Conception II: Children Of The Seven Stars – Hello, I’m Chris Hanson…

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I don’t spend entirely too much time on my 3DS. I spend even less time poking around the eShop. But, on a whim this morning, I decided to go there and check out the latest demos. I downloaded one for a JRPG that came out yesterday called Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars.

And now I feel dirty…

Conception II is a sequel to a game we didn’t get here in the states. Maybe because back then we had standards or something? It’s by Spike Chunsoft, the developers behind recent hits like the Zero Escape series and Danganronpa, and published by the “we’ll support anything, regardless of if it’s creepy” ever-popular people at Atlus.

It’s a dungeon crawler JRPG that doesn’t do a ton to mix up the formula. To be honest, I quite enjoyed the battle system though. It had enough unique aspects to be engaging and make combat a bit strategic while still being streamlined enough to not have to stare at the screen in bewilderment. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s one of the better JRPG battle systems I’ve seen since the decline of JRPGs.

Unfortunately, that just isn’t enough to undo the damage of the rest of the game…

You see, Conception’s title is to be taken very, very literally. The game is actually about making children to fight monsters. Outside of battle, the game plays like a slightly lesser version of the Persona games, as you go around talking to random girls and developing a stronger bond with them. You do this through awkwardly localized social events. This whole “Japanese teenager social” thing that a lot of games like this do always feels a little awkward to me when it comes over to the US, even when it’s done decently like in Persona 4. But here, it’s just plain awful.

The dialogue is atrocious, playing more like a poorly fan-translated version of a Japanese visual novel. For a team that has popular narrative games like 999 in them, it felt poorly written, with unnerving dialogue playing out just barely above Japanese dating simulators.

The girls you can woo run the gambit of traditional Japanese schoolgirl tropes. So as to give you, the player, a range of options in what your ideal teenage fuckbuddy would be. And then we get to the sex.

Ok ok, let me make one thing clear: it’s not ACTUALLY sex. But its totally sex… You “Classmate” (oh god) with these girls in a ritual that produces a Star Child. While the Classmating itself is actually just a flashy naked hand-holding session (which yes, they show you. Because Japan), it’s still incredibly creepy. Especially given the dialogue my girl character said to me prior to, and after, our little tryst.

Blush-faced and sheepish, she told me about how even though it was her first time, it felt right. And that her palm was very warm. And…

You know what, I’m not gonna keep going on that, you already get the idea.

Putting it bluntly: the game was creepy as hell. I’ve played JRPGs for many years, and I’ve watched various anime series’, so I’m no stranger to the rather awkward sexualization of teenage girls that is rather prominent in Japanese entertainment. But this takes the cake. This is, without a doubt, the most gross and uncomfortable JRPG I’ve ever played. I’ve even played RPGs with similar concepts, like Ar Tonelico which has a bonding simulation aspect to it. This, however, was as close to actually having sex with teenage schoolgirls as a JRPG has ever brought me. And the fetishism in how it’s handled is so awkward and perverted that I just couldn’t do it anymore.

The battle system was interesting, and could have made for a solid handheld JRPG, but the one-step-below-hentai social system was just too much for me. I’m genuinely surprised this made it onto the 3DS, what with the recent alterations of the characters in Bravely Default to make it less creepy.

To sum it up: don’t get this game. Avoid this game like the plague. Unless you’re a pervert who wants to pretend they’re not really a pervert by hiding behind an RPG battle system. In which case, please don’t talk to me…

Oh, I forgot to add something. The cherry on the top of this sexist, gross sundae. The ability that your character has that lets them woo these girls and make Star Children with? It’s called “God’s Gift”. Yup. I’m just gonna let that little bit of information linger there. If you’re still reading this, I imagine you’ve somehow found a way to make your palm transparent…

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