In the 90’s, Capcom and other arcade game makers released a lot of beat ‘em ups. Two of the last ones that Capcom made were pretty ahead of their time and featured characters and settings from the Dungeons and Dragons universe. Now you can download and play both classics (Tower of Doom from 1993 and Shadow Over Mystara from 1996) with Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara for PS3, 360, and PC, but the Wii U version is reviewed here. Forget the pen and paper stuff; this is MY kind of D&D.
In the first game, you could choose from four classes (such as the elf or fighter), and venture fourth to side-scrolling action brawler stages with a fantasy setting. Up to four could battle at once, and each class could use certain pickups, like weapons, magic, and other equipment. You could also level up between stages, and branching pathways and multiple endings increased the replay value. The sequel added two more classes to choose from, like the Thief, and you could pick up and select more items and magic to use with a ring menu you could pull up. Only problem is that the sequel reuses a lot of the same sprites and animation from the first title, which is something Capcom has been known to do.
The menu interface is similar to other arcade classics that Capcom has recently released, such as Darkstalkers: Resurrection or Marvel vs. Capcom Origins. Press Select to switch to each title, and you can play local co-op or go at it with others online. By performing certain actions, you can level up and earn points. Spend these points in the vault to unlock artwork, gameplay modes, and other goodies. Only problem I had was I don’t think they explained very well about how to play (such as how to open up and use the ring menu and whatnot), but these are arcade games so they’re pretty easy to figure out. If you like classic styled arcade beat ‘em ups, you should definitely download this, especially if you enjoyed the recently released Dragon’s Crown.
Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Violence, Blood, and Suggestive Themes. While you do punch, kick, slash, and zap all sorts of monsters, enemies just fall over when defeated, and I didn’t really notice much blood at all. Some of the characters wear slightly skimpy outfits, but I don’t think it’s that bad. Honestly I’d be OK with kids playing this, and the four player co-op makes it great for the whole family. Multiple difficulty levels and endless continues mean that anyone can enjoy this and not get frustrated.