Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By André Eriksson 21.02.2016 2

Review for Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale on Nintendo 3DS

It's time to return to the magical country of the PopoloCrois series, Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale, a sequel to and crossover of Story of Seasons. Mixing classical RPG elements with a farming simulator can certainly create interesting gameplay, but will that be the case here? Read on for the answer!

What is the result of mixing traditional JRPG elements with the farming simulation style of the Harvest Moon series? The answer is: Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale, which combines the RPG gameplay of the original PopoloCrois, and the farming mechanics of Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons franchise. The result, however, could have been better.

The story starts off with the birthday of the young hero Pietro, however, and despite the celebration, not everything is peaceful here. A new danger in the form of black beasts has come, consuming the energy of the country, and only the brave prince might save them. The story is, in other words, as bland as it can be and adds very little to the experience.

Screenshot for Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale on Nintendo 3DS

Luckily, the RPG elements compensate for the lack of a decent story. It uses a grid/turn-based combat system which feels highly fluid, and keeps the battles different due to terrain. It makes fighting and grinding feel a little more entertaining than what is usually the case with the genre, which is a great bonus as there is some heavy grinding required on the higher difficulty settings.

The big focus on this game, though, is the Harvest Moon-esque farming simulation. This part is done pretty well. The protagonist Pietro is given the opportunity to harvest his own vegetables, mine minerals, and even befriend some pretty girls on his quest to save not only his own home world, but other black beast infested worlds as well. While it is pleasant to see these elements implemented, however, they just create an urge to actually play a Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons title stronger, rather than satisfying that hunger.

The main problem with Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale is that it tries to be two things, but does that in a meeting half-way style. This means that both the farming simulation parts, as well as the role-playing ones feel weak compared to the rest in the genre, leaving JRPG fans with a hunger for something meatier, and farming simulator fans with a hunger for a more focused farming game. This results in something pretty that leaves everyone wishing for more.

Screenshot for Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

The biggest problem for Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale rests in the fact that it tries to be two things, but is only going halfway with both, something that creates an experience that will leave most people longing for more. It is a problematic thing as that means many are just likely to start up their favourite Harvest Moon game instead of this if they want a farming simulator, and just about any of the hundreds of other JRPG titles if that is what they desire to play. The creation of Marvelous is by no means bad, just unfocused.

Also known as

PoPoLoCrois Farm Story

Developer

Marvelous

Publisher

Marvelous

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Paulo Marques (guest) 22.02.2016#1

What is the result of mixing traditional JRPG elements with the farming simulation style of the Harvest Moon series?

Not to be annoying, but another answer is Rune Factory, allegedly pretty good.

Poor review. Author probably hasn't even played the game. The game is fun and entertaining, without trying to be anything.

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