
Over the past week I’ve been engrossed in the newest RPG developed by Spike Chunsoft and brought over to our shores by Atlus, Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars.
The game, for those unaware, is a turn-based RPG that some have compared to the ever-popular Persona series. Though it is the second game in a series, Conception II is the first to be localized. For those concerned that you need to have played the original title in order to understand what’s going on in the story, have no fear, for the two stories are not connected.
The game places you in the role of a young man beginning his training as a Disciple, which is a human gifted with the divine powers of one of the Star Gods. The Disciples are the only ones who can successfully fight against the many monsters that plague the world. These monsters are birthed from the Pandora Labyrinth at a high rate and even worse, the Pandora Labyrinth has begun to spawn smaller labyrinths of its own.
With these new threats, it is up to you and the other Disciples to put an end to the threat. Unfortunately, however, a Star God’s power only resides within humans until they reach the age of 18. This coupled with the Pandora Labyrinth’s new tendency has placed the need for new Disciples at an all-time high.
Fortunately, however, Disciples are able to combine their powers in order to “create” beings known as Star Children, which can fight for and with them in battle. These Star Children may help even the playing ground for the Disciples and monsters.
The launch trailer can be seen below:
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed in the game. Not because of the story or anything, mind (though there were a few scenes that made me blush.. let’s just say that this definitely isn’t a game for everybody. To be blunt, the “Classmating” conversations, and quite a bit of the game itself, is filled with blunt sexual innuendo.), but because of how amazingly easy the title was. Perhaps I just spent too much time trying to do all of the side quests, but I literally took down the first boss in three hits with the second only taking a single blow to be put down.
The game’s combat system is decent enough. You can position your characters around an enemy, and attacking from certain angles will cause more damage, as you will hit the enemy’s weakness. Simply attacking an enemy’s weakness isn’t always the best strategy, however, as attacking from that angle will not fill up your Chain Link gauge as much as attacking from other angles will. In fact, the easiest way to fill up the gauge is by attacking from an area marked “Caution”, which means that the enemy will be performing an attack that hits that area soon. This gives combat a pleasing risk-reward element. That said, there’s also an auto-battle function with takes away the element if utilized. In fact, because the title is easy, you can actually utilize said function to power your way through the sheer majority of the game, if you so desire.
As you progress, you gain access to more heroines that you will be able to “Classmate” with, or create Star Children. There are seven different heroines that will assist you along your journey, each with their own style of battle. As you become closer with a heroine the Star Child that you can make will be improved, so it is worth the time to talk with them whenever you have a chance (taking a heroine into a dungeon also increases your bond).
Overall, I found the game to be a fun time killer, but far from perfect. It’s a decent RPG to occupy your time if you don’t have a backlog of RPGs already, but you should go in expecting a game that isn’t fully safe for work. This is not a game for minors, as every time you perform a ritual the characters with you will begin posing… I mentioned earlier that the game made me blush in a few instances. Once said posing started, I just started rapidly mashing the “Skip” button when I had to update my party of kids. If you’re concerned about the themes or are otherwise unsure if you would enjoy it, try out the demo currently available on the Nintendo eShop.
Some have complained about the game’s story, and if you aren’t a huge RPG lover, you may find it difficult to enjoy and stay interested in. I didn’t really have a problem staying interested in the main story, but I also tend to love most RPGs and can lose myself in them perhaps a bit more easily than most.
If I had to give the game a numerical score, I’d say it’s a 3.5/5. It’s not the best game in the world, but it is a decent way spend around 40-60 hours (depending on how many of the side quests you do and how much you decide to grind).