Nintendo has issued a press release announcing Perfect Link and other features for their upcoming DS title, Pokémon Conquest, as outlined below.
Perfect Link: Players will have the ability to link to Pokémon they encounter as they conquer the Ransei region. There are three possible grades when players attempt to link with Pokémon: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The medal over a Pokémon will indicate which link level can be achieved. If a player links with a Gold medal Pokémon, that link could potentially be a Perfect Link. A Perfect Link will allow the player to link with that particular Pokémon up to 100 percent. The higher the link percentage, the more powerful the Pokémon becomes.
Pokémon Evolution: Players familiar with Pokémon video games will be excited to learn that Pokémon in Pokémon Conquest have the ability to evolve into more powerful forms. To evolve Pokémon, players must use them in battle to increase the link percentage between the Pokémon and the Warriors to which they are linked. As the link grows stronger, Pokémon will evolve into more powerful forms. Additionally, certain items collected in the game will evolve Pokémon. For example, using a Thunder Stone on Eevee will evolve it into Jolteon.
Warlord Transition: In Pokémon Conquest, Warlords can also transition into more powerful forms. Only Warlords have the ability to transition; Warriors do not. Similar to the way Pokémon evolve, Warlord transitions are based on how much a player uses them in battle. After a Warlord transitions, its stats and skills will become more powerful, and the Warlord will also have a new appearance.
Pokémon Passwords: Players will have the ability to enter passwords that create an outbreak of specific Pokémon. This outbreak will appear for one game turn in a training ground somewhere within the player’s kingdom. The special passwords will give the player the ability to link with powerful or hard-to-find Pokémon early in the game. Pokémon unlocked this way will give players the ability to bolster their army, and give players more options when going into battle. Be sure to be on the lookout for Pokémon passwords when the game is released on June 18.
Story Episodes and Episode Distribution: The story for Pokémon Conquest is divided into episodes. As players explore and conquer the Ransei region by playing through each episode, they are able to experience different story elements and game-play goals. For example, in the episode starring Warlord Motonari, players must collect 100 Pokémon in order to achieve victory. Additional episodes are available to players after playing through the first episode of the game, and others will be available for download over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection after the game’s launch on June 18 (broadband Internet access required).
In Pokémon Conquest, players will explore the Ransei region and interact with Pokémon as they take on the role of a young Warlord who is linked with a Pokémon. Together, they recruit Warrior allies to strengthen their kingdom.
Pokémon Conquest is set for release on June 18.
Analysis: I actually have this game preordered and will be reviewing it for the site, so these features are actually relevant to me. So let’s take a look at what Nintendo is offering us.
Perfect Link: This feature seems like it’d be a natural feature of the game. One would expect that any person would be more suited to one particular type of Pokémon than another. So this makes sense, but I’m not sure I’d actually count it as a feature since it just seems like this would be a regular part of the game.
Pokémon Evolution: Anyone familiar with the Pokémon franchise would also be confused that this is listed as a feature, but the game mechanics seem to have changed here. My understanding here is that, instead of leveling the Pokémon up, your bond is what pushes the Pokémon toward evolution. This makes sense and reminds me of certain evolutions in the anime: when Ash got a Charmander from an abusive trainer, their bond grew to become very strong, and it was a mixture of battle experience and that bond that helped Charmander evolve. (Of course, after Charmander evolved, he started to disobey Ash, so maybe that’s not the best example.)
Warlord Transition: The idea of people evolving is really interesting and I’m definitely excited to see how that goes. I’m trying to imagine if it’ll be like the way Pokémon evolve or if it’ll be a class change a là Fire Emblem. Either way, it’s an interesting concept, but it’s probably going to need an in-game explanation. Looking at the web site, it seems like it’s just their getting new clothes, which isn’t particularly interesting.
Pokémon Passwords: This sounds pretty exciting as well. The idea that I can call Pokémon to battle is a good one, especially if it’s going to help me link with them. My main concern here is how many passwords will actually be available and if they’re reusable. I know I sometimes get bored when grinding in the regular Pokémon games and I don’t have the ability to battle new people or even battle some of the older ones again. If there’s a variety of passwords available and/or we can at least use them more than once, I’ll be happy. A look at their web site shows there’s already quite a few lined up, but I’m hoping more are released as time goes on.
Story Episodes and Episode Distribution: If I’m understanding this correctly, Nintendo is saying the game is divided into chapters, and that in addition to the chapters in the game itself, you can get extra chapters by going online. That’s pretty exciting because it adds to the life of the game. I’m not surprised that different chapters will have different goals, though, as it’d be pretty boring if it was Collect [x] Pokémon each chapter.
It seems this update is a mixed bag with some interesting things and others that seem like they shouldn’t necessarily be highlighted as special features. However, in general, I’m pretty hopeful that this odd spinoff will be a good game and a refreshing look at Pokémon.