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, its 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 characters 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 Enixs unique brand of handheld swashbuckling.