Playstation Portable
Reviewed: 10/29/2005


will be the first Japanese-style role-playing experience for North
American PSP owners when it gets released, as it mixes both adventures
from PoPoLoCrois 1 and 2 for the PlayStation. These are
both games that never made it stateside, but now are perfectly bundled
into one neat little adventure.

PoPoLoCrois is a lighthearted adventure that doesn’t put the
player into a complex series of events. The storyline is fairly simple:
find a way to help your mother wake up from an evil spell that the
great ice demon put over her. After turning into a dragon and
protecting the PoPoLoCrois Kingdom, she falls into a deep slumber and
her soul is stolen.

Funny thing is, later on as you
meet the other cast members, they don’t really give good reasons as to
why they join. Like the white knight for example just kind of meets up
with you and after a small altercation, he feels he all of a sudden
needs to be your bodyguard, but those are just minor gripes.

Screen Shot
Nice textures!

Flash-forward after the events of the first game and it basically
begins a brand new chapter as the story goes on. Between each game, PopLoCrois is divided into a series of books. For example the first episode is: Book I- Ice Demon: Journey Begins, then as you make it further you’ll see Book II – Ice Demon: Dark World. When you reach what is supposed to be PoPoLoCrois 2, it starts over with Book I – Dark King: Pietro’s Trial,
and so on and so forth. If you had a lot of time on your hands you can
pretty much sit through this game and finish it in a good couple of
days. The first Book, which is part one, took this reviewer a total of
twelve hours game playtime to complete.

So let’s talk gameplay. PoPoLoCrois has a
very simplistic menu, typical of most old school RPG’s, including item,
special skills, change equipment, set combat AI, etc. All battles are
random encounters where monsters appear on screen after a few steps.
But here’s where the gameplay changes: monsters appear on the same
screen as where the battle was first executed, but then everything
turns grid based. The best example of this would be like any sort of
tactical role-playing game. The blue boxes represent your stepping
range and red boxes mean attack range. You can set your combat AI in
battle so that you attack automatically or control the characters
yourself. Also while in battle you can skip your turn to improve the
power of you next attack. This proves very valuable as the game
progresses. A neat little function that was added to this game is a
quick save feature so that at any point during the game (outside of
battle) you can save your progress.

Screen Shot
Nice cut scene movies.

As far as graphics go, PoPoLoCrois
features nice cel-shaded visuals. Although it is fully 2D in nature the
presentation is very nice and clean to look at. To keep the story book
like events going, the pictures in certain cut-scenes paint excellent
anime-esque feelings, and the voice acted narrator makes the player
feel like he/she’s listening to a fairy tale story. At important
events, however, there are live anime movies that run great on the
PSP’s 4-inch LCD screen. It is just like watching a television show.
Musically, this game doesn’t have a stellar soundtrack, but rather a
kiddy feel to it. This might have been expected, considering our main
hero is just a boy. So there’s nothing overly dramatic but it gets the
job done well and complements the overall fairy tale feeling.

is a good game for avid old school RPG players. Although this reviewer
wishes there were more attacks and spells and the story was a bit
longer, it still shouldn’t stop any PSP owner from giving it a go.

-Q Jets

Score Breakdown
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Very Good
Story Very Good
Graphics Very Good
Sound/Music Good
Replay Value Bad
The Verdict: 5