This is a digital copy of the Wii U release, so instead here’s the original flyer for the game. (Image Source: ArcadeQuarterMaster)
Genre: Beat ‘Em Up, Role-Playing Game, Fantasy
Platform: Arcade, Sega Saturn (JP Only), Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
NA Release Date: 1993 (Sega Saturn: March 4, 1999), ( Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC: August 22, 2013)
Often even a flawed game can hold relevance when placed beside its sequel. Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom is a fun 4-player arcade game that introduces RPG mechanics into a typical sidescrolling beat 'em up. There are multiple paths, your characters level up, there’s an inventory system and you have the choice between four classes with unique traits. Yet, there's almost no reason to play it.
It’s a great game, but its sequel, Shadow over Mystara, basically does everything better. It’s flashier, has a visual polish Tower of Doom lacks, there are two more character classes and the user interface is cleaner. On its own, Tower of Doom is plenty of fun. Unfortunately, the collection I purchased presents Shadow over Mystara first. After its sequel, playing the original just feels like it’s missing that little extra something.
I pondered if this was also true with the game’s spiritual successor, Dragon’s Crown. While Dragon’s Crown is a better playing game than Shadow over Mystara, it gets bogged down with even more RPG elements. On the flip side, this adds longevity to Dragon’s Crown. But if you just wanna get right into the action, Shadow over Mystara is fun to turn on and go. In Dragon's Crown, you can spend over half an hour in town managing your gear.