The game could use a little more Pokémon in its conquest as well. Fans of the core series might be disappointed that their boon companions are reduced to little more than living artillery in a battle between rival Warlords. There's no Pokémon-specific skill management. There are wild Pokémon to battle, but instead of joining your merry band (as rival warlords do) they simply fall, sacrificed in the name of increasing the bond between your soldiers and their weapons (note that warlords can bond with wild Pokémon; it's just not the same). During the course of the story a character comments that they've heard of a strange land where Pokémon are carried about in balls. The game could use more balls.


What Pokémon Conquest lacks in balls it makes up for in content. The expansive single-player campaign easily spans a dozen or more hours, and once it's done even more campaigns are unlocked. With the addition of promised downloadable content, this is a game that could keep DS or 3DS in business for months to come.

The concept of Pokémon Conquest is completely absurd yet somehow, in the grand tradition of whack television sitcoms, "It sounds crazy but it just might work" actually worked. Pokémon's rock-paper-scissors element mechanic makes the complicated strategy of Nobunaga's Ambition easier to manage, while the delightful complexity of Tecmo Koei's strategy game adds layers of depth to an otherwise shallow property. The end result is one of the best series crossovers I've ever played, the perfect game for the aging Pokémon fan looking for a more challenging experience without losing the cuddly pink things.