I got to sit down with the demo to Conception 2:Children of the Seven Stars that was recently released because I've being seeing the posts on Atlus' Facebook and decided might as well see if it's worth it. I loved Persona and the way Conception has been described defiantly gave it a Persona vibe. The demo did keep that vibe going so at least they are giving off a good vibration,make sure to tip your waitress. Since this is a demo and I can't do my usual routine of picking apart everything,so I'll keep it short.
The demo gave the basic outline for the story involving these labyrinths that have sprung up and you being literally a gift from God that can help vanquish the monsters within the mazes and get rid of the mazes themselves. That's really about it,I guess there is no point in really having spoilers in your demo which is fine. The end of the demo promises a deep storyline which seems plausible given the relative vagueness of the scenario. There are are plenty of places for the story to go,and the characters are fun.
The game play is split into dating sim and dugeon crawling/combat ala Persona. The dating sim aspect is just that,you talk to the ladies,say something that is hopefully smooth and then profit. Profit being defined here as stat boosts for the Star Child System which is how you create parties for the dungeons. The Star children are like Personas for the Final Fantasy crowd. You choose a girl to make a child with choose a vessel for that child to inhabit and preform the ritual. Yes the whole thing has a sexual undertone but not in a way that is pandering but more as a emotional side effect of making these children. It is something I hope the game explores more as it could be interesting. Either way once your child is conceived you give it a job and a name and you go on your merry way. It seems to have a reasonable amount of depth for those who want to play with the system and makes you feel like the dating sim parts aren't just there for lonely people who need a date. The children appear as little cute warriors with tiny job costumes and they are really adorable.
You form the children into three parties of three and equip them with weapons while you and one of the heroines form a fourth party before heading into the Labyrinths. There the combat sections begin and this is honestly the best part that the demo had to offer. This is a dungeon crawler with onscreen encounters as you explore the dungeons. It even does that Mother thing where enemies that are considered too weak are defeated on touch. The whole party moves around with you but thankfully can not activate encounters themselves. The children run around you and your heroine and have little chats and give encouragements. It really helped endear the little ones to me and gave them a little bit of personality.
The combat itself involves circling the various enemies and exploiting there weak spots either through elemental weakness or attacking their undefended sides. It is a turn based game but the abilty to move around to attack the enemies keeps the pace up. Each party can move independently of the group as a whole but attack as a team with their various skills. There is also the ether level which effects the speed of the entire group and helps set up the chain gauge. The chain gauge is something I was not quite sure on but form what I gathered it helped you build up combos and immobilize enemies. It felt underutilized in the demo but hopefully it'll have more use in the full game. Combat as a whole is fun and easy to pick up but does of a level of strategy that will keep you interested.
The game looks very nice with lovely character portraits in the Dating sim aspects and nice 3-d models in the dungeons with some cool looking enemies. They look very alien and odd which I guess was the point of them. As the labyrinth you do explore has a very sterile and alien feel as well,so the enemies fit right in.It is a very nice aesthetic.The music is nice from what I've heard of it though the event music was a little grating at first it grew on me.
This demo did exactly what it set out to do and give you a feel for Conception 2. It left a really good impression and I'm looking forward to this one. If your an RPG fan,Persona fan or both then you'll probably really like this. Plus like the Bravely Default demo it does promise some bonus for transferring the completed demo save to your main game.
Till Next Time: Stay Positive