Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Shizukari, Sep 2, 2014.
Just replied on NeoGAF as well, and will copy my response here... which was partially copied from my response in the other PopoloCrois thread on our forums, so we have a bit of "threadception" going on here.
The creator of PopoloCrois, Tamori Yousuke, holds the rights to the franchise -- his name shows up in the copyright line on the title screen of every PopoloCrois game, meaning he never sold the series to Sony, even if he's always worked with Sony on it previously.
Weird cell phone game aside, there have actually been six PopoloCrois games in total. I'm going to link to my GameFAQs reviews for these titles, though please be aware all of these were written many, many years before I received my current employment (and my review of PopoloCrois Monogatari II, in particular, was one of the first game reviews I ever wrote, and is thus not particularly well-written!).
PopoloCrois Monogatari (1996, PS1)
- Prince Pietro is 10 years old. This is what was adapted into Chapter 1 of the PSP game (The Ice Demon Chapter), though a ton of content was inexplicably cut from it, including three notable dungeons (the desert island, the ghost ship and the creepy Alice in Wonderland-esque house at the gate to the dark world) and countless story scenes.
PoPoRogue (1998, PS1)
- Prince Pietro is 12 years old. A weird side story in which PopoloCrois Kingdom is literally ripped from the face of the earth and thrown into a dream dimension, and Pietro has to travel back in time and work together with his father to save it. A deeply flawed game, as the developers experimented with a lot of unique game mechanics that didn't entirely work out for them -- but still very charming, with some of the best towns in the entire series. No part of this story was featured in the PSP game, though a lot of the mercenary characters you could hire to join your party were reused in the PSP game as orb summons.
PopoloCrois Monogatari II (2000, PS1)
- Arguably the pinnacle of the series. Prince Pietro starts the game at 12 years old, but the story jumps forward in time three years after the prologue, so he's 15 for most of it. The part of the game where he's 12 is featured at the very beginning of Chapter 2 in the PSP title, and the rest of it is featured as Chapter 3 (the Goddess Maira Chapter). Most of the game's story is intact in the PSP version, though a few key scenes were cut, the anime FMVs were changed (for the worse), and virtually all of the voice-acting was removed (in the PS1 game, every single cutscene is fully voiced).
PopoloCrois: Hajimari no Bouken ("A New Departure") (2002, PS2)
- Prince Pietro is now King Pietro, and he's 30 years old. His 8-year-old son Pinon is the hero this time. Unfortunately, this game... is really not very good. The gameplay is OK at best, but it's killed by uninspired dungeon designs, ridiculous load times (the worst I've ever seen) and the most generic plot imaginable, which ignores a lot of key details from the PS1 trilogy. It really feels like the people who made this game had never played a PopoloCrois game before, and virtually all the charm was gone. Fortunately, the first half of the 2003 anime series covers the same story as this game, and does a much better job of telling it, so I'd recommend checking that out instead -- you'll have a better experience. If there's one really good thing that came out of this game, though, it's the soundtrack, which is possibly the best in the series! Listen for yourself:
PopoloCrois: Tsuki no Okite no Bouken ("Enchanted Lunar Tale") (2004, PS2)
(Never fully completed the game, so no review was written)
- The last major PopoloCrois release, taking place mere months after the end of the previous game. Definitely a better effort, with an added "flick" system that's actually kind of neat and unique, and a much improved battle system as well. Still kind of "meh" compared to the original PS1 trilogy, though -- but again, the second half of the 2003 anime covers the same basic story and does a better job of conveying it, so anyone who wants to know what happens can just watch that instead.
...And finally, there was PoPoLoCrois on PSP. Advertised as a compilation of PopoloCrois Monogatari and PopoloCrois Monogatari II with an all-new second chapter inserted between them, the end result was a game that told only maybe 50% of the story from the two PS1 games (particularly the first, which was seriously hacked to pieces!), and just in general felt really sloppy and unfinished compared to the original games from which it drew its inspiration. The added second chapter was nice, and did a good job of adding some character development to Kimen Douji (who got almost none in PopoloCrois Monogatari II), but it wasn't enough to make up for everything that was missing.
If you've never played the original PS1 trilogy, though, it's definitely a good enough substitute, as it's by no means a bad game in any way (and Agetec did an excellent job with the localization). It's just a little painful if you're a huge fan of the originals, as sadly, it in no way lives up to them.
...Oh, and while I mentioned the 26-episode 2003 anime series above, I haven't yet mentioned the other anime series! In 1998, there was a 25-episode anime series simply titled PopoloCrois Monogatari, which took place at around the same time as PoPoRogue (so Pietro is age 12). Unlike the 2003 series, this one wasn't a retelling of any of the games, but rather a completely original story about a mysterious girl named Hyuu who was brought into PopoloCrois by accident through one of GamiGami Maou's inventions and may be the last surviving member of a "Wind Clan" that's long since thought to have gone extinct. It's a pretty cool story and a pretty cool show in general, adopting less of the Saturday morning cartoon adventure feel from the 2003 series, and more of an introspective character study feel.
It's also a bit of a musical at times, to great effect:
So there you have it!
I don't know what to think of Popolo Bokujo just yet, but obviously I WILL be keeping a close eye on it, and if it can capture even a little bit of the charm of this wonderful series, I will push for it like nobody's business. This franchise deserves to be as beloved as the greats, and it's a crying shame it isn't. Hopefully, the new setting and strange crossover with Bokujo Monogatari will help revive what has been a favorite series of mine for over 15 years.
Is this for real? i love harvestmoon and popolocrois
I seriously hope xseed localizes this, with Tom being a big fan and all.
Here are some images. I am super excited for this release, I only wish there were others who shared that excitement. The PSP game alone was enough to get me hooked with the series absolutely charming characters and story.
Cool to find a forum about this game! I have my eye on it, and have been giving it some coverage in my blogs already! http://ladiesgamers.com/2014/09/06/popolocroix-lets-get-to-plowing-the-field/
Just wanted to throw in my interest for this crossover game as well! I sincerely hope it's able to capture the charm and strengths of both series, and I'm glad Tom is keeping an eye on it. ^_^
Well, not sure yet about a Western release, but there's a Japanese releasedate: June 18th according to Famitsu! And you can be sure I will give it a try!
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