RPGFan


Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara

"Adding a friend (or three) is really how these games are meant to be played, though, and I had a great time tackling the hilariously goofy-voiced villains in both adventures in multiplayer."

Until 2013, I had never even heard of the two games that make up Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara. Hearkening from an age when beat-em-ups were many and you couldn't walk into an arcade without tripping over a few Simpsons and Turtles poundathons, Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara took the skeleton of those other titles and injected them with a healthy dose of D&D glory. Bottom line? These are well-ported multiplayer games to break out when you and some friends just want to have some fun.

The interface for swapping between the two games is elegant and clean. Fulfilling achievement conditions in-game unlocks currency that can be used to purchase unlocks, like special house rules and artwork, and these are all accessible from the main menus. A full move-set for each character is also available, and swapping games is accomplished at the press of a button. There are options for a number of different screen filters, none of which I personally like, but it's still nice to have the option for those that do like the visual equivalent of smearing their screen with vaseli... smoothing the graphics. There's also some nice arranged music as well, and all of these things come together and give the sense that this wasn't just a quick and dirty port-job.

As for the games themselves, both are entertaining, though Shadow over Mystara will certainly get you more mileage. These are tried-and-true beat-em-ups, with the addition of leveling, shopping, and various spells and equipment for each character class. The gameplay is more complex (and more fun) and the graphics are certainly more detailed in Mystara, but all things considered, I enjoyed my two playthroughs of both games. Adding a friend (or three) is really how these games are meant to be played, though, and I had a great time tackling the hilariously goofy-voiced villains in both adventures in multiplayer. The online play also works well, so even if you don't have any pals handy, you can still enjoy the game's multiplayer component.

With the addition of the various house rules, the game also gets a some extra replayability. Granted, these types of games already lend themselves well to being replayed due to their brevity, branching paths, and entertaining combat, so for me the special rules were more a nice perk than a major feature. Both games also feature four difficulty levels which range from hitting your head on the buttons to win to credit-consuming insanity. The game tracks how many credits each player uses over the course of a play session, but due to the unlimited supply, difficulty is mainly a self-imposed thing here — brute-forcing is absolutely an option.

I had never played these games before, and it's possible that those darn kids we all hear about these days might not enjoy the decidedly retro gameplay and so-bad-it's-good translation. On the other hand, if you've got an eye for classics that have aged better than fine wine and been given the premium porting treatment, I see no way you could go wrong picking this one up.


© 2013 Capcom, Iron Galaxy Studios. All rights reserved.



Twitch Schedule & Status

Sunday, October 28
Costume Quest w/Maxx, Katherine & Kyle • 10am PDT/1pm EDT

Mondays
Darksiders w/Maxx • 12pm PDT/3pm EDT
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals w/Kat • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT

Tuesdays
Threads of Fate w/Kyle • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT
Resonance of Fate w/Scott • 7pm PDT/10pm EDT

Wednesdays
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE w/Nathan • 10:30am PDT/1:30pm EDT
Resonance of Fate w/Scott • 7pm PDT/10pm EDT

Thursdays
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix w/Kyle • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT
Resonance of Fate w/Scott • 7pm PDT/10pm EDT

Fridays
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance w/Kat • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT
Friday Super Variety Night w/Scott • 7pm PDT/10pm EDT

Saturdays
Resonance of Fate w/Scott • 5pm PDT/8pm EDT

Shenmue I & II

Shenmue I & II

Review
The Banner Saga 3 Overture

The Banner Saga 3 Overture

Review
The Banner Saga 3

The Banner Saga 3 Soundtrack

Review
Retro Encounter 158: Mega Man Legends 2

Retro Encounter 158

Podcast