Real Talk By: KJ
My gaming experiences as a little guy included the occasional platformer or run and gun. The main genre that I’ve supported for a while is the side scrolling beat em up. This is what owned my childhood back in the day. Dumping the coins and handing out whippings was all in a days work. While its slowed down in the past decade, there have been a some games keeping the genre alive. Scott Pilgrim vs The World, The Warriors, and Castle Crashers to name a few. Dungeons and Dragons has always been a popular franchise, and there’s a large variety of games which cover several genres. I’m reviewing the two dungeons and dragons games that were exclusive to the Arcade and Sega Saturn (of Japan). For 15 dollars you’ll get Both beat em up classics Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom and Dungeons and Dragons: Shadow over Mystara.
By default the game takes you to the second title. It’s fitting because the sequel stands tall over the first. In Mystara you can pick from 6 different characters. Each have their own unique abilities which in this game aren’t just for style. Some can make the teams attack power increase for a bit. Some characters can heal others, so continues aren’t wasted. Understanding each characters strengths and weaknesses will keep you alive longer. We recommend accessing the help screen. Characters have different button commands like street fighter. Choosing branching paths Ala Guardian Heroes, certainly adds more to the replay value. In both games the level design is well done. Locations never really get boring. All the sprites look fantastic considering the time period from which the games were released. There’s even an alternate costume for each person. Characters will level up as you play, rewarding players for sticking with one. You can tell that some serious artistic work was put in. While there is no death penalty here, the game takes a count every-time a continue is used. Death will happen, a lot, but you’ll just keep respawning.
Both titles have a decent length. With four players, and no true death penalty though, it’s still a fun time waster. Anyone will be able to soar through. This cancels out the four difficulty levels included in my opinion. When playing both games, you’ll see that many regular and big boss characters have been recycled. This makes the first game tower of doom feel like just an added bonus, but wont see a lot of time from gamers. It would have been nice to bring a local player online to join the fight with two others. Maybe I’m spoiled from playing the X-Men Arcade, but it couldn’t have been that hard to incorporate.
Gamers can unlock tons of concept art, and experience super smooth online play thanks to the GGPO servers. Those who’ve played Final Fight Double Impact, and Darkstalkers Resurrection will remember the different screen settings. The Cabinet view, Scan-line filter and other adjustments.
While The sequel is better than the first in almost every way, its cool to have two beat em ups. Playing with a group is always more legit. The gameplay is button mash city, but those who study characters and learn when to use their different items/attacks will do some serious damage. It’s fine that Capcom caters to the casual, but at least give the option to play with limited lives for the more experienced. These are certainly gems of the past. As a whole, fans of the genre have yet another title they can throw into their collections.
Dungeons And Dragons Chronicles of Mysteria Gets
Out of Five
+Sprites look even better
+Combat is deeper than you think
-Difficulty is lost in this version
-Recycled sprites from the Tower of Doom
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