Everybody wants to rule the world, or so Tears for Fears proclaimed back in the mid-eighties. If you happen to agree with the ageing rockers, I would endorse satiating your global takeover aspirations with a game of Eiyuu Senki: The World Conquest. Brought over to the west by the folks at Fruitbat Factory, this visual novel/strategy game hybrid asks players to command an army of anime hotties in a campaign to subjugate all of the Earth’s nations. Given that 2015 is about to come to an end, this could well be the final PS3 release I ever purchase. If that happens to be the case I can happily say that my relationship with Sony’s console came to a close on a very positive note.
The story of Eiyuu Senki begins with players assuming the role of an amnesiac chap who is crowned king of a Japanese province. His rule begins with a brief war to unify the country’s rival factions under his flag. Once in charge of Japan he sets his sights on conquering the rest of the world, in order to avert a global catastrophe predicted by his girlfriend. Using flimsy clairvoyance to justify the invasion of foreign lands? Sure, why not? It’s no less plausible than fabricating non-existent weapons of mass destruction as a pretext to snatch oil reserves. Seizing control of the planet won’t be easy however, as impeding your progress are a multitude of savvy generals including Chris Columbus, Tutankhamun and Napoleon. Don’t let their masculine names deceive you; in this game all of the world’s leaders are cute girls!
One of the most impressive things about Eiyuu Senki is the huge array of historical characters you meet during your travels. Enemy commanders can be recruited to your cause, once you occupy their territory, which I soon discovered is of paramount importance. A sizeable army is advantageous, as each general can only perform one action per turn… plus who wouldn’t want to amass a huge harem of sexy tactical geniuses? How effective your subordinates perform on the battlefield is determined by their attack, defence and speed stats – in addition to the number of soldiers they lead. Extra soldiers can be hired (to bolster a platoon’s might) via cash donations made to the squad’s female leader. Don’t do this in real life though. Handing over your wallet to a girl is a good way of becoming bankrupt.
Battles take place on tiny maps that are three rows tall and twelve tiles wide. The turn based combat reminds me a little of Fire Emblem, as the weapons your characters wield influence the strategy you employ during skirmishes. Characters who brandish an axe for example can only hack opponents within melee range, whilst warriors who fire cannons can blast foes cowering in the back row. Another thing worth noting is that bashing opponents with armaments they are weak against can inflict bonus damage. Arrows for instance wreck spell casters whilst katanas make mince meat of gunfighters. Makes sense really – Star Wars has after all taught us that projectile weapons are ineffective versus glowy swords.
My rating for Eiyuu Senki: The World Conquest is five stars. No surprise really, given that it combines planetary domination with adorable waifus – a winning combination for anyone who grew up enjoying the Sid Meier Civilisation games and anime. The only aspect I can criticise the title on would be how text heavy it is. To unlock new skills the “King of Lust” you control needs to flirt with his attractive minions. This meant that a good chunk of my playthrough involved skimming through cut scenes of seduction rather than directing troops on the frontlines. Thankfully the clips in question are rather amusing. Some highlights of note include teaching Sex Ed to Alexander the Great and reading Nostradamus’ kinky novels, which feature tales of all male romance.
If strategy games are your thing, I can highly recommend unearthing your PlayStation 3 from storage to give Eiyuu Senki a go. It’s rather odd that Fruitbat Factory chose to localise the PS3 port of the game, given that the console is on its last legs. I would have preferred to play the Vita edition instead, particularly as the sprite graphics and anime portraits on show seem like a perfect fit for Sony’s handheld. Financially speaking, I also imagine that the PC version would sell considerably more copies via Steam. Either way, the game is worth checking out – providing that you can tolerate the excessive dialogue between battles. I suppose that is to be expected though, given that your army is exclusively female. No offence ladies, but I am certain that male soldiers are far less chatty!