Conception II: Sterile Ideas And A Lack Of Vision

By Jack . May 4, 2014 . 5:00pm

It’s hard to explain what I was expecting from Conception II. My interest in the game was almost entirely based around the ridiculous pun of “classmating,” and I figured the absurdity of the concept would be enough to carry me through the game. I mean let’s be blunt here: one look at the game should tell what you’re in for. Conception II is a dating-sim masked as a dungeon-crawler. You make literal babies by not literally mating with girls at school and then sending your super powered spawn off to kill monsters.

 

So, I guess what I’m trying to say here is that the last thing I expected was to be so thoroughly bored by the whole thing.

 

First of all, Conception II tries to be a dungeon-crawler. There are certainly a lot of dungeons to crawl through, but the gameplay feels like an afterthought. It’s all randomly generated from about five or six different room layouts and everything looks the same. There’s treasure and traps strewn randomly throughout, but there’s never any exciting deviations taken on by the random generation. It might be some of the laziest dungeon design I’ve ever seen, and the tedious flow of the exploration is only broken up by numerous swarms of enemies.

 

Throughout my encounters, I caught myself multiple times thinking “it sure does seem like I’m fighting the same battle over and over again!” There’s a very apparent lack of enemy variety in Conception II and that’s what really makes the experience start to grate. It’s not even like there’s a lack of enemy types to place in dungeons, I definitely saw other mobs on rare occasions. The probability is just so stacked towards a particular group’s favor every dungeon that you end up fighting the same encounters far beyond the point of tedium.

 

If the combat system was interesting enough to carry that kind of repetition maybe things would be fine, but unfortunately it’s not. I was interested at first, definitely. It works a lot like the modern Persona games, except it brings in a mechanic I always thought would be cool to explore: positioning. Where your party members stand matters, as depending on where you’re placed, you can avoid damage or attack an enemy’s weak spot.

 

Positioning is a good addition, but it doesn’t work very well with the other main mechanic called chaining. Chaining results when you start attacking enemies consecutively In order to maximize your chain on an enemy you’re naturally going to want all four party members attacking the same enemy simultaneously in order to maximize your damage, which results in all of the positions around the enemy being covered. It becomes less about strategically positioning yourself to avoid damage and more putting the party member you least mind getting hit in the most dangerous spot.

 

Of course the positioning and chaining mechanics not always playing together isn’t really the problem I have with Conception II’s combat. The problem is that even when you do have an enemy mob figured out, the battles are still going to take a while. The enemies have a significant amount of health but there’s no excitement or strategy to compensate for it. I felt like I was going through the motions past the first floor of every dungeon, and pressing the speed up button for battle animations becomes a necessity due to the large amount of same-y mobs you need to defeat.

 

conception2_pt_02

Perhaps the most important mechanic in Conception II is, as the title suggests, that you can conceive babies with any of the heroines. This can be done at basically any point in the game, and it’s absolutely necessary to do as your children fill up about 3/4s of your party. Moral implications of that concept aside, the idea of creating your own party members always captivates me, but in Conception II I found it to fall flat.

 

My problem is that it’s impossible to get attached to your little war babies as they are the definition of disposable. Your children group in teams of three and their skills and stats combine to form a single party member. They have separate leveling and equipment, but there’s very little ownership to them. You’re clearly not meant to think about them as individuals and their constant repetitive dialogue makes them more annoying than endearing.

 

More than just their presence in battles, you’re told from the outset that they’re disposable. In order to encourage continued “classmating” with your female companions, the children you make have level caps that only get higher the further you progress both in the main story and your relationships. Once your current child reaches that cap, you need to kick it to the curb to make room for a newer, stronger one. It’s disappointing, as it reveals the whole child creation act to be more in service of the dating-sim rather than the other way around, and I wasn’t exactly eager to go to class and charm my harem.

 

Every one of your female classmates shares the common characteristics of blushing every five seconds and an obsessive need to be told what to do by you. They don’t feel like real characters, their issues boil down to anime tropes and they’re all resolved by your mere existence. If you were only hanging out with one girl it might not seem so shallow, but you’re actively encouraged to date all seven girls at the same time to help your star children production. It’s the same story told with a different contrived set of circumstances over and over, and it ends up feeling like almost as much of a grind as the dungeon-crawling.

 

It’s not like there’s an interesting story to fall back on either. It could have been, but it would probably require being different kind of game.  Conception II manages to have one of the most unintentionally creepy videogame worlds I’ve ever seen: the entire planet is run by a cult-like organization funded by a shady corporation that forces teenagers to procreate and send the resulting children off to die in battle.

 

However, Conception II doesn’t care about the moral implications of child labor or the corrupt religious figure who keeps hitting on little girls. Conception II only cares about how cute you think the girls in your harem are; everything else is just fluff. As it is, the world of Conception II feels like the most over-the-top, contrived way to explain a dating-sim, making the whole plot just feel boring.

 

Playing Conception II brought back memories of how much I enjoyed the modern Personas or even last year’s Fire Emblem: Awakening, and I think the difference is that those games were charming and emotionally grounded enough to resonate with me. In comparison, Conception II just feels cynically made. It’s a sterile compilation of ideas without the vision to make the game stand out.

 

Food for Thought:

 

1. I was pleasantly surprised to find that after completing a couple of dungeons, Conception II somehow managed to find a way to make the “classmating” pun even more ridiculous with “classmanting.” You can figure that one out.

 

2. My entire time playing I kept wondering if Conception II was in on how silly its world is. A lot of the NPCs and mechanics feel a little too bizarre for any self-aware person to put in non-ironically, but the story seems to play it all straight. I guess I would have liked the game more if it embraced its wackiness rather than awkwardly pretending like nothing was wrong.

 

3. Speaking of wackiness, you can actually form your baby teams into a Voltron-like mech complete with laser death beams. Definitely my favorite aspect of the battle system.


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  • harmonyworld

    I played it for a good while and I thought the battle system was okay, but I didn’t like any of the characters, which is sad because the character are the main point of the game.
    I just wish more game had character that I could like, like in persona 3 and 4.

    • http://nabe.kokidokom.net/ Cybersteel

      there’s the scientist lady…

      • MrTyrant

        That you cannot have babies with…

        seriously games. Add milf and more adult-like women to your games not everyone date teenagers or lolis.

  • malek86

    Son: dad, dad! When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut!
    Dad: aha. Son, you won’t even get to 12 before I trade you for a stronger child.
    Son: but…. but I love you daddy!
    Dad: I love you too. But only while you’re a higher level than me.

  • God

    Huh, so that’s how the gameplay ends up? Too bad, i played the demo and liked it, but didn’t buy it beacuse of Demon Gaze, seems like it was the right choice…

  • Dianatos

    I played about two minutes of the demo before I was creeped out and immediately deleted it, so I never even got to the dungeon crawling. The idea of constantly replacing party members reminds me of SMT demons (sorry to be that guy). Finally, Voltron death lasers sound cool, if maybe for only the first couple of times or so.

  • Kamakuma

    Huh… Guess I’m one of the few that still like it? x’D

  • AlphaSixNine

    Loving it myself and still playing it. I guess my tolerance for Japan’s “wackiness” is just really high.

    I enjoy anime tropes and cliches so I also enjoy hanging out with the heroines. Tori <3

    I also enjoy managing my star children, unlike you I find attachment to them. I find myself trying to level them up to max their cap so I can send them off to be independent and increase the city's level. I spend too much time doing this lol

    Dungeon crawling isn't exactly my thing, I don't hate it but I don't love it either. Guess Neutral. But I strangely enjoy running around dungeons with my heroine and a bunch of star children. Probably not the best but better then most of what I've tried.

    • Kamakuma

      Seriously Tori is adorable! x’D I really don’t think it’s possible to not like her as she tries the hardest from what I see. Not to mention her theme song(Yup totally giving the song that plays her as I can no longer listen to it with her popping up in my mind.) x’D

      • AlphaSixNine

        Glad to know someone shares my love for Tori. I just love everything about her. <3

  • DanijoEX ♬ the Cosmic Owl

    What turned me off from buying it was the “dating-sim” aspect. Which I wasn’t apparently fond of…P.S. i can’t even type right today…

  • http://blackstar2661.deviantart.com/ SilverSpades

    I kinda felt like this game would fall flat, despite my initial interest.

    Lol awesome first pic, btw.

  • notentirelythere

    I only played the demo, but this was near my impression.
    Too, the art direction is super visibly confused, and I have no idea what the script is trying to do. It feels like ATLUS looked over the game and gave up on salvaging much from it. It’s some of their worst localization work in a while.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      This is just my personal opinion, but at points it felt like Atlus had to rewrite a lot of the original dialogue to keep it from feeling too creepy. Judging by the demo alone, it feels like a very “Atlus” localization, but I doubt the original game was that way.

      • notentirelythere

        It’s hard to imagine these characters’ innuendo and come-ons being written more directly! I’ll try not to think what that lecherous old FFXIII priest might be like in the original.

  • NorthernPatches

    At a certain point in the game my battles were:
    Use parent team’s strongest attack.
    Use kid’s strongest attack.
    Repeat until dead.

    For maybe 3 boss battles at the end did I need to change that up.

    And the part about the kids being disposable is so true. I kinda, sorta felt bad I was trading these kids in for a newer model. Like how the kids would go “Though we’re apart I’ll always love you daddy!” and various other lines when you gave them independence. I was actually relived when I managed to make three kids whose max level was 99.

    I did like making the Voltron robots and I did like the kid’s lines and little conversations they had in the dungeon “My daddy is the strongest!” “I’m going blow away the monsters! Hey just don’t hit me when you do!”, I just wish they said more.

    That said I did enjoy my time with it and got every girl’s ending.

  • Manny Being Manny

    I’m loving Conception 2, its certainly a game with a limited audience… but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If it tried to be appealing to mass audiences it would lose what makes it so good in the first place.

    • AlphaSixNine

      This is why I thought it would never make it state-side. I knew from the start mainstream media will find it “creepy”, “shallow”, “cliche” or “sexist”. Even imported the game since I was so sure it would never make it. Very grateful I got to enjoy the game in English. Just hope critics don’t stop them from bringing over games like this.

      • PersonaBull

        You use the scare quotes nicely but let’s be real it is all those things; creepy, shallow, cliche, sexist. Especially the last one. It doesn’t take being mainstream to notice how horrible the game is in a social aspect. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually playing and enjoying it as well, but in this case there’s definitely a reason for the mainstream to look down on this game in particular. I will say, there’s actually a surprising amount of instances though where I’m happy they went with character dialogue. It still gets it wrong in the end more often than not, but I’m seeing it go further than I expected a game about making children with a harem of schoolgirls to go. Most of it is pretty trash, though. Maybe I’m just masochistic and that’s why I’m still enjoying this game. I would never call this game anything but enjoyable in a positive sense for sure.

        • AlphaSixNine

          Well mainstream runs on “acceptable” social norms. I believe it is unfair to call a game horrible just because it doesn’t agree with the popular social belief.

          Mainstream media don’t do this with shooters because society at the moment find it acceptable to shoot people in games. It’s ok to include torture, excessive blood, swearing because society doesn’t mind it. They don’t criticize a game for letting you hijack a car and run over innocent bystanders because majority of society enjoys such things. That’s social norms, and that’s where mainstream is born.

          Conception 2 delves on what society as a whole finds unacceptable and offensive while in reality it basically does the same thing society finds acceptable albeit on a different subject.

          Society is too sensitive when it comes to sex/sexuality/sexism but is incredibly numb when it comes to violence/gore/blood etc.

          • notentirelythere

            That sensitivity is partly why overt, clumsy handlings of sexuality draw attention to themselves.
            So many games draw from power fantasies as a means of engagement. Most ultraviolent games do, overtly.
            In a game where developing personal relationships is a core engagement, juggled with a violent power fantasy of being a dungeon-clearing badass, relationships often become part of a power fantasy.
            Think about how in Persona 4, association with the main character is essentially the key to self awareness and growth of S. Link characters.
            Now, make S. Links exclusively female and actively disempower those characters. Make most all of them constantly vie for the attention of the main character and the MC’s approval in the main narrative, not just occasionally in late-arc scenes.
            Of course the game comes off as sexist. Its whole premise is based around an adolescent sexual male power fantasy. Sexuality is a central theme of the game, and it bares examination and comment.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            Hot damn. I have never seen it broken down that way. ono

            I really love P4, but after a while, it kind of started bothering me, and then reading around and chatting about (even a convo here on Sili not too far back) made me side-eye it kind of hard, but what you just said really gets down to the gist of it.

            Thank you for that~.

          • notentirelythere

            Gwaha, thanks! Persona 4 was very formative of my ~teenage identity~ so I like considering it from a lotta angles!
            It’s worth side-eyeing, and my language was unfavorable, and there are hella legit crits from that angle on a negative side, but I honestly think it’s… kinda noble? Trying to bring out confidence and security in others through earnest conversation and self reflection (Chie’s recognition of your character as someone to be honest around)! I don’t think that’s a bad teen PF.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            I can totally understand that. x’D

            I agree though. I do love it, and I think even though it kisses the protags butt quite often (to be frank?), I was able to play a protag that I liked (sincere, forward and caring) and in that respect, it was very fulfilling.

            That is one of the highlights of P4 to me, pretty much what you said about it right there~. (And the notable crits that I enjoyed certainly did have appreciation for it nonetheless too.)

          • Shippoyasha

            Except the game does not do a part in ‘disempowering’ the female characters as it’s more that the game is driven by a male protagonist engaging in the narrative. If the game was the opposite and had a female narrative, it would be just as viable. The game was never meant to be the kind of ensemble cast story like Persona is. And the game was thoroughly comedic in presentation for almost all of its plot. I seriously doubt people who slam this game as overtly sexist would go out of their way to spend money to play through it to give it a fair evaluation. Instead, ‘power fantasy’ this, ‘disempowerment’ the next. Buzzwords after buzzwords to fumble over at accusing the game.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            Western society, or NA at least, is definitely too numb/casual with violence and has a huge stick up its butt with sexuality. It’s a shame, but that’s how it is.

            I don’t think the game is horrible because it’s sexist, but if it’s already a little old for being so cliche and kind of copypasta, that part doesn’t help. Albeit, to me Conception II looks stylish at least and I think that can help a ride along quite a ways~.

        • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

          Haha, this entirely. I don’t know what it is, but people are having a hard time realizing that something they enjoy can be and probably is sexist and most likely creepy. If it is, just acknowledge that part and keep enjoying it!

          Me personally, it’s a fine border of what I will and will not tolerate as far as sexist and especially creepy goes, but in general, I just get so bored/tired of the hardcore pandering and lately, I want to indulge myself so no, I don’t feel like pretending be a straight guy no matter how much I think the girls are cute. I don’t think I could bother buying Conception II right now, but it does look fun and like more of a guilty pleasure – but it’s one I’d rather borrow than pay for. =v=;

          • Shippoyasha

            I am pretty aghast that you would say that. If someone actually finds something to be morally objectionable, then they won’t play it. This idea that people just willy nilly play something morally bankrupt is ridiculous to me. It’s a kind of game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I feel the whole ‘dating sim’ (the word simulation) gets people the wrong impression that the dynamic is meant to be taken like a realistic representation of relationships, sexuality and the like. It’s meant to be a lighthearted, silly game, not something that indicts how people treat another gender.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            I certainly hope you aren’t implying that I take dating sims seriously and have little experience with them. x’D
            I read shoujo manga; I know when to not take my fictional romances seriously! lol

            See, if something is outright morally objectionable to me, as in crosses the lines that absolutely make me ill; hell no I would not indulge in it! But if it gets some sketchy looks, I can deal with that. It’s just a matter of knowing on what level I would be evaluating my content.

            Obviously, if it’s something meant to be serious, I would very strongly analyze and criticize it properly (“in general” and from a “feminist standpoint”). If it’s really one of those silly, indulgent/pandering things? I just look at it, call it out as need be and keep enjoying. I don’t critique anywhere near as hard, but it’s not look I wouldn’t judge it either way.

          • Shippoyasha

            That’s kind of the thing I don’t get. Why is it such a harsh negative if something is a little bit pandering and indulgent? This is the world of gaming where we can have some of that in the safest place possible: pure fiction. I am not really sure how the feminist perspective even enters the equation here considering the game never feels anything more than cheesy, cutesy or goofy. Sure, it may appeal to the male audience more because the way the appeal is aimed at. But I don’t see what it would stop a feminist minded person dead stop. I am just so uncomfortable with talking about game characters like they are living, breathing human beings. The reason why we can have such a level of escapism in gaming is precisely because it’s fictional.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            Harsh negative? In what way am I saying it is so I can clarify. If you don’t mean me specifically, well, that’s probably for a number of reasons, lol. I don’t think that inherently is a problem, but as a girl that wants to play as a girl every once in a while at least, it certainly gets old that all the content with actual, full gameplay gets relegated to (straight) guys.

            And I never said it would stop a feminist-minded person. I think you may have missed exactly part of what I was saying.

            I’m not going to address the escapsim part though. I feel like a lot would be unloaded there lol.

          • Shippoyasha

            I think the escapism element speaks for itself. Wacky, bizarre games like this are great in that it’s easier to ascribe to them in ways we wouldn’t if they were simulations or intending to be more dramatic stories. Even then, this game does actually have some heart. I can understand more games like Otome game types should come out. I just think it’s slightly unfair to weigh that topic on the shoulders of one game.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            Oh, I’m not really judging the game. Don’t get me wrong when I say I need to turn my brain off. I think Young Avengers has some really smart writing, but I’m just going to casually enjoy it so I would turn my brain off for it. Same with my shoujo stuff mostly (and I am very invested in them at times), if it’s not something with intricate, deep storylines; I will probably turn my brain off.

            Definitely! And not just VN otome games; but otome games that are allowed to be more sexual outside, “he raped you, but it was sexy!” and definitely more otome games that had strong (J)RPG elements. Frankly, I think people are passing up on good money. If you don’t bother investing in the market, you won’t get their money~.

            I don’t think anyone is weighing anything on this game’s shoulders though. x’D

            My thoughts on Conception, regardless of number : Cute girls. Looks stylish. Strong Persona elements in the design. Could be fun. Harem aspect could be exciting or trite. Children are cute and I love me some job classes!

            That’s what it boils down too, lawl. >u<

          • Shippoyasha

            Well, superhero and basically any outrageous premise in fiction definitely needs to let us suspend our sense of disbelief for sure.

            I am hugely into romance and yaoi and pansexual stories too. And truth be told, sometimes plot twists comes out of the left field just to make things interesting.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            Hehe, suspending disbelief is another story entirely for me. But that’s fairly easy, as long as the world is consistent in what it does. I am a fan of mecha; super robot specifically. I can suspend my disbelief to the ends of the universe (there isn’t one!) as long as something is consistent.

          • Shippoyasha

            Funny thing is, ‘realistic’ romance can have some really crazy plot twists too. Such as characters falling over dying, cancer to the good old soap opera cliche, ‘random car hitting a protagonist dead’. Ef is probably one of my favorite romance stories of all time, but its melodrama is heavily steeped in a lot of convenient things happening together (along with some religious/supernatural things happening in the background). Bokura ga Ita is pretty infamous for its ‘cancer out of nowhere’ angle. Still, it works for the drama I suppose.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Where is it being said that pandering is a harsh negative? It is only being noted that it is pandering and indulgent. Folks can choose for themselves if they want that or not. And either choice is more than acceptable.

          • Shippoyasha

            Not talking to specific people necessarily. I just seem to run into that dynamic a lot in general. Especially when discussing the potential ‘problematic’ element in regard to why the pandering/indulgence may be problematic in itself. I disagree with that of course. Though I can see why people may land on the conclusion why it’s a bad thing.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            But that dynamic is certainly not here in your conversation with puchinri. Not liking something you enjoy is not passing judgment on you. Something that has been mentioned to you before.

            No one is out on our threads to attack you. I don’t allow that regardless of who is involved or what is being said. Please don’t assume that one wishes the worst for you when they disagree.

          • Shippoyasha

            My talking point more specifically is this idea that just because I don’t find something to be especially problematic, that I am somehow letting something sexist ‘slip me by’ or that I am defending it. My whole point is that I don’t even see what’s there to even defend.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve had this conversation, and I really don’t want to engage in another wild goose chase with you, but as I’ve said before, your idea of what is acceptable is very different from the rest of the world’s.

            So, this “little bit of pandering” that you’re referring to? Yeah, not so little. Anyone that’s familiar with Japanese media could take one look at Conception II and tell you what it’s trying to do, and that it isn’t really very appropriate by today’s standards.

            Whether you choose to accept that or not is your choice, obviously.

          • Shippoyasha

            I guess the funny thing to me is that not only is Conception 2 ‘acceptable’ to me, but it could have gone even further if games don’t severely restrict their sexual materials on consoles already.

            And I don’t see why sexual content is ‘inappropriate’ like it has no right to exist. To me, the world could afford to let its hair down about the issue instead of the level of renewed prudishness that’s taking over many advanced nations.

            If such a niche of risque content isn’t to everyone’s liking, that’s fine. What’s not fine to me is this idea that it needs to be wiped out or that it’s weighing every other type of entertainment down.

          • Dark Lord Ash

            “And I don’t see why sexual content is ‘inappropriate’ like it has no right to exist.”
            Then sir I’m going to have to ask you to check your privilege. Just kidding, despite how it looks here in the west, violent games (or just games in general) get their share of flack, most predominately when some moron does something like go on a shooting spree or neglect to feed their staving kid. Anything that has the potential to “hurt the kiddies” is an insta-nono and since we live in a world where pedos and pervs are seen worse than serial killers and psychopaths (how these are not seen equally as horrid is beyond me) how do you think people would react to an influx of typical otaku produce being accessible at your local store? Imagine the tectonic movement level of butt blistering if something like Rapelay or even vanilla stuff like toheart was purchasable at gamestop.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Let’s not turn the thread into a polemic, please. Shippo and Puchinri are simply figuring out they can agree to disagree.

          • Shippoyasha

            To bring the level of language down a bit, a lot of it has to do with misconceptions and preconceptions. I can’t really blame people for having that. That’s their right. I can’t force my views on them. All I can do is just show that other ways of viewing the world exists.

          • Dark Lord Ash

            That’s the best any of us can.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            As I’ve said in the past, you never seem to understand the difference between sexual content and creepy sexual content, so trying to explain it to you is an exercise in futility.

          • Shippoyasha

            What you may consider ‘just sexual content’ and what you would consider creepy is not the same for me. Maybe you should try to understand that people just have different standards

        • Shippoyasha

          I disagree extremely that this game is somehow promoting sexist viewpoints at all. It’s not a bad thing if a protagonist is male and has a group of girls to woo. It’s perfectly fine for Otome games to have a girl woo from a harem of male characters too.

          This game and its ilk are not meant to be a serious statement on gender. To force that narrative is just heinous as I see it.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            I don’t think it actively tries to promote anything, but as a minor nitpick; I don’t think the problem lies with being a harem. Something doesn’t need to try to be a serious statement on gender to make statements about it, and regardless of intention, everything should be examined. Things don’t exist in a vacuum.

            However, it’s easy enough to go; “well, this is pretty obvious about what it’s trying to be and who it’s pandering to! I think we all know what’s what here, moving on to other things~!” I mean, that’s how I look at it. I wouldn’t exclude it from being looked at from a feminist perspective, because that’s important, but I know that to actually be enjoying it, I’ll probably have to turn my brain off. (Which I do for a lot of things anyway lol.)

          • Shippoyasha

            I am sorry but I extremely disagree with that statement. Videogames are not going to dictate to me how I live my life. The mere thought just doesn’t resonate with me at all. I just find it offensive that just because I think this game is merely cute, somehow I am supporting a sexist mindset or that I am against female rights and empowerment. I just don’t know where to begin with that one. I know you mean well, but I am offended. Otaku gamers always are attacked like this constantly. Nothing new, but still extremely tiresome.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            Who said anything about dictating how you live your life? Of course it’s not as simple as that. And who said any of that? I myself just acknowledged that I enjoy content with sexism and problematic elements; does that make me not feminist? Of course not! You think there aren’t feminists that enjoy things obviously not targeting them? It’s par the course.

            I’m a big fan of DC comics, but do you think that would stop me for calling them out on crappiness? Nope. I’m also a fan of Takeuchi and Sailor Moon, but even it has its problems and I would readily and quickly point them out.

            The point is, no piece of media is free from something in some way. That in itself isn’t the problem; it’s just what the media is, how it’s handled and treated.

            Being otaku-aimed doesn’t exclude something; but being defensive about people casually pointing out problems just brings bad attention to that.

          • Shippoyasha

            I don’t see why everything has to ‘problematic’ everywhere with the feminist perspective. I used to call myself that once but got disgusted by the way so many feminists look at ANY sexual design or art, call it ‘problematic’ like one can’t enjoy such things in a safe and respectable way.

            This idea that sexualized entertainment somehow makes me a terrible person for supporting it is just something I am really against. Injecting moral and social implications for merely liking an aesthetic just strikes me as very, very wrong to me. And it just comes across as extremely judgmental. I haven’t had a single discussion regarding all of this where it doesn’t always cycle to the people enjoying it, like we need to ‘accept’ it’s bad, otherwise we are just ‘defending’ it. To me, there’s nothing TO defend. Because people can enjoy sexual entertainment safely and respectfully. To say so otherwise would indicate people like me CAN’T separate the silliness from serious issues. Now THAT is problematic to me.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            Ultimately, if you define feminist as purely being humanist, it’s easy for a lot of things to be problematic; because plenty of people are a-holes that don’t care and some people just don’t know. But we call things out so the people that don’t know but care can learn and improve. (Not hard, right?)

          • Shippoyasha

            I’m not saying the intent is wrong. But it just seems to cycle through to sexuality alone as to why it’s so bad. I can understand why people may look at certain things with a skewed perspective and land on a conclusion they ‘could’ be bad if madly misconstrued by the observer. Hence that is why these games are rated appropriately on the box, where the games are meant to be played for more mature audiences who would easily grasp the concept of escapism, parody and comedy. Maybe these games can be problematic if very little kids or very impressionable people played them (even though I was playing games like this since I was a toddler and knew that people don’t actually act out sexual comedy in the real world willy nilly). But I just don’t like this idea that just because something is risque, we suddenly land the game on jail as ‘problematic material’.

            It just seems to feel that to me, a lot of otaku gamers get slammed for not having the kind of critical thought to filter these games as escapist entertainment they are. I’m not saying that’s your stance. Just that it seems to be what I run across in regards to discussing games like this in many parts of the Internet. Again, I think the words ‘dating sim’,and the ‘simulation’ part of it really trips a lot of people the wrong way. Like the gamers/consumers are meant to filter that to our brain like the portrayal of character in the game is meant to be a simulation. That is a misnomer to say the least.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            To be honest, feminist material itself gets treated the same way by feminists. I think with otaku-aimed material, it’s just that it’s such an easy target for many people (including nerds of other groups/media) and that all gets thrown in there too. Some people that don’t actually care about feminism will throw around “sexism” for the sake of bashing their “competition.”

            Feminism doesn’t treat anything differently, and many of the otaku feminists certainly wouldn’t exclude what they like from critique just because they like it; that wouldn’t be fair.

            I know how you feel a bit, because in my world, media aimed at girls is always under attack. It’s called pointless fluff, not taken seriously, etc. But that’s not because it’s true; but because it’s an easy target. But, knowing better, I’m not going to let those people get the best of me. I think that’s as best as I can say~.

          • Shippoyasha

            Well, any kind of romance or dating element in games seems to get slammed in general. I just suppose games with sexualized female characerizations are just another low hanging fruit of an issue in general (also sexualized males in games for otome material). Again, I can see how it could be seen as problematic if we look at it only from the ways it can be problematic. Pretty much being a pessimistic perspective on a lot of sexual media. I just feel that the optimistic and positive perspective of sexual media just doesn’t get play at all like it doesn’t exist. Maybe I just have a whole different kind of appreciation for sexual entertainment considering this is pretty much my entire childhood (like Ranma, Dragonball, Cutey Honey and the like).

            I really can’t blame anyone who feels irked or uncomfortable with these games and walk away. That’s perfectly legitimate. I just balk at a ‘this stuff is a problem’, firm stamp of morality seal. Now that just riles me up, as you can see.

