Review by Kanmeros
"Welcome back to the world of AD&D!"
Dragons, Goblins, and Chimeras, oh my!
Shadow over Mystara amped-up everything from Tower of Doom, and fixed the little errors that kept me from enjoying the game to its fullest. That and it covered it up with a nice storyline that almost resembled the first game, but with a lot more fun added to it.
Capcom made this sequel a lot more fun to play, and it became a great classic among multi-player arcade games of its time.
It's sad that this seemed to be the last game on the series, I would like to see what else Capcom could've gotten away with it should it decided to create another sequel.
Gameplay - 9
As with Tower of Doom, gameplay is a bit difficult in terms of choosing from submenus to use a certain item, but it has been worked on a lot with better control, a new menu, and more characters to choose from. Capcom has also done a superb job in creating ''forks'' in the road for players to play by in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. More treasures and secret items have been hidden, and it's a blast to hunt for these everytime you comeback to play the game.
Main characters now have a variety of special moves that make it easier to clear enemies from the screen, and even have their own ''super'' that is reminiscent of the likes of Final Fight to push foes away. Also, little features like handing two swords at the same time (Fighter), and using unlimited arrows (Elf), do a wonderful job to keep characters unique in their own respective way.
Difficulty has been toned down a bit, making it easier to get by at least for a couple of stages. You still have one measly life, but now you have the goods to keep yourself alive and to give hell to all the pestering Goblins that swarm you with their great numbers.
Another fun factor is the addition of Thief and Magic User classes, while they lack the punch of the rest, they make up for finding traps in chests, cast killer spells, and aid you in balancing your party.
Yet the fun doesn't stop there, say you and your buddies go to the arcade and decided that you have the same favorite character? No problem, Shadow over Mystara allows you to pick two of the same class with an alternative uniform to enjoy the ride.
Story - 7
Three years after the events of Tower of Doom, our heroes travel into the region of Mystara by crossing the Broken Lands. As they encounter the first village under attack, they man their weapons and charge against evil with a valiant warcry. This time, a Sorceress plans to awake a great evil to rule the world. Once again, our heroes must make use of their abilities and teamwork to survive incredible odds against darkness.
Graphics/Sound - 10
Cell-shaded sprites and rendered backgrounds are crisp, beautiful, and eye-catching. Everything is detailed; there is not a single instance where you won't find yourself displeased whenever you march down to a new section of the adventure.
Music is so-so, however, but it won’t distract you from gameplay, and it blends quite well with varied situations. As usual, Capcom's Q sound chip did a great job on it.
The characters' voices are well done, you find yourself imitating their war cry everytime they get up from their predicament or whenever you win a battle.
Play Time/Replayability - 10
You will find yourself playing for hours, and then come back for more. Shadow over Mystara has a ton of secrets and paths to choose from, as well as many classes to make a new game worthwhile. There is never a dull moment whenever you come back to pop in a couple (thousand) quarters into the game.
Final Recommendation - 10
If I could give it a 20, I would. This game it's just too good for its own good, and it makes AD&D a lot fun to play than using a gameboard. Can't go wrong with two of the same class knocking little green midgets around like soccer balls. You will be very lucky if you find this masterpiece at your local arcade.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/24/04
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