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Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring Of Fates Review

Image for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring Of Fates

It don't mean a thing if you ain't got that ring...

★★★★

Having already charmed GameCube players with Crystal Chronices in 2004 – and with a Wii verson on the cards for later this year – Nintendo is THE place to be for Final Fantasy adventuring. And while this latest DS incarnation is peppered with problems that cost Ring Of Fates a top score, it’s still a fun and engaging romp that serves as a perfect RPG introduction for younger, less patient digital daredevils.

At its heart, Ring Of Fates is a traditional dungeon crawl, with players working their way through a series of epic challenges, butchering legions of monsters and earning the experience points to evolve their heroes into world-class fighting machines. However, while the game structure will be achingly familiar to experienced role-players, Ring Of Fates allows greener gamers to try their hand at controlling a gang of four – and using each character’s unique skills to solve puzzles – with other elements such as the ability to create items using alchemy and a deep combat system making this latest quest a perfect training ground for more elaborate adventures.

Discerning players used to more accomplished Final Fantasy outings will doubtless feel piqued by the poor intelligence of computer-controlled characters, childish movie sequences where the heroes speak in annoying, high-pitched voices and how the action tends to chug along when you link up for a spot of multiplayer action. But aside from these niggles, Ring Of Fates is still a beautifully constructed, deep and engaging quest, and another triumph for Square Enix’s unique brand of handheld swashbuckling.