Conception 2 is available on Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita. There are four versions for each handheld, Demo, Standard, Download and Deluxe, which features an art book and CD. This review is for the standard and demo versions on Nintendo 3DS. The game is a sequel to the Japan-Only "Conception: Please Give Birth To My Child" which was on PS Vita.
Okay, I need to preface this review with a few disclaimers.
I am Codename Sailor Earth. In real life, I am a married 29 year old woman. Bear in mind that my standards are not going to match up with those of the type of characters this review is about. I've been called an "Equal Rights Feminist". Long story short, I'm pro-choice, pro-women's rights, but I'm not a fan of those who treat men like animals.
My political choices had nothing to do with the purchase of this game... which is why I have a copy for my Nintendo 3DS.... because I can tell the difference between a video game and real life.
If you are a feminist... walk away. Like right now. Seriously. Unless you are open minded enough to accept a story about several young girls with weapons who fawn all over one guy, I really can't see this being your game. Wanna see a female as a strong but entirely un-sexualized character for 99% of the game without cheats? Go play Metroid. (Just NOT Other M.)
If you're a parent, and you're here because your tween or teenager won't stop pestering you for this game, please stick around. You need to be informed about what they're getting into.
If you're that tween or teenager pestering your parents, I apologize. This will not be convincing them anytime soon.... and why are you on here, anyway?
If you're a PedoBear, I want you OFF my page, but I know you'll be sticking around, much to my chagrin.
I am really surprised this game not only made it to America, but it made it with a good bit of fanfare and just a simple M rating, with almost no edits from the Japanese print.
And considering where this review is going, again, I am SHOCKED.
When I first heard Atlus was bringing the game over to America, I heard all kinds of crazy rumors, one of them being that this game would get a T rating. Someone at the ESRB must have played through the demo, because the game has a more appropriate M rating, and boy is it deserved.
Okay, now onto the game. I downloaded the demo first and waited for the standard version to drop down in price. As of this writing, it's decently priced if you're aiming for the standard copy.
When you first try the demo, you're greeted by Clotz and Chloe. While it's not explained at the time, Chloe is one of the many girls you can "classmate" with in the game. She's an 18 year old high school teacher, and total opposite of her little brother Clotz, who serves as the class clown. You can practice talking to the girls at the academy and classmating with one of them, and then you can practice fighting through a labyrinth. While there is enough dialogue to semi-explain what's going on, you're not going to fully understand the story unless you get the full version of the game.
Upon getting the full version, you have the option to transfer data from the demo to the full copy, but you're not really getting much. Randomly, you can transfer over a better matryoshka, but that's about it. Sometimes, you can transfer over a few of the Star Children (I'll get to that) you have.
So I got the standard copy in the mail... and just.... wow...
You begin the game as a teenager named Wake. (You can rename him.) Wake arrives on this high-tech island with two other teenagers, a boy named Clotz and a girl named Fuuko. (That's "Fuu-Koh" not "Fuck-Oh".) On arrival to the island, you are given dorm rooms and ranks.
By the way, Wake is an orphan (see below). The rest of the teens have moms and dads, but they are all living on their own home islands, so you are totally parent-free.
After an awful lot of dialogue, it is discovered that you (Wake) is litterally God's Gift due to the amount of ether inside your body.
That makes you PERFECT for procreation!!
What happens next is something straight out of a Hentai Doujinshi.
You are legit taken... to a CHURCH... to impregnate Fuuko.
Let me backtrack a bit.
You are greeted by a PRIEST who makes the discovery about you being a literal gift from God. He takes you to the church, and teaches you and Fuuko about classmating.
Now classmating is where you select a teenaged girl, hold hands with her super-duper tight over an empty matryoshka doll, and then you both close your eyes and have mind-sex. During the ceremony, where by the way, the Priest, and anybody who just happens to be curious will watch you, your ether mixes with the energy from the girl, and those two energies go into the doll. From there, you have a minute to name the energy and ascribe it a job. The energy will pop the doll open like an egg, and BINGO you're a daddy now! What you have is a Star Child, something that isn't really human, but shares your DNA and is your son or daughter.
