For those of you who are still wondering, Capcom has finally seen fit to release its much-delayed Dungeons & Dragons Collection. Spanning two discs and requiring the 4-Meg RAM Cart, D&D Collection, er, collects both Capcom's TSR license-based arcade side-scrolling slashers: D&D: Tower of Doom and D&D: Shadow Over Mystara. To put it bluntly, it's about bloody time. On and off Capcom Japan's release lists for what seems like years, D&D Collection represents one of Capcom's final Saturn forays, with Street Fighter Zero 3 likely to be the last addition. Anyway, the PlayStation certainly couldn't handle this game, or else it would have been out by now, and the just-released Saturn version is a bit past its due date, isn't it?
Taken directly from the arcades, D&D Collection is a pixel-perfect port, which should leave fans of the game happy as hell. Gameplay is composed of side-scrolling button-mashing reminiscent of Final Fight, with the occasional fireball motion thrown in for extra measure. While the formula strays little over the course of the two games, Capcom has enhanced the gameplay by adding multiple power-ups, magic attacks, item shopping between stages, and experience levels that increase with continued play.
Graphically, Shadow Over Mystara is significantly nicer to look at than Tower of Doom; the difference between the two is comparable to the change in look from Street Fighter 2 to Street Fighter Alpha. Sound-wise, you're better off keeping these harsh, tinny effects low in the volume. Arcade games rarely have exemplary sound or music, and that's exactly the case here.
The most surprising aspect of the game is that, despite its use of the 4-Meg RAM Cart, loading times are horrendous, with mid-level battles occasionally pausing to let data stream in. It never becomes clear what exactly all the loading time is for, since the game levels aren't that big, and the enemies are fairly repetitious. Nevertheless, if you're a fan of these games, you'll endure it just the same.
The bottom line is that, as a very basic scrolling hacker, this game is simply OK. It's not bad, especially if you have a friend to help you play, but you can hardly look at this game as anything other than average. It's a good thing that the controls are spot-on, or else it would have been straight to the bargain bin. For fans, however, it's a reasonable value, just as long as you don't expect much.