So, I haven’t been playing a lot of video games lately, which has been bugging me a bit. It’s not so much that I don’t enjoy playing them anymore, but is mostly that whole ennui thing; I just never really get around to starting it. Except for baseball. I started a complete season in about September, and am now about 84 games in, and so am on track to play a complete season of baseball for the second time. But that was about the only game I was playing, and I did want to play a bit more.

Now, one of the issues is that I ended up wanting to watch some things on TV, and I can’t play on the PS3 and watch TV. So that let all of those games out. And nothing on the PS2 was really grabbing me. So I thought that playing on the Vita again would work … but didn’t have any games that were interesting for it. I could have played the Personas on the PSP that I haven’t finished, but that didn’t appeal much to me either. So I started looking around to see if I could build my Vita library a bit and find games that I wanted to play.

So I was browsing in a store and saw “Conception II”. It looked very similar to the Persona games, and was done by Atlus, and I had the helpful store clerk help me look up the combat system, which was also very similar to the Persona games. So, I picked it and another game up without much research into what the game actually was; they looked interesting and what I was kinda looking for, so I bought them. And then after delaying for a couple of weeks, I finally sat down to play it.

Now, I’m a philosopher, and so when I hear the word “Conception” I think of “concepts”, those things that philosophers work with every day. Again, I did almost no research on this game, and had no idea what the premise was or what the original game was about. It turns out that they meant “Conception” as, essentially, conceiving babies. Now, I knew that you produced Star Babies — that was stated on the back of the box — but didn’t know that that meant, well, essentially producing babies. So the game’s entire premise starts from sexual innuendo, which I wasn’t really expecting. And the game does indeed go all in on that; there is a lot of innuendo throughout the game. “Classmating” — how you produce Star Babies — is pretty much always referred to in ways equivalent to having sex. Your clodish friend Clotz takes constantly about that. The girls act as if it’s something similar. The headmaster refers to it that way. Add in normal innuendo about relationships and there’s a lot of sexual innuendo there.

Which, to be honest, doesn’t really bother me much. The only thing I can see about it that might be problematic is that the way it’s done pretty much guarantees that this game will stay niche. For people who want a Persona-style game, there’s quite a bit more innuendo there than they had, and so they might be turned off by that. But for people who might prefer a more strongly sexual dating sim in their games, there isn’t that much actual sexual content there either, so they’d probably prefer a hentai dating sim. So it looks like it strikes between the two biggest markets for dating sim/life simulator games, and only people like me who don’t mind the sex but aren’t really looking for it either will really be able to get into it.

I also find the game a bit confusing so far. The tutorial is pretty good, but there are a lot of options in the game, and there’s no manual to explain them. And since it drops the “timed” idea of games like the Personas or “Sakura Wars: So long, my love”, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing, or what Rest is doing. It moves time, but time isn’t supposed to be a constraint, so if I talk to the three girls that I can talk to before I run out of … something, and then Rest, is that causing issues, or is that what I’m supposed to do to make sure that I catch all of the events? How much does equipment matter? When should I be cycling babies? All of that is a bit confusing to me, and I really want to get into the story and not miss anything cool or important … and I’m precisely the sort of player who will miss things that are cool and important.

Beyond that, though, the game is entertaining. The characters have interesting personalities with some quirks, but those aren’t as overwhelming as they were in Sakura Wars. The graphics are impressive, especially the zoom ins to the girl when you meet them outside of the dungeons. The combat so far is a bit repetitive but not overly boring, and the first dungeon went quickly and had a purpose avoiding the feeling that it was just grinding that Persona 3 gave. Overall, it doesn’t seem like it will be as good a game as the Personas, but it might give Sakura Wars a run for its money.


One Response to “Inconceivable!”

  1. Criticism and Criticism | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] make an explicitly fanservice game” is not grounds, in and of itself, for criticism. Or take Conception II. It’s a valid criticism to say that it is too risque for fans of Persona-style games and too […]

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