Of course, since you are all total strangers, at first, Fuuko is reluctant, thinks this is weird (rightfully so) and does not want to be anywhere near you.
So the priest guilts Fuuko, and coaxes her into letting you mind-fuck her. Now this scene is different for some players, but I got triplets out of this mind-fuck, which totally wiped out the energy of Wake and Fuuko.
So basically, the game starts off with mind-rape... in a CHURCH.
After this segment, you find that the government is working with the church on this. They need you to keep mind-fucking girls, so you can make and train powerful Star Children, so they can send the lot of you into Dusk Circles to fight deadly monsters and demons, while also treasure hunting.
So now we're upgraded to government-sanctioned mind-rape... with the underage.... in a church... supervised by a priest.
Oh.... oh my God...
The eldest of the girls is 18 year old Chloe. All of the other girls are between 16 and 17 years of age, with Wake also being 17. Yes, I know. In SOME areas of Japan and America, the legal age of consent/marrying age is 16, but that's hardly an argument. If you're not 18 or older, you're a kid. I don't need to see you nekkid.
Sure, the nudity is mostly the girls, and all you see are Sailor Moon-style silhouettes of the girls writhing around on the floor and grabbing your hand in ecstasy, but still.
And yes, you can participate late in the game in "classmanting" with two guys and Wake, but even if you push at it, the Star Child created by two guys while powerful, usually dies after a minute or two. You can also group classmate with two chicks and Wake, resulting in a very strong and very confused Star Child. This is as close to LBGTQ procreation as the game is going to allow. You can also classmate and group classmate with other Conception 2 players online.... if you're up for the task of IRL classmating with a total stranger that is. Totally not creepy. Honest!
As the game goes along, the other girls warm up to Wake, and all have secret crushes and the like on him.... and I can't figure out why.
LOOK at him. Just take a good look. He's skinny, his hair obviously has never seen a comb, his muscle tone is barely Ken Doll quality, and his girly run (you must see this) through the labyrinths is only offset by his child-bearing hips. And while you can pick and choose what he says, he will always end up with a personality made of cardboard. Outside of his flashy superpowers, just WHAT is it that makes him sexually appealing to these girls?
Of course, he does have a little drive. Randomly, we have one segment of the game, where Wake tells Clotz he wants to kill the monsters in the labyrinth, because this is the same race that laid waste to his village and killed his whole family on the day of his big sister's wedding. I suspect his sister saving his life is the reason why he encourages the other girls to believe in themselves, but this backstory is dropped on us randomly, and then never brought up again.
The game is half dating sim and half RPG. But in order to get to the RPG sections, you have to go through the dating sim, and try to get to know at least one of the girls.
Oh... oh no... they still drink out of Juicy Juice boxes?? I feel unclean...
You can interact with them directly by clicking on their faces at the Academy, or by hitting the "advance story" button on the bottom. You can only talk to two girls at a time, and if you want to talk to more or if you mess up, you need to head to the dorm and rest. This will progress time a bit, and let you replay the individual girl scenes.
These segments are LONG and it's not easy picking the right thing to say, because all of the girls are unbelievably complex. I had to search Google a bit for tips, before deciding to give myself the easy route by buttering up Fuuko.... who totally does not look like a pink haired Miku Hatsune!
She even has headphones.
You have the ability to press the START button, which will skip over the dialogue, but it's better to read through it, because each segment has a three-choice spot, which determines where the rest of the game is going. Pick the wrong choice, and you will piss off the girls.
You would also miss out on the unrealistic dialogue seen above. Who has these conversations?? "Hey Fuuko, thanks for noticing, I really am having a good boob day today!" Seriously?
Skipping however will not let you skim past the uncomfortable still images like this one here, which are deemed part of the story. Unclean....
Well now that you've mind-impregnated a girl or two a few times, it's onto the labyrinth. The more the girl likes you at the time you classmate, the stronger the Star Child. When going into the labyrinth, it's wise to take the mother along as your team-mate.
