Return to PoPoLoCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale (3DS review)

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I can’t say I know many people who are familiar with PoPoLoCrois. Most are oblivious that the game even exists, and I am not too surprised since the game made its first appearance in the West back in 2005 on the PlayStation Portable. It was a really fun and simple tactical JRPG, but sadly it became one of those titles that didn’t get the chance it deserved, not even seeing a digital release.

Having some knowledge of the previous PoPoLoCrois game helps, but isn’t necessary. For the early half of Return to PoPoLoCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale, it makes a few references from events and characters from the previous game. Prince Pietro returns as your main character, the young prince with the love and support of his people. He is celebrating his birthday, however, in sequels, peace never lasts and a new threat arrives with Pietro’s kingdom in danger from creatures known as “Black Beasts.”

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Return to PoPoLoCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale is mix of two different genres into one. You have your core JRPG elements which include random battles, dungeon explorations, linear storyline and a tactical battle system while incorporating the farm simulation style of Story of Seasons, aka Harvest Moon 3.0. Being able tend to your fields, raise animals, catch bugs, even mine for resources is fun, but when you can then go out and fight enemies and explore different locations, it is a nice change of pace.

The story wasn’t anything grand. It was very light and cute with a bit of a dark themes mixed in here and there. It more than makes up for it with character. I don’t mean the characters themselves, but the overall presentation of the game, which features a retro-ish look for the characters. In a way the game is a lot more “back to the basics” in terms of gameplay, making it simple to play and enjoy. One thing you never really have to worry about is money, which normally you’d earn by working the fields, selling your materials all the time to buy better equipment and repeat. Being an RPG you can just earn all your money in battles and hoard all the items for yourself if you so please, or use them as gifts or in quests.The music in the game is a nice mix itself, the music on the farm and different fields are calm and enjoyable while you work, and the dungeon and battle themes make it easy to enjoy spending time fighting. You’re also able to switch between the games audio and play the game with either English and Japanese audio, I wasn’t that big a fan of the English voice acting as it felt lacking.

The music in the game is a nice mix itself. The music on the farm and different fields are calm and enjoyable while you work, and the dungeon and battle themes make it easy to enjoy spending time fighting. You’re also able to switch between the game’s audio and play the game with either English and Japanese, I wasn’t a big fan of the English voice acting as it felt lacking.

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Final Reaction

The game itself features around 27+ hours of gameplay, and that’s without spending too much time on your farm or different fields. It’s perfect for the casual gamer who likes to play games in short sessions, as you are able to spend time with your farm, and even explore the game while being given the option to control how frequent you fight in battle. One aspect I felt that’s always missing from many of the Harvest Moon titles was an end to the game. Sure I don’t mind spending countless hours farming, raising animals and taking care of other jobs, but I never felt complete without some kind of ending. Luckily, I got that satisfaction from Return to PoPoLoCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale while still being able to enjoy the game.

PoPoLoCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale is a good balance of both worlds; it not very challenging, but a nice game to sit back and relax with for hours.

 Return to PoPoLoCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale Grade: 4 out of 5 Atoms

4-Atoms

Return to PoPoLoCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale 
Developer: Marvelous
Publisher: XSEED Games
System: Nintendo 3DS
Available now

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