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Games are rated relative to other games for the same system.

Saturn Reviews D

Grade: B-
Publisher: Acclaim (1995)
Posted: 2000/10/3
Rating: Teen

screenshotD is a bone-chilling, spine-tingling first-person adventure where you control a woman wandering around a huge mansion attempting to discover what happened to her father. This game is unique because it's played in real time, and it ends exactly after two hours after you start playing, unless you finish it, of course. You can't even pause or save your place, so make sure you have two hours free before you undertake this intense adventure.

The plodding pace made me impatient at first, but I soon got caught up in the creepy atmosphere. D is effectively frightening and has some genuinely intense moments. Chilling sound effects and ominous music are used effectively, and the first person graphics, although somewhat grainy, are good enough to immerse you in this dark world. Movement is smooth but also very SLOW - slow enough to make retracing your steps feel tedious. Fortunately the puzzles tend to be straight forward, so you won't get stuck in any room for too long.

Your character automatically moves toward vital objects, and there are no red herrings to be found. Unfortunately, by the time you get to disk 2, the slow movement and endless puzzles start to get tiresome. The replay value is gravely wounded by the fact that you can never skip the cinematics, which are often lengthy and annoying. But overall D is a spooky and worthwhile trip, at least the first time through. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.

Darius Gaiden
Grade: B+
Publisher: Acclaim (1995)
Posted: 2017/8/24
Rating: Kids to Adults

screenshotIn the evolution of shooters Darius Gaiden falls into that "sweet spot" between 2D playability and glorious 3D graphics. Like its more famous cousin Radiant Silvergun (Treasure, 1998) Gaiden strategically incorporates 3D elements to punch up its 2D action. Like all Darius titles, this is a side-scroller with a strong nautical theme. Heck, even in the space and desert stages they incorporate giant fish bosses that explode into delicious meaty chunks. Some of the backdrops look fantastic, particularly the undersea ruins and rotating space stations.

Simple controls employ one button for rapid-fire and another to detonate "black hole bombs" that suck all enemies into a vortex (sweet). Unlike modern shooters, even when there's a lot of action on the screen the game never feels overwhelming. Your firepower is potent but enemies can sustain multiple hits and certain bosses take forever to dispatch. The explosions in this game are tremendous both on a visual and sonic level. I love the relaxing music in the opening stage, which blends soft vocals into a mesmerizing beat.

Gaiden's gameplay is pretty straightforward, but it does incorporate one feature I've never seen before. Certain fish have a round orb embedded in their head. If you can dislodge and grab the orb, that fish will fight for you by your side! The first few times this happened I had no idea what the [expletive] was going on! Also cool is how you can select from branching stages ("Now rushing into zone B"), but truth be told they tend to reuse a lot of elements from earlier zones. Two people can play at the same time, which is always a welcome feature. Darius Gaiden is a fine shooter and a terrific excuse to dig that dusty joystick out of the closet. © Copyright 2017 The Video Game Critic.

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Our high score: 1,042,320
1 or 2 players 

Dark Seed (Japan)
Grade: C-
Publisher: Cyberdreams (1993)
Posted: 2008/10/22

screenshotHere's an interesting PC title that somehow migrated to the Saturn - in Japan! Fortunately this import is highly playable thanks to its simple controls and English voiceovers. Dark Seed is a point-and-click adventure - something you never see anymore. You control a digitized guy named Mike living in a mysterious old mansion who finds himself experiencing dreams both supernatural and extraterrestrial in nature.

The nightmares are rendered in gory detail via some rather unsettling cut-scenes. In one, his head is split open by aliens and a substance is injected into his brain! Mike scales nicely as moves around his house and over to a nearby town and graveyard. I find it amusing how Mike is always speaking out loud when no one's around, stating the obvious like "this road seems strangely empty, and… unoccupied." Be sure to have Mike shower and take his medicine each morning, or else he'll complain non-stop about his splitting headaches ("My head feels like it's about to explode!")

You make Mike walk by clicking an arrow, and you can toggle the cursor into a question mark (to investigate) or hand (to search). Moving it to the top of the screen displays your inventory, along with a floppy disk "save" icon. For the benefit of non-Japanese gamers, the buttons down the left side of the save screen are load, save, return to game, and exit. Sorry, I can't help you with the various text clues conveyed via books, notes, and newspaper clippings. You'll figure it out - especially if you have an FAQ on hand (wink wink).

