Like in Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III (for Nintendo DS and iOS) allows you to choose between equipping a weapon and a shield, or to equip two weapons. Is it ever worth it to choose a shield?
In FF2, it was often better to equip a shield than to equip two weapons, since your non-dominant hand did less damage anyway, and enemy attacks in the end-game often caused deadly side-effects, putting a premium on the extra evasion a shield provided.
In FF3, however, there's no concept of 'dominant hand', so dual-wielding does double your damage. Furthermore, there doesn't seem to be an "evasion" stat at all, though I guess it could be a hidden stat. I'm about halfway through the game (just got the fire crystal), and have never seen any "shield-block" animation that indicates that the character dodged an attack thanks to his shield.
So, is dual-wielding usually the better route in FF3? If so, are there exceptions?