            Sorry if I seem to be pointing a lot of this in your general direction. But this is just something that is clawing at my heart for years. I actually think Siliconera and the mod team has been cool about discussing this, no doubt. Just that I feel a battleline has been drawn in many a discussion about stuff like this in most parts of the net.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            I grew up with Bastard!!, Project A-ko, Sailor Moon and a bit of hentai. I have weird tastes when it comes to sexuality; but I enjoy it! I think the NA should loosen up and really open up when it comes to sexuality! But, I do think sexuality does get abused by a lot of creators quite often; and quite intentionally and lazily at times, because they know they can.

            I would never stop calling out the problems in anything I enjoy, but again, I don’t think that means it’s bad. And feminism doesn’t work that way either~.

            I don’t know what to tell you though. Maybe it’s the sites you go to? There are a lot of vocal people that, like I said, will bash and misdirect. And some that are well-intentioned but not as informed. It took me years to really get to being as informed and open-minded as I am now, even though a spark of it was always there. Sometimes you just have to try and open their eyes a little too~.

            The feminists sites and people I follow tend to be pretty frank. They talk about all aspects of the media, pick apart stuff and look at it for what it is. It has certainly helped me learn a lot and appreciate more things! ^u^

          • Shippoyasha

            I guess I just find it harder to justify which kinds of depictions can be considered truly ‘abusive’ though. I understand if my limit of what I consider to be acceptable and important for the arts is very high. As long as there isn’t a specific intent to hurt or damage, it should be fair play.

            Just as much with sexual content, I think violent or even borderline dangerous content can and should exist as long as the fandom and the creator know what they’re getting into. Which is why stuff like age-ratings exist for entertainment to begin with. And the consumer should be doing some research into the topic at start.

            Funny thing is, some of my favorite genres of anime and manga are relaxing comedies and slice of life. Stuff like Aria which is about as far away from ‘sexualized’ as you can get for a manga series. To stuff like Mushishi which is just all about calm contemplativeness. But then I would weigh that with some truly outrageous, exploitative, bombastic stuff like Berserk, Claymore, Hellsing, Terra Formars. There’s this one manga that was almost banned twice in Japan for showing a deaf girl being bullied. It’s a fairly exploitative work at spots. But it’s important to have some entertainment like that too, I feel. Artists should be free to express themselves even if they may not be to everyone’s liking or comfort zone. Sometimes it’s the only way they can express something without feeling they are being creatively handcuffed.

            As for sexual entertainment, I feel it’s important to note that much of it is comedic and well, sexual comedy being a thing with Japanese (or hell, much of Eastern Asian) humor has its place.

          • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

            Well, when I say abused, I just mean that some people are very lazy in how they write sexuality and resort to it because it’s easy/cheap. For example, death gets abused quite often. People want to shock their viewers and they’ll look for the quickest and easiest way to do. Just like how DC will never kill off the Joker because he’s their go to for quick and easy, mas killings. Also, he’s insane. Mental illness is also abused quite often in fiction. x’D

            There’s no real knowledge, research or time thrown in. It’s used because, “why not!” or to get some extra bucks.

            Frankly, a lot of these people are also very honest and upfront in their laziness/abuse. More power to them, but I think it’s old and for people that are writing, it kind of grates my nerves. (And certainly on a personal level, because I would love to write professionally, and look at these lazy douche-canoes.)

          • Shippoyasha

            Yeah, though I feel creators have the right to be cheap or easy. It is a brutally competitive field after all. Sometimes it can be really cheeky, like some of my favorite sexual anime/manga are very apparent in what they try to do. Though the class acts can always layer it with additional elements like drama. Heaven’s Lost Property is a good one in that it’s unabashedly, ultra perverted, but it does have a good sense of heart and even a pretty interesting backstory to it all.

            Comicbooks often struggle with deaths for sure though. Namely because too much of it is legacy-built. Which is why it’s a lot better seeing totally new villains who can die in the story arc and you never know what could happen with them. Speaking of the Joker, he better stay dead in Arkham Knigh videogame, because his death had some dramatic weight in the second Arkham game.

            Anime and manga can use the death aspect pretty cheekily as well. Though it does set it apart from a lot of western cartoons where many just will never have an onscreen death at any cost (partially due to FCC government censors and basically labeling cartoons as childrens’ entertainment).

    • Duo Maxwell

      The biggest flaw is the lacking of dual voice for a game that’s aiming toward the niche market. I know it’s Atlus and all, but they should have known their audience by now.

      I still think Demon Gaze is a better game and it’s worth all the money.

  • iwuzhere

    I felt the same way. I really liked the concept but I thought the gameplay fell really short. I played the demo both on my vita and 3DS and I tried to find a reason to like it but the combat just felt so boring to me. I really hope they make a sequel an continue to improve on gameplay. I can get behind the concept and wackiness in it but I want to have at least decent gameplay.

  • Laith Rem

    I went expecting a sequel to Conception I.

    I was not disappointed. (Nothing too good, nothing too bad, run of the mill with generic girls with a few twists here and there.)

  • burucchi

    The funny part about this article is that a lot of the complaints directed at the dungeon crawling can easily be applied to modern Persona games, where difficulty is pretty much nonexistent and every floor is some randomly generated layout with a different wallpaper that doesn’t particularly reward exploration, nor does it offer variety in battles to make them fun or engaging.

    Likewise, for one who praises Fire Emblem Awakening, the complaint about the one-dimensional characters come off as pretty funny, considering how awful the FE:A cast was in general. Each character had one joke they repeated in every interaction with them and anything close to a personality and/or backstory has been removed in order to accommodate the roughly implemented wife/children system, which even ended up spilling on the actual plot of the game.

    Which isn’t to say Conception II is a fantastic game, of course, but it definitely felt very playable and made me chuckle a bunch of times. It’s no Persona 4 regarding the characters, that’s for sure, but then I don’t think there should be any doubts about the intent of the creators in making this quirky and wacky. I mean, jeez, that Congratulations song just by itself is enough to tell me that.

    And on a more personal note, I can easily say that Conception II at least left me with a smile on my face, unlike FE:A, which makes me worry for the future of what used to be one of the great strategy-RPG series in the market.

    • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

      I’m certainly aware of the similarities, that’s why I brought those games up specifically. As far as the dungeon crawling goes, my main complaint is that the pacing in Conception II is such a slog. The dungeon floors feel super long in comparison to Persona’s and the variations are even less noticeable. I found Conception II’s battles move unnecessarily slow for how simple they are (even with the speed up) and boring in their implementation. Conception II also doesn’t have the benefit of the persona collecting system to keep things fresh, or a really great battle theme.

      It’s really just a vastly inferior, less interesting version of Persona, and to be real here, I think the dungeon crawling of Persona is kind of weak anyways. That game works more as a cohesive experience rather than straight up dungeon crawler, which I suppose this tries too, but falls flat.

      On a similar note, and this is certainly max opinion, but I find the one-dimensional interactions in Awakening to be a hundred times better written than anything I saw in Conception II. Maybe part of it is the focus, but every girl in Conception II is pandered towards you while Awakening’s characters give the impression that they have independent brain function.

      P.S. I certainly like to make people laugh, but I don’t think you actually find my opinions funny.

      • burucchi

        First of all, I apologize if it came off as being rude, it wasn’t really the intention. It’s not your opinion by itself that I find funny, but just how generally people seem to hold Persona in such a high pedestal for when a good chunk of the game, or, one could say, the actual “game” part of it was pretty weak compared to good dungeon crawlers out there. Again, no disrespect intended, just trying to disagree (though it seems you also agree on that aspect, so, not so much) with that idea.

        As for the Fire Emblem bit, doesn’t fly for me. Sure, the girls in Conception are the usual tropes for anime girls that you can date, but given how many opportunities you have to actually engage in what would be considered “normal” conversations, every once in a while the game gets it right. Fire Emblem Awakening never really gave me that feeling, and as a FE fan, especially Fire Emblem 4, I tried hard to like the game. A lot of the design choices made to facilitate the game such as making Chrom the one recruiter for new party members and such ended up taking a lot of the possible backstory and… well, identity to each character.

        I know it might be repeating myself, but take Tharja for instance. She’s so flawed from the very start that even the reason she joins your ranks makes absolutely no sense. And from there on, every support you can do will play on the same silly joke, but there never feels like there’s any chemistry between characters, because they’re just randomly recruited people with barely any backstory to them.

        As for the rest, sure, I’d agree that it’s a vastly inferior Persona 4 (I wouldn’t say so for 3, because I have some pressing issues with that one) clone that goes for the wacky route instead of a more serious, grounded in “reality” one. But then again, what’s so wrong about that? The thing that made me post in the first place is that I felt were coming off a bit too harshly on the game. It’s a cheap JRPG dating sim mix game that doesn’t try to oversell its premise, and for that I think you could certainly do a lot worse than Spike’s effort here. Call it comfort food, if you will, haha.

        • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

          Nah, we’re cool. I’d say I’m holding Persona on a higher pedestal just because it’s such a thin line between interesting and boring. Persona 3/4 have just enough going for them to make the dungeon crawling parts interesting, while Conception II takes them away while adding a few new mechanics that fail to add to the experience, pushing it more to the boring side.

          As far as Awakening goes, it’s more about focus. The biggest difference to keep in mind is that Fire Emblem is a strategy game with dating sim elements while Conception II felt like (at least to me) a dating sim with dungeon crawling elements. The interactions with your harem were clearly where the bulk of the effort went, while as in Awakening it felt like a side thing.

          The difference is most clear in Awakening’s interactions being brief and concise compared to a grueling session of listening to, say, Narika being awkward and useless without her husbando. By nature of the cast size and possible couplings, Awakening is kind of forced to make things less indepth but I think well written enough to be entertaining. I’m more willing to forgive Awakening’s character flaws in comparison to Conception II because of their difference in focus.

          Also just so we’re clear, it’s not like I think Conception II is the worst thing ever or anything. It’s functional for what it is, as you put it, cheap kind of “comfort food game.” My problem is just how boring it was, from the gameplay to the character interactions to just the overall feel I guess. It’s a crazy concept that doesn’t have any real fun with it. I was caught off-guard but just how thoroughly bland I found it to be.

          • burucchi

            Haha, focus is a good word, though I guess I see it under a different light, because it’s actually what I’d use to justify what made Awakening so lackluster for me. I realize this might come off as a bit of a grumpy rant from an old-time Fire Emblem fan, but basically, the fact they twisted the story and game so far in order to accommodate this “expanded support system” that tied in with the marriages is what makes me really iffy on the whole execution in FE:A.

            FE4 had done something similar to it like, more than a decade ago, but in that game I felt the focus was first and foremost on the overall plot and the gameplay to carry it forward than in the whole support/characters interactions. Here, personally speaking, I see such a big focus on making sure everyone can and will experience the whole marriage thing, that I expected a lot better than what was presented. Not only that, but by opening up the possibilities to such an extent, the more restricted support actions from the past, that I felt worked just nicely and actually filled a good role in the game, ended up becoming a big fat miss.

            In a way, actually, a lot of the systems in FE:A such as the world map shops that sold things that shouldn’t be buyable such as Nosferatu tomes and what not ended up turning that game more into a “normal” JRPG, to me, than a strategy one. After a certain point in the game, the feeling I got is that the most fun to be had out of it was see how much you could abuse the inheritance of skills in order to make the most powerful units, because the actual strategy component was never particularly good. This is going completely off from the original debate, but basically FE:A never really delivered on the map design, with a lot of very vast, open areas, where enemies just spawned. No fog of war, no real different victory conditions, the game just seemed to let go a bit of its S-RPGs roots in order to become something else, and I reckon a lot of the success is because of the attractive character designs and how most people who weren’t FE fans found the new system to be appealing. But that’s, as pointed out, a completely different story, lol.

            Back on Conception II though — and this is going to be so short it seems likt eh original issue was about FE, lol — I guess it’s just a matter of agreeding to disagree here, then. I see what you mean, and though we don’t see eye to eye, that’s just the way the world goes. Personally speaking, the ‘creepy’ bits you quoted in the original article worked for me as just silly comedy, and it was just that which kept me going. The girls, though not stellar, were also fun enough, and especially Chloe (and Chlotz, by association) would make me chuckle every once in a while. Different strokes for different folks. Cheers.

          • stephane3012

            Enough with those long-ass text blocks!!!

      • Leon_Tekashi

        I will admit that some of the girls do come to you for most of their problems but not all of them imo, particularly Feene and Serina. But either way, you’re just being the nice guy who wants to help people out, and everyone loves those.

    • Suicunesol

      Well, I don’t know what you’re talking about regarding Fire Emblem, so I’m just going to disregard that part.

      Any one-dimensionality in FE:A’s characters is acceptable because of the sheer number of characters there are. The point of doing that was to make them memorable and unique as characters, because most characters didn’t get enough screen time to have really, really extensive development like Chrom and co. did.

      Conception 2 doesn’t have that excuse because there are only seven girls to interact with.

      • AlphaSixNine

        “Any one-dimensionality of FE:A’s characters is acceptable because of the sheer number of characters there are.”

        That’s a dumb excuse but ok.

        “The point of doing that was to make them memorable and unique as characters.”

        Wait what?

        How can they be memorable if you barely know a handful of them? Seriously I love FE:A but it’s character interactions is quite terrible. Marriage system was extremely disappointing and deeply shallow. I expected more of it.

        Conception 2 may be on the cliche/anime trope side of character interactions and story but at least it actually lets you know about the heroines. They at least let you know about their back story, their problems their anxieties, what kind of person they are. Something FE:A failed to show for majority of the characters because, like you said, it has “too many characters”.

        • Suicunesol

          What was shallow about it?

          I don’t agree with almost everything you just said. Whatever.

          • AlphaSixNine

            That you barely get to know about the character and next thing you know you’re already getting married? That interactions consist of mostly random chatter and events that do little to getting ti know the characters? To me that’s shallow. A fine example for me is Tharja, I love Tharja but the whole interaction with MC and her until marriage provided very little insight on her it left me very unsatisfied.

            Conception 2 panders on anime tropes and cliches but it does provide enough events and conversations that you get to know everything about the heroine. Liking them of course is highly subjective.

      • burucchi

        The other Fire Emblem games that most people ignore also had a lot of characters, and while a good bunch of them might fall under the one-dimensional category, there were arguably a lot more characters that actually mattered and where the writers made an effort to at least try to create some chemistry between the support relationships. Of course, a lot of that was also related to how you couldn’t support with just about anyone you wanted, being far more limited, but in this case it’s one instance where “less is more” for me.

