Conception II Hands-On (PS Vita): Raisin’ Space Babies, Beatin’ Beasts With Rabies…

Conception II VitaAtlus’ upcoming JRPG,Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars, is sure to get the dirtier gamer minds over-activated into the puerile zone what with it’s show and tell “Classmating” sequences, too-jiggly females, an aged priest with some intentionally pervy dialog and plenty of direct and indirect references to sexytime antics mixed in with a cosmic religion theme. But hey, it IS an M-Rated game and some of the people who are going to be playing this probably shouldn’t be. But you know how that goes, right?

Here’s a game where you play as a young man called “God’s Gift”, and yes, that means not only in terms of the terrific monster bashing powers at his disposal, but in terms of his ability for Conception with the game’s nubile young females. Did I mention that this is basically a futuristic high school setting and this is more or less a dating sim with random dungeons packed with plenty of monsters to wail on? Yeah, par for the course for the genre, I know, I know. Yet, for all the lovely visuals and solid combat there’s a decidedly cute yet creepy vibe here that may make a few players cringe as they groove on the lovely visuals and catchy tunes.

Everyone else with a clean conscience and an open mind will find the game rolls along at a decent enough pace after the dialog bits and tutorial notes get over and done with. Yes, the game is talky (and the hatred for the dub here is the usual disrespectful message board tripe – I found it fine overall), but again, par for the JRPG course and it’s all in the service of plot and character development. There’s a lot to tackle here and reading those pop-up tutorials and following the directions in that training dungeon can mean the difference between surviving some tough encounters and having your party wiped out. Those Star Children you’ll be creating are used in your battle party, preferably with the gal you’ve Classmated with along for the dungeon dive. Adventuring parties play better when the entire unit is aligned and in an amusing way, it’s like having the entire family out for a stroll in a rather deadly outing where the outcome is saving the world you’re on.

There will be seven girls to “Classmate” with and like other games in this sub-genre (Anyone remember Thousand Arms, the Ar Tonelico series, and more recently, Valhalla Knights 3 among many other titles?), paying attention to the the desires of these girls (i.e., not being a total jerk) is key to success. The combination of gift-giving, proper dialog choices in conversation scenes and a few other factors will influence how well the Conception thing goes. Your Star Children act as a team and when certain battle conditions are met, can temporarily transform into a very strong mech-like warrior that dishes out tremendous damage while it’s activated.

conception2_glamshot

Developer Spike Chunsoft has made a really pretty game here and while I have yet to try the 3DS version, I’m hearing that demo is shorter (both games have the same content) and uses character portraits for dialog. The Vita version has sort of puppet-like cut scenes where characters banter as their bodies move a bit. Combat is turn-based and revolves around getting in strikes on an enemy’s weak areas while trying to stay out of harm’s way or using skills to lessen or negate damage. You can get the jump on a monster on the field with a successful approach from the rear or side, but the same can happen to you if you’re careless or end up in a room with multiple creatures close to you as soon as you step inside a doorway. There are also treasure boxes that contain goodies for your crew or sometimes a nasty surprise that adds a nice element of chance to the gameplay.

The demo covers the prologue, is loads of fun to blaze through and pretty lengthy, also allowing you to transfer your save data into the full version of the game when it lands in stores, on PSN and the eShop April 15, 2014. Atlus is super confident about this game being a hit past the sleeper stage that they’re even running a cool review contest YOU can enter if you own a Vita or 3DS. Check out the details HERE, download that demo and get typing. Prizes await and all you need to do is be creative.

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