Conception II Review
Conception II Children of the Seven Stars released April 14th in the US for the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS. It is the sequel to Conception: Ore no Kodomo o Undekure!, which was not localized in English.The two games’ stories are not connected, so you can play this one without missing out on anything.
The general idea of the story is that areas of darkness called Dusk Circles have been emerging at several places in the world, and from within these Dusk Circles come waves of monsters. The worlds only defense are teenagers that have been blessed by a being called the Star God. The teenagers are called Disciples and a given special powers used to fight the dusk monsters. Once a teenage get the mark of the Star God proclaiming them as a Disciple they are sent to a special school to be initially tested to determine their power rank, and then trained in combat. The protagonist, upon being tested, is told that he produces massive quantities of Ether, more than they have seen before. This Ether ability marks him as “God’s Gift”, a position essentially parallel to a “Chosen One”, and allows him to enter the labyrinths inside the Dusk Circles and fight the monsters inside.
The dungeons are all randomly generated on each floor, so each time you jump in the layout will be different. After a while you begin to realize that the labyrinths are pretty generic, a side effect of random generation, and this can make them feel a little boring and repetitive at times.
A lot of people have been comparing this game to Persona and Shin Megami Tensei RPGs as a playable, but lesser version, of the two. Personally I haven’t played Persona or Shin Megami Tensei games yet, so I can’t tell you if this is true or not.
The title of the game “Conception” can be taken pretty literally. Another factor of your “God’s Gift” is a 100% success rate of conception when “Classmating” with S- Ranked Female Disciples. This is where i can get a little weird at times. As I stated “Classmating” is what it is called when you use your “God’s Gift” on women to create “Star Children”……
It’s like a Welfare Daddy’s dream, You pop out as many kids as possible, and you make them fight your battles for you. Once they get too old (or reach max level) you just kick them out of the house and make some more.
This is where the Dating Sim portion of the game comes in. The creation of Star Children is affected by how much the Mommy likes you. The better your relationship the higher the level cap on the children and the more likely you are to get some special stuff out of it. I managed to get one child with a Max Lvl of 99 fairly early in the game so it was a kind of nice surprise. In order to get the Mommy to like you, you have to talk to her, participate the in the events and choose her, give her gifts, and other things that raise her overall “Affection Level” I’m not even going to go over the awkward cut-scenes involved with the dating sim and Classmating processes.
BUT WAIT, THERES MORE! You also get a grand total of 7 women to make babies with!
You can take a maximum of nine Star Children into the labyrinths with you. They party structure is a little interesting though, three Children equal as a single party member, Their combined HP, ATK, MP, DEF, ETC, determine the overall strength of the “Party Member” they create. With a total of nine Children you get 3 party members there, and the Protagonist and your chosen Mommy together make a 4th party member. That is it for the Number of “Party Members” but this is where it gets a little creative.
There are 30 classes to choose from for your Meal Tickets… I mean Star Children, but you wont get them all right away. Some of the classes at the beginning will be stuff like Swordis, Cleric, Mage, Thief, and Archer. I wasn’t able to find any specific rhyme or reason as to why causes some of the classes to suddenly appear, other than maybe your heroines stats increasing enough to unlock that class, but it doesn’t actually tell you if that is the case. A few of the classes become available by finding items in the dungeons that unlock the class, like the Mercenary Manual, which allowed me to make a Male Star Child a Merc Class.
The next fun tidbit is that how you build you Child Teams are affected by the classes you give them. Star Children who share a mother will be fight better in a team, and if they happen to have similar classes as well you will notice better results than just picking random classes to fill out your party.
Certain combinations of Star Children Classes will even grant you additional abilities, so you will have to experiment with your party combinations.
There are a few battle points i would like to cover. You essentially have the ability to fight an enemy from 4 positions that form a circle around it. Certain spots will cause a “Weak Spot” attack which does a bit more damage, but it does not increase the Chain Drive very much at all. The effect of the Chain Drive is a meter that rises as you attack. The more dangerous the position you attack from, to more the meter fills. Once You fill it to a certain point an attack will cause the monster to get “Chained” in place and their turn get pushed back allowing you to get more turns in between monster attacks, the effect is only temporary but helpful. The second battle feature to keep an eye on is the Ether Density, which increases from attacking and defeating monsters, or by using one of the protagonists abilities. The higher the ether level, the faster your party moves and the more turns you get. So keep these battle points in mind and it will make fighting much easier.
I will admit though that for most of the game, I didn’t even use these except against bosses and i pretty much just breezed through most of the battles.
There were a few things i liked and a couple i didn’t for this game. I really enjoyed the auto-battle function, all you have to do is press one button and you can completely automate the battling process. By setting the Party Tactics options you can control how each “Party Member” will behave during the auto battle. This helps with some of the tedium associated with having to power-level new Star Children. You can practically auto-fight your way through most of the game, only having to stop for boss fights and a few points near the end of the game as well.
I also like the fact that it has a New Game+ option, i feel like there are a ton of games that should have this feature but don’t (Stick of Truth anyone?) so it’s nice to see games add that option.
One thing I wasn’t too fond of was the lack of a Japanese voice-over option. I felt like sometimes the Dub Voices just got really annoying, but maybe that’s just me.
Overall I would probably have to give Conception II a 7/10. If was fun, but some of the novelty of the game began to wear off around the 3rd Dusk Circle.
Feel free to leave you comments about me being some kind of White Knight/Social Justice Warrior below!