The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
can't deny that Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars is silly. The
dungeon crawler/dating sim hybrid has you wooing girls to conceive powerful
children to fight evil. Games don't need to take themselves seriously, but
Conception II doesn't have any endearing goofy charm; it comes off as an otaku
fantasy rather than a fun RPG. Ignoring the risqué visuals and in-your-face sex
talk, Conception II simply isn't entertaining. The dungeons are boring, the
combat is repetitive, and the story and characters are ho-hum.
character is kind of a big deal. He attends an academy with the mission of
training young people to fight the monsters in the world. He quickly earns the
nickname "God's Gift." Everyone praises him. Girls flock to him. Guys want to
be him. Players are constantly encouraged to build relationships with other
females and "classmate" with them to produce new "star children." The game
claims it's not "real sex," but that doesn't stop developer Chunsoft from
treating it as such. Your tots refer to you as daddy, and the classmating
scenes simulate an intimate encounter. Your partners arch their backs, and the
silhouettes outlining their body parts don't leave much to the imagination.
This can be awkward, going a step further than was necessary for the zany
your relationships with a few select girls produces high-potential kids with
access to more job classes, but getting to know these women is awful. Unlike
Persona, where you feel like you're helping someone through an important life
struggle, these problems are laughably superficial. In one path, I had to help
a teacher deal with her growing popularity as a pop star, and doctors not
wanting her to visit kids at a hospital. In another, I had to convince a girl
that she was fine just the way she is - small bust and all. Self-esteem is a
universal struggle, but when the scenario revolves solely around chest size, it
isn't an isolated problem. At every possible junction, characters bring up cup
size as the go-to conversation topic. Don't expect to tackle any mature
problems; characters are all teenagers with raging hormones, which is exactly
the problem. They don't have anything interesting to say about themselves or
the situation at hand, so you're constantly just scrolling through a bunch of
boring text. The jokes aren't clever and the characters rarely feel like people
- just tools to keep a ridiculous plotline going.
you're not trying to raise your relationship with one of the chosen women, you're
dungeon crawling. I enjoyed the battle system at first, which has you moving
the position of your party members to attack enemy weak points. You're paired
with one of the romantic interests, and direct up to three groups of star children.
You have different special abilities depending which cohort you bring with you,
and you can arrange your children to focus on different aspects of combat. I
had one group that was more focused on healing and defense, while I set others
to focus on magic and strength attacks. I may not like the actual creation of
the baby warriors, but I did enjoy unlocking new classes and composing new
novelty wears off quickly due to the drab, randomly generated dungeons. Not
only are they visually unappealing, but the exploration is boring. Sure, you
can find new items or take your chances on opening a chest that is either an
enemy or great item, but it's a generic ride. Initially, I fought every enemy I
found on each floor, but due to boredom, started bypassing some foes.
Eventually, I was doing the bare minimum to progress. At least the boss battles
test your wits and make you think more than the standard encounters. Unfortunately,
the pacing for all of this is terrible. Dungeon crawling isn't broken up or
supported with great scenes or plot twists, so hours of battle often mean
II succeeds in making all the systems play off each other. Children can not
only be used in dungeons, but outside of them as well to mend shops. You can
even eventually unlock a daycare to drop off children who share in experience
when they aren't in dungeons. The game
gives you more than enough incentive to keep producing children and it does
some pretty weird things to make that happen. I won't spoil much, but yes,
tri-mating eventually becomes available.
was a series I never thought we'd see localized in North America, and I was
curious to see just how something that sounded so off-the-rails would stack up.
I was better off wondering. I could forgive the plot if the game was actually
exciting, but this is a dull dungeon crawler. Some of the most exciting RPGs
work with relationship building, like Persona and Fire Emblem, but this just
takes it in a bizarre direction. Merely giving players a chance to pair up
isn't enough; the actual relationship building needs have genuine developments
and substance, and Conception II hits all the wrong notes.
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.