The best part of Dark Seed is its brooding storyline, which conveys a tale of an alternate dimension clearly inspired by the movie Aliens. The atmosphere becomes pretty intense thanks to the nicely-illustrated scenery, digitized sounds, and surreal organ music. Sadly, some pretty big design flaws rain on the parade.

Many critical objects, like a hair pin or glass shard are really hard to see. You sometimes need to examine an object multiple times to expose a critical clue. There are actions you need to take early in the game (like hide items) which make no sense (until later). Even when using a walk-through, Dark Seed is difficult to finish, so I can only recommend it to determined gamers with a lot of patience. © Copyright 2008 The Video Game Critic.

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1 player 

Daytona USA
Grade: B
Publisher: Sega (1995)
Posted: 2023/12/24
Rating: Kids to Adults

screenshotAs a major Saturn launch title, Daytona USA did not compare favorably to Sony's Ridge Racer (PS1, 1995). Its graphics were chunky, its draw-in rampant, and it lacked the multiplayer action the arcade version was known for. Over time however I have developed an affection for this game. Its bright arcade graphics, simple gameplay, and upbeat soundtrack are a joy to behold.

In addition to the arcade mode, a special Saturn mode features more cars, mirrored tracks, and no elimination timer. Both modes offer three tracks: beginner, advanced, and expert. The races can be pretty long. The beginner track pits you against 40 competitors over 20 laps! Best scores and fastest laps are recorded with your initials.

The controls require a light touch. You'll want to constantly nudge the directional pad to jockey for position. When rounding tight turns it pays to apply the brake. Holding it in will slow you down, while tapping it may send you into a hard-to-control power slide. The Sega Driving controller works remarkably well with this game. Pit stops are available but I never felt the need to take one.

The cheery graphics incorporate sailboats, windmills, and majestic drawbridges. Unfortunately the draw-in makes it hard to see things in the distance, for example the road. Likewise the manner in which the scenery pops up is pretty severe. Interesting sights include a Space Shuttle sitting on a launch pad, but it appears so late you'll probably miss it. Harder to miss is a big statue of some lumberjack guy named "Jeffry".

Your wingman is pretty entertaining, shouting stuff like "take it easy on the car" and "you can take 'em!" But my favorite part of the game is the jubilant soundtrack. That Japanese singer can really belt out a tune, but hearing him try to sing the English lyrics is unintentionally hilarious. "I vanna fly-y-y sky high... let's go-o-o-o togethaaa..." I often find myself singing this in the shower. This guy can also make a catchy tune out of any three words. "Roll-ing staaaaaaart...!" "Game over yeaaaaaaah!"

Apparently Sega got the message this game wasn't quite up to snuff, releasing a Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition (Sega, 1996) just one year later. That said, Daytona USA has an enduring charm. This game has personality, with flaws and quirks that just make it all the more endearing. © Copyright 2023 The Video Game Critic.

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1 player 

Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition
Grade: A
Publisher: Sega (1996)
Posted: 2023/12/24
Rating: Kids to Adults

screenshotThe original Daytona USA (Sega, 1995) was a little rough and hence met with a lukewarm reception. Much like they had to do with Virtua Fighter (Sega, 1995), Sega was forced to go into damage control mode. The good news is, this Championship Circuit Edition is so good it should smooth over any hard feelings.

The new menu screens look slick and polished. Five sunny tracks await you, including two brand new entries. One is a desert track with hot air balloons and a running train. But my favorite is the track with the operating amusement park! I can just sit on the side of the road and watch that rollercoaster go around all day long. The draw-in is much less pronounced in this edition. Yes, chunks of scenery still pop-up on the horizon, but at least you can always see the road ahead. The sense of speed is better in this game.

Eight cars are available with varying characteristics. The controls feel good. Hitting the brake in the original Daytona often sent you into an uncontrollable fishtail, but it's far more forgiving here. In general the game is a lot easier. In the first game it was really hard to crack the top ten, much less win a race. Here I regularly rank in the top five.

I really appreciate how there are so many fewer laps in each race. In the original game the beginner track was 20 laps, but now it's a more manageable eight. One thing unchanged from the first game is how taking a pit stop is the worst mistake you can make, pretty much guaranteeing your defeat.

