Conception 2, on paper, sounds like one of those games your friend told you about but you didn’t believe was real. “It’s this game where you have to make babies with all the prettiest girls in school. But to make them, you have to use those Russian nesting dolls. Then, you use those babies to make an army to help you kill monsters. NO IT’S TOTALLY A REAL GAME! My brother has it!” Then years later, you find out its real and play it. Here’s the thing about those types of games, though: Once you get past the novelty of it, there usually isn’t much below the surface and that applies to Conception 2 in spades.
The world of Conception 2 has been invaded by monsters. There are several portals throughout the world where monsters are pouring out from. Think Pacific Rim, only with more sex jokes. Your character is sent to a school for special kids and discovers that he is…let’s say, incredibly potent. There is a connection between the Heavens and the Earth and God created your character to be able to create incredibly strong babies. You are, basically, God’s gift to women.
Let’s get this out of the way. Yes, you do have to create what amounts to an army of babies by, essentially, hooking up with as many girls as you can, as often as you can. There are a number of suggestive scenes and, although you never really explicitly have sex to create these babies, the sequences that have you forming your children are still fairly sexualized. While in the game you supposedly only have to hold hands, silhouettes of unclothed characters fly across the screen making suggestive noises as you do this.
These children act similarly to how Persona’s act in the Persona series. Depending on how well you bond with other characters, these kids become more powerful. These children can join you on the battlefield, along with one of the other women in the game. Once these kids get strong enough, you can let them go off into the city in order to open new shops to get you new items to make better babies. It’s a vicious cycle.
When you first start off playing the game, there is a lot of concentration on the idea of chaining together combos. When you enter into a battle against a monster, you can specifically position each of your different groups of characters to a different side of a monster. This can help you pinpoint a specific weak spot and concentrate on this point throughout the battle. Each attack builds up a part of the chain meter and when it’s full, you can chain together a series of attacks, rendering your opponents helpless.
The problem with the combat, though, is that you’ll rarely use the chain system. There are a very limited number of enemies in the game, so once you’ve found their weak points, you basically will just attack those points. The chain system seems like an interesting idea, but once you find one weak point on an enemy, you barely have to do anything else strategy-wise.
The other problem is how often you travel to dungeons. In order to build up your children’s power, you will need to do a ton of grinding in the dungeons. Each time you create a new set of children to bring with you, it’s almost required that you do so, since they’ll be fairly low level. If you have any interest in bringing in other girls to the dungeon with you, you’ll have to grind out more levels after that. What starts as an interesting combat system becomes tedious after the first or second dungeon. On top of that, you’ll often encounter the same groups of enemies on each floor, each in the same pattern. You are almost literally fighting the same fight each time and once you get the super powerful magic combination spells for your main characters, you’ll wreck every single enemy in only a couple of hits, including bosses.
There is also a dating simulation aspect to the game. When you get back from fighting in a dungeon, you’ll get the chance to talk with each of the prospective girls that you can woo. It, again, feels extremely similar to Persona in this regard. However, while each character in Persona had a fairly interesting personality with many complex issues going on in their lives, the girls of Conception 2 feel like parodies of anime contrivances. One girl is super shy in talking to a lot of people, but has giant boobs so it’s okay, I guess. Another wants to fit in with kids her own age. I’m sure you’d never guess, but there’s even one girl who’s incredibly mean and only opens up once you get to know her. It’s bland even by most anime standards.
However, in order to create the best babies, you need to have great relationships with these girls. The girls will ask you questions or for favors. The answers to these often come down to three choices: Obvious bad answer, obvious good answer or give her a gift. It’s beyond simple and gets even worse when you find out that those choices don’t matter at all. Very early in the game, the game tells you that you have a limit of three conversations between each dungeon visit. You can completely break this though, by revisiting an old dungeon and leaving as soon as you get to it. Then, you can have unlimited talks with the girls and unlimited chances to make the correct decisions. The conversations will even repeat, giving you a second chance to say the exact same thing you said before.
The dialog overall is incredibly juvenile, as well. Almost every single conversation seems to devolve into a talk about sperm or boobs. Look, those are the conversations I have in real life. I’m looking to escape them.
Seriously though, that’s what almost every single talk becomes. All of the girls are fascinated with the size of their boobs. They have seemingly endless conversations about how their boobs aren’t big enough, or how they don’t like their own boobs, or how much attention people are giving to their boobs. It goes almost to a level beyond pandering and makes you feel even more uncomfortable when you realize that these are supposed to be high schoolers. Yes, that is Chris Hansen hovering over your shoulder.
Conception 2 is, at best, a one note game. It has a weird idea at its core that can’t hold up a forty plus hour RPG. The combat is simple and the amount of grinding you have to do is beyond painful. The dialog is god awful and pandering. The whole game just makes you feel kind of uncomfortable. I’m sure there’s a crowd out there who will absolutely love Conception 2, but it feels incredibly limited. It’s clear now, why the original Conception was never brought stateside.
SCORE: 5.5 out of 10
A code for Conception 2 was provided to Pixel Related for review.