Eiyuu Senki: The World Conquest - Impression

Today Japan Zipang, Tomorrow the World
by Alex Fuller

Eiyuu Senki
Platform: PS3
Developer: Tenco
Publisher: Fruitbat Factory
Release Date: Q4.2015 (NA) / 11.12.2015 (EU)
Eiyuu Senki should offer some good enjoyment for those looking for another game that puts heavy focus on amassing a harem-style cast of characters and all the usual hijinks that entails.
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Eiyuu Senki: The World Conquest's route to PlayStation 3 is one taken by a fair few titles in Japan. Originally released as an adult-only title on PC in 2012, Tenco's turn-based strategy RPG did well enough to first get a mainstream console release and for publisher Fruitbat Factory to pick it up for an English release. While it has a slightly novel premise, in my time with the game so far it hasn't brought too much to the table, though fans of Japanese harem-style titles should find enough to enjoy.

The game starts off with the militaristic failure of Himiko, leader of one of three sets of forces in Zipang (the world's Japan equivalent). Fortunately, just when her failure seems to be leading to the logical conclusion, a mysterious stranger appears and is immediately hailed as a Servant from Heaven after he manages to change the tide of battle. This hero from on high — named by the player — has lost his memory, and with nothing better to do he agrees to help Himiko and quickly rises to be in charge of her forces in a quest to unite the world (for a good cause of course).

Eiyuu Senki is set in an alternate universe where legends and historical characters from across different time periods are all alive at the same title and, for reasons not yet expanded upon, all female. The narrative in Eiyuu Senki seems to share many themes with titles of its ilk, filling up time with events of little plot consequence but chock-full of attempts at cuteness. Some of these work less well than others, and unfortunately the main heroine is frequently one of the less successful, being more annoying and childish than anything else. Other characters are thankfully rather less jarring, but outside of these event scenes there's really not all that much depth in the plot so far. Hints of the game's original 18+ release in Japan are also littered around, such as through some minimal items of clothing or a short early event scene where the background behind the text simply reverts to black. Fruitbat Factory has done a good job with the localisation, but it wasn't working with a masterpiece to start off with.

A large portion of the game takes place over a grand strategy-style world map, although any deeper comparisons to that genre seem tenuous at best. Each turn on the world map players can undertake a small number of missions, which offer event scenes or battles and often have a set of requirements before they can be run. These are met by assigning which characters take part, with their total values in aspects like diplomacy or combat needing to add up to the required amount. Each character can only be used in one mission or battle each map turn. There's no real troop movement to keep track off, with the only resource management being money that canbe spent on replenishing forces. Event scenes will frequently provide money, with funding also provided at the beginning of each turn based on the cities currently held.

The first portion of the game just focuses on the conquest of Zipang's three cities, not giving players any threat of attack from elsewhere. Fortunately, things get a bit more interesting when it becomes time to conquer other nations, though the overall strategy required for conquest is very light. The only issue comes in deciding how many generals to use each turn, as following the player's turn the enemy will get to launch counterattacks and only unused generals can be used to defend against them. Losing all of a turn's conquest immediately afterwards is not an impossible result and it can be frustrating if it happens, but not rushing things makes it fairly easy to overcome. When the game gets into the business of conquering other nations it became a lot more interesting to play, but it just took more filler event scenes than warranted before getting to that point.

Combat features a three-by-six grid, with each side placing the generals that were brought into the mission on opposing halves. Each general gets his or her own turn, which can involve moving, attacking, or unleashing a skill if their side's relevant meter is high enough. In-game HP totals are displayed as an indication of how many troops each general has left under their command, though there are healing skills that can replenish that number. Each general has attributes in attack, defence, and speed, plus a specific range in which they can attack, which makes placement play a more important role when some less expansive ranges show up. It's a perfectly functional battle system that does the job when called upon, but just doesn't have enough depth to really stand out.

There's not been all that much by way of character progression either. Money is spent exclusively on replenishing or adding extra troops for each general, while attributes can be raised by equipping gems occasionally found by conquering certain cities or viewing certain events. New skills can be learned by doing side events associated with relevant characters that increase their relationship with the hero.

On a technical front the visuals don't do all that much, but the UI is vibrant. The game doesn't make much use of backgrounds, limited to a relatively small selection that will often only cover half the screen. Its colourful design at least keeps things from being too boring and a good amount of effort has gone into the character designs, though opinions on certain clothing choices may differ. However, most key event scenes have so far had little or no special graphical treatment, although obviously a fair few "events" have been cut from its original PC release. There is plenty of Japanese voice acting that runs through the range between fine, completely ignorable, and annoying, though the music has a fun anthemic, marching theme that works well within the game's premise and backdrop.

For those looking for another game that puts heavy focus on amassing a harem-style cast of characters and all the usual hijinks that entails, Eiyuu Senki should offer some good enjoyment. It is certainly a game that caters to particularly niche, however, and those outside of that particular demographic will likely find the game rather wanting in various aspects.

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