None of this stops Ring of Fates from being a thoroughly entertaining little time-waster. Yet it could have been so much more than that had only the multiplayer option measured up. The first disappointment is that you need one cartridge for each player to enjoy the game. The second is that you can't play over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection - you can swap the charming little cat-like creatures called Moogles, but that's as far as online gaming goes.
The most serious issue, however, is that even if you can get together one to three friends with their own copies of the game, you still can't play through a proper storyline together. Instead, you're limited to fighting through maps from the single-player game or specially created challenges where you're battering baddies or clicking switches within a strict time limit. Don't get me wrong: these can be fun. What's more, the different tribes allow you to create a balanced party, while levelling characters and upgrading equipment is always a bit addictive. All the same, you can't help feeling that you'd rather play together through a proper story-based campaign.
Still, even with its drawbacks it's easy to recommend Ring of Fates to anyone who wants a decent DS dungeon crawl, or anyone looking for a game that could introduce the kids to the genre. I'd love to see Square take this engine, create a stronger multiplayer story and add in single-cartridge or Wi-Fi connection play, but I won't get too caught up on that wish-list. Ring of Fates has a broader appeal than the more serious Revenant Wings, and makes a great way to fritter away a few hours on your DS.
The AI may be frustrating and the style can be cloyingly cute, but this engaging action RPG is perfect for a quick fix of fantasy on the road. Sadly the multiplayer options are a little disappointing.