“Come adventurers. Gather close to my fire.” the old woman said motioning to the blaze. “For the answers you seek regarding your quest are in the flames.” She let out a shriek that trailed into a cackle as she cast a handful of powder into the fire. A burst of light and heat was followed by thick white smoke. “Look now. Look back through the mist of time. To when the 2.5D side-scrolling beat ’em up was king…”

Comprised of arcade classics Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom and its sequel Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara; Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara shows itself to be an excellent example of nostalgia gaming gone very right.

Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara is a Capcom classic and was among the top tier of 2.5D side-scrolling beat ’em up games. Right up there with another Capcom classic: Final Fight. Excluding their updates and new features both halves of this combo pack hold up very well, defying their age they continue to shine. Considering the four player co-op (couch and/or online) and updated sound and graphics; it’s pretty clear that Capcom treated Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara with the respect it deserves. Two new key features push this one from good to great and further strengthen the game. A meta leveling system has been added, meaning that the player rather than the character goes through the level progression. Across both games and all character classes; one experience counter, one leveling ladder. A truck-load of challenges have also been added. Each with three tiers they all deal with things the player would normally do while playing the game; such as “kill X number of enemies” and “equip Y number of armor pieces”. On the surface these challenges don’t seem like much but they do in fact add some re-playability. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself obsessing over them as you play through the games for the third time.

All in all Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara has a lot going for it. It both was and is fantastic, standing among an elite group of re-releases that have aced the test of time. The shallowness and simplicity of this brawler works for it. In a gaming landscape dominated by growing depth and complexity Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara is and excellent pallet cleanser or weekend diversion to play between retail releases.

Dungeons & Dragons Chronicles of Mystara Launch Trailer