Release Date: 6/18/2013
Platforms: PC (reviewed), Xbla, PSN, Wii U
Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios
Publisher: Capcom Interactive, Inc.
Genre: Action, Compilation
There’s nothing that can match a good, classic arcade brawler. 2D side scrolling of the olden days provides for some of the most enjoyable video gaming memories. Now, Capcom and Iron Galaxy Studios have created a compilation of two classic Dungeons & Dragons arcade brawlers, Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara. Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara isn’t just a compilation of the old games, but now adds support for drop-in, drop-out multiplayer.
For those that have never played a classic arcade side-scroller, I first say to you: ‘Isn’t it your bedtime?”, and secondly will explain the concept. You basically just keep moving to the right of the screen and beat up on orcs, owlbears, and other foes until you get to the boss, which you usually just keep attacking until said boss dies. But, what always set Dungeons & Dragons titles apart from the norm is their ability to create your own stories, so that each play through varies slightly (or drastically, depending on the generation of console you’re playing on).
Combat is as basic as basic can be, but somehow, both titles in Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara remain enjoyable. It may be the fact that you’re sitting there playing an old-school side-scroller in a gaming world filled with top-notch graphics, intricate level designs, and open world games that makes fighting orcs with 2D character models by spamming a limited amount of attacks so enjoyable. But, it’s not as simple as it sounds; staying alive, even on the easiest setting, can be a challenge. Luckily, there are an unlimited amount of continues, so you can just keep trying right on through the end of both games.
The game is much more enjoyable when you have a buddy kicking orc ass with you, which is where Iron Galaxy’s updates to the classic games come in; you can play this game online (I couldn’t do THAT with a quarter).
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara is generally just a fun time, and is worth the $14.99 it’ll cost you for PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U (no one plays Wii U), but only if you’ve got a buddy or two to play it with. Aside from the fact that it isn’t an HD update, Iron Galaxy has created the perfect ode to classic arcade beat-em-ups, but Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara will only resonate fully with die-hard arcade fans.