The new time attack mode lets you have the whole track to yourself, but more notable is the two-player split-screen. It's pretty good! I'd say the draw-in is comparable to that of the original Daytona USA, so it's noticeable but not awful. I do find it hilarious how the trailing player gets "LOSER" plastered across his screen - how humiliating is that?

I enjoyed the soundtrack, even though the opening tune sounds like a parody of every 80's hair band. The in-game music offers excellent remixed tunes from the original Daytona game, but minus the vocals. As much as I enjoy these smooth electronic grooves, I really miss that unhinged lounge singer. Overall however I'd say Daytona USA Championship Circuit is everything the first game should have been and more. © Copyright 2023 The Video Game Critic.

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1 or 2 players 

Grade: C
Publisher: Sega (1995)
Posted: 2007/4/19
Rating: Kids to Adults

screenshotDespite a title screen that depicts a woman engulfed in flames, Decathlete really isn't painful to play. Like so many other Olympic-style games, it is fast-paced, easy-to-learn, and unintentionally hilarious. But why in the world is Decathlete limited to just two players? At the very least, some kind of multi-tap should have been supported (if not included). Each event is introduced with a quick tutorial, although this feature is inexplicably omitted for the first event, the 100-meter dash.

The contests are fun but uneven in terms of difficulty. The shot-put requires only a single, well-timed button press, but the pole vaulting is so complicated I couldn't figure it out. The controls in the javelin event are erratic, causing you to become "stuck" in mid-throw. The character models look awful, with angular bodies that do absolutely no justice to the curves of the female athletes. The guys appear to be wearing thongs, and that's never a pretty sight. The stadiums aren't much to look at, but the soaring skyscrapers and desert mesas looming in the background look great.

Although Sega Sport's slogan in 1995 was "We Sweat the Details", you'd never know from all the rough edges, including laughable text ("Let's Go Next Game!") and irritating audio glitches (especially during the 1500 meter dash). I do like how it automatically saves world records and high scores though, and it's pretty easy to get "on the board". Despite its faults, Decathlete is still amusing to play against a friend. Sega would release a much improved sequel for the Dreamcast called Virtua Athlete. © Copyright 2007 The Video Game Critic.

1 or 2 players 

Detana Twinbee Yahho Deluxe (Japan)
Grade: B-
Publisher: Konami (1995)
Posted: 2011/10/20

screenshotI didn't have high hopes for Detana Twinbee ("Here Comes Twinbee"), but the more I played it the more I enjoyed this light, whimsical shooter. Twinbee hails from the Parodius Team which has a reputation for making wacked-out shooters. You'll soar over colorful Candy Land worlds while shooting floating pigs, rubber duckies, rainbow-colored cats, kamikaze silverware, dancing flowers, and other random targets. As in Xevious you can shoot foes in the air while bombing targets on the land below. There's a wealth of special weapons including 4-way shots, homing missiles, a flamethrower, and a big red boxing glove.

The graphical style is anime to-the-max, with melodramatic cut-scenes and vibrant stages alive with activity. This is one of the prettiest shooters I've seen, but it can be hard to discern targets from other animated objects. Shooting clouds release falling bells, and shooting these bells changes their colors while pushing them up the screen. Grabbing the bells gives you power-ups and bonus points, but they're such a pain in the ass! You're always inadvertently shooting them when you want to snatch them up! Bombing enemies on the ground reveals fruit you can collect, giving the game an old-school charm.

The two-button controls are simple (shoot and bomb) although sometimes the bomb button doesn't seem to work for some reason. Slowdown does rear its ugly head at times, even in the single-player mode. Twinbee's audio features a wonderfully catchy theme song that I would almost certainly sing along to if I knew Japanese. The level of challenge is relatively low, which is good since I can't read the instruction manual. I do appreciate how the message "Thank you for playing this game" appears at the end. How thoughtful! Twinbee is lightweight, quirky, and mildly annoying, but it's so damn cheerful that it's almost impossible to dislike. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.

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Our high score: 1,258,930
1 or 2 players 

Die Hard Arcade
Grade: B

box cover True to its name, this 3D brawler delivers relentless, hard-hitting arcade action. Playing the role of John McClane, you're out to rescue hostages held by terrorists in a tall office building. Would you believe one of them happens to be the president's daughter? What are the odds? Well, considering it's a video game, I'd say better than average!

