Few apps get released with as much fanfare as an Infinity Blade installment, and now the final part in the trilogy is upon us, as warriors Siris and Isa battle the fates to take down the Worker of Secrets (voiced by Fringe actor John Noble). Along with its epic storyline, the franchise is also known for its swipe based and highly addicting combat system, which is one of the reasons it's considered a classic in iOS gaming. All that momentum, however, can possibly lead to disappointment. Is Infinity Blade III's mighty sword still as sharp as can be, or have the past few years dulled its power?

Infinity Blade III is that rare game that can appeal to RPG devotees or gamers who just want a beat 'em up experience. Players who love both styles should find themselves in iOS nirvana, as they can delve into the franchise's themes of mortality and bravery. The idea of successive generations attempting to vanquish a common enemy is an intriguing concept, and the more cerebral gamer will probably analyze all the primal motivations of the Worker of Secrets. Although I've decided to place action over analysis these days, I have had my more reflective moments during this Infinity venture, and it's usually when I'm on a boat ride to inevitable doom.

If you're looking for a beautiful looking title that will take full advantage of your iPad's retina display and give you electrifying combat sequences, you're also in luck. Basically, you fly though all those cut scenes and get right to battle. Swipe away and use your deathly combos to kill any armored idiot who gets in your way. The icon you see at the lower part of my iPad is the block button, and the number '7' states how many more hits my shield can take before it's broken in two. Frequently blocking during combat is one of the easiest ways to get your opponent tired. Once you find your opening, swipe your finger for a combo attack.

Getting the chance to play as Siris and Isa gives the game an even extra dimension, especially since both of their fighting styles are dramatically different. Siris' brute strength and impressive weaponry is perfect for overpowering duels, wherein Isa is all about jumping out of harm's way and slashing away as fast as possible. If I want a rapid contest that's finished, whether it's for better or worse, in an expedient fashion, I'll go with Isa's catlike prowess for combat. When I'm gripping my iPad and want a massive beat down to occur, Siris is my guy. Either way, it's a win-win situation, especially if you plant a fire gem in your sword (so to speak).

Detractors of the game may break it down as simply a bunch of showdowns which leads to a boss. If the boss kills you, then you must restart the stage all over again. Knowing such a mechanic could lead to monotony, the developers make each character's rebirth slightly different from the previous incarnation. It may be finding a certain treasure at a location that was previously barren during your previous life, getting attacked by a dragon within moments of your rebirth, or just having a different set of enemies to deal with. I don't have a problem with starting from the beginning once I've failed to kill a certain boss, especially since it fits into Infinity's theme of immortality or, more specifically, being "deathless." Speaking of death, here's Isa putting the moves on a future corpse.

The level ups and achievements are also perfectly handled in Infinity Blade III, as experience points are earned after every victory. Each experience point or specific goals that are met all lead to the overall improvement of your character. Whether it's purchasing a new weapon, buying a key to unlock a treasure chest, or distributing skill points to boost their constitution or fighting acumen, every little decision counts. I use my skill points to upgrade my combo moves, since learning how to slice and dice a dragon is a need to know talent.

Infinity Blade III is a winner on all fronts, thanks to its inspired storyline, addictive combat structure, and astounding visuals. As much as I love playing Skyrim and Fallout 3, my Xbox 360 has been collecting dust thanks to all the great apps that have hit the market. Infinity Blade III is proof that some of the best RPGs can actually be downloaded to a smart phone or better yet, your iPad.


App Store Link: Infinity Blade III for iPhone & iPad | By Chair Entertainment | Price: $6.99 | Version: 1.3.2 | 1.10 GB | Rating: 9+

10 out of 10 arcade sushi rating