I am truly terrible at side-scrolling brawlers. I die constantly and generally find them unenjoyable. I'm not sure if I'm getting older and able to enjoy things more or if I'm getting better at brawlers, but I had a lot of fun playing Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara.
Chronicles of Mystara bundles the games Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara into one package at a single price. The title features updated graphics, Trophy support and has actually aged really well. Throughout both titles I didn't notice any pixelated character models that generally come standard with the old school side-scrollers. The games have been updated well, and the different types of enemies are highly varied. I was fighting different enemies and bosses the entirety of both titles.
The combat works just like any other side-scroller in the genre, except I feel like there was still more to it. I found Shadow Over Mystara to be a little more to my taste in terms of gameplay. The game felt faster and the combat a little tighter. Once I got used to the inventory system I really started to enjoy the game.
Mystara features a more full-fledged inventory system than Tower of Doom, and is broken down between type of item, weapon, and magic. Once I realized how it worked I was consistently switching throwables and magic to suit the enemy I was fighting. Tower of Doom's inventory system is a little trickier as I could only switch through one item at a time. Pressing the inventory change button too quickly would result in me switching past the item I wanted to use and ultimately have to go back through all of my items and consumables a few times.
While I did not enjoy Tower of Doom as much, it did have a few features I liked a lot. Some enemies had to be killed by specific attacks. For example, one of the first bosses I fought was a troll that couldn't be defeated unless the killing blow was some sort of fire attack. I ended up fighting another troll later, but didn't have any of my fireball magic left so I ended up using an oil flask, but the fact that I could use multiple different items to defeat enemies left my strategy a little more open.
Also, the story in Tower of Doom is a little more thought out than Shadow Over Mystara. I know, I know, it's a brawler, so the story is pretty negligible. The fact that it was there, however, was nice. Mystara's story played out as you were progressing through the title. For more than a few levels, the game would give you a choice to where you wanted to go next. If you want to collect all the treasures hidden throughout the game, multiple playthroughs are a must.
Shadow Over Mystara also played a bit smoother than the other title, I'm not really too surprised since Tower of Doom was the first D&D brawler title. However, with the 14.99 price tag, I was rather impressed with the overall package. The two titles have aged really well. For fans of side-scrollers who might have missed these two titles, I definitely recommend downloading Chronicles of Mystara.