Developer: Spike Chunsoft
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What they say: It’s time for classmating!
Monsters have invaded the world of Aterra, and only a few special individuals, imbued with the power of the Star God, are equipped to fight it. With only a small group of warriors and a narrow window of time in which their powers are at their peak, the solution is clear: combine your Star power to make magical Star Children to boost up your forces in battle!
The life of a student can be complicated when you’re exploring dungeons, fighting monsters, AND trying to maintain a high school lifestyle. Learn to balance your activities because the deeper the bond you have with your classmates, the stronger the Star Children you’ll make! In this stimulating JRPG, you’ll be able to create bonds with 7 different female Disciples and create 30 classes of Star Children, so you must learn how to create the perfect Star Children for any situation. In no time, you’ll have dozens of powerful kids with different skills that can take on everything the monsters throw at you.
What I say: When I first heard about Conception II a few months ago, I was stunned with the innate weirdness of the concept. You are “God’s Gift” (Hey, I can play as myself! I kid, I kid!)and you “classmate” (thinly veiled spiritual sex) with various female students to produce Star Children, who then, with one of the girls, follow you into dungeons in order to fight monsters and save the…world! Seriously. Oh, and it was said to play like Persona. How could any RPG fan not be gobsmacked yet fascinated by this?
The fine folks at Atlus picked up the game for US release and now this smorgasbord of weirdness is finally here! First things first, the game does take a lot of visual cues from the Persona games. The menus especially have that Persona fell. Likewise with the character designs. The Star Children are unique however as they replace the demons from Persona. Thus it is necessary for the Star Children to have a cuter look. Interacting with the various female students and your friends is similar to the social links from Persona. Although the side stories seem a bit more varied here. This makes it fun to go through all the stories and makes an all ready packed game feel even more full.
As far as game play goes, there are definite similarities to Persona. You are sent into Dusk Circles, the games dungeons, these are so many floors and you progress through each floor until you find the transport to the next floor. Repeat until you hit the floor with the boss. Defeat the boss and a harder version of the dungeon is unlocked to train in. The onsite lab also offers side jobs, which are mainly fetch quests, for you to work on while sterilizing Dusk Circles. Despite its obvious influences, the levels are randomly generated which keeps you on your toes. The level design is also pretty good and each Dusk Circle has its own look.
Overall Conception II takes its influences and with the various tweaks to gameplay it certainly feels like its own game and it certainly is much more than a Persona knock-off and it’s a lot of fun to boot.
Disclaimer: A PSN code for the game was provided to us for review from the publisher.