In PoPoLoCrois, you play 10yr old Pietro on a quest to save his mother's soul, and keep his kingdom safe. The story is narrated like a children's story book and there are many pretty animated scenes. I'd say that PoPoLoCrois should be aimed at a younger audience, but that won't stop adults from enjoying it too. The game is split into 4 story arcs, each with about 3/5 chapters. There are two types of animated cut scenes. The first show beautiful pictures with the narrator or a character talking to further the story. But most are cartoon / anime style cut scenes which are adorable. The cut scenes are spread out nicely between each story arc, which along with the variety of areas and exciting plots, keep you entertained. Each time a new animated scene appears it is truly captivating and makes you want to see more.
The gameplay is typical of many RPGs, and quite linear. You can't go exploring all over the place for a long while, so there's a lot of travelling on foot involved, but the places you go are always new and fun. During the last story arc you will receive an item which will allow you to travel to all of the towns and villages, and most of the places you have explored during the game.
There are random battles and each character has health + magic points. When fighting, you must take heed of distance and position. The game is like a very simple version of Disgaea, only without constructed battle screens. Also, you will have a menu and you still choose which attacks to use. You just have to move closer to the enemy to execute an attack. The enemies usually appear very close to where you are, so it's less like a slow chess board and thus the battles are quite quick. The battle takes place in the area you are travelling through. As you plan to attack, you can move your character to different spots in order to hit more enemies, and trap enemies in narrow passes. However, this also means that the reverse can happen too, so you have to be careful. At times it can be annoying when your character isn't in the right position to use an attack, especially if they could if only another character wasn't in the way!!! But with good planning, this can be avoided.
You level up characters with experience, and you also level up their techniques, so they cause more damage. You can also collect many fun items, some that appear useless, and some which summon espers onto the battle field (little monsters who can help you fight). Blue esper stones will disappear after one use. Red esper stones can be used again by using MP. The main characters will stay in your party for most of the story, but during the story your party will gain or lose a few of them. Most of the time you have 4 members. It's only at the end of the game where you can travel the world and take whoever you want with . I'd say that the main characters are cute and fun. Most of the characters have simple back stories. But each one is lovable.
Each story arc is long, and the chapters are nicely spaced out. For young children this is ideal because it means they could complete one chapter per day and not spend all their time on their computer games. For older children and adults, they will want to keep playing. The difficulty level is set and to be honest it's very simple, but I think what makes this game great is the story-telling, the stellar animation and the wide range of places you visit during the story.
When you finish you can save your game and get a gallery of all the cut scenes- to watch over and over again. A heart warming and sweet RPG that romantics and children will enjoy. The chances of me replaying now I have the gallery are high because I love PoPoLoCrois.
The characters grow, and so does the game. A++!