Nintendo and Tecmo have revealed some basic gameplay details regarding their bizarre cross-over game, and it seems like fans of both games will have something to look forward to.
The upcoming DS strategy-rpg combines elements from both franchises: As you’d expect from a Nobunaga’s Ambition title, the game is set during the Warring States period of feudal Japan, and you play as a young general trying to unite Japan under your faction’s rule. With the exception of the vanilla player character you control (players will be able to chose between a male or female avatar,) all of the characters in the game are based off of real, historical Japanese warlords like Oda Nobunaga (probably best known in the West for, uh, being the villain in Onimusha,) and Ieyasu Tokugawa.
Unlike real-life Japanese history however, these warlords won’t be fighting battles using samurai and peasant armies. No, in this, uh, “loose” adaptation of history, samurai warlords do battle using Pokemon, and this is where aspects of Nintendo’s billion dollar franchise come into play: Like in your average Pokemon game, you receive a starter Pokemon (in this case, Eevee,) and then fill out your ranks with wild Pokemon that you catch as you travel around the country.
Instead of regional gym leaders to defeat and badges to earn, players fight other warlords and gain control of their provinces. Like in Pokemon, battles are 6 versus 6 affairs, but unlike the 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 battles in your usual Pokemon game, generals in this game use all six of their Pokemon simultaneous in isometric, Final Fantasy Tactics-style strategic battles.
Conceptually, the idea of a Pokemon game mixed with real life Japanese history still seems like kind of a joke, but the details revealed about the game so far actually show some promise. The game’s narrative and themes are strongly rooted in Japanese culture, so the chances of this game making its way to Western shores is unlikely, but then again, anything with Pokemon on it pretty much prints money on its own, so maybe Nintendo will be willing to give this game a chance with foreign audiences.
Pokemon + Nobunaga’s Ambition hits Japan on March 17th, and if you’re interested in learning more about the game before then, The Pokemon Company will be livestreaming a press conference and demonstration of the game on Japanese video site Nico Nico Douga on January 19th from 1:30-3:30 pm Japanese standard time. You can watch it here at that time.