Review :: (XBLA) Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara

A nice trip down memory lane...

Vincent Deshaies

Written by Vincent Deshaies - Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Published Monday, 08 July 2013 10:40

Write your own review !

When Microsoft introduced Xbox Live Arcade on the original Xbox, its purpose was almost solely to invite players to revisit old classics. While the service has strayed away from that focus over the past few years, and developed into one of the most interesting video game platforms out there, it’s nice to see that it’s still a great place to take a trip down video game memory lane. Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara may not be a familiar sounding name to all gamers of this generation, but this re-release is a perfect time to discover it.

dungeons-and-dragons-chronicles-of-mystara

D&D: Chronicles of Mystara features not one, but two games from the 1990s arcade scene: Tower of Doom, as well as its sequel, Shadow Over Mystara. Despite their old age, there is actually some fairly deep storytelling going on here. Each level plays very much like the classic, old-school 2D brawler we’re all used to, but each time one of them is completed, you get rewarded with a cutscene that progresses the story. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a nice touch that may keep the most interested ones playing.

At its heart, the game asks the player to use a combination of magic and melee attacks, each determined by a selection wheel and different characters. Each of these characters offers a different style, as well as their own finely-tuned mechanics. While an Elf could have its magical, ranged attacks perfectly mastered, a Fighter would be a stronger choice for melee combat situations. As you hack and slash your way through the enemies, you may find that switching between characters is a smarter way to progress through the game. Chronicles of Mystara also offers an RPG-like system which lets you level up each character individually, so other types of players may prefer to stick with a single persona, as they will level up quicker that way.

Dungeons-And-Dragons-Chronicles-of-Mystara-Screenshot

I wouldn’t fault anyone for simply ignoring the Tower of Doom installment in favor of Shadow Over Mystara. In fact, the two titles are so strikingly similar that it may not be worth your time to play the original, as its sequel is by far the more refined version. However, it’s always nice to be given extra content, and the most dedicated players will want to experience the whole thing. Given that both games are fairly short, it’s only natural that they would offer a ton of replayability. With the excellent co-op mode, as well as the levelling capabilities, the game certainly demands to be replayed. As you learn the intricacies of each level, master the techniques of all the characters, and learn all of your enemies’ weaknesses, you’ll be thrilled to realize how much you can get out of the game when you really take the time to master it.

On the visual side of things, it’s clear that Capcom hasn’t done much to remaster its baby. The game still runs in a 4:3, low resolution format, and the graphics, while very good for their time, certainly haven’t aged too well in this day and age. The animations retain all the charm from the arcade classics we all know and love, but they may not be received too well by less nostalgic gamers. As far as audio goes, it also appears dated. One important thing to note is that this version includes the full English language translation, as opposed to the original, Japanese-only release on the Sega Saturn, which is a nice addition.

Dungeons and Dragons Chronicles of Mystara 1

All in all, you get exactly what you can expect from Chronicles of Mystara: An excellent, old-school brawler that won’t necessarily please younger gamers, but that will almost certainly delight older, nostalgic fans. With a faithful presentation, deep gameplay, a nice storyline and great replayability, the value of the whole package will depend on your willingness to play the Tower of Doom installment, as well as your love for the original games. Don’t go in expecting a modern take on the 2D brawler, but certainly expect to take a nostalgic trip back in time.


Pros

+ A nostalgia-filled journey

+ We finally get an English translation!

+ Tight gameplay mechanics

+ Great replayability factor 

+ Surprisingly good storyline

Cons

- Dated presentation

- The price is a bit high

- Dated, less interesting first installment


Final rating
8.0 / 10
Comments
More Xbox 360 reviews
2014-04-06 :: Dark Souls II
2013-11-12 :: Alien Rage
2013-09-17 :: Grand Theft Auto V
2013-09-15 :: Lost Planet 3
2013-09-13 :: Splinter Cell: Blacklist
2013-08-07 :: Grid 2
2013-07-26 :: Remember Me
2013-07-23 :: (XBLA) Sanctum 2
2013-06-05 :: Star Trek
Special articles
The Forest: Exclusive Game Focus Interview Special articles

The Forest: Exclusive Game Focus Interview

  Earlier this week, Ben Falcone and Anna Terekhova, two of the three main developers of Endnight Games’ The Forest responded to some questions I had about the project and provided some insight into the development and what comes next.  I asked everything from whether or not The Forest would be released on the Xbox One or Playstation 4, what the developers were most worried about before release on Steam, to whether or not they could disclose any more details about The Forests ending.  
Lire la suite...
Marking The Mid-Point of 2014: Highs, Lows and Hopes Special articles

Marking The Mid-Point of 2014: Highs, Lows and Hopes

  Here we are at the half way point of 2014. According to the Chinese zodiac 2014 is the year of the horse; the wood horse. It is to be a year of conflict; wood will fuel the fires and lead many to clash headlong into battle. How fitting it is then that my video game highlights, disappointments, hopes, and dreams for the year are directly in conflict with one another: Lightning quick interfaces vs a lack of new-gen experiences, game costs vs value, PlayStation vs Xbox.   Read more
CFL Mode in Madden 15?  Please Make it Happen EA. Special articles

CFL Mode in Madden 15? Please Make it Happen EA.