You "can" take any girl, but keeping the mom along helps the children level up better. The kids will call all of the girls "mother" but you're just better off picking one girl and sticking with her.
You can mix and match the kids however you want, but it's best to have 2-3 kids of the same sort of style together, so they can do powerful combos. (I have three gunsligners on one team, for example.) The kids can also transform into a mech (WTF?) but this eats up a ton of magic.
As you girly-run through the areas, your kids will call you "Daddy" and will cheer if you find any items.
The battles are simple. ALWAYS STAB THE MONSTER IN THE BACK!! Weak points show up in orange, but honestly, unless it's a zebra monster, it will always be the back of the enemy. That's right! We now have underage mind-sex AND we're teaching kids born out of wedlock to shoot people from behind, awesome morals, Atlus!
And of course, when you're getting tired of the constant respect, obedience, love and adulation from these little, half-dressed ankle-biters, you can grant them their independence ~ which is a very nice way of saying you are throwing them out of your family forever, and letting the local shops use them as unpaid slaves. If the Star Child you callously throw out is high enough in power, he or she will make some areas nicer, while weak unwanted babies contribute very little.
Also, when you battle, if a monster depletes your kid of all his/her HP, they will return to being a matryoshka, and will continue to take abuse. If three on a team bite it, they become temporary angels until either you bring them back with Bond Powder, or the battle ends. They only semi-die, but that's okay, the local shops sell powders and potions to make them un-die.
If you do well enough against a boss, Ruby, the government agent who helped the priest encourage you to mind-rape Fuuko, will offer to buy you and the other underage girls alcoholic beverages. YAAAAAAAY!! UNDERAGE DRINKING!!
If the fighting scenes are too much for you, just tap the X button, and the game will play by itself until the battle ends. You'll blow through your team's entire MP supply, but it works if you're in a hurry. After all, time is short, and you have more Star Children to make!
Once you've saved the game, the routine starts all over. You progress the story a bit, maybe download a few challenges (There's a freebie DLC for Monokuma from the Danganronpa series) go shopping or train, but the focus goes towards building your relationship with the girls.
In Fuuko's case, not only am I left trying to figure out how to pull her out of self-pity mode, (and hearing her proclaim how "average" she is over and over) I also have to deal with her being occasionally possessed by (SPOILER) her dead ex-best friend from middle school.
Great. It's not enough I'm coaxing Fuuko into starting a relationship with the guy who stole her mind-virginity in a church, but now I have to please her undead friend too. And that means letting her dead friend use Fuuko's body against her will, so I can do romantic things to the dead friend while Fuuko watches. And it's totally not rapey, right?
Well, it's okay. See, Fuuko won a swimming contest against the dead ex-best friend (Izzy) when they were in middle school, and after watching Izzy lose, Izzy's father dropped dead. So Izzy moved across country to live with her until this point estranged mom. Then Izzy came to the academy ahead of Fuuko, and died during the government's sactioned underage raid of an underwater cave, and that's why she gets to use Fuuko's body, at least until I've romanced her enough that she can pass on, or Fuuko just forgives herself. Oh wait. Fuuko is in "I'm just an average girl, poor me" mode. So much for that then.
And I have to be careful not to make the other girls too happy, otherwise Wake will end up in a pointless ending with one of them. Or, if I piss them all off, I can end up with the "suck" ending, where I watch Clotz go to karaoke. Or I might end up with the "Harem" ending, where I visit all of the girls' parents, and try to convince them that having mind-sex with all of them is totally not a deal breaker for dating their pretty little princess.
But if I'm careful, and say only the things Fuuko wants to hear, I can force her to make awesomely strong Star Babies with me, and then eventually impregnate her with a real baby the old fashioned way, which I (Wake) will then name after her dead friend who used her body against her will to do unsettling things with me while Fuuko watched.
What's that? I'm going to Hell? Why yes, I do believe that's where this is going. WTF JAPAN???
