When I was younger I used to enjoy playing role playing games. Now as the editor of the number one Christian video game magazine - Family Friendly Gaming, I find RPG’s to be tedious and monotonous. Sure you get more game play for your dollars, but the stories have become so formulaic, and filled with bad lessons that they make me feel dirty after playing. PoPoLoCrois is a Playstation Portable game set in a world of dragons, witches, fairies, and an after life that humans can go and bring back the dead. Agetec did an interesting job of separating out the game into stories, and books. This was probably the only way they could piece together so many disconnected storylines into one video game. The player is a ten year old boy who disobeys his father (also the king) in a quest to get his mother’s soul back from the afterlife.
Graphically speaking PoPoLoCrois is okay, but the game is constantly loading new areas as the player runs around. There is some role playing game violence as the characters hack and slash one another in the Final Fantasy Tactics style of play (not up to the standards of the Shining Force series). Characters can use occult styled items to shape shift. The half squares that are used actually adds some wonderful play mechanics to this genre. The anime cut scenes are really nice. Enemies vanish after being beaten.
I really like the music in PoPoLoCrois. I am not pleased with the impatient reasoning for disobedience. There is also some minor name calling from certain characters. The sounds are all very crisp and clear. The voice acting is okay, just nothing to write home about.
If you can stomach all of the bad lessons, and constantly load times then 20-30 hours can be gotten out of this title. After beating PoPoLoCrois, there is little to no reason to actually replay it. There are plenty of hidden chests, but most of them contain items that are not really needed in the long run. Only one player can play this game at a time. This game can be found for under twenty US dollars, but few will find it worth their hard earned dollars.
The controls in PoPoLoCrois work - eventually. The layout of the screens, and the layout of the controls are off sync just enough to annoy. Because of the angles, it would take a few tries to get a player in the right position. There is also some strange design flaw in the controls that does not allow a player to move, and then do special skills (ala magic).
The whole going into the
after life to retrieve his mother bothered me deeply as a Christian. The
open disobedience, and lack of punishment were also highly troubling.
The fact that the mother (shape shifting dragon) sacrificed herself for
the entire world was nice, but briefly touched upon. Another problem is
the player is ten years old - a mere child.
Family Friendly Factor: 58%
System: Playstation Portable
ESRB Rating: 'E' for Everyone
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