        That said, I’m not trying to argue that Conception 2 boasts some amazingly well written characters. The point being made is that it’s a cheap niche JRPG made by a small company and which is pretty much trying to be just that, a cheap quirky JRPG. If you set expectations in place, Conception 2 is a pretty fun title. FE:A however is the newest, and arguably most ambitious entry in a long-running series that has made a name for itself in the S-RPG market. It does not deliver in several areas, and came off, to me, as a serious downgrade in several ways compared to the other games. I feel a lot more justified in complaining about it than, well, Conception 2′s archetypal anime girls.

        • Kumiko Akimoto

          >FE:A one dimensional characters.
          What?

          • burucchi

            Do you think FE:A characters are complex and multi-layered? Maybe, MAYBE Chrom and Lucina have something more going for them, but pretty much the rest of the army is made of pretty faces with one defining trait that is played over and over again to the point of exhaustion.

            This also extends to the villains, or lack thereof. In previous FE games, you’d make your way and fight a bunch of iconic villains, and usually experience a bunch of boss conversations whenever you finally get to a face off. Here there’s… generic villains in the vast majority of the maps, with one or two battlefields escaping such fate.

            I know opinions are opinions, but sometimes I wish I could look at FE:A and see the game – and characters – other people see there. It just doesn’t click.

          • PragmaticSoul

            See that’s the thing, where do people get the idea that Awakening’s characters are one dimensional? Heck the fact that you brought up Chrom as the exception kind of shows that you know nothing of the characters. The campaign was indeed too rushed to really let any of the characters shine but without a doubt the characters have their moments in supports. It seems like Tharja is the first and only character everyone likes to pick on to use as an argument for “Awakening’s characters are one dimensional.” One character = the whole cast? Come now.

            Do you even Gregor? Lon’qu? Virion? Severa? Cynthia?

            Do you even Harvest Scramble? Future Past? The characters ARE fleshed out. They just aren’t fleshed out in the main story.

          • burucchi

            Tharja’s the first character will rip to shreds because she’s just the icon that represents the common issue with FE:A’s characterization, really. That and, well, the fact she’s one of the fan favourites, despite being such a bad character. The reason is clear, of course, and it’s the reason why FE:A is such a huge success. It speaks volumes about it. The other characters aren’t so bad, but the vast majority just doesn’t offer enough to convince people either, because there’s simply very little in the way of growth. The interactions are mainly funny exchanges that make use of their own traits and eventually people decide to get married.

            And yes, I , and honestly speaking, none of them even come close to, say, Joshua from FE8, who is far from being amazing but at least has in his character most of the things one would expect to find at some point in a FE campaign. A plot for himself, considerable growth in his personality throughout the game as a result of his interactions with people from the army, as well as actual relevance sometime in the game where playing as him will indeed influence something in the battlefield, and not just through menus.

          • MrTyrant

            I like Tharja but yeah I hated the poor dialogues and the ones you have with the daughter and tell you will curse with the hex and bla bla. Hell they even needed more DLC to add post marriage dialogues or the funny ones in a festival.
            But I like sexy stalkers for my main unit I hope in the future a game to give me a better character with better dialogues and development.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            No it’s more the fact that you think this isn’t something that has been going in FE in general.
            That and the fact that apparently using archetypes to make a “complex” character is better then not adding a back story or anything more to initial meet up or beyond the little tidbits you have to find yourself because you can’t be assed to make a full backgrounds for all the characters you through at the player.
            Also I’m pretty sure people like thraja because of the yandere aspect.
            I’m not into her like that but I don’t think she’s a bad character. Just weird as hell.

          • hng qtr

            “Also I’m pretty sure people like thraja because of the yandere aspect.”
            Full
            body
            thights.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            What?

          • hng qtr

            You know, that…thing…she wears. People who say that she’s popular because of her personality are lying to themselves, honestly.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            Umm there are plenty of half clothed females in FE:A but she specifically gets a lot of attention, her design is nice but the yandere aspect is what tips it over the age.For the record yandere is an archetype not a personality.

          • BillyMK

            Yeah, I haven’t played FE:A yet and I already like her for the same reason… *DAT FIGURE* *o*’

          • Spider-Man

            I only care for her because of her body.

          • nick_54g

            >[greentext]doing this[/greentext]
            What?

          • MrTyrant

            I love FE:A like anyone else but you cannot deny that.

    • Dystopiq

      If you take Persona’s social aspect away it’s a mediocre JRPG. The dungeon crawling aspect is godawful boring.

    • JohnNiles

      Responding to your post because it raises the most specific points.

      Basically, people apply narrow, exacting criteria to things they are interested in and broad, vague criteria to things they aren’t, so potential fans will be a lot more critical of flaws. You’re correct that the flawed aspects of Conception II are within striking distance of other games “things we put up with because we like the game as a whole”, but that isn’t enough to put a game over the top.

      I like Spike Chunsoft as a developer and can see where they’ve economized effort in other games in order to focus on more important aspects, but I do think the game could have been improved in all areas except for music (which apparently was partially recycled from the first game).

      It’s true that Persona dungeons are boring, but there’s a slight yet critical difference- it’s harder to juke your way past monsters in Conception (monsters with “guard the door” AI can blindside you when you enter a room; monsters are often placed next to exits; rooms sometimes have inner walls that hem you in.) It’s the little things that make the difference between passable and unbearable.

      As a series newcomer, I think where Fire Emblem: Awakening really had problems was in its combat system – rock/paper/scissors, and did not take full advantage of the grid system or terrain. But I’m equally comfortable pointing out the flaws in Conception’s combat mechanics. Most of the skills can be collapsed into a small set of categories, some classes are basically identical except for passives, and the elements are essentially identical.

      Personally, I think Conception II’s most glaring issue is its awkward pacing. You need to converse with heroines to get BP for classmating, which encourages binge conversing, so the game clumsily makes you go back to your room to rest after 3 tries. Likewise, you need to classmate once per heroine (alone) per chapter to see events, which leads to creating excess Star Children with lower levels that skew to classes you may not want.

      • burucchi

        Oddly enough I’m not one to take the conversing as ‘binge’, because that might as well be the part of the game I look forward to the most whenever I’m playing. To me, it’s the real meat of the experience, with the JRPG part simply being there to offer a little something else and push the story forward. It works well enough as, like I said before, the kind of comfort food which is exactly what I was expecting out of this game.

        You do raise a fair point regarding the difficulty involved in basically avoiding the monsters and getting through it, but it’s really not something that became taxing on me at any given moment. Maybe it’s to do with the past of “playing old RPGs with encounters every second”, but the dungeon crawling always felt balanced in terms of how much time it’d take from you compared to the dating sim.

        As for the FE bit, god I think I’ve typed enough on the issue below, lol. But if you’re a newcomer, have you tried the other games? At least where the terrain is concerned, most games have much tighter map design, so you will actually find yourself making more strategic decisions on that front.

        • Arcueid Brunstud

          I understand what you mean though. FE:A feels sort of different. the story on fire emblem awakening was shallow compared to the others. didn’t care much about the bosses in all honesty there was not much special or should I say they didn’t leave much of an impression on me. the characters were good though they really didn’t feel like they had much of a connection. I played over 200 hours of the game though. but most of my team were classic FE characters not current from Awakening.

  • Suicunesol

    I played the demo for a bit, 3DS version. I like dating sims, so that part did not bother me.

    The atmosphere of the world did feel creepy in that it made no sense and was created solely to revolve around the player. All of the characters felt like Androids who were programmed to favor the player and act like nothing was wrong.

    After playing for about 45 minutes, I understood the purpose of the game: to dungeon crawl with your waifus and make children with them that (“By our powers combined!”) turn into giant, laser-beam-shooting mechas. What more could a guy want? :D

    …I think it would be interesting if, half-way through the game, the player finds out that they’re all animatronics. Your waifus malfunction and try to kill you. Unbeknownst to you, the whole thing is a reality-show set-up, and your struggle is broadcast on TV. Your goal then becomes to escape.

    • http://www.ihasnowebsitez.com Satonaka CP-Four

      that’s so fkkn’n creepy man O_o

      But yeah, that’d make for a great game :)

  • BillyMK

    I played the demo a little on the 3DS.

    I was really looking foward to the dating sim elements but didn’t like the voice acting, I was expecting japanese audio. The girls felt really bland as well.

    I also found the hole concept a little too creepy and the battle system wasn’t interesting enough to make me want to play more.

    I really wished there were more localized dating sims and games with dating sims elements. I don’t really know many games like that.

    • Anesia Hunter

      3DS demo was indeed bland and didn’t feel like it gave a true taste of the game like the PS Vita demo did. (The PS Vita demo contained quite a bit of the beginning of the game.) Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get the full version of the game yet, but from the playthrough videos I’ve been watching of it it’s been an awesome game.

      P.S. Narika for “Waifu of the Year.”

      • BillyMK

        Well, even with everything I said, I still haven’t ruled out playing the game. It’s just not high enough on my list right now. I was planning on trying it again once I bought a Vita since for what’s this game is trying to be, I guess the improved visuals are important.

  • justXaXnobody

    I’m really hoping we have different opinions of this game. I ordered mine a while ago and I’m still waiting for it to arrive, should be any day now. I’m in Australia and ordered a North American version before this game was announced for a European release. I hoping I get at least a few hours worth of entertainment.

    • Hikari Langley

      It’s not a bad game, I think the reviewer is being a little too harsh on the plot. I’m not saying it’s outstanding, but it’s decent.

      • justXaXnobody

        Well that’s reassuring , thanks for the feedback

    • Ferrick

      it’s not a bad game, albeit it’s not perfect either, the game is kinda like persona 4 just without the lovable mascot and the addition of a perverted igor-priest

      • justXaXnobody

        See that description alone sounds great as long as you don’t take the game too seriously, which I had no intent on doing anyway.

        • Ferrick

          it wasn’t meant to be taken too heavily

          • justXaXnobody

            My copy of the game literally just arrived!

          • Ferrick

            nice! i hope you enjoy it

      • MrTyrant

        Haha like Persona 4 lol and is funny how everyone use it as example of truly greatness.

        • Ferrick

          it’s the easiest choice because it’s atlus and p1~3 are too dark to compare to this one XD

      • http://nabe.kokidokom.net/ Cybersteel

        perverted igor D: the nightmares!!! the doujins!!!

  • SirRichard

    Conception II is a curious thing to me, because it represents something entirely bizarre about Atlus. Atlus USA are releasing it in Europe themselves, 2-3 months (I’m not sure when the actual EU date is, might be even closer than that) after the US release, digitally on both platforms. This isn’t actually a game developed by their parent company, it’s another developer’s game that they picked up of their own accord.

    This is curious, because we are now 10 months after the US release of Shin Megami Tensei IV, a 3DS game localised and published by Atlus USA, developed by Atlus of Japan, and yet there hasn’t been a single word about it for PAL regions from Atlus themselves. It was mentioned once, briefly, in a Nintendo Direct and no-one’s said anything since, and I had put that down to Atlus’ perverse, seemingly spite-inspired streak of deliberately refusing to acknowledge or put any effort towards our fair region. But now here we stand with Atlus USA demonstrably proving that they can indeed self-publish titles in Europe digitally.

    So what gives? Is there some sort of prime directive from the main company to only go as far as North America and not an inch further unless repeatedly pushed and shoved? This is probably something you fine lot at Siliconera should consider bringing up in an interview sometime, because this is getting weird now.

    • Tiredman

      Just like with every other Shin Megami Tensei game, it comes to content, or so I am guessing. Europe covers a lot more than a single country so trying to meet all the requirements of all the different country’s markets is a definite hurdle. When you have games like Shin Megami Tensei that dabble in religion, cults, and the occult, as well as having actual playable characters names satan and beelzebub, problems start arising.

      I haven’t really seen anything like the Shin Megami games in Conception 2, which is more than likely why it is getting released. Atlus themselves are probably doing it as a reminder that they haven’t forgotten their European fans.

      For examples, look into the hurdles developers and publishers have to jump through to release games in places like Germany and Australia. Oh, and before somebody says it, yes, I know Australia isn’t a part of Europe, it is just an example of hurdles.

      • SirRichard

        It isn’t the content, plenty of games with worse come out in a far more timely matter with nary a bat of the eye. Germany’s own special rating board, the USK, care more about violence than anything else. It gave both Soul Hackers and Devil Survivor Overclocked 12+ ratings, for instance; compare that to EA Sports UFC, which just got an 18+ from the same board.

        No, the recurring issue with every other Atlus game lately is that the European publisher ends up waiting. And waiting. And waiting, just over and over, on Atlus to get back to them. Zen United couldn’t get them to make a PAL build for Persona 4 Arena for so long, Ghostlight was met with crippling, game-breaking bugs in the initial Devil Survivor Overclocked PAL build, even NISA who manage to make all of their own releases near-simultaneous in Western regions are made to wait for months on end. We only just three days ago got Etrian Odyssey Untold!

        The hurdles you mention simply aren’t there for most games, only the most violent or the most crude run afoul of Germany and Australia. Europe consisting of multiple different countries hasn’t proved to be an issue lately for the likes of NISA, why should it be an issue for Atlus? These are all arguments and things discussed before, and the ultimate point is that something very weird is wrong with Atlus, somewhere.

        • Tiredman

          I would agree with most of what you say, but just see too many dev stories about the hurdles. But I won’t argue the point as I don’t live in Europe so don’t know enough to make a guess better than what I already listed.

      • Zoozbuh

        “When you have games like Shin Megami Tensei that dabble in religion, cults, and the occult, as well as having actual playable characters names satan and beelzebub, problems start arising.”

        What, and you think it was easier to release a game with those elements in America? Lol. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t religion a MUCH bigger thing over there, compared to most of Europe? Pretty sure PEGI (EU rating system) would not have a problem with that.

        Like the mods have said, there are probably different reasons going on, like the restructuring of Index/Atlus.

      • Gregor

        I don’t think that’s a problem, it has not been a problem for every SMT before, and Europe as a whole is less religious than the US.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      We keep getting asked to broach the question. I will make sure Ishaan is aware of the concern.

      I’m still expecting the reason involves the buyout and subsequent restructuring. License hells have been created from far less. As you note, Conception was not a game or IP directly involved in the Atlus takeover. So they might be freer to act with it.

