Square Enix has released Final Fantasy games on mobile devices before, but today marks the first time that North American gamers aren't just getting a port of a previously available entry. Final Fantasy Dimensions' design goes back to the golden age of Japanese RPGs, and I played through the prologue to see if it stacks up to the classics.

Dimensions liberally borrows art, plot, and gameplay elements from the 16-bit era of Final Fantasy – specifically FF IV and V. The story especially feels like it was lifted straight out of Final Fantasy V, since it focuses on a young swordsman and his friends who live in a small village that owes its prosperity to the mysterious powers of a nearby crystal. Then some oracles foretell a disaster, and the group heads out to save the crystal from impending doom. That covers the entire story of the prologue, which took me about 90 minutes to finish.

Due to a rocky launch, I couldn't play anything past the prologue. In short, all chapters were supposed to release today, but an unspecified problem with in-app purchases is preventing users from buying any additional content. On the plus side, the prologue is free, and it gives players a good idea what to expect from further chapters when they are eventually available for purchase.

As a fan of old-school Final Fantasy, I really enjoy the overall vibe of Dimensions. The soundtrack and visuals take me back to my favorite RPG era. I saw frogs, tree stumps, lizards, and goblins that looked like they were based directly on the monster designs from Final Fantasy IV. That's not a bad thing; the appeal to gamers' nostalgia is one of the primary strengths of dimensions. The dialogue, character introductions, and story arc would be right at home on the SNES.

The combat system isn't winning any points for turn-based innovation, since the auto-battle command is usually the fastest way to get through the random encounters. You can slow things down if you want by manually inputting commands, but only a few fights require any form of strategy. Most of the time, you just select attack anyway, so you may as well get it over with.

I'm hoping that combat evolves as the game progresses. That's going to depend entirely on the job system, which is not available during the prologue. The sections of the menu that reference jobs point to a system similar to Final Fantasy V, so I can't wait to see how Dimensions' battles open up.

Also, I should note that, unlike The World Ends With You, Final Fantasy Dimensions is a universal app. That means you can buy it once and play it on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The game is also coming to Android in theory, but that version was supposed to come out today alongside the iOS release. That didn't happen, so Android gamers will have to wait for now.

I'm excited to see where Final Fantasy Dimensions goes from here, and I'm hopeful that the tedium of combat will be alleviated with a compelling job system. But even in its current form, the prologue is worth checking out for any gamers who have fond memories of 16-bit role-playing games.