Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars (Vita) Review
Posted by Adam Larck on 05.15.2014
See if making Star Children is all it's cracked up to be inside.
Title: Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars
Developer: Spike Chunsoft
Genre: RPG/dating sim
Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars is a hybrid-genre that many North American gamers may not be used to.
On its surface, the game is an RPG/dungeon crawler. However, in between running levels of the various dungeons in the game there's also a dating sim that players need to embrace to be able to survive the levels.
Players control the God's Gift, a student that has more Ether power than anyone else in the world. As God's Gift, it's up to you to help take down the Dust Circles in the world with the S-class females from the school. However, you can't just take you and a girl into a dungeon and expect to be alright.
God's Gift is the only guy in the school that can Classmate with the other females. Classmating, the game's PG version of sex, has the pair mate to make Star Children. Three Star Children make up a party, and three parties can be used in battle.
Each dungeon in the game that you'll come across is randomly generated, meaning there's some good replayability here. However, it also means that dungeons may have a ton of chests for a player, or a ton of monsters waiting to make their Star Children lunch.
All Dust Circles feature various levels to go through, with a portal leading to the next floor. At the end is a boss you'll need to take out to progress the story, but players can warp out at any portal to go buy and sell items or flirt with the females to strengthen bonds.
The bonds are strengthened through various social interactions at the school. You can only do three at a time, though, so going in a dungeon for a bit and coming back out to get more interactions are needed.
Once you talk with them for a while, there will be dates with the girls and a decent story that develops with each line. As you progress you'll keep the girls happy, which can help give better results when Classmating. An upset girl, though, can not want to Classmate at all. Mood can be increased by talking to them, giving them gifts, taking them into battles and dating them.
The process of Classmating is one of the most suggestive parts of the game. While Classmating, the pair get nude and turn neon, entwining around and joining hands to let a Star Child pop out of a Matryoshka. As you get higher relationship levels, the ritual gets drawn out more and more risque, eventually seeing girls wincing, hands on walls and more.
Depending on how gratuitous you expect the scenes to be compared to what some current games show, they could be seen as offensive or in poor taste. However, I thought they were pointless scenes that I just skipped while building up my party of Star Children.
Going back to the dungeons, the combat system is turn-based, but lets players move around enemies to either do an attack that'll do more damage or help drive up the chain meter. It gives the battles a bit of a risk/reward system, as a full chain lets the mother and father and groups of children constantly attack.
While this may not be needed early on, later battles and boss battles make the chain feature necessary. Another key feature is the Ether Density system, which can be increased with successful attacks and skills and decreased by damage and dying. As the level goes up, your characters get faster than the enemy, giving you more attack opportunities.
The skills are also fairly interesting in the game. Besides your basic magic spells and sword abilities, there are some skills specific between the God's Gift and whatever girl you have with you. There's also a Mecunite skill that turns a group of Star Children into a robot to mess things up. Why a robot, I'm really not sure.
The Star Children have their own management system that needs to be monitored as well. As you make new children, you'll be maxing the level out of children and releasing them into the city, to help it level up and unlock new facilities and items.
However, this is one of the bigger problems that Conception 2 has. As you make new children, you'll have to level them up to get them ready for new dungeons, which mean are you rerunning some old dungeons to get to that point. After running a few dungeons, you'll have to repeat again.
In addition, the game itself has a loop to it also. You run the dungeons for a bit, leave to check on additional quests and talk to the girls, get new items and sell old ones, go back to the dungeons and repeat. The problem with this is that the dungeons can start to get old, as does going back and forth again and again. If the gameplay and story with the girls doesn't hook you, you won't last long in this game.
Graphically, the game looks great. Dungeons remind me of Persona 4 Golden, and the 2D areas are great to look at as well. The music also sounds great in the game, although the voices could be completely removed and not lose anything.
* Combat system is enjoyable.
* Dating storylines are good.
* Graphics are great.
* Dungeons can get repetitive.
* Game is definitely over-sexualized at points.
* The loop the game has gets old at times.
Overall, Conception 2 definitely isn't for everyone. While the RPG elements are good, the sexualization will turn many off, as will the repetitiveness. If you're still reading this, though, you may still be interested enough to check this game out on the 3DS or Vita.
The 3D dungeons and 2D scenes both look great throughout the title.
The combat system is great, and the dating sim is polished, but it can get repetitive quickly.
The music is done well, but the voice acting could have been gotten rid of without a problem.
Sure, the game has a good length and random dungeons, but the repetition could get to you before the end does.
The fun I had early on turned almost into a chore as I kept doing the same thing deeper and deeper into the game.