      Edit — Ish has asked (as I knew he had). He can’t get anyone to discuss the subject. Love them no responses!

      • SirRichard

        Cheers, it’s just that it seems to be getting worse lately, and with no official comments on it from their end, it’s becoming hard not to attribute it to some sort of baffling apathy.

        I hadn’t considered that the buyout and the restructuring would have had effects, there might’ve been some really silly move made somewhere that is causing issues, but at the same time it seems like it shouldn’t. I can’t think of any publisher they might have accidentally tied themselves to, although I don’t know enough about any potential legal issues that could be plaguing them to make a guess.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          It’s one of the reasons Zero_Destiny and I have been letting people vent, long as things don’t get too out of hand. Yes, by now someone could have given some hint. If not the restructure, is NOE holding back on it for their own purposes? Or is one of the Euro rating groups quietly getting in the way?

          As you note below — the boards there seem even less consistent than the ESRB.

          • SirRichard

            The only possible reason I could see NOE holding it back for is that they object to some of the content, is Mara in the game or something? But I would have thought NISA would get dibs on it regardless, due to their deal with Atlus back when Persona 4 Golden was looming. Could that explain the radio silence, maybe there’s a bit of a struggle over SMT IV? Doesn’t really explain any of the other long gaps lately, though.

            Going by your edit, odds are we’re not going to find out any time soon, and that’s really frustrating. With other publishers at least being sort of open every now and then with how things are going for them, Atlus refusing to say a word on the subject is really strange.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          Trust me, I’ve tried asking NOE multiple times about what’s going on with SMTIV, but they won’t talk to us about it. Sadly, you guys will have to wait until whenever they’re ready to make their “official” announcement. Sorry, man. :(

          • SirRichard

            Ah, well, thanks for trying at least, man. Disheartening news all round, hopefully they finally mention it again at E3 or something, I don’t want to fully give up hope yet.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I wouldn’t give up hope. It isn’t like Nintendo to announce a game and then cancel it. Especially with SMT X FE on the horizon and the 3DS being in need of more software, I do think the game is still coming.

          • GH56734

            The E3 2003 listing for NoA included Kururin Paradise, Oriental Blue and a custom Robo game, among others. All cancelled.
            I really hope Europe doesn’t get the short stick this time :(

          • arkane9

            Thank you. At least you tried. Too bad we’re all met with a stone-faced reply from a lot of these companies.

          • Chersea

            If it’s worth anything, an email said that Atlus are actually publishing… which obviously means digital only if we get it at all.

      • landlock

        The fact that they won’t give a response is the thing I find most painful of all. It’s like a silent two-fingers.

        If we knew we had to wait but it was still coming then I wouldn’t mind waiting, I never have. It’s the unknown that is the problem.

    • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

      That’s kind of what pissed me off about Nora and the Carving Studio. Looking back, maybe Atlus USA was burned by the Atelier games on DS (Annie, if there was even another they tried) and didn’t bother, but they somehow passed up a title developed in-house (and with them and Gust, plus Michiko Naruke!?) and for titles that I wasn’t even sure they had a history in publishing?

      I usually can’t figure out Atlus. USA or JP. Or EU. I don’t even know how I feel about them anymore.

  • DesmaX

    Well, that’s a shocker. Anyway, game always looked bland for me, so I’m not surprised.

    Are you guys doing a review on Child of Light?

    • Ethan_Twain

      If so, it isn’t me. I bought it for myself on release though so lemme give you a few thoughts not as official site playtester but just commenter to commenter:

      1. So so gorgeous. If you can appreciate a game just as a work of art (some people get into that more than others) then it’s worth the price of admission just to see it.

      2. Solid JRPG with some weird quirks. I think the combat/customization/leveling up systems in Child of Light are all good, but it shows that Ubisoft hasn’t made many JRPGs. There are some “first talkie” kind of issues like battles being too easy for too long and level ups coming a little too frequently. None of this changes that the core JRPG mechanics are well designed, it’s just pacing that content that can be choppy.

      3. The best game to not have voice acting since PS1 FF games. All the dialogue is written in verse and if they had voiced it all it would have just RUINED the game. But since it’s (mostly) not voiced the cadence and rhythms of meter and rhyme come across not as twee but instead as being pretty powerful. The PS1 FF soundtracks are remembered as well as they are partly because the player didn’t hear voices, it was just music and dialogue. The really good Child of Light music with the meter and verse brings back that vibe kinda.

      4. Unique. It’s not like other JRPGs. If you like JRPG structure but are tired of shounen anime tropes, this is a must own.

      I basically think it’s super rad. But again, this isn’t official from the site. Just me.

      • DesmaX

        To be fair, I already brough it (I’m on chapter 5), just curious if there will be a review here.

        Yeah, it does feel like their first time doing one, but it’s still a damn fine JRPG. The developers have lots of potencial for future releases

  • AuraGuyChris

    “Once your current child reaches that cap, you need to kick it to the curb to make room for a newer, stronger one.”

    *Deep, low voice*

    Oh, dude, that’s sick.

    • MrTyrant

      Like real life (joking…joking)

    • AlphaSixNine

      In real life, your parents “kick you in the curb” too once you reach a certain level cap. It’s called letting yo be independent and useful to society. That’s how it is too here in the game lol. You get to choose to let them be independent and the level of the city increases depending on what level the Star Child is. XD

      • Mr_SP

        But you’re at least 5 feet tall by that point! They could at least “Evolve” into full grown people.

  • Zero

    Looking at this game at a western perspective of course it will sound weird and all. But to it’s target audience AKA me, the 40 dollar I used to brought this game is worth every single cents of it and I hope more games like these are localized.

    P.S Narika and Feene are the best girls in the game.

  • pokeslob

    I can completely understand the whole dungeon crawling thing, personally I find it to be a lower quality persona style game as well. although I will say that Conception is hilarious and does put me in quite the good humour!
    I absolutely love the goofiness in it, the art style, the graphics are great, the classmating system is cool, there is a lot to like but I think that it’s important to take this as a goofy game and not as a Persona successor or anything. like, it’s fun but it’s not game of the year or anything

  • KuroNathan

    “Every one of your female classmates shares the common characteristics of blushing every five seconds and an obsessive need to be told what to do by you.”

    This is pretty much what turned me off in the demo. I do not hate fanservice but I do want to at least maintain the illusion by not having them literally throwing themselves on to you 24/7

    • http://www.ihasnowebsitez.com Satonaka CP-Four

      I always thought the demo made them “easy to conquer” with all their visible quirks more obvious because it was the demo.

      Is it really “that easy” in the real game as well? O_o

      • http://nabe.kokidokom.net/ Cybersteel

        I really tot that as well D:

      • KuroNathan

        I played the vita demo which to my understanding was the first chapter of the game, i have no idea how the 3ds demo is but the girls in the vita (ch1) threw themselves at you and were practically asking for it (classmating)

  • Valtiel Ikari

    why do I feel the author was expecting a ground breaking experience and ended disappointed by high expectation of a game that revolves in making babies to fight?
    The game is quirky and it’s self awere, it’s meant to be funny and cliche.

    • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

      Is it self-aware though? I found it to play the concept fairly straight, from the baby making to the relationships to even the main plot. The only stuff that really plays with how goofy it is extremely brief things like “classmanting” or the creepy priest, and those feel like generic anime attempts at humor rather than jabs at itself.

      Just in general though, I don’t really go for the “well it’s supposed to be bad!” kind of arguments, whether it’s this or something like Sharknado. If you’re going to poop in the woods then you shouldn’t be charging money for your excrement. Nowhere did I state that I was expecting a ground breaking experience, I said that I wasn’t expecting to be bored. I think you’re only seeing what you want to see.

      • Valtiel Ikari

        not in the sense that is so bad that is good, it’s just ok in gameplay and core element, but I find a lot of the dialogs funny and self awere in many aspect, like the conversation with Clhotz, the way everybody is so straight faced felt like is in order to play along with the goofines and axentuate to straight self awerenes bits.
        also, using the same most powerful tactics in RPG is actually a problem in every RPG, Persona 4, just exploit weakness and do all out attack, tales, just spam launch/stagger moves so you can hit them until they die, etc.
        Also, sorry if the “ground breaking” thing came out somewhat offensive, I was using it as an hyperbole, to say that you perhaps had too many expectation froma game that has as a main premise “make girls like you so you can make magical babies to fight monster”, I just tend to speak like that.
        All in all, I guess it’s just depends on the person, for me, the game is ok, has funny parts, I find the gameplay good, and sure it has defects, but many of them are common in many RPGs and Dungeon Crawlers.

    • Anesia Hunter

      it kind of reminds me of the review siliconera did on SKB once it finally came out in the west. i dunno what these reviewers are looking for in these games, but i try not to let their reviews discourage me from buying games since its better to try out games yourself to find out if it suits your liking or not.

      • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

        yeah the guy who wrote that is garbage.

        I certainly don’t speak for anyone else writing for Siliconera, but the thing I personally look for is if I had fun playing the game. I don’t particularly care if it’s cheap or has anime breasts or whatever. I’m mostly looking for entertaining mechanics and if the game has a good “feel,” for lack of a better term.

        For example, just before this I playtested Demon Gaze. That game is much more sexually explicit than Conception II is, but I also found it to be a really fun 1st person dungeon crawler. It has a great flow to it and feels good to play. In Conception II I didn’t find the dungeon crawling or dating sim mechanics to be compelling and the act of playing the game felt like a slog. My process is really as simple as that.

        Nothing I or anyone else writing game reviews is meant to discourage you or your purchases. I’m not trying to make you feel bad for liking a game. If you have fun with it that’s great, all I can do is share my thoughts on it.

        • MrTyrant

          ctrl + f…searching for the word “sexism”…none found. Good job. At least a review who don’t use this word lel

          But let me tell you that the idea of a datim sim most of the time involve date all girls and most of them act kawaii while blushing and all that. It’s normal. There are good ones outside Persona/Fire Emblem that are more niche I just expect them to bring those games. Have you played Growlanser?

          • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

            I know what dating sims are like, I just don’t find that to be an excuse to not have interesting characters. I realize it’s a pandering market, but should they all be the same thing, with the same tired archetypes? I’d think for a dating sim to stand out they’d try to have more interesting characters.

            Never tried Growlanser, would you recommend?

          • AlphaSixNine

            Well I personally found the characters interesting and some extremely lovable. It’s very subjective I guess. I don’t mind overused archetypes as long as they are done right, I personally think they are here.

          • MrTyrant

            Very much. It’s an great strategic game with lot of characters and ending. There is a route with the villains too after new game+. There are four fairies companion who you can choose and they serve as your voice (main is silent) and friend. They also have ending, event and dates. Im talking about Growlanser IV for psp because I think that Atlus bringing that game was one of the best moves they made.

            “with the same tired archetypes”

            Well yeah you are right but tsunderes, kuuderes and all of them are everywhere but I agree at least they could had tried better dialogues and events but I didn’t hate all of them.

          • TiamatNM

            You should certainly give Growlanser a try if you like SRPGs. The games have a good battle system that’s unlike the normal grid based combat most games have. It’s also worth noting that despite the flashy female (and male) designs the games do not have innuendo or perverted dialogue. I’ve played all of the games and I can’t even remember a single utterance of the word “breasts.” Quite unlike Conception 2 where breasts are mentioned constantly.

          • Mr_SP

            Actually, being a dating sim is the opposite of an excuse. If a dating sim isn’t making me interested in the characters, then it has nothing. Character interaction is the entirety of the game.

    • Arcueid Brunstud

      obviously we all expected that. not something amazing.

    • psycho_bandaid

      Well it does no real good to evaluate the game on a curve. I don’t think his expectation were too high, its just that the game falls flat a little. These playtests are for folks on the fence and his message was “this is nothing special.”

  • ReidHershel

    I think that disappointed me more than this game was the fact that Atlus chose to localize this game over other stuff (especially after the SEGA acquisition).

    • z_merquise

      I’m still hoping for Valkyria Chronicles 3 localization.

      Yeah, there’s an English patch but importing stuff here is, let’s just say, complicated.

      • http://www.ihasnowebsitez.com Satonaka CP-Four

        I’m with you buddy; I still have a inkling of hope that I may yet have that precious VC3 on my Vita one day.

        heck jpn only with subtitles will do just fine, I just want a legal version regardless of whether or not SEGA deserves my $$$ :’(

      • MrTyrant

        Just emulate in your pc and all that. It’s a great game to miss and Sega won’t care for us anyway. I would love an HD remake for vita/ps3 or compilation but I really doubt they would care. Not even buying hundred of copies of the psp one would make them understand. This how much I “love” sega now. Where is Yakuza?

  • Kornelious

    I dunno, i’m digging this game so far….That could just be my weakness for “Choose your Waifu” games but I don’t see much wrong with it.
    Yes, i do wish that we could walk around the school and such and would t be so hard to be able to ATTACK in dungeons?! Not much to really dislike though, i mean I’ve played a lot of Compile Hearts/!f games so the story actually seems pretty solid and I like it :) (Especially the art style)

    • http://nabe.kokidokom.net/ Cybersteel

      Kamidori Alchemy Meister has a great gameplay, and ok story and ahem ahem niccce scenes, if you’re into “Choose your Waifu” games.

      • MrTyrant

        Just three that were horrible characters and other “ahem ahem niccce scenes” with unrelated characters with no ending and no route but ok everyone love the main characters.

        Himegari was a game for gentleman and scholars lol (just a downgraded gameplay compared with Kamidori)

      • Kornelious

        Huh, I think I’ve heard of that before….What’s is the game like?

        • http://nabe.kokidokom.net/ Cybersteel

          SRPG + Alchemy Stuff

  • NeptuniasBeard

    I used to love this site. Then you said you didn’t like a game that I kind of like, and now , I will never forgive you! Neeeeeeevvvvverrrrrrrrrr

    • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

      I’m so sorry please don’t hurt me

      • $51888021

        It’s too late. You already said one or two things I don’t entirely agree with, but in a sensible way. I can’t allow you to leave this place, Jack…

        • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

          If this is how it has to end, then I accept my fate. Please bury me with my vast vault of game journalism money.

          • Bryan

            You forgot to ask him to delete your internet history and wipe your hard drive!

          • $51888021

            I SHALL. And on your tombstone, I will write: “Here lies Jack, the worst game reviewer on the internet who was paid by EA, Activision, Facebook, and Pampers to write a false, negative review of Conception 2″

            Your legacy ends here.

          • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

            I am going to miss my Pampers sponsorship, that was a sweet gig.

          • Göran Isacson

            All the adult diapers one could ever desire, so there was never any need to go to the bathroom for breaks? My God, that WOULD be useful for a reviewer!

            Also rah rah insert conspiracy theory on how Pampers paid for a negative review so that otaku wouldn’t buy the game and possibly go out and get partners and children so Pampers can drive up sales of Diapers here.

          • Morningstar

            The Sarcasm is strong in this one.

      • NeptuniasBeard

        I wont hurt you, but you’ll have to live with the fact that you made me leave. Dial up Ishaan and tell him that NeptuniasBeard left because of YOU! See if you keep this job…

    • $51888021

      Un-subbed. Un-bookmarked. Dropped. 0/10 will never love again

    • DesmaX

      dont listen to the reviews i bet the reviewer likes cod hurr

    • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

      That was quite moving…

  • $51888021

    I wholeheartedly agree about the dungeons being a mundane, repetitive slog. I’m enjoying the game, but mainly as a light visual novel/dating sim kind of thing.

    As an RPG, it feels like a half-mimic of persona with original mechanics that don’t mesh well with the stuff that’s rather clearly copy-pasted from SMT. The dungeons go on way too damn long later in the game, you’re expected to grind too much, the enemies are as horribly balanced, and dole out EXP totally inconsistent with how easy they are to beat, the game gives you items and money like candy on Halloween (even further diminishing the importance of exploration), and the battle system lacks any practically significant depth beyond “use Dusk Analysis and fight all the monsters that are elementally weak to your team on auto-battle”

    But you know what else? Serina, Ellie, and Fuuko are all so adorable I’m willing to put up with all of it just to play more of their routes~!

  • 3PointDecoupage

    They make babies but they dont actually have sex?
    So they’re all test tube babies?

    • MrTyrant

      They joins “hands” use star energy (like mana) in their bodies, create a child with magic. It’s like making homonculus or something like that lol

      • JohnNiles

        You are the first person I’ve seen to use the term “homunculus” in relation to this game. It’s like people don’t understand the concept, so they fumble for terms like “child labor”.

        • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

          There’s no fumbling. The game is about having sex and children, it’s being (obviously) coy about it but that’s what classmating and the kids represent. Sure they’re not “real” children, but that’s clearly what they’re mean to be, both in design and concept.You’re being purposefully dense and I’m not sure what the point is.

          • MrTyrant

            They need to show us the full sex scene if not never happened :P I know It would become a hentai game but its so close that I would give it more points if it were the case.

          • JohnNiles

            I’ll thank you not to call me dense.

            They are child-like in form and mentality, They are brought into this world by your actions.

            They are also artificial beings that inhabit the bodies of dolls, and they are whisked away at the end of the game, once their purpose is done.

            The gap between the two is the gap between innuendo and the actual act. The skirting of the issue does matter- it’s what allows the game to be marketed here to begin with. If you explained this game to a friend as “You mate with a bunch of girls and send all your kids off to battle,” he’d say, “Seriously?”, and you’d clarify, right?

            There are a bunch of reviews of this game, but I don’t believe any of them have actually stated what the Star Children are. That’s what my original response says. It may seem like hair-splitting, but there is already a group of games (generational warfare?) where you raise a new generation to fight a war (Record of Agarest War, Phantasy Star(?), Fire Emblem: Awakening, I guess). That group doesn’t include this game.

            It’d be nice if one post about this game included that small distinction, is all.

          • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

            I wouldn’t clarify because that’s the essence of what it is. It’s interesting that you’d say this distinction is what allows the game to be marketed here, because from all the marketing I’ve seen, they’d rather not go into it. The idea of making children with the harem is what the game is being marketed as, not that you’re making homonculus dolls. No one talks about what it “really” is because the subtext is so obvious that everyone immediately sees past it.

            I think that the distinction is irrelevant, a failed attempt at skirting any moral implications of the concept. It’s still there, just pretending it isn’t. They look, talk, and act like children. Bringing the contrived game backstory into it doesn’t do much to remedy that.

  • nonscpo

    Jack your playing a video game not trying to find the meaning of life, I’m sure that the overall plot may have some issues. But nobody buying this game should have bought it for the dungeon rpg elements, they should have bought it for the dating sim portion which while maybe shallow is somewhat fun; and at the end of the day isn’t that what matters most?

  • MrTyrant

    The aspect I hated most are the dungeon and tedious battles, they were boring and repetitive. Lacking on everything. The story is what I expected and the datim sim wasn’t that bad but some event could have been longer.

  • Renaldi Saputra

    hmmm maybe it’s not surprising that the japanese rating was also quite bad for it

  • http://amc9988.deviantart.com/ amc99

    If you actually read, the game mentions many times that the adults feel sorry for the children to fight, but they dont have other choice since the star powers only appear to teenegers. That is why angel maker try to develop weapons that allows others to fight eventually . not that they dont have moral to send childrens fight. And the star children are not even humans, so ur child labor argument falls flat. It makes me Wonder how siliconera gonna review a similar game where they make babies that grow up really fast in order to fight demon that cursed their family. Who am i’m kidding they will sing a song of praise for the game because the game will not have a ridiculous title called conception. Heck I’m sure if the game have a different title most ppl won’t even react so negatively for no reason.

  • 오렌지

    Fuuko and Feene were what kept me going. And I was satisfied with their Endings.

  • Arcueid Brunstud

    IT was a likable game I enjoyed it.

  • Brotato Chip

    I enjoyed this fairly enough, but nothing in this game leaves a lasting impression on me.

  • http://nichegamer.net/ bf313

    The fact that you felt that children were disposable or annoying says to me that you didn’t put in the effort or that you just didn’t care enough about the game to begin with. I totally felt a connection with the kids and definitely didn’t find them to be disposable or annoying. If you felt that way it’s because you chose to play the game that way.

    The game is not perfect but it is a lot of fun, this is way too harsh of a review.

    Edit: After seeing some of the reviewer’s responses on here I seriously wonder why he even bothered with this in the first place, he just sounds angry.

    • DragKudo

      Felt sad when I did my first independence it brought back memories of my Sonic adventure 2 days. T.T

    • AlphaSixNine

      It made me think the reviewer didn’t know you can let you children go independent after you reach the level cap. But… that can’t be right? lol

      But yeah, like I said in my other post. I felt a real connection with my star children. I spend a lot of time(I still do) leveling them up to max so I can let them go independent and contribute to Fort City(by leveling up the city). :3

      • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

        Independence is what I was alluding to by kicking them to curb, you get rid of them and they might as well have not existed. Grinding party members to get rid of is not forming a connection to me, making party members that last a long time and stick with me is. On top of that you force them into teams making it hard for them to stick out from one another. I’m not denying it’s possible to care about them, but the game sure does everything in its power to make you not.

        You can’t appreciate them for individuality and you can’t appreciate them for long lasting bonds, so I’m just not seeing it personally.

        • AlphaSixNine

          I guess you can view it like that. I personally look at it as letting your children go on their own and live independently after raising them just like in real life. I find emotional attachment to that. Like I raised my child and it’s time for them to live their own life and contribute to society. No longer bound by me taking them to dangerous dusk circles. Sure you can’t directly see them, but I like to think of it that way :3

          I think that’s what the developers were aiming for when they added a level cap and independence system for star children in the game.

          • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

            I mean I get that, but it’s hard for me to see it that way. It’s funny that that other guy brought up chao in Sonic Adventure 2, because they’re pretty similar. They try to frame it like “oh yeah, the chao is gonna set out on his own and be totally fine!” but it’s more like nah, he’s gonna be erased forever. I would never release my chao as a kid back in the Dreamcast days because I knew they were pretty much dead at that point, haha.

    • Domo-kun

      The review reads like he had to do this game for a review, played it for about a hour, hated the game from the beginning, then went back to playing COD or some other dude-bro shooter. The game isn’t perfect, but is a lot of fun, he just didn’t know how to play, or just dislikes this type of game in general.

      • Ni ~Algidus~

        oh no! some one didn’t liked my anime game! he must be a dude bro!

    • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

      Any anger you’re getting is purely your imagination. I can assure you that Conception II took up as much time as was humanly possible for me, basically all my time that wasn’t devoted to school/work/social interaction. The only time I start writing is when I’m confident that I’ve spent enough time on the game, often going 20-30 hours into some games, a much longer period of time than I think most other websites would give them. I take my writing here seriously, I would never half-ass something that I agreed to do.

      I like talking to you guys, that’s why I bother to comment! However, I do find it rude when people such as yourself make assumptions about me. Don’t get mad at me because I disagree with you, if you want to make real points then do so. I’m more than happy to discuss things with you but would prefer it without the false assumptions and rudeness.

      • http://nichegamer.net/ bf313

        Calling people dense because they viewed game mechanics differently from you doesn’t exactly make me think that you’re just having a civil discussion.

        • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

          I called him “purposefully dense,” as in he’s pretending like he’s not seeing the issue, not that I doubt his intelligence. Reading everything is important, but based on your comment history I think you like to pick and choose whatever best fits your point, regardless of reality.

  • Joe

    Honestly, I don’t think this game was intended for whatever tastes this reviewer has. I disagree with almost all the points he makes, and all his arguments can be basically summed up as “This game is not for me.”

  • Varnes

    It’s a decent game, it makes me laugh and the characters are getting more interesting each chapter so far, if i had to rate it than a 3.5/5

  • TheBlackRabbit

    jesus it wasn’t that bad lol

  • CptPokerface

    The concept sounded interesting..is it odd that as soon as I looked at the art style and some of the characters I knew it wouldn’t be a game to my tastes?

    Ah well..it clearly has its audience.

    • darke

      Not odd, pretty much expected. I know that if I look at a FPS and see gray and brown or lots of steroid abusing space marines that I should go somewhere else for my shooting-things fix. :)

  • Ecchitori-san

    I played the first game in my PSP. (I was guessing any decisions since I don’t understand japanese) I did enjoyed it and I’m pretty sure I will enjoy this game if I had any current gen handheld games.

  • LustEnvy

    I was hyped that a demo came out on the Vita. The demo quelled all interest I had for this game. Almost everything about the game seemed mediocre, except character art and clean menu/UI. Better to go back and play some classics like FFXHD.

  • Heartlesswithaheart

    While I do agree that combat is a huge letdown and the labyrinths take far longer than any filler in anything should, I had a completely different experience with the characters and the story. Granted, the story had lots of wasted potential everywhere and had black and white morality when they seemed to set it up as gray and gray. The only character I found boring and like a doormat was Chloe, with the others being much less so. Late-route Serina was a problem as well, but that’s just my hatred of tsunderes.

    Just my two cents.

  • TiamatNM

    I agree with the playtest for the most part. I am certainly in the target audience but the dungeons and combat are just completely atrocious. The positioning and chaining systems are very poorly implemented and those are really the only notable systems the combat has. It takes so long to chain enemies that it usually isn’t worth trying to do so, or they will die before the chain happens. The positioning system doesn’t have much to it and it’s stupid that you can’t change which enemy you are targeting. You can basically just spam Torri/Serina’s all enemy hitter move and/or auto battle the whole game. If the characters/story were really good the game could still be somewhat good but the main plot is awful (though I expected this) and most of the girls are pretty cookie cutter and boring to talk to. There are a couple I liked but it was the minority.

    Also, thank you Jack for not going all social justice warrior talking about sexism, objectifying women, etc. I am really sick of that.

    • Dark Lord Ash

      Amen to that, that makes two of us. If it’s not linking games to real violence it’s people getting their fatigues in a bunch over something that didn’t catered to them and feel it’s linked to real social issues.

    • AlphaSixNine

      you can change which enemy you target though. Press L or R

      • TiamatNM

        lol you can? I played the whole game without knowing that. It wouldn’t change my general opinion though

        • AlphaSixNine

          didn’t really mean to change your opinion. just saying :3

    • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

      “takes so long to chain enemies that it usually isn’t worth trying to do so, or they will die before the chain happens.”

      A few class has attack skills that increases the chain if you hit them in the right direction. It doesn’t take long at all or maybe you rely on attacking the weaknesses which minimize the amount of chain you get.

      “it’s stupid that you can’t change which enemy you are targeting”

      Press L or R.

      “You can basically just spam Torri/Serina’s all enemy hitter move and/or auto battle the whole game.”

      Good luck with chapter 6+ because it requires 2-3 of those skill to kill those or they will get your hp down to at least 30%-40%.

      • TiamatNM

        I didn’t look up how to get the special classes so I missed about 10 of the 30. I think the only class I had with a move that could increase chain faster was Gambler, and it barely ever worked. I do understand that hitting the weak points makes the chain gauge fill way slower. Usually the exp bonus from chaining isn’t worth it cause you could have killed a whole extra enemy group if you were just going all out hitting specials and weaknesses.

        As for spamming the all enemy hitter moves and/or auto battling the whole game, that still applied in chapter 6+ (I beat the game without dying even). They just get an upgraded version of their special move that does more damage so I used that. I used the DLC sword on the main guy the whole game so criticals were pretty common too. If the special move didn’t kill the enemies in one hit the star children would knock them off in one hit each during their autobattle. I have never played a game with combat this braindead that I could just autobattle 98% of the time. I didn’t see any good reason NOT to autobattle. It was faster than entering the commands manually and the game is so devoid of any strategy beyond “hit them really hard” that I didn’t see any point.

      • darke

        Honestly it would be nice if they documented some more of the underlying combat logic as well so you can actually try to min/max things more.

        Things like how changing your position actually adds extra delay before the character’s turn comes up next which I recall isn’t really mentioned at all from memory.

  • Wtv

    And that’s why I hate
    harem. Those aren’t really characters, they are just there to be
    idealized girlfriends. Everything that they will do is for the main
    character. Even when they talk to other people, it’ll be to show how
    much more they love the main character.

    In fact, as someone that
    actually likes these stereotyped anime characters (and someone that like
    games like Neptunia), I don’t understand this kind of game at all. For a
    game that focus on the female characters, why are they all so more
    useless than the main character. Why they keep showing how the main
    character is so much more badass than everyone? Who cares about male
    characters in these games.

    I know it’s some self-insert thing.
    But I don’t understand how someone can look at a character that has a
    actual design and speaks and think: “that guy is me”.

