Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara
Sega/Shin Force
Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara

Sega/Shin Force > Systems > Sega Saturn > Games > D&D Collection

Shin Force ~ Saturn ~
Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara :: Hub
Sega Force Vault
2x CD
Mar. 4, 1999
 ¥5,800 standard
 ¥7,800 w/RAM
Beat 'em up
Backup 8/8
 (disc 2 only)
     > Dungeons & Dragons Collection contains both Capcom arcade hack'n' slash titles from retrogaming heaven -- Their subtitles are Tower of Doom (disc 1) released in 1993, and Shadow Over Mystara (disc 2) released in 1996.  Four years after its launch, the Saturn has received two games like Sega's original masterpiece, Golden Axe (arcade/Genesis).  Both the original arcade games featured 4 player coop, but the Saturn iterations are limited to 2 player coop.

     > Shadow Over Mystara maintains the same idea as the prequel -- Advance through the various locales while slicing and dicing all the monsters into oblivion.  Just like Tower of Doom, there's an occasional hostage to free.  Along the way you'll encounter huge bosses which have special attacks of catastrophic proportions.  Use the treasure you accumulate in battle to buy items in the shop between levels.  It's mindless fun, and it's yet another Saturn exclusive.  Note: Unlike the prequel, Shadow Over Mystara requires the 4MB RAM cartridge (mainly for the increased animations). 

     > Importing is a cinch as everything you really need is in English, including the main menu, option menus and game screens.  The most noticeable things that are Japanese are the occasional dialog text and the names of the special weapons.

     > If you've seen Dungeons & Dragons in the arcade, then you know what to expect.  Both Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara are 2D hand drawn beauties from start to finish.  Of course, Shadow Over Mystara looks and animates better since it's the newer of the two, and it uses the 4MB RAM cartridge.  As for the backgrounds, they're multi-scrolling and consist of locales like a village, flying ship, castle, cave, dark jungle, hell cavern, and tower (to name a few).

     > On the way to bosses you'll fight various familiar monsters like goblins, skeletons, gargoyles, lizards, liches and many more.  Capcom has added monsters that spawn from the background and foreground too.  As mentioned before, you'll fight against huge bosses that include a Harpy, Lich, Flame Salamander, Nagpa (owl-mage), Black Dragon (to name a few).  Both games share many of the same beasts, except they look better on Shadow Over Mystara.

     > Compared to Tower of Doom, the magic effects are much more varied and improved in Shadow Over Mystara.  Overall, the freeze and bolt magic spells are my favorite to behold.  Oh... and don't worry, the bosses hurl magic at you as well.  The meteor spell that some bosses use is really cool, and the final boss in Shadow Over Mystara has a special treat for you.

     > The control scheme for Shadow Over Mystara is simple and enjoyable.  Capcom didn't mess with something that wasn't broken.  The buttons are attack, jump, fire (special weapon or spell) and select.  You can use the D-pad to move along a wide area and for running as well.  Throughout your quest, you'll come across treasure chests which may or may not be trapped, and usually contain some goodies.  Also, most enemies leave some booty behind once they're defeated, which you can pick up and use.

     > The select button has been improved and now brings up an inventory ring for quicker choices.  Thank you Capcom for maintaining the ability to map buttons in the options!  Other options include music, sound effects and difficulty levels.

     > All the gold you collect will not go to waste either, since after every round, you'll have an opportunity to stock up on weapons and health at your local shop.  Although this game has multiple shops, they all sell the same stuff.  It pays to enter the various pathways which you'll encounter as they usually provide additional treasure.  Overall, the control is tight and classic.

     > Once again I can't remember what the arcade music sounded like, but I'm sure the Saturn iteration is as good, if not better. Capcom made a noticeable improvement in the sound of the instruments, as the synthesizer has a richer, deeper rhythm.  You'll hear a combination of orchestral and fantasy arcade tunes which are quite atmospheric at times.  Nice job for a sequel.

     > The sound effects are probably straight out of the arcade as well. Shadow Over Mystara's effects are improved over Tower of Doom, although there is some overlap.  You'll hear things like swords swinging, enemies howling, chests cracking open, monsters roaring, meteors falling and firebombs exploding.  The speech cues are in English, by the way.

     > Shadow Over Mystara has six characters (2 outfits each) with different abilities and attacks: Fighter (longsword), Cleric (mace+shield), Dwarf (axe), female Elf (sword+shield), Thief (shortsword), and Magicuser (rod).  You get a great value here since the game is fully intact.  Your interest level is maintained with 10+ levels, treasure, new magic, new locales, power-ups and additional weapons.  To mix things up, every so often you can choose from a fork in the path.  The only downer is that Capcom did not spend enough time optimizing this game, as it's often loading.  As with most beat 'em up games, the fun factor does go down once you've completed it a few times.
Bottom Line
     > If you'd like Golden Axe or Streets of Rage with a little more depth for fantasy adventure, then look no further than Capcom's latest arcade conversion. Dungeons & Dragons Collection is a solid combination of two arcade classics which are fully intact on your Saturn, thanks to the 4MB RAM cartridge.  With unlimited continues, this game is more about speed than lives.  I'm fine with that.  Lastly, this collection has recently been released on Xbox 360 Arcade, PC and others.  I wholeheartedly recommend it to hack'n' slash fans!
Overall: 8.6 | Graphics: 9.0 | Control: 9.2 | Sound: 8.0 | Fun: 8.0
~ Shinobi ~


Japan (standard release) | Box / Cover Art

Japan (4MB RAM Pack) | Box / Cover Art

Japan | Arcade Flyer

Japan | Arcade Flyer

USA | Arcade Flyer

Game Intro | Artwork

Capcom | Artwork

Japan Artbook | Artwork

Japan Artbook | Artwork

Japan Artbook | Artwork

Description and Stats | Characters

Wallpaper | Official Artwork

Wallpaper | Characters with Dragon Artwork

Wallpaper | Characters with Dragon Artwork

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