PoPoLoCrois - PSP

Chances are, if you're an RPG fan and a PlayStation owner you've come across PoPoLoCrois at some point in your gaming career.

The game, which as spawned two versions on the PlayStation over a decade and its own anime series in Japan has been ported and merged to create PoPoLoCrois for the for PSP, and once again sees you battling the forces of evil in a magical kingdom.

With an intro that starts "Long, long ago when Dragons ruled the skies and fairies roamed the forest there was a kingdom called…" you pretty know what to expect and PoPoLoCrois is unlikely to let those looking for said kingdom much disappointment.

You play 10-year-old Prince Pietro who's on a quest to find his mother's missing soul - cheery stuff then - and have to plough your way through numerous text-based conversations with random strangers to find out information and solve what's happen to it - the soul that is.

Not all talk, occasionally you'll have to fight the odd monster - well more mice and killer turnips to be precise, and it's here the game shows its RPG element.

Combat is turn-based and is mind-numbingly slow as you get into position and plan your strike, then select your strike, then take the strike, then await for the opposition to plan their strike, then for them to take their strike, then for you to start all over again until one of you keels over and dies. While it's bread and butter of any good RPG, compared to the speed you can whizz around the levels (kingdom), it rather lets the side down.

That speed is pretty impressive, compared to the rest of the game, and if you've got to retrace your steps - something that happens often - you'll get back to where you need to be in no time at all. Well sort of, every time Pietro has to enter a new zone (or sometimes room) the game freezes while that bit of the game loads.

Verdict

With plenty of characters to talk to and landscape to explore PoPoLoCrois will offer plenty to the die-hard fan of the series looking to take the previous versions portable.

However, dated graphics and lots of reading mean that this is unlikely to appeal to the popular masses and certainly not a must have for the PSP community.