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PostReview: Castle Conqueror EX (3DS eShop)

Beginner's Blitzkrieg

Review: Castle Conqueror EX (3DS eShop) AuPZoo3

Castle Conqueror may be a franchise familiar to gamers by name alone. There have been numerous entries into the series, both on the DS and 3DS platform, and it would be easy to presume these titles were sequels to each other, just an expansion pack of the original release with a new feature here, more levels there, etc. However, one would be wrong, as Castle Conqueror Revolution added several new features, Castle Conqueror Against added difficulty settings, Castle Conquerors Heroes changes the series to turn based and added several new types of missions. Castle Conqueror EX is a remake of the DSiWare original Castle Conqueror, and Circle Entertainment asks gamers to once again take a stand against the Empire invaders and take back their land.

Castle Conqueror EX is pitched as a real time strategy game for casual gamers, albeit one with a rather high difficulty curve. Typically every fifth battle is extremely hard as a boss battle stage, this is usually what grinding. After winning these battles the difficulty dies down for the next four levels then the rises again. Now, the difficulty slowly rises and the game is only as difficult as the amount of hours gamers are willing to spend grinding. Now this seems excessive for a causal real time strategy game, and it really is. This reviewer spent 2 hours grinding before taking another shot at beating level 1-5 and then proceeded to steamroll over all enemies for the next 3 sections all the way until 3-6 until I needed to grind again.

Review: Castle Conqueror EX (3DS eShop) UomAa85

Speaking of progressing through levels and grinding, there are a total of 50 levels, and after beating a level you are rewarded gold, and gold can be spent to level up your defenses and troops offenses. Castle Conqueror has you level grinding for gold, not experience, in which you can spend your gold in two areas, one to level up, another at a shop that sells additional buffs such as Attack +5, Defense +3, etc. These buffs are crucial for victory in later stages.

Castle Conqueror EX is played entirely from the touch screen, you attack the enemy by sending up to five troops at once at the enemy troops and their bases. You and the enemy each have a limited number of bases at the start of the battle, and proper planning at the start of the match can end a battle in less than a minute. However if careless you can suddenly find yourself fighting to the last man from one base. Your troops are directed by swiping the stylus from one of your bases to the base of your choice. You can send more troops to bases that are falling and need support too, and while you can't directly send troops to battle enemy troops, you can direct troops towards a base in the enemies general direction and the two will fight to the death.

Review: Castle Conqueror EX (3DS eShop) P43DutD

The overall story is simple, you have to fight back the Empire, and the most important plot point is about halfway through when the Empire gets foreign aid. This means that you are suddenly outnumbered two to one, the enemy can deploy twice the amount of manpower as you can. This forces a change in strategy, and sometimes the only way to win is just to have stronger troops, throwing strategy out the window. Depending on who you pick at the start of the game, you have different sets of special moves, typically the stereotypical raises, attack, defense, etc. These can change the tide of battle, but if not used properly, are completely wasted. The sudden spike of difficulty is really this game's largest flaw.

Circle Entertainment has certainly been on a roll with releasing quality titles on the eShop as of late. This trend is continued in Castle Conqueror EX, which has received lots of polish, an updated AI system and redesigned levels. Castle Conqueror EX is the definitive version of the original game at a cheaper price than its DSiWare counterpart. This strategy game is for either casual or hardcore, but the latter will just take it as an easy distraction when they are on the go rather than a game they will sink their teeth into.


Review Copy provided by: Circle Entertainment
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