Conception 2 – Conception II: Shichisei no Michibiki to Mazuru no Akumu (Guidance of Seven Stars and Muzzle’s Nightmare)…What a weird and long name, but this fit just perfectly with the game itself. This game will consume hours of a gamer’s life-time due to many sessions of grind, since the game can suddenly become very unfair.
However, the weirdness is already somewhat of a necessity. I would be pretty unsatisfied with this title with it wasn’t bat-shit crazy enough to rival its predecessor.
The twist is that, for this sequel there is actually a much more complex story! The plot even dares to be good. It is certainly no Shakespeare (Or should I say Shigesato Itoi when discussing about Japanese games?), but it does a nice job. The events can involve such elements as death, evil companies, conflicts between religion and science and even drugs! Even though there is no drugs from the real world, what is a relief, since it would be very hard to take seriously an event about a crack addicted in a game where you make magical babies with multi-colored shadows.
Talking about magical babies, this is obviously another element that makes a return in this sequel. It is no much different from what was in the past game, actually, every “star baby class” is back with exactly the same design, what is no fun, since nearly every class was made to remember one of the mothers from the original game. Something very confusing about the first game was the controversy surrounding this system to create generic units. Many people had the wrong idea about it and wrote articles complaining about the game, without even playing the damn thing! The reason behind all this mess was because many have misunderstood the ceremony to create the star babies with a sex scene. However, this time the developers tried to get things straight by making very clear during the dialog that they only hold hands!
The game doesn’t take place in the same universe of the first Conception, taking more of a “Final Fantasy approach” instead, keeping only the same themes between the titles. Unlike the original, the protagonist (commonly known as Arkas Wake) did not came from Earth, the whole plot taking place in a world called Another-Terra (pretty clever naming sense you got there) what means neither he or the other characters are Japanese. This would be a pain-in-the-ass for Japanese players since they have issues with memorizing “Gaijin” names, but it’s OK because they used the special technique of “Using Japanese names that sound like western names and writing them in Katakana so to make them sound even more American-like” (Galges do this A LOT).The hero enters in a special school where he becomes a star student (seito) who is basically a young person who is given star power by the star god to fight against the mazzle creatures who are trying to take over the world using mysterious dark circles that release dark energies around the world. While normal star students are only able to fight against demons that come out of the circle, only the legendary “Marebito” is able to enter the maze inside those circles to fight directly against them. It happens that the protagonist is this hero of legend and is now ordered to develop love-love relationships with the most powerful and prettiest girls in the academy, which he accepts without a second thought since he has a strong will to defeat all mazzle demons, and for this he needs to strength his bonds with the heroines so they could create stronger star babies, which refers to the star god avatars in the form of human children. So, it’s the “Magic School” plot, once again influenced by Harry Potter. Well, at least they don’t use those silly robes…
The battle system is not so different from the previous game, but has a very important change: It’s possible to bring one of the heroines to the dungeons. This is a very fun and clever idea, since the heroines from the first title did not had much of a role beside being the “wife waiting at home”, but now they can kick some asses with you while wearing sexy clothes (why not?). Raising their level also helps to give birth to stronger star babies. Also notice that the number of heroines decreased from 12 to 7 because how difficult it would be to create 12 different characters beside the protagonist, it’s fair…Most of the heroines are pretty nice. Their designs are a bit less creative when comparing with the previous heroines. They are not based on zodiac signs anymore, being designed after human virtues instead, what makes their appearance not as unique.Fuuko Amix is an energetic girl who always tries to be nice with everyone. (typical for main heroines in Galges). She is good at swimming and her plot is about her childhood trauma.
Kuroe Jirnas is a genius who created new technologies and made a big breakthrough in the world of science at a very young age, but choose to become a regular teacher (of course…).Michiru is a lousy dumb girl with MPD…
Ok, so Serina Leaf is not Michiru, at least in name and story, but their personalities are exactly the same, (it doesn’t help that they have the same seiyuu). Serina is a Senpai who got a complex about her appearance. Her plot is focused on her trying to revive an old amusement park just so the normal citizens could not be always so afraid and depressed with the demon attacks.
To-ri Feather is out of her mind! Maybe because she is Monokuma’s daughter (at least it’s what everyone says on Japanese blogs). Actually, she was raised in a laboratory as a perfect Rank S star student. For this reason, she knows close to nothing about the normal world. She has many interesting plots about her interactions and discoveries in the real world.
Finne Glass is an honor student who strives to become strong for the sake of her comrades from her hometown. She speaks like a samurai for some reason. Her true hobby is photography and she creates a club together with the protagonist.
Ah! By the Way: They created a very specific plot about star students losing their powers once their reach adulthood. What means there are no Onee-san (or Obaa-san) characters as heroines this time, this is not a problem for me since most of them look very scary anyway…
Some of the musics are very lame, but in a good way, kinda like some horror B-movies. It’s very amusing to battle so monsters while the battle music screams “Babe, babe, babe, babe, BA-BE!!”, or when you create your star baby and the song gives you a “Conglaturaaaaations on your newer rival”…or something like that.Sadly, there is no significant changes to the graphics other than being on HD (at least on the Vita). Lip-sync still laughable and 3D models during dungeons are very low-quality. Nevertheless, since it was already great on the PSP, it is not a shame to have this running on your Vita (I don’t have the 3DS version, but I think it looks okey as well).
Regardless, this game do have some high productions values since it has many anime scenes and CGs beside events with “live 2D” effects and some high-level voice acting.
It was a nice game but nothing epic. It was worth its price at least. I’ve been playing too many super moe kawaii games recently, it’s time to take a break from this for a while, and I may have the perfect game for that!