    But even ignoring the harem aspect, this game should have more fun dialogues…like niche JRPG always have. Just played the demo, but the dialogues were really bland…Like they were taking the plot seriously, or something.

    • http://nichegamer.net/ bf313

      Those are a lot of opinions for someone who hasn’t even played the full game and seems to know little about it.

      Of course the harem idea means they are idealized but the actual routes are about who the girls are, not all just mindless love for the protagonist. I definitely didn’t find any of the girls to be useless at all, in fact it was sort of the opposite. Even though Narika as a character is pretty cliche I really enjoyed the part of her route about her presenting in front of an audience. And I actually would say that I came to like the other male character’s in the game too, Chlotz had some of the better one liners in the game.

      If you play games like this looking for tons of depth you won’t find it but if you want simple, funny, and cute that’s what you’ll get.

      • Wtv

        That’s why I said that I played only the demo. Maybe it gets better after that, but there all the girls were just saying how to mc is wonderful and in love with him for no reason at all…except for the redhead teacher, but in harem they will usually turn into that too.

        And I don’t want depth. In fact, I wanna some more dumb and funny dialogues. It was to serious and bland to something that has such weird premise. And the demo has enough dialogues to see that.

        But then again, I even said I hate harem. So there’s that. Maybe that blinded me for the rest that the game can offer.

        • Shippoyasha

          The game isn’t harem if you don’t want to follow that route. You can just befriend people normally like you would with other ensemble cast games like Persona. And the dialogue and scenarios are too limited in the demo. It’s not award winning material, but it does get fun later on.

    • Shippoyasha

      Except the female characters are far from useless in this game…

      And the girls do have personalities, arguably way more so than the male characters in this game.

      I see that something about this review triggered people who just wants to come out and vent about harems or self aware otaku games.

  • s07195

    How does it compare to the first one, btw?

    • MrTyrant

      The first one had more girls they were similar but more interesting in presentation like an angel with double personality (one being a demon) or an arrogant rich beastwoman. You could took more children but you coudn’t take the girls with you because they don’t fight like this one. Dungeon and everything are the same they didn’t change anything and that’s quite bad to say something (not being able to make a huge progress in combat system)

      • darke

        Bit of a shame they didn’t update the dungeon system then, it seems that was one thing that they really should have upgraded. :(

  • Firion Hope

    While I agree the negative comparisons to Persona are kind of unnecessary (theres tons of games similar to another but not quite as good, but a game really shouldn’t be judged based off it not being as good as a similar game imo) I give you props for having actual criticisms of the game and not just lazily whining because it’s “creepy” or “sexist” like nearly every other reviewer

    Also you’re crazy because the default battle theme is SO darned catchy!

    • buddyluv324

      I would say that Conception 2 compares more closer to another Atlus published titles on the PS1 called Thousand Arms.

  • Lazulis

    I didn’t expect the greatest of games when I got it. I knew it was going to be ridiculous and I got ridiculous. Loving all the different classes. I expected stuff to be harder, but there hasn’t been a major difficulty spike (though the dusk and light dungeon might be hard…).

    The supporting cast is pretty great. Ruby is the best girl. She’s setting up those guys together whether they want it or not. Classmanting is hilarious. And for a game centered around HAREM, there’s lots of gay subtext. No Enzea I’ve never been to this entrance to Heaven you are creeeepy.

    I have no interest in romancing ladies or amassing a harem and I’ve been loving this game so far. I expected goofy dungeon crawling, teens saving the world, and tropey harem shenanigans and I got it. I love this game. Not for everyone for sure but I’m just loving it’s ridiculousness. Like I loved Lollipop Chainsaw.

    • darke

      Actually, yeah, that would be a good comparison. I found Lollipop Chainsaw had the same level of absurd logic required to enjoy it. :)

      • Snow

        while i disagree with the stuff about conception, i will agree lollipop chainsaw was probably one of the stupidest games i’ve ever played, not to mention once you beat it youre like oh..thats it huh, well..should have rented this POS

  • Tienron

    everyone is complaining about the review it he makes a sound argument it is a very sterile game but if you like the whole rpg then go ahead a get it i played it for a little while, it’s not an intelligent game nor engaging. it’s just a game with bait 2-d girls who are only there to open their legs for the MC and produce babies to kill and die in battle. great moral to the story lol and im not even religious. XD

    • darke

      In which case you clearly haven’t played the game since there’s no legs opening, just hands. :)

      Not to mention the kids don’t die in battle, they just get sacrificed to the city in the name of Progress!

  • Snow

    i comnpletely disagree with you, conception II is an amazing game, it’s like Persona 4/P4G but 10 times better, this game is one of my absolute favorites and the fact you couldnt get into it i just cannot understand other then you were too blind to it being sexually referenced material a lot. this game was made by atlus and you should have expected it to be like Persona 4 Golden which it is, but better. if you’re not into those sort of games, then don’t bad mouth the game and you shouldn’t have ever picked it up or played it, do your research on games before they are released if you know nothing about them.

    • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

      Actually the game wasn’t made by Atlus, just published here by them!

      • Snow

        There are many games they publish but all have some corilaton to eachother, especially this one. Reading about it just from the case instantly makes you go “oh this is sooooooooo much like persona” atlus always publish’s games that are similar to their own, I personally love all of the games Atlus has made and published in my top 5 favorites 3 of them are atlas games. As I said above, do your research before buying a game and slandering it because it’s not your type. And I am damn happy that Sega is keeping atlus just as awsome as before.

    • darke

      That sounds just a little hyperbolic. I don’t particularly like P4/P4G myself, but it really isn’t 10 times better.

      Conception’s later dungeon pacing seems too slow, and the combat all around tends to suffer the same problem with JRPGs where you don’t need to use most of the features if you’re high enough level due to grinding, and you end up grinding just to complete quests/subquests/just-exploring-the-world.

      If it were to be able to solve these it would be a competent VN with a good combat system, as it is, if you don’t have a strong liking for the story/characters, you’re not going to be willing to push through the combat to get there.

      • Snow

        Many JRPG’s are that way, you grind all you can to acheive juts like leveling your pokemon on the gameboy games, however in Conception after you have leveled them you release them and it upgrades the city, how is that useless? there’s actually a point to grinding in Conception, the dungeons aren’t that long compared to other older dungeon games like .Hack// which was an amazing great game series, but it’s simplistic same old dungeons got old, Conception’s dungeons change and get more difficult, and sense you can only bring one person with you at a time it’s longer because you’re not supposed to complete it all at once you’re supposed to go back on occasion and bring a different girl with you because otherwise you can’t progress in the relationship with them. and you IN FACT DO use a lot of your skills in Conception way more then persona and other dungeon crawlers. If you didn’t like Persona what the hell were you doing even picking this up!? it was very obvious from it’s description alone that it was a lot like persona. the only type of game you’re describing that you like that’s dungeon is probably diablo games, and you’re one of the very few out there who did not like persona, which was the whole foundation of the vita basically with not much else going for it, so why do you even own a vita? and lastly, i find it v ery hard to believe there wasn’t a single character you didn’t like, this is a JJJJJrpg japanese, aka anime, these are very anime like girls and characters, so the story is odd who cares even if you didnt like the story i find it hard to believe you didn’t like a single character.

        to me it sounds like you’re just trolling and like the guy who posted about this game, bad mouthing a actually decent and fun game to play. if you don’t like anime you won’t liek it, if you didnt like persona, then pretty much ANY JRPG that has come out in the past year and on forward from this date you will not like, some prefer persona 3 over 4 but 4 was where such extreme character developments were focused on and that’s what pulls you into the game is character development and the story going alongside them in games like these, if you don’t like that then don’t play it, and don’t come in somewhere giving opinionated criticism in ways that make no sense and acting very much like a troll and a jack***

        • darke

          You started sane; but ran off the rails about half way through, and eventually exploded in a shower of words at the end.

          C-

          それでは、

          • Snow

            I actually had revised a lot of what I said at the end but something messed up and it didn’t edit >. <

  • Yan Zhao

    I think it was kind of given that a date-sim game with the concept of making babies to battle monsters would be over the top and not that serious. I had the right expectation from this game so I cant say I was disappointed. I could’ve been better but it was certainly entertaining enough as I wait for Persona 5.

  • Slickyslacker

    Thank you for this, Jack.

    As strong as the following sounds, I seriously hate this game for everything that it is.

    The game is incredibly bland and unappealing, that even manages to fail at conforming to an RPG formula, and tries to do too much at once. It decidedly doesn’t even justify its own twist or existence. One of the greater criteria by which to judge a game is how well it fits its genre, a category where Conception II fails execrably. I’m kind of inclined to believe that the first PSP game was oddly better, just because they were trying out something new and quirky.

    Conception II is an embodiment of why RPGs are hated. It appeals to the lowest common denominator in multiple ways, isn’t exciting or engaging, nor is it graphically pretty, regardless of whether or not you play its aesthetically superior PSV adaptation. It’s the prototypical epitome of a bloated and terrible game. I bought it hoping for a decent experience, and stopped when I couldn’t take any more.

    Need a better, similar, dungeon crawling Vita RPG? Mind Zero. No, it doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from you know what, but it at least follows a formula and direction, and is somewhat fun from what I’ve seen.

    Unrelated to the game, I’m further gladdened to see someone that dislikes Persona 3 and 4 in the same fashion that I do. They surely aren’t as bad as this game, but P4 in particular feels bland and contrived often. P4G DID fix it significantly and more than sufficiently, and put it on the same level as P3. I find the original 3 to be better than 4, because of the plot and greater customization possibilities.

    • Mr_SP

      Huh? Jack didn’t say he disliked Persona. In fact, he said he liked Persona, but this was a bland imitation.

      • Slickyslacker

        “In the same fashion”. Yeah, I know he didn’t outright say he dislikes it, nor do I all that much. It’s just the flaws of the original version of P4 that got to me.

    • Milewide

      “One of the greater criteria by which to judge a game is how well it fits its genre [...]”
      I would like to disagree with this. I do not think that when designing a game one should be overly concerned about which genre it’s going to fall into. Video game genres are worrisome enough as it is, really not telling you much about the experience you’re going to have, but rather what main mechanic you’ll experience the game through. I think we’ll need new definitions of VG genres before I’ll agree with your sentiment. :)

      Regarding P4: I really like that game but I accept that it might not be the most well designed one around. The two main components of the game, the social sim and dungeon crawling, are on their own not that interesting. But we are tasked with balancing the two and thus, if all things go well, you’ll be jumping over to the social sim aspect right as you get bored of the dungeon crawl and vice versa. I guess it’s a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. I will say, though, that what P4 does is more similar to treating the symptoms rather than curing the disease. Which I would never encourage.

      But yea, good comment. Nice to see some differing opinions every now and then. Cheers!

      • Slickyslacker

        I see what you mean. I should have said something like “how well a game achieves its aim”, or “how well a game succeeds at doing something”, not classifiability in a genre.

        Yeah, P4 just makes me cringe. Neither of its core aspects are done well on my account. The dungeon crawling is reduced precisely to what it shouldn’t be, and although its social simulation tries to shine through, it intermittently fails to do so.

        Thanks. You too.

        • Milewide

          In that case I definitely agree with you.

          If you have the time, could you elaborate on your statement that “social simulation tries to shine through, it intermittently fails to do so.” ?
          I can see the flaws in the dungeon crawling, no problems. But I don’t really know what’s wrong with the social sim. I haven’t played that many of ‘em so I guess I’m missing reference material. So your opinions on the matter would be most welcome. :)

          • Slickyslacker

            Oh, it was just the social link writing that was entirely hit or miss for me. Some of them like Kanji’s or Naoto’s I liked, others like Yukiko’s or Sayoko’s fell flat. The game’s moderately poor writing contributes to the forced feeling I got. The plot progression of the game…well, it’s a murder mystery. That’s all. I played through, and 100%’d the original P4 in its entirety last summer, and I feel like I’ve played every Persona game now. The plot progression of the game…well, it’s a murder mystery. That’s all. I wouldn’t think what I do of the game if I hadn’t played it, haha.

            I’m picking up P3FES and P4G soon enough, and I suppose Persona 5 as well. Not to mention Persona Q, but that’s a spinoff DRPG. I surely won’t have the time to play them, though. Maybe someday.

          • Milewide

            Then I understand. I definitely understand the notion of some scenarios, feeling like the fell short of what they wanted to achieve.

            I guess I’ll have to cross P4 off my list of ‘best game evar’ *sobs*

            Jokes aside, I think we’re in the same boat. Even though we might enjoy a game while playing it, once it’s over it’s difficult not to start picking it apart and criticizing it. Or am I wrong?
            Dark Souls 2 is a prime example of this for me. I loved it while first playing it but now I can’t stand to look at it because I find it so flawed.

            Oh dear. I’m not trying to have this conversation go on forever but I just can’t help myself. Haha.

          • Slickyslacker

            Ahaha, it’s fine. I’m enjoying this much more than hanging around on GameFAQs’ FF XV board.

            Oh yeah, definitely. In virtually all instances, I don’t reflect on a game intensely until I’m entirely done with it. In other words, not until I’ve locked it back in its case and probably won’t give it another boot up for a while.

            I always immerse myself in a game as I play, with unyielding determination. If I’m not enjoying it wholly, what’s the point of playing?

            …But once I’m finished, I can’t avail myself but dissect the game. Of course, given that I enjoy most of what I play, I often find myself profusely praising it, haha.

            I only analyze a game while playing if I can’t get into it at all, or can’t justify why I’m still playing. I found myself grinding mindlessly, yet again, in P4′s penultimate main game dungeon when this happened. The BGM that plays therein was actually kind of alright, but after listening to it for several hours, I hardly found the drive anymore. I just dropped a lot of my investment and started thinking about the game’s quality.

  • http://twitter.com/puchixseda puchinri

    Everything I heard (and started to see/watch) didn’t seem that great actually. It ultimately feels so lackluster, like trying a little harder in certain places would have put it a long way. Then again, I think that’s how I feel about Spike in general.

  • Eilanzer

    in general…when you play or watch a harem…You just have to turn your brain off if you want to have some fun…

  • Shippoyasha

    I’m not saying you don’t have the right to feel the way you do Jack, but I don’t really see what’s so creepy about the game’s premise. The entire mechanics of classmating alludes to sex, but for all we know, it’s simply ether-magic as the game flat out says. I just think it’s unfortunate that anything that alludes to anything sexual is automatically labeled ‘creepy’ like a stamp of disapproval. The ‘hitting on girls’ thing was pretty much comedic device as well, and I don’t think casual observers can get it from these descriptors.

