- Platforms: PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS (reviewed)
- Developer: Spike Chunsoft
- Publisher: ATLUS
- Genre: RPG
- Players: 1
- Release Date: April 15, 2014
Japanese RPGs have a unique set of characteristics that allow them to hold their own as a genre. Veteran JRPG developer Atlus’s Conception II follows these standards rather closely with their usual dungeon crawling, bonds formed between characters, and level grinding.
Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars begins with the main character entering a new school; an academy where a chosen few were selected by the Star God to fight monsters. As no surprise to the genre, the main character is found to have an abnormally large amount of power and is thus dubbed as “God’s Gift.” Due to this, the main character instantly becomes popular and “the fate of the world as they all know it” [is in his hands].
However, that’s not all. Because of the main character’s power, he is asked from the get go to “classmate” as often as possible. The act of classmating sounds innocent and simple in-game, where all you do is hold hands and star energy is transferred into a matryoshka and a star child is born. But thanks to the weird silhouettes and poses of the heroines during the “classmating act,” it doesn’t look as innocent as it sounds.
Star children are an interesting addition though, and fairly cute too. It’s nice when your kids cheer you on in labyrinths, or funny when siblings interact with each other. Unfortunately, these children have level caps, so once they reach it, you have to make more children and then swap them out and begin the level grinding progress all over. This actually continues throughout the entire game, which means revisiting already beaten dungeons again and again just to be able to progress through the story once more.
That, along with befriending the heroines and pushing through the story, becomes repetitive incredibly fast. The entire game starts to feel like a chore from there because before you know it, you’re in a loop and it doesn’t end until the game does.
The good news is, the “concept” of star children just might be enough to keep most people interested. Trying to unlock all the classes and creating several different teams keeps up variety and can make the ongoing dungeon expeditions more pleasant thanks to experimenting.
Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars has the right idea (in some places), but the execution was just not right. The plot is deep enough to give you cause but the value of it all seems superficial. The characters are cute and one would think that it’d go beyond that in terms of development, but it always goes right down to shallow ends. The combat system was great–at first–but became a chore soon enough. If you pace it enough, the game becomes less of a burden and even more enjoyable, because it does have a tendency of becoming overwhelming. Otherwise, it is at least worth a try.
FINAL SCORE: 5.5/10
[Note: A free digital copy of this game was provided for review. This copy represented the final product.]