Publisher: Capcom Developer: Iron Galaxy
Genre: Beat ‘em Up Platform Played: PlayStation 3
[Reviewers Note: The multiplayer portion of this gave is currently being reviewed and will be updated into the review in the next few days, as will the pros and cons.]
Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara is two games within one, two classic arcade titles in D & D: Tower of Doom and D & D: Shadow over Mystara which have been re-released with HD graphics. Both games are available from the beginning and it is easy to switch between the two in the home screen, both games can be played single-payer or with 3 other players in local and online multiplayer. This game is available via Steam, PSN and XBLA.
You have a choice of six characters in Shadow Over Mystara and four in Tower of Doom. Each being unique in their play style and that really comes across when trying the different characters. With the Fighter and Dwarf having strong normal attacks while the Thief is a quicker character, but the Magic User may be weaker but has the most powerful spells in the game. In single player, it is easy to switch your character when you die so you can easily try a different play style from where you were which is a nice touch and makes it easy to experiment while playing.
The combat is kept to the face buttons but with the analogue stick or D-pad being used in order to perform combos or evade attacks. This creates a really deep combat system which takes a while to master, yet the game is fun enough to make you compelled to do so. This is as half and quarter movements of the analogue stick affect which attacks your character makes, in traditional beat ‘em up style. I suspect this game would be great with an arcade joystick. Yet the game is able to progress through button mashing, it may take longer and if you do so, you’re not getting the most out of this deep combat system. Whilst in combat, you can unlock in-game unlockables by achieving certain challenges which adds another layer to the game as if you try to complete these, it adds more for you to do and is worth achieving. Furthermore, within the story there are branching paths which will affect the enemies and treasures you may encounter. This again is a nice little feature and adds more depth to this already deep game.
The visuals of the game is a strength to the game in my opinion. It looks like you’re playing on an arcade machine in your home, the visual style is very pretty. The sound on the other hand is true to the style of the game but after a while I got bored with it, but it’s classic arcade style music which I cannot fault for, the music in the game is not a key part of this game. As a single player experience it is fun, however it can become tricky and to get the most out of this game multiplayer is the way to play it [see editors note at the top of this review].
This is a seriously good game which is hugely entertaining and serving those nostalgic values some people have. For D & D players – which this reviewer is not – how true to the lore it is I don’t know but it has that feel. It’s combat is really fun and it is a challenge, as a single player game it can be tough going, but this is offset by being able to die as many times as you want without losing your progress. There isn’t anything wrong with this game, it’s a solid game which is hugely enjoyable. Surprisingly so, I honestly didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I have.