Pokemon Conquest mixes monsters with Japanese history

The Pokemon series is getting a fresh take with a spin-off from Tecmo Koei this summer. The cross-over known in Japan as "Pokemon Plus Nobunaga's Ambition" has been titled Pokemon Conquest in North America. It's due on June 18 for the Nintendo DS.

Being from Tecmo Koei, the game is about a warlord, because of course it is. This particular warlord has a special link with Pokemon, and recruits allies inspired by the Japanese feudal era to strengthen his kingdom. Gameplay takes place in turn-based tactical battles, with six-on-six teams in a combat grid reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics. It features over 200 Pokemon from across the series, including ones from Pokemon Black and White.

"Pokemon fans are always interested in playing in new environments and experiencing new adventures," said Nintendo sales and marketing VP Scott Moffitt in the announcement. "Pokemon Conquest gives them an entirely new way to enjoy this beloved series, with exciting new settings, fierce battles and nearly 200 Pokemon to team up with."

He's right on one point. For all the complaints that the Pokemon series never changes, this spin-off definitely looks different than the rest of the series. Just how well adorable battle-monsters mesh with loose Japanese history remains to be seen. Check out a Japanese trailer below to get a better idea of the game.