Die Hard Arcade's graphics are chunky 3D but its gameplay is more 2D in nature. You can only engage foes on the same horizontal plane (a la Streets of Rage), making it easier to "line up" with them. The Virtua Cop-style visuals are nicely animated with literally dozens of fighting moves. You can tackle a guy and pummel him on the ground. You can smack a hooker around with a mop. You can use a lighter and spray can to create a makeshift flamethrower.

Between stages are "quick time" events that prompt you to execute a well-timed punch or kick while on the run. It feels great to sucker punch that guy walking down the hall! Oh wait - I think that was Bill the intern! Also, jumping-kicking that lady just as she was stepping off the subway train may have been a tad excessive. My bad!

Unlike so many other games of this style, Die Hard Arcade doesn't make the mistake of throwing an endless barrage of baddies at you. Once you clear out a handful of enemies, you're quickly whisked off to the next confined area. The game has an oddball sense of humor. In the hilarious bathroom stage there's a guy doing his business in a urinal, a dude running around in jockey shorts, and everybody is slipping on loose rolls of toilet paper.

The game also lets you fight co-op with a friend, assuming the role of a blonde chick. I certainly don't remember her from the movie! Die Hard's pacing is brisk. The load screens are frequent but they are relatively quick. Resist the urge to crank up the "violence" on the options menu, as it just adds chunky "blood".

A bonus game called Deep Scan is included on the main menu. This slow, 1979 mine-dropping arcade title seems out of place until you realize you can use it to earn credits for Die Hard Arcade. That's good because you won't make it too far with the default four credits. I needed 19 to beat the game.

Die Hard Arcade's slick animation and appealing graphics keep you coming back for more. It also boasts some amazing digitized night skylines. Too bad Fox couldn't afford to license Bruce Willis' likeness for the cover, instead opting for an image of some sweaty alcoholic in a wife-beater. There's no score, but after beating the game your time and number of continues is displayed. Short but sweet, Die Hard Arcade is great fun while it lasts. Note: In Japan this game was known as Dynamite Deka. © Copyright 2023 The Video Game Critic.

1 or 2 players 

Dodonpachi (Japan)
Grade: B-
Publisher: Atlus (1997)
Posted: 2009/5/2

screenshotThis game's predecessor, Donpachi (Atlus, 1996), walked a fine line with its vertical scrolling mayhem. Dodonpachi, on the other hand, gleefully hurls itself over the edge, plummeting into the abyss of shooter insanity. Too much is too much, and this series has passed the point of diminishing returns. Dodonpachi is one of those "manic" shooters where everything on the screen has way too much pent-up hostility!

The destruction quotient is astounding, and destroyed objects leave gold stars in their wake - which I happen to find irresistible! Your ship wields a beam of destruction that cleanly wipes away waves of tanks, aircraft, and cannons. You'll soar over rocky gorges and high-tech landscapes, but there's not a whole lot to see. Like its predecessor, the well-designed controls are comfortable and leave some room for strategy. You get plenty of bombs, so don't hesitate to use them as a defensive measure.

Enemies tend to bombard you with waves of missiles, but if you hang back, you can usually find a seam to slip through. The forgiving collision detection helps too. The action is nicely paced, but the visuals are a little rough. The screen is vertically cropped, although your bomb supply fills some of that black space. The scenery tends to be bland and indistinct, and the explosions are very pixelated.

The voice samples are clear enough, and are provided by a female speaking English. You have the option to play alongside a friend, but with firepower this overwhelming, the two-player mode is unmanageable. Dodonpachi doesn't seem fair, but it's not the player who's overmatched - it's your enemies! Once you build up to maximum firepower, your fury practically consumes the entire display, making it impossible for most of your foes to even enter the screen! And is it really any fun when you're just mindlessly annihilating everything in sight while collecting stars that fall into your lap? Well yeah, it is. © Copyright 2009 The Video Game Critic.

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Our high score: 1,182,390
1 or 2 players 

Donpachi (Japan)
Grade: B+
Publisher: Atlus (1996)
Posted: 2009/5/2

screenshotThis vertical shooter pushes the limits in terms of firepower and on-screen activity. But while Donpachi teeters on the edge of sensory madness, it never crosses the line. The action gets pretty intense, but you never feel overwhelmed. You select from three fighter ships with slightly different weapon characteristics. The background scenery offers traditional locations like a forest-entrenched base and a naval port. The snow stage provides a nice change of pace, and in certain areas you can see tiny people scampering along the ground.

