17 – Pokemon Conquest (Nintendo DS)
A tactical RPG set in an historical-fantasy version of Japan, Pokemon Conquest is a gem of a spin-off that unforunately never got a sequel, or even much recognition. Your character travels through the Ransei Region, battling and befriending Pokemon and trainers in order to unite a divided land under one banner. Many of the events and people encountered echo actual historical events, and the game contains 16+ episodes of decent storytelling to play through. What’s more, the battle system isn’t your typical Pokemon engine: each Pokemon only uses one of its signature moves, and attacks through player inputs in a DDR-style game of coordinated button presses. It sounds absolutely bizarre, but it’s really darn fun to play. It mixes strategy and tactics with an engaging storyline and a unique battle system. Unfortunately, this style of Pokemon game hasn’t made a comeback and isn’t as well-known as, say the Mystery Dungeon series. It’s too bad, as Pokemon Conquest represents an adventurous move on the part of Game Freak that actually worked out.
Next: #16 - Pokemon Colosseum