We have good news for fans of quirky Japanese role-playing games. Over the weekend, a manager at Toys R Us tipped us off to some upcoming PSP game titles that have been entered into the company's computer system. One of the titles that popped up was Popolo Crois, which is a dialogue-heavy role-playing game that was published in Japan this past February. According to the TRU computer, Sony plans to ship the game to North America in November.
Following-up on the tip, we phoned up our PR contacts at Sony, who would neither confirm or deny the news, but did say that the company "would reveal a full list of upcoming PSP titles for Q4 and 2006 next month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles." When we pressed for a more concrete confirmation of the Popolo Crois news, they reiterated for us to "wait until May" and shooed us off the line.
Popolo Crois Monogatari: Pietro Ouji no Bouken is the game's full Japanese title. Roughly translated, it means "Popolo Crois Story: Prince Pietro's Adventure."
The PSP game is actually two-games in one. The original Popolo Crois was released for the PSOne in 1997, and went on to sell millions of copies. A sequel, Popolo Crois Monogatari II, was released two years later and also sold very well. Both games are regarded by Japanese-speakers as some of the best RPG's ever released for the system. Popolo Crois for the PSP combines both games into a single story. New features for the PSP game include revamped 3D graphics, an orchestrated soundtrack, hand-drawn cut scene artwork, hours of recorded dialogue, and a bonus chapter that picks up where the first two leave off.
Fans looking for a turn-based RPG along the lines of Dragon Warrior or Final Fantasy would be smart to stay tuned for more information, which we hope to squeeze out of Sony at this May's upcoming E3 show.
Until then, click here to check out a couple screenshots.