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New 'Final Fantasy' game is a retro mash-up, coming to US smartphones

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Are you ready to get those nostalgic Final Fantasy memories rattled back to life? Well, grab your rose-tinted glasses, because Final Fantasy: Record Keeper, coming to the US on iOS and Android in the next few weeks, pulls together all the FF heroes (and a few villains), melding it with heavy dose of background music and familiar game vignettes in a free title that's (unfortunately) littered with in-app payments. (It's not $16, we guess.) The game plays out in SNES-era style, with active time meters filling up before you can make your pixel-based move, whether that's magic, summons, or just whacking something with a five-foot sword. It's surprisingly less on-rails than we feared -- if you recall the Scorpion boss from Final Fantasy VII, and you see that its tail is up... just don't attack. Beyond the attack and defend flow, there's a dense amount of ways to upgrade your characters. It's definitely not a proper Final Fantasy game, but if you're looking for Chocobo-themed time sink, this could be it.

It's already been hit for Square Enix and mobile developer DeNA in Japan, notably passing the 5 million download mark. To make up for that heavy delay across the Atlantic, perhaps, US fans can pre-register now, which will unlock characters when the game eventually lands this Spring. The release mentions FFX hero Tidus, but we're hoping it'll include a likable character too. Yeah, I said it. Come get me.

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