North American box art
|Publisher(s)||The Pokémon Company|
|Genre(s)||Tactical role-playing game|
Pokémon Conquest, known in Japan as Pokémon + Nobunaga's Ambition (ポケモン＋ノブナガの野望? Pokemon Purasu Nobunaga no Yabō), is a role-playing strategy video game developed by Tecmo Koei and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. The game is a crossover between the Pokémon and Nobunaga's Ambition video game series. The game was released in Japan on March 17, 2012, in North America on June 18, 2012, and in Europe on July 27, 2012.
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The player, accompanied by an Eevee, travels throughout the Ransei Region (ランセ地方? Ranse-chihō) befriending Pokémon and battling Warriors (ブショー? Bushō) and Warlords (ブショーリーダー? Bushō Rīdā) to conquer the region and unite it as one nation; Warlords and Warlord Leaders can join the player's party once defeated, allowing the player access to more Pokémon. The gameplay is turn-based strategy and is a tactical RPG unlike the main-series Pokémon games, with different Pokémon capable of using different attacks and means of movement. Warlords also have unique battle-changing powers that boost their Pokémon's abilities but may only be used once per battle. These effects range from increased attacking power, health restoration, or even temporary invincibility.
Unlike in the main-series Pokémon games, each Pokémon is capable of using only one move. This move is determined by the Pokémon's species and is usually picked to represent that species; for example, Excadrill uses its trademark move Drill Run. Additionally, only a select fraction of the 649 Pokémon that existed at that time of release are available in the game. The main-series capture system is replaced by a minigame where a Warrior attempts to form a link with a wild Pokémon by coordinating button presses with a display, reminiscent of Dance Dance Revolution. The main-series leveling system is replaced by a concept called "link", a percentage which increases to a certain maximum, and reflects that Pokémon's battling statistics. Each Warrior has a natural affinity to certain types, which grants an increased maximum link with Pokémon of those types. In addition, every Warrior and Warlord has one evolutionary family of Pokémon with which they may form a 100%, or perfect, link. A Warlord's costume almost always resembles the appearance of at least one of their "perfect link" species.
The various Warriors and Warlords are named after figures in Japanese history, with the game's Nobunaga (ノブナガ?) being a take on the real historical figure Oda Nobunaga. After defeating Nobunaga and completing the main story line, players are able to take on 32 special episodes, each featuring one of the other warlords and having different objectives (such as taking over a portion of Ransei rather than the whole region). They feature smarter AI (with the opposing nations attacking your countries more often), the ability to upgrade the locations within the regions through a bank to find more Pokémon or get better items, and to evolve the rest of the Warlords. The episodes often reference real historical events, such as Mitsuhide's betrayal of Nobunaga and Hideyoshi's unification of most of Japan. After the episodes of the 16 senior warlords are completed, a final episode will be unlocked, which is essentially a new game with the main playable character, but including the added features of the post-game episodes.
A legend is foretold that the one who unifies all the 17 kingdoms of the Ransei Region (ランセ地方? Ranse-chihō), will have a chance to encounter the Legendary Pokémon who created the Ransei Region. Warriors and Warlords all over the region sought to fulfill the foretold legend, thus bringing Ransei's peaceful era to an end in battles. The game initiates off with the player just becoming the Warlord of the Aurora (ハジメ? Hajime) kingdom and is met by Oichi. Hideyoshi of the nearby kingdom of Ignis (カエン? Kaen) sends his warriors to ambush Aurora, only for them to be defeated by player and Oichi. Oichi explains to the player that all of the other kingdoms of Ransei had become aggressive and hostile towards one another, in their own destiny of fulfilling the Ransei Legend. This initiates the player's harrowing journey of unifying other nations, starting with Ignis, hoping to restore peace upon Ransei. After conquering the kingdoms of Greenleaf (アオバ? Aoba), and Fontaine (イズミ? Izumi), Oichi explains that Nobunaga, who dwells at the northern part of Ransei, is the main threat of the Ransei Region. After conquering the kingdoms of Violight (シデン? Shiden), Chrysalia (サナギ? Sanagi), and Pugilis (コブシ? Kobushi), Oichi explains that Nobunaga's ambition is to fulfill the Ransei Legend and use Arceus's power to demolish Ransei.
After conquering the two kingdoms of Terrera (ダイチ? Daichi) and Illusio (ゲンム? Genmu), Oichi hosts a celebration of Shingen and Kenshin's recruitment to the player's army. During the celebration, the player is confronted by Nobunaga, who holds the kingdoms of Avia (ツバサ? Tsubasa), Cragspur (キガン? Kigan), Yaksha (ヤシャ? Yasha), Viperia (ドクガ? Dokuga), Valora (フクシ? Fukushi), Nixtorm (フブキ? Fubuki), and Spectra (ミタマ? Mitama) under his command. Nobunaga informs the player and Oichi of their foolishness of opposing him and returns to his own kingdom of Dragnor (リュウ? Ryū). Though his servant Ranmaru pleads with Oichi not to oppose him, Nobunaga states he will annihilate anyone who gets in his way. With Nobunaga and his Zekrom defeated, the player had united Ransei, and the Infinity Tower is revealed. Inside, the player's party finds the Legendary Pokémon Arceus. After linking with Arceus, the player is confronted again with Nobunaga, now partnered with a shiny Rayquaza, along with Mitsuhide, Nō (ノウヒメ? Nouhime), Ieyasu, Ranmaru, Hideyoshi into a final battle. After being defeated, Nobunaga reveals his true intentions to bring peace to Ransei by destroying Arceus as it is the cause of the conflict. However, seeing the player unaffected by being linked to Arceus, and as the Pokémon takes its leave, Nobunaga relents as Ransei's kingdoms are restored to their proper owners and a system in the region is established.
Pokémon + Nobunaga's Ambition was first revealed at the Shueisha's "Jump Festa" anime and manga event on December 17, 2011. Nintendo and Tecmo Koei announced the game during the event and announced its 2012 release. The Pokémon Company announced a live streaming event that would be used to reveal information to consumers in Japan, and it took place on January 19, 2012. Part of the character designs on the humans also worked on Samurai Warriors 3, with touch-ups from Ken Sugimori. On April 4, 2012, it was announced on Pokemon.com that Pokémon + Nobunaga's Ambition would be released in the United States on June 18, 2012, as Pokémon Conquest.
Pokémon Conquest received positive reviews, possessing a score of 80/100 on Metacritic. Famitsu gave the game a score of 34/40, with reviewers praising the game's accessibility for young players, high replay value, and ability to mix Pokémon with a traditional Japanese historical setting. IGN gave the game a score of 9.0 and an Editor's Choice award, praising its deep gameplay and calling it "one of the greatest, most fully realized Pokémon spinoffs in existence". Destructoid gave the game 8/10. Game Informer gave the game a 7.0/10.
The game sold 341,000 copies in Japan in 2012.
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- This article incorporates material derived from the "Pokémon + Nobunaga's Ambition" article on the koei wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License (18 December 2011).