|Genre||Beat 'em up & action RPG|
|Players||Up to 4 players (co-op)|
|Arcade system||CP System II/JAMMA+|
Back in the mid 90's when the modern arcade was at its peak, people would pump coins in to those big beautiful cabinets like there was no tomorrow. I personally remember putting $1 in to my local MVS cabinet (usually to play Metal Slug X & Shock Troopers) and would be lucky to get more than 5 minutes out of a single credit. Mortal Kombat II was another example, you would put $1 in and 5 minutes later you would see that 10 second count down enticing you to throw another coin in to the machine. And you know what? I did, and I know you did too. It was a part of the whole arcade experience to deposit a couple of bucks for some fast past 5 minute fun and after it was over, you would walk away and start all over again on another machine. But for some arcades there were a few cabinets that offered something more, something that felt detailed and comprehensive, something that could turn your usual 5 minute game in to an hour long epic journey that would take you to a world of fantasy, mystery & magic. Let's go play some Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara.
It's simple, turn the volume up as loud as you can and just enjoy the cinematic sounds of the game. The music creates that epic journey atmosphere and compliments each stage environment. The sounds of your melee attacks, the spells you cast and the sounds of each boss as they cry out one last time before they perish in to the dust. Every sound effect and every piece of music is a treat for the ears.
Like all Capcom Beat 'em Ups the controls are straight forward and won't take long to get the hang of. The only difference compared to most of the other capcom Beat 'em Ups (excluding D&D Tower of Doom) is that there is a 4th button added, which brings up your inventory wheel. This can sometimes be a little frustrating, scrolling through trying to find an item to use when you are in mid battle as you essentially stop fighting and are completely vulnerable. But when you get the hang of the system, it becomes fluent and apart of the gaming experience and you know the best times to bring your inventory up.
Even though this is an arcade game and arcade games do age better than consoles, it is still a game closing in on its 20th year. And for any game that was produced in 1996 and still plays, sounds and looks like it could belong in today's modern gaming society, that is to be commended. Maybe I am being biased as I have been playing this game since I first saw it at my local arcade in 1997, but I don't care. I would gladly grab a friend (or 3), a carton of beer and play co-op until the early hours of the morning and I think you should to. Unfortunately it's very difficult to get your hands on the original CPS2 board as many of these boards were discarded in the late 90's early 2000's due to the suicide battery and vendors not willing to pay the fee to Capcom to get them replaced. But the good news is you can get yourself 'Chronicles of Mystara' which contains both 'Tower of Doom' and 'Shadow over Mystara' and can be found on XBLA, PSN & Steam.
You won't be disappointed in you purchase!