Top Critic Average
As I've stated before, those looking to get their farming fix will most likely be disappointed with this odd crossover. The PopoloCrois parts certainly outweigh the Story of Seasons ones. And even then the farming is a lot more simplified in this.
Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale tells a beautiful tale, but its magic isn't in the plot points, and won't come through in a simple summary of events. Instead, it's in the little details, the kindness of the characters, the gentle music, the journey. Like a storybook that just so happens to come on a 3DS cartridge, Return to PopoloCrois is sweet, heartwarming, and absolutely worth diving into. If you have a soft spot for golden-era JRPGs — or just classically charming games in general — we can't recommend it enough.
Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale is a nice blend of RPG and farming simulation. While it can be a bit on the easy side at times, it didn't get to the point where I was getting bored or felt it was too easy. The occasional difficulty spike with bosses can be frustrating, but nothing too bad.If you enjoyed previous games in the PopoloCrois series and don't mind a little Harvest Moon mixed in, this one's worth picking up.
Return to PopoloCrois is a charming RPG with a cute world, and characters, that players will find themselves getting attached to. While the basic combat is enjoyable, it can become repetitive if the random encounter rate is set too high. That being said, it is possible to break from the main quest at any point to go farming, befriend the local ladies, or complete side quests, that all work towards keeping the game fresh.
It would be a huge shame for gamers to miss out on Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale due to brand confusion — this is a whimsical and wonderful crossover between a charming children's manga series and the Bokujo Monogatari/Story of Seasons game franchise, formerly known as Harvest Moon in the West.
Return to PopoloCrois: A Story Of Seasons Fairytale is brimming with charm and personality, and amounts to an adventure that will long linger in your memory after its conclusion.
That aside however, if you are a fan of either genre, there is some enjoyment to be had here. It’s not an epic RPG adventure, but more something lighthearted akin to the Fantasy Life on the 3DS. If you are looking for a decent JRPG with farming elements that blends together quite well, then Return to Popolocrois: A Story of Seasons is a solid pick up. If you are hoping for a heavy emphasis on one side or another, you may want to wait for a price drop.
Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale is exactly what it tries to be: an old-school charming JRPG with some farming. It's not particularly ambitious, but it hits a lot of marks and is genuinely enjoyable. The old-school elements may turn off gamers looking for something more modern, but if you give it a shot, the nostalgic delight of the game shines through. Some annoying elements drag down the game, and it's more PopoloCrois than Story of Seasons, but there's nothing that really sours the game as a whole. Old-school RPG fans or those looking for a good game for all ages will find a lot to enjoy, and even the most hard-hearted players may crack a smile at Pietro's adventures.
If you're willing to dig in, and I mean truly dig in, the two styles of play benefit Return to PoPoLoCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale. The core story is roughly 30 hours or so, but you can mess around with all of the side content and the farming aspect for far beyond that, which is a perfect excuse to spend weeks on end with a portable.
PopoloCrois follows in the footsteps of other hybrid genre JRPGs like the Atelier series, and instead of alchemy mixes in a heavy dose of a farming instead. While the farming aspect of this hybrid title is compelling enough, the dull combat and a snail’s pace holds it back from greatness.
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.
Return to PoPoLoCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale is a fun game, do not get me wrong. I believe that the developers wanted to craft something that might not have many unique features or systems on its own, but something different due to the blending of genres. It works, and the game is accessible and will likely appeal to a broader audience as a result. The problem I have is that Return to PoPoLoCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale starts to feel shallow.
It sounds like I am being hard on Return to PopoloCrois, but that is because I am a little disappointed with Return to PopoloCrois and how it doesn’t blend the two things I enjoy (RPGs and Harvest Moon) in a way that sets a good example for both properties involved.