GDC 13: Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara — Prepare For +1 Fun

Iron Galaxy will be crafting the ports of two D&D beat ’em ups coming to digital platforms and like their past work, a lot of little extras will be thrown in along with some big ones. Like Final Fight: Double Impact, you’ll have the option to play the game with its original graphics, smoothed-out ones, in widescreen, in 4:3 with an arcade border, or in 4:3 with scanlines for an even more arcade-accurate feel. All you need then is a cup full of quarters and maybe an aerosol spray of stale, burnt pizza and you’re set. Also like Double impact, Chronicles of Mystara features beat ’em up gameplay at its finest and combines two games — D&D: Tower of Doom, and D&D: Shadow Over Mystara. Unlike DI, these games are actually FROM THE SAME SERIES. What a novel idea for a bundle.

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However, unlike DI or any other mini-compilation like this, the developers are adding some significant gameplay-altering mechanics in the form of House Rules. The term is perfectly in line with the franchise’s card-based roots, and for the gaming realm, basically just means you have access to change a lot of things at your whim – kind of like a Dungeon Master. You can make it so items are unbreakable, all chests are opened up for you, turn the game into either a time attack or survival mode, regain some health with each hit you deliver, get more loot with each kill, or choose to lose money instead of health when attacked. Things went smoothly in our play session and the game felt straight out of the ’90s — a good thing for those who like classic side-scrolling mechanics.

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The D&D games included in CoM were revered for having more depth than their contemporaries at the time, and will should help them age better than most beat ’em ups from that time period. D&D:CoM is set for release in June and will be 1200 MS points or $15 for every other service it’s released on, including PSN, the Wii U’s eShop, and Steam. Given that licensing issues were long believed to keep this game from being officially re-released ever again, anyone who enjoyed the originals in arcades back in the day will probably want to snatch this bundle up ASAP.