Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale Review
When you think of turn based RPGS, you usually imagine 3 or 4 characters taking turns attacking groups of enemies. In Return to PopoloCrois this is true, but with one added element. Before the characters can attack, they have to get in range of their enemy by moving a limited amount of spaces in the battle area. This tweaked approach to standard turn based combat adds enough flavor to make the experience feel new without creating a large learning curve. This allows people who may not be JRPG experts the ability to pick the game up and get the hang of it quickly. If this wasn’t enough to make users feel comfortable, there are encounter rate and difficulty sliders that can be adjusted at any point.
The story revolves around Pietro who is the prince of PopoloCrois. The kingdom is getting ready for a celebration for Pietro’s 13th birthday. The party is short lived, because mysterious creatures start showing up and start corrupting the soil of PopoloCrois. Once Pietro finds out that a faraway place, Galariland, may be where the monsters are coming from, he convinces the king to let him help. This transportation doesn’t go as smooth as everyone in PopoloCrois would have liked and Pietro is sent away with no way of getting back to his homeland, thus setting up our adventure.
Instead of Pietro dwelling on the fact that he is away from his family without having any way of contacting them, he puts himself to work. After a short amount of time, you receive your first farm where you able to grow vegetables and raise livestock. The farming system is fairly simple and doesn’t require too much of the player’s attention. One of the benefits from keeping your farm active is that you can ship off your vegetables for some extra cash. I never ran into much need for extra cash, but that’s because I will generally grind areas for long periods of time and focus mostly on side quests. For someone who may just want to progress through the story without doing much side work, the farming system would be a good source of income. Another great way to make money on the farm is by capturing butterflies with a net. There is a guy who lives at your farm who will pay top dollar and you also receive gifts for hitting milestones on a stamp card.
Besides Pietro there are 6 playable characters and the story determines which three other characters you will have in your party of four. This means that you don’t keep extra characters with you at all times. Some character combos even have major team attacks. These attacks cost a lot of mana, but it only takes the mana from the person summoning the attack.
As you make your way through the adventure, you’ll start to notice that there is a great amount of voice acting in the game. There are even two Japanese settings, as well as one English setting. One issue that I had with the Return to PopoloCrois is that it’s not fully voice acted. I understand that it takes money and increases the download size, but there were times when I was fully engaged in the audible conversation only to have it go to strictly text. The dialogue in the game can be weird, but it’s absolutely hilarious, so it’s a shame that the player doesn’t receive a full experience.
The biggest downside to Return to PopoloCrois is that the main story objectives can be repetitive. The player will arrive at a town that has corrupted soil issues that need to be solved. Pietro will of course oblige and help defeat the monsters that are corrupting the land. The objective in itself isn’t bad in any way, but the player does it so often that it just doesn’t give enough variety. The upside is that there are a lot of side quests in the game that you can do when you need a break from the main objective.
In total, there are seven chapters and an epilogue that will take around 25 hours to complete. Once you finish the main story, you unlock new quests and you are still able to use your farms.
Overall Return to PopoloCrois is a fun game that is very accessible to all level of gamers. If you’re looking for a JRPG to play, you definitely should check out Return to PopoloCrois.
3.75 out of 5 Stars
Thank you to Xseed for providing the review code.