  Maybe it’s my Canadian pride and the fact that Canada Day is just around the corner, but I want a CFL football game.  For you folks out there who don’t know what the CFL is, well it’s a sports league, it stands for: Canadian Football League.  That’s right, Canada has its own football league, and trust me, it’s a good one.  So good, in fact, it deserves its own video game.   Read more
Impressions: My Date with Destiny Special articles

Impressions: My Date with Destiny

…see what I did there? Whatever dudes, I thought it was clever.  Anyways, I had the opportunity to spend my weekend with the Alpha Beta of the upcoming Bungie shooter, Destiny. Read more

Game details
(XBLA) Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara
Release date : 2013-06-19
Platform :
Publisher : Capcom
Developer : Iron Galaxy Studios
Gameplay : Compilation

DLC Talk

DLC Talk: Bioshock: Burial at Sea Ep. 1

DLC Talk: Bioshock: Burial at Sea Ep. 1

Here we are. The next generation of consoles is among us and it is finally time to start thinking about finally unplugging our beloved current-gen systems. Could there be a better swan song for one of these systems than taking a trip back to Rapture?


Read more

DLC Talk: Dishonored - The Knife of Dunwall

DLC Talk: Dishonored - The Knife of Dunwall

Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall is an impressive little bit of DLC. I should emphasize “little” though, as it is a relatively short experience. Just when the story seems to get going it ends - or, rather, it “kind of” ends.


Read more

DLC Talk: Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

DLC Talk: Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

Dragon’s Dogma was released last year on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.


Read more
GF Blogs

1080p and 60 FPS? I Don’t Care

1080p and 60 FPS?  I Don’t Care

 

It seems these days that whenever a new AAA title is announced a strange thing occurs. The internet lights up with people clambering to find out if the title will support 1080p and 60 FPS. The MicroSoft and Sony fans boys hurl insults back and forth if one console supports these features while the other doesn’t.


Read more

My Favourite Video Game Magazines of the 90s: A Retro Look

My Favourite Video Game Magazines of the 90s: A Retro Look

 

Now that the fourth of July has come and passed, and the video game industry is in the middle of its usual summer doldrums there isn’t too much to write about. So I felt I would to take a vacation from the usual Game Focus fare and start a weekly feature on some of my favourite Retro gaming memories.  This week I will focus on the video game magazine scene of the late 80s and 90s.  While video game magazines are pretty much relics of the past, its interesting to reflect and think about how, not too long ago, they were the only way to get your gaming news.


Read more

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Behind the Scenes Trailer Review

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Behind the Scenes Trailer Review

 

I just watched a behind the scenes trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and I cannot be more upset from what I have seen.  I should preface this rant by saying that I think Bret Robbins (the “Creative Director” who is talking throughout the sneak peek) doesn’t have any clue as to what the Call of Duty series is about. Am I supposed to be impressed by the “cinematic” nature of a future Call of Duty game and am I supposed to unfold the game’s plot like some kid who has been given a gift and will “unwrap it.”  Does Activision even know what makes these games work, or is it just me?


Read more
GameFocus Radio

GameFocus Podcast: December 16, 2013

GameFocus Podcast: December 16, 2013

Game Focus is proud to present its new podcast episode, a weekly casual talk between GameFocus staff members about the gaming industry. In this show, we talk about mostly the Xbox One and the PS4. Vince explains in details what happened when he reached Microsoft support for a problem with his Xbox One that unexpectedly died after less than 2 days of use.

Read more
GameFocus Radio

GameFocus Podcast: December 16, 2013

GameFocus Podcast: December 16, 2013

Game Focus is proud to present its new podcast episode, a weekly casual talk between GameFocus staff members about the gaming industry. In this show, we talk about mostly the Xbox One and the PS4. Vince explains in details what happened when he reached Microsoft support for a problem with his Xbox One that unexpectedly died after less than 2 days of use.

Read more
GameFocus 2014 Top 10
2
Dark Souls II (Xbox 360)
9.1
3
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
9.1
4
9.0
5
Child of Light (Xbox One)
9.0
6
Tropico 5 (PC)
8.9
7
EA Sports UFC (Xbox One)
8.7
8
Watch Dogs (Xbox One)
8.5
10
Trials Fusion (Xbox One)
8.0

facebook-follow-us

twitter1

 

Recent comments

Powered by Disqus