'Final Fantasy Dimensions' summons classic RPG gameplay to iOS

Square brings a blast from the past to the devices of the future.

Though older Final Fantasy titles such as the original Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy III have been released in iPad/iPhone form, we've yet to receive an original Final Fantasy adventure for mobile platforms in the U.S. That's about to change when Final Fantasy Dimensions hits North America later this summer.

Final Fantasy Dimensions is actually an upgraded version of a Japanese mobile game called Final Fantasy Legends. Since that title was originally created for a wide variety of Japanese mobile platforms, it has fairly simplistic graphics, recalling the series' 8-bit roots.

The story spins off of the first Final Fantasy by following the trail of four Warriors of Light. However, as you finish episodes -- the original game was released episodically -- you will earn the ability to play as that group's evil opposites, the Warriors of Dark. Eventually you'll be able to mix and match for a party of up to five heroes.

Final Fantasy Dimensions also picks up the beloved job system that has appeared in several entries in the series. Beginning with basic jobs like white and black mage, warrior, thief, and martial artist, you'll upgrade skills and unlock advanced jobs as you level up.

I was only able to play about 10 minutes of Final Fantasy Dimensions on the show floor, but it seems to be the full, deep Final Fantasy experience in a mobile shell. The biggest question I'm left with is one of cost. Final Fantasy Legends was released as a series of cheap episodes in Japan, but Square Enix isn't talking about whether Final Fantasy Dimensions will be released as a single, full game or also in the episodic format. Whichever they go with, I hope it's not too expensive to access the complete experience.

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