Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars is an odd RPG. In C2 the world is plagued by monster spewing labyrinths called Dusk Circles. Students are trained at a special academy to destroy these monsters, which is where players come in. The game stars a protagonist who is deemed as God's Gift: one with an incredibly high Ether count that can enter Dusk Circles. The plot plays as a minor background to a script more heavily focused on its characters. Unfortunately the cast is a bit…blah. It’s quirky in a way, but it lacks the punch of an epic story.
Story aside the gameplay is stellar, but a bit complex so pay attention. The party consists of the hero and a female partner along with nine star children, grouped in threes. Star children are essentially human like Pokémon with classes. These chibi heroes are birthed between the hero and a chosen female compatriot in a ritual known as Classmating. Right...well moving past that, players will jump into dungeons, making their way through monsters and loot in order to defeat the boss thus cleaning the Dusk Circle. Battles are turn based with a hint of tactical prowess via grids. It’s a bit of a grind at first, but auto-battles and instantly killing weak enemies helps alleviate the strain. That said it’s a bit on the easy side even with the extra bounty missions and dungeons to tackle.
What C2 lacks the most is production value. The colorful environments and flashy battles will astound, but it feels like too much T&A, literally, and not enough heart. The pacing is the biggest issue. Most of the game is spent exploring dungeons while story bits come and go quickly. The dating scenarios between the girls are great and all, but it also feels a bit rushed. All in all it would have been nice to explore something other than dungeons and menus to get a better sense of the world.
Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars is an interesting, but flawed game. On one hand exploring dungeons, fighting monsters, and conceiving odd children to fight for the world is great. On the other hand there’s not much to enrich the world and fully entangle players. RPG and Atlus fans will find something to love here, but it’s not necessarily one of those touchstones RPGs at the same time.