    Again, I get why people may feel that way. I just think it’s so rare that reviews never look at it from a perspective of not looking at such topics as repulsive just for existing. As for the ‘child labor’ thing, I think the starchildren were more like Pokemon than anything. Something more akin to magical fairies (which the game pretty much implies they are).

    I am sure the intent towards writing them are not malicious at all, but I almost think it’s badly painted like the game willfully throws morality out the window. There’s some charming character moments to be had for sure. I just feel the clunky implementation of the core plot and dungeons may weigh it a bit. Not to mention the game doesn’t apologize for its central dating sim style interpersonal interactions.

    I certainly don’t feel like I’m some morality-free monster for thinking this game is just harmless, cutesy game. Its gamplay could have been more ambitious, sure. But creepy isn’t how I’d personally describe it.

    • TiamatNM

      In his defense he just says the world of the game is creepy and I’d be inclined to agree. I don’t think he was calling the game itself creepy (like the RPGFan review did -_-)

      • Shippoyasha

        I think the world of the game is more absurd than creepy to me. Especially considering how everything runs on ether, which seems as pervasive as air in that world.

  • Mr_SP

    This is just one more comment in a sea of them, but… I’ve been playing the demo. Unless something magical happens, and soon, then I’m going to choose to not spend my $50 on this game.

    I applaud Jack for telling it like it is – I feel kinda bad being this uninterested in a Vita RPG, but I’m not feeling interested in the characters, in the plot, in the combat… And a number of little things started annoying me. Like being called “God’s Gift”, the super-genius S-Rank Elite school girl teacher, the “power level tester”, and the incredibly easy unwinnable battle.

    I didn’t feel the game was sexist, but I’m just slugging through a couple hours of endless back and forth between locations and poorly paced explanations. I know it’s just a copy of the first chapter of the game, but for a demo, it’s not really letting me get hands on with much of the *game*.

  • new_tradition

    Thanks for the review. The ones I’ve read keep focusing obnoxiously on the dating-sim aspect, with some having personal mantras of how much misogyny was in it. Not that I disagree, but I wanted to know more about the actual game itself, so again, thank you.

    Anyways, since I am pretty shallow and make decisions on the simplest things, pretty much the entire premise of the game just turned me off. I might have caved if there were equal amounts of male characters to bond with, but there isn’t, so meh. And now reading the gameplay isn’t much fun, I’m just gonna put the game outta my head.

    I even DLed the demo to my 3DS but I don’t wanna play it now…

  • Bacon_n_Lettuce

    That’s pretty much how I felt from trying out the demo. The dungeons and battle system were especially tedious, and I found myself avoiding enemies as much as I could while rushing to the end of the dungeon, without bothering to explore. The dungeons are basically just corridors and boxes connected to one another, with a pretty bland single color aesthetic going on.

    The dating-sim elements weren’t any better either, with some terribly vapid dialogue and no hint of character grounding or development. I was really hoping the dialogue would at least be self aware of how ridiculous the game’s premise is and have some self satire, but it was instead just straightforward and bland. Seriously, a game like this is ripe for some cheap innuendo and jokes of that sort, but seemed to completely miss the opportunity.

    This game really could have been something great with the right sense of design and writing, but aside from the 2D artwork, there’s really nothing decent about it.

  • michel

    In my opinion, you take all this typical Akihabara subcultural products way too seriously. This is a mid budget otaku game with lot of moe, and must be played to have a laugh, or not played at all…

    • Mr_SP

      The issue isn’t being too serious. It’s that the game isn’t fun, nor engaging. The sexual overtones are irrelevant. Few people on here, if any, care about them. The problem is that it doesn’t really bring anything else to the table.

      Like Neptunia. The first one wasn’t very good, not because of the setting or plot, but because the combat system was bland, and they couldn’t be serious when they wanted to be serious – they just randomly threw in half-assed jokes in the middle of the final boss’s ranting. Neptunia 2 and V? Better battle system! Better use of tone! So much better! Considering how much money they spent on the graphics, they could have spent a bit longer on playtesting.

      • michel

        OK, but what I mean is that, for those Japanese niche consumers, gameplay is not so important. Important things are the cuteness of the bishoujo, the pantsu, the oppai, the yandere character, the seiyuu… That’s where the “fun” or entertainment comes from. I agree that better gameplay would rise the appeal and make it welcome to a wider audience, but that’s not the point.

  • Virevolte

    Well… I’m playing it and I totally agree with the review. At least, I like the fact that you can unlock more classes for the Star Children.
    Too bad that the battle system is lacking that much.

  • Go2hell66

    SKIP

  • Zoozbuh

    I’d be curious to know what the reviewer’s opinions are on the Neptunia series? I know it’s not really dating-sim, but it has heavy visual novel elements and a large emphasis on story (rather than massively in-depth gameplay.) I’m curious because by most people’s standards, the game is technically pretty mediocre, but I really enjoy the plot and characters and have bought every game in the series so far!
    If you also disliked the Neptunia series (and those kind of games in general) then your criticisms would be a lot more understandable and I would take this article with a bigger pinch of salt xD

  • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

    - Dungeon crawling is what I expect it to be. Long and tedious.
    - Battle system is actually quiet fun if you want to go through the chaining aspect of it else exploiting weaknesses is boring.
    - Sexual references are there for laughs but they could have done it to the bare minimal.
    - Sub-quest is annoying especially the one you want to collect 3 of the same item. Can be done with 3 theft in your party.
    - Upgrading your city beyond level 50 is useless unless you want the trophy for maxing out the city (different from maxing out facility)
    - Do like how they present character background story through dating sim. Feene route remind me of Photokano somehow.
    - 3D model is quiet nice but man they need to tone down the boob psychic.
    – Story could have been more fleshed out. Even after 7 chapters you still don’t know why the dusk circle appears.
    - NPC awareness of recent events could have been better.

    • darke

      I think the main problem with the combat system is like almost all RPGs, (and especially JRPGs) the quirks of the system (chaining, mechas, facing) are fun to use, they’re just not necessary to use. Since you need to grind through tons of monsters for the main quest and side-missions, you end up out-levelling the enemies pretty quick so lots of combats become essentially auto-battles.

      I must admit I really did like the 3d modelling for conversations; though I spent way too much time staring at the models looking for places where they had insufficient number of points that the nice curved hair and the like got a ‘corner’, but it seems that there were more points then pixels. :)

  • RawrWata

    I’ve got a scary assumption that people are only defending this game on the basis that you can make babies with lolis.

    • buddyluv324

      If that’s the only thing you’re getting, I’m afraid you’re showing that you know little to nothing of the game.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

        Well classmating is probably the most noticeable feature in this game so I wont be surprise if people make a quick judgement of the game solely on that.

        • buddyluv324

          Thats true. I just find it still amusing and sad in some way that some people can’t be bothered to even read up and do some simple research on a game but rather take a small piece of it like the concept of “classmating” or a simple visual to try to take some baseless, high moral opinion against a game and the audience its going for. I miss video games. lol!

    • darke

      Given the size of the breasts of some of the girls, and that they all seem to have some form of jiggle physics; I believe you have a non-standard definition of ‘loli’.

  • kaotron

    the first time I heard the the word classMATING I burst in to laughter just because of how cheesy it was.

    and yeah, it’s funny how these “children” are pretty much just as disposable as pokemon/eggs are.

    • Shady Shariest

      Game doesn’t have ditto?
      It would be perfect with a goo-character.

      • kaotron

        throughout the game it seem like the main character IS the ditto…

        • Shady Shariest

          Ah. Good point. Now it just needs a very gene-packed Fox-Girl to play the role of Eevee…

  • http://henrikblomgren.net Henrik Blomgren

    Well. So far Conception 2 har been a funny dialoges ride with battles that make me go hm why is this enemy not on my easy kill list?

  • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

    It’s a family friendly game that all should experience. :)

    • darke

      Yes! It only involves holding hands and fighting evil with the physical embodiment of the Power of Love^WFriendship! Nothing totally family un-friendly about it! :)

  • Krystal Henderson

    This is one of those games that I feel like I shouldn’t like but I do and I somehow convinced one of my friends to buy it. It’s creepy, shallow, sexist, very cliche, but somehow, it’s just odd enough to be enjoyable (and it has much more homoerotic subtext than I would expect from this sort of game). I’m comparing this game to Agarest: Generations of War, and I just can’t relate to any of the women I’m supposed to be having children with, but strangely, I like all the ladies in Conception 2, there’s usually one or two I don’t like in harem situations, but not here, and sure, they’re all ridiculously cliche, but I find that comforting, strangely enough.

    That said, I don’t blame anyone for not liking this game at all.

  • Hinataharem

    But them shower scenes tho

  • Ni ~Algidus~

    You guys need to lower your standards for games like conception, senran kagura, oneechanbara and other otaku centric stuff. We just can’t compare these games with other successeful game franchise that has better storyline and gameplay mechanics because games made with the anime tropes as main selling points will have poor gameplay aspects since the budget will be alot more lower and it’s made to grab more cash of the anime community.
    I could write a review a about the mai hime fighting games on the psp and say at how bad the game as a fighter, but you know what? my friends and mai hime fans liked the game a lot because the game was not meant to be taken seriously.

    I would like to comment on my problems with P4 and FE:A but other members already have made posts about them.

    • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

      I think my standards are absolutely fine. Saying something like “well I find this game to be really bad but I’m sure SOMEONE likes it” is kind of doing a disservice both to myself as well as anyone reading the article. I’m not going to compromise here, my writing is based purely on my experience of the game, not how I think a certain crowd will receive it.

      I’m sure I said this below, but nothing I write is meant to make you feel bad about liking a game. I don’t go into this thinking about taking otaku games down a notch.

      • Ni ~Algidus~

        what i’m trying to say is: if you go play a game that has a heavy influence of the akihabara’s culture, you need to low your standards for THAT game in particular, not lower your overall standards. we are already tired of knowing at how otaku centric games tend to be shitty and this is not going to change. if you go play a game directed towards the otaku culture you’ll need to accept that the girls will fall for the character that you are playing even if he just says “i need some sleep”. and how there will be many game mechanics that just don’t work together or how the game’s tactics turns in a rinse and repeat really fast.
        the moment that these games are announced you need to think that there’s going to be many flaws with it. it will cut the time of discovering these problems down the road.

        tlr;dr:
        for a otaku game is C2 good? yes
        for a jrpg is C2 good? no

        • Nicky Tetlow

          Why lower your standards if their are far better games in the “otaku” genre? I’d rather recommend a better game than tell someone to expect less.

          • darke

            The problem is ‘better’ is subjective. I’m liking Demon Gaze for the exploration, but I find the combat gameplay is pretty average just like Conception.

            I just like how the non-random dungeons provide exploration which I miss in Conception, but I preferred the VN/relationship/conversation segments in Conception over Demon Gaze

            And honestly I find Conception has a more interesting and coherent world rather than stock-fantasy-but-with-weird-looking-monsters, even if they don’t really look like they make use of it…

            But yeah, I don’t see the point in “lowering standards”, if you don’t like features of the game, you don’t like them.

        • MillerKun

          I wonder how AKIBA’S TRIP: Undead & Undre​ssed will turn out for what it’s going for?Since it is a otaku game but it been localized to where most people can understand the appeal.

    • TiamatNM

      Just sayin’ but Senran Kagura is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better than Conception 2

      • Ni ~Algidus~

        SK being better than conception 2 is not the point. if we compare SK to some other beat ‘em ups (like how comparing C2 to P4 or FE:A) SK will get easily a similar review as this one.

        • TiamatNM

          Not from me it wouldn’t. A game having low budget and pandering to otakus is not a good excuse for crappy gameplay. Demon Gaze (for a more similar comparison) has dramatically better gameplay despite also being a low budget otaku pandering game.

          • darke

            I’m about half way through Demon Gaze at the moment and I find the combat about as repetitive as the combat in the Conception demo. The dungeons are just not random or stupidly huge though, so that’s tempering a lot of the irritation since I feel like I’m getting to explore.

  • Rouge

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who disliked the game. It made me feel so sick at certain points.

  • Red Antares

    Well, I do like the game dating sim aspect and it’s kinda what is making
    me finish the game, some of the characters are really easy to like
    despite most of them being the generic anime archetype.

    The only thing that I really don’t like is the dungeons, they are so
    repetitive and boring, it would be better if they made them smaller like
    5-7 floors each but some of them have so many floors that I literally
    fall asleep while playing in there, good thing that you can save
    anywhere in the game.

    • darke

      That’s one thing I’m not looking forward too, yeah. People have complained that the later dungeons get really excessive. :(

  • Trinity

    I have a love hate relationship with this game. I just looked at it as turn off your brain fun and it suits that.

    That being said, this review did hit all the things I didn’t like about it.

  • Vash bane

    lol I didn’t even have to play the game fully to come up with that (I stopped at the point where these girls pop up) I was only excited because I could finally understand what they were saying.
    but I guess I turned a blind eye to the dating sim and weird old guy blushing around the girls and envious of the mc because he gets to classmate with so many girls

  • ZekeFreek

    Worrying about moral implications in a game. Really now, that’s not good criticism.

    • Scourge626

      IT was brought up because that’s a topic of much debate among fans and people who dislike the game due to “classmating”.

      • darke

        It seems reasonable. I’m still not sure there’s many moral implications over holding hands though (other then getting ‘cooties’, but that’s, like, primary school level thinking).

        • Scourge626

          At first it’s holding hands, but as you progress through the game and increase relations the girls start doing more than that as if to imply sex. We know that they are only classmating but the developers are doing a lot of encouraging to make you think otherwise.

  • Nicky Tetlow

    From what I can read here, it’s basically as bad as the demo seemed. Good to know.

    Don’t know why people are defending it here. It’s a pretty shallow, badly implemented RPG, you’d be better off with the countless other games which do every part of this game’s mechanics far better.

  • sakusakusakura_nyo

    Demon Gaze is better than this game.

  • Ban The Jackass

    I laughed at the innuendoes and that’s all it takes for me to like the game. I haz a dirty brain? ):

  • wahyudil

    Love this game … still 100 hours and counting

    my first ever JRPG and “Love Sim” in 3DS …

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