While the RPG fighting is easy and comfortable to play, the story content is disturbing. If there was a little less of a rapey vibe to it, I wasn't mind-screwing girls in a CHURCH and if the entire cast was over the age of 18, I wouldn't mind it so much, but this is just a mess.
Yes, I can say there is a replay value to it, if you want to unlock more endings, and the controls are easy on the thumbs, but it's pretty clear who this game is aimed for. And that would be virgins.
If you desire to play as an orphaned teen, unchaperoned, on an island of cute girls who with coaching from their school teachers, a church and the government, will allow you to make babies with them for the sake of using said babies to fight demons, then Atlus has the game for you!
When you first start the game, you are greeted with a colorful and cute video of Chibi Miku about to meet up with the other Vocaloids. After pressing "Start", you need to set up your "Mirai" name. This will be the name that pops up for anybody who spot/street passes you. Once that's figured out, you are asked to pick a Vocaloid, and then you are to hang out with your new friend in one of five rooms. Playing through the game will allow you to unlock extra rooms, songs, food, clothes, furniture and all kinds of cute items to share with your Vocaloids. You can even talk to them, and making them happy will allot for even more bonus content.
You unlock new features by playing through each of the 47 songs found in the game. As the Vocaloids sing, an animated line with command circles will appear. Depending on what mode you're playing and how you've set it up, you must either tap the screen or the buttons on the 3DS in time with the circles. The higher your score, the more points you get and the more you can unlock. The music should help you time your taps just right, but if you;re starting to annoy your parents with Japanese autotuned singing, (Or in my case, my husband, sorry!!) you can always challenge yourself by muting the game and just tapping when prompted. I doubt Miku would mind. You will later have access to a movie theater, which lets you play the music videos back again, and yes, all of it is in 3D if you flick the switch. A handful of songs also allows you to swap out one Vocaloid for another.
To switch singers though, you must beat the song in easy, normal and hard mode, and each song has a different combo. For example, Snowman let me beat the game on tap mode in easy and normal, so I could choose between KAiTO or Len. But for Romeo and Cinderella, I have to beat the game on all three levels in tap mode (or button) and then in easy on button mode. (Or tap if I didn't choose it before.) I've beaten it only on easy and normal on tap, which lets me switch between Miku and Rin, but the other two will let me unlock Luka for the same song.
Unlocking the characters for each song and finishing the tracks will unlock bonus outfits, room items and in the options menu, extra videos to watch.
Here's a list of the singer-swap songs you can unlock:
The AR cards allow you to snap some incredible photos with your Chibi Vocaloid. The more the merrier and this does open up for replay value.
You can also play a Vocaloid copy of the SEGA classic Puyo Pop. American Sonic fans may already remember this game as the graphically lacking Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, but thankfully, the mechanics in this game are much smoother. For those who are new to the game, all you have to do is match color-to-color. If you've played Dr. Mario, then you already know how to master this.
Another bonus game is hidden in the "Hang out" mode. When you hit that button, press and hold the Y/Mic button to call your Vocaloid over. From there, you can choose to feed him/her, give him/her an allowance, or play Reversi with them. Reversi is a challenging game where you either get black or white pieces, and you have to take over the board with them. I'm sorry to admit, Miku has beaten me twice so far. The smart A.I. of the Vocaloids is incredible. They even know how to make "poker face" and when to mock you. If you're starring at the top screen, you can easily fool yourself into thinking you're winning.
Project Mirai DX is colorful, fun, funny and the perfect introduction to the Vocaloid universe. It's a great game to have on a long car ride, and is neither too long nor too short. The replay value is heavy, and the launch copy is a must for any Vocaloid fan.
Codename Sailor Earth
Codename Sailor Earth first started tinkering with her mother's Atari 2600 when she was only a year old, and then branched out to PC gaming on a GeoWorks computer shortly after her 4th birthday. Today, she is an avid collector of all things Nintendo, but makes time for PlayStation, SEGA and XBOX. She is a huge fan of Retron consoles.