Windows PC (PS3, Xbox 360)
ESRB rating: Teen
Review rating: 4.0 stars
Classic beat-em-up games rarely delved any deeper than providing heroes in a setting and enemies to pummel, but that changed in the '90s with Capcom's "Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom" and "Shadow Over Mystara." Now these two great arcade games have been combined into one addictive and affordable title called "Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara."
Both titles offer interesting characters in stories that shouldn't be clicked through, which is part of what set them apart from their rivals. After completing certain boss battles, players can choose their own path in the game that changes both the storyline and the combat areas. This helps add replay value and is as fun today as it was nearly twenty years ago.
I appreciate the fact that each character class offers combat features that actually set them apart from others. For example, the dwarf can take an incredible amount of damage, and the mage has a plethora of spells at his fingertips. This variety helps make cooperative play for up to four virtual brawlers much more interesting.
New additions include the ability to customize play sessions as well as a wide variety of challenges during regular game play. In addition, completing challenges rewards players with additional rules they can incorporate for customizing sessions. My favorite one has to be "Hedgehog," which makes players bleed gold when they take damage!
While "D&D: Tower of Doom" is fun to play, "D&D: Shadow of Mystara" is far superior because of the additional character classes, better controls, expanded inventory and longer campaign. Having said that, both games are still very old school in terms of visuals, game play and features.
Still, players who are looking for a nostalgic gaming will surely love playing "Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara."