Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara slash secrets list articles for both Tower of Doom and Shadow Over

User Rating: 8 | Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara X360
In Chronicles of Mystara, you're getting two games. The first is Tower of Doom, which is a seven or so stage title where you have a choice of four PCs: Warrior, Cleric, Elf and Dwarf. It's pretty straightforward and rips locations, antagonists and weaponry straight from the Rules Cyclopedia from Basic D&D. There are some odd design choices, like the Cleric having to level up a bit before healing(!?) or having a spell called Continual Light that, well… only lasts a few seconds, but it's extremely accurate to the tabletop games considering this is a beat 'em up, right down to elemental weaknesses. Here players are ultimately trying to stop Deimos the Lich, although other bosses include a Manticore, Black Dragon, Green Dragon, Ogre, Displacer Beast and so on. There's also a slightly hidden Red Dragon boss that is tougher than Deimos, but the new version of the game is missing the insignia for when you beat Flamewing in the top score listing.

Shadow Over Mystara is the better game in my opinion, even though it's little more than a remix of the original. The game adds two new (overpowered) PCs, The Magic-User and Thief, and also gives each class two different character designs, allowing you to have say, two mages and two elves on your team, so there's no more fighting over who gets to be, say, the Warrior. Bosses are remixed, with the Red Dragon being the end boss in this game, although there's a very hidden second Red Dragon in the game as well, worth 1 MILLION EXPERIENCE POINTS. There are a few new monsters, such as goblins and the frost/flame salamanders, but mostly it's more of what you encountered in Tower of Doom but with more stages, more branches, some hidden levels, and spellcasters get a lot power behind them as everyone is starting at a higher level than ToD.

Visually the games look great. I won't lie – looking at these in time with the arcade cabinet… I have to say the arcade versions look better. Colors are crisper and clearer and the BIG bosses like Flamewing and Synn definitely look better on the cabinet. This new version certainly looks better than my Saturn versions, although honestly… not by much. I think IGS was trying so hard to keep the retro visuals of the games intact, they stopped paying attention to the original, especially in terms of hues and colours. You can monkey with the graphics in the HD version to make them more to your liking, but honestly, it's a bit odd saying that the HD remake is only slightly better looking than a disc based released from 1998. Now, don't get me wrong, what's here looks good and captures the feel of the game wonderfully; it's just that the Saturn version was surprisingly good, with smooth textures and visuals that pushed the system.

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