You enemies generally consist of jets, boats, and helicopters of all shapes and sizes. Bosses are huge mechanical beasts with multiple armaments that can be destroyed one by one. Donpachi's explosions are exceptional. In addition to the typical "clouds of fire", some bosses feature flames that shoot out from their sides. Your firepower is devastating, but you'll want to crank up the difficulty (to normal at the very least) if you want a legitimate challenge. In the easier difficulties, power-ups are far too abundant and the "MP" icon (maximum power) is just plain cheap.

Holding the A button unleashes a steady, concentrated beam, but your ship moves slowly. The C button sprays missiles, but your ship is more agile. It's a neat trade-off that provides a layer of strategy. You also have a load of bombs which come in handy for neutralizing a barrage of incoming missiles. Larger enemies expel projectiles by the dozens, but the missiles are well defined and tend to move slowly. Donpachi suffers from some slow-down (especially with two players), but if anything, you'll welcome it!

One thing I found very interesting is how despite being a Japanese import, the voice synthesis is entirely in English! "Enemy port dead ahead. Fire at will kid!" The quality of the voice samples is pretty awful though. Accompanied by unpleasant static, they sound like something you'd hear in a Genesis game. In addition to the arcade mode (with unlimited continues), there's a nice "score attack mode" that lets you play individual stages for high score. Donpachi is one of those rare shooters that strikes a fine balance between reason and chaos, and I like that. © Copyright 2009 The Video Game Critic.

Our high score: 1,039,161
1 or 2 players 

Grade: D
Publisher: Id Software (1996)
Posted: 2012/1/25
Rating: Mature 17+

screenshotDoom is a classic first-person shooter that originated on the PC but later appeared on many consoles in the mid-90's. This Saturn edition is seriously weak, especially compared to its Playstation cousin. The graphics look washed out and the sound effects lack punch. Why in the heck does it sound like I'm taking damage when I walk down steps? What really hurts the game however is the lousy frame-rate. After a few levels the slow, jerky visuals can give you a massive headache. And when the frame-rate slows, the controls become sluggish and inexact. Even opening a door looks choppy. The back of the box claims the game is "deathmatch-ready with two-player link capabilities" but as far as I can tell that is completely false. As is often the case, Saturn owners got the short end of the stick. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
Save mechanism: Password
1 player 

Double Switch
Grade: C+
Publisher: Sega (1993)
Posted: 2020/12/21

screenshotDouble Switch was produced by Tom Zito, the man who introduced full-motion video (FMV) gaming to the world. His first game, Night Trap (Sega CD, 1992), achieved notoriety with a bunch of bubbly girls being stalked by vampires at a slumber party. Double Switch is a little more sophisticated, calling upon the talents of 80's icons Corey Haim and Deborah Harry. The gameplay is similar to Night Trap but instead of a house you're spying on a highrise apartment crawling with all sorts of unsavory characters.

Once you begin, your guide in the basement (Corey Haim) asks you to investigate a disturbance. You switch between cameras to isolate bad actors and use inordinately complicated controls to subdue them. You'll need to hit a button three times simply to arm a trap, springing it with a well-timed fourth tap. Let too many crooks get away and an annoyed Corey Haim will pull the plug on your game. Compared to the awkward and unsightly Sega CD version, this Double Switch is a pleasure to play.

The six buttons map perfectly to arm/disarm three traps in each room. The interface is elegantly designed so the video consumes the entire screen, with the controls and indicators overlaid along the edge. You'll enjoy some fine tongue-in-cheek acting performances and witness a few surprise plot twists. Still, I wish the video quality was a little clearer. Thomas Dolby provides a fine musical score but some of the sound effects can be grating.

Sega once again dropped the ball with super-lame cover art showing Corey peering through a small keyhole. Double Switch is not for the weak of heart, requiring a serious time investment just to figure out what's going on. Progress comes slowly but the game does record high scores at least. If you enjoyed Night Trap you'll no doubt find this to be a worthwhile piece of 90's memorabilia. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.

1 player 

Dragon Heart
Grade: D-
Publisher: Acclaim (1996)
Posted: 2005/2/13
Rating: Teen (animated violence, blood, and gore)

screenshotI see this all the time - a game with crazy potential ruined by an outrageous difficulty level. A digitized 2D side-scroller, Dragon Heart features sharp digitized sprites, decent control, and well-designed stages with gorgeous scenery. The gameplay is old school at heart, consisting of jumping action interspersed with a series of one-on-one battles. The game's production values are beyond reproach, with fantastic backdrops and characters decked out in convincing medieval gear.

The well-rendered scenery includes a mysterious forest, a rocky mountainside, a well-fortified castle, and a courtyard filled with impaled bodies. There's no shortage of gore as most enemies burst into fountains of blood when defeated. As the title implies, you'll face several dragons on your quest. Defeating a dragon earns you its respect, allowing you to summon it when you need a hand. Calling on a dragon (using the L button) initiates an impressive sequence where it flies in from the distance and proceeds to incinerate all enemies on the screen. Some stages let you "ride" dragons from a first-person perspective, but these FMV (full motion video) sequences feature minimal control and are mainly just eye candy.

Dragon Heart's stages are relatively short and you can purchase supplies between them. Unfortunately, the difficulty level is far beyond what most gamers are willing to tolerate. Each enemy requires an inordinate number of hits to defeat, and your "endurance meter" drains with each swing of your sword. Trust me, nothing ruins a game like an endurance meter. To retain your stamina, you must play extremely conservatively, slashing only occasionally and blocking constantly. As an unfortunate side effect, the battles tend to go on forever and are often reduced to both warriors hunched down, slashing at each other's ankles. It's unintentionally comical.

When you die, you're forced to exit to the main menu and reload, which is aggravating. After failing to make substantial progress the old-fashioned way, I resorted to my Gameshark cheat cartridge, which I used to equip my character with maximum armor and sword strength. This allowed me to play the game more like a traditional hack-and-slash, and it was far more fun, and allowed me to reach stages I would have never seen otherwise. Dragon Heart really does have a lot to offer, but most gamers will never know. © Copyright 2005 The Video Game Critic.

1 player 

Dungeons and Dragons Collection (Japan)
Grade: B
Publisher: Capcom (1999)
Posted: 2004/8/4

screenshotIn the mid-90's I would drool over screenshots of Dungeons and Dragons Tower of Doom in the preview section of my favorite video game magazine. Unfortunately, that game never made it to the USA, and over the years I completely forgot about it. Then recently I discovered that the game was available as a Japanese import under the name of Dungeons and Dragons Collection. D&D Collection is a two-disk set that includes both Tower of Doom and its sequel, Shadow Over Mystara. It doesn't come cheap though, costing up to $100 (or more) on Ebay.

It's important to note that these games will not play on an American Saturn console without a special device. A Saturn Game Shark is all that's required to play Tower of Doom, but the second game requires a 4MB memory extension, which I found in the Action Replay 4M Plus cartridge. Is D&D Collection worth the investment? It's hard to say.

Tower of Doom's sprite graphics are stunning, with huge monsters pulled straight from the D&D Monster Manual, including kobolds, troglodytes, ghouls, scorpions, ogres, and hell hounds. And just wait until you see that huge dragon! You can be a fighter, cleric, elf, or dwarf, and each has his/her own unique style of play. Lavishly illustrated scenery ranges from forests to caves to ghost ships. Best of all, the stages branch, providing more replay value than your typical side-scroller. An elegant orchestrated soundtrack complements the fine visuals.

The action itself is basically hack-n-slash, but depending on your character class you may also have projectile attacks or spells. Responsive controls let you defend, jump, slide, crouch, and dash. The battles are fine, but the animation is somewhat rough, and it can be hard to tell what's going on at times. It's fun to encounter new monsters, but when they start making return appearances later in the game, the action starts to wear a little thin. I enjoyed some of the fine graphical details, like how arrows break in half when they are blocked, or how a troll will dance around if you set it on fire.

Tower of Doom's sequel, Shadow Over Mystara, further develops the same basic formula with extra characters (including a magic user and thief), a streamlined magic selection system, additional moves, and the ability to change characters when you continue. While most critics consider Mystaria to be much better, I found it to be somewhat boss-heavy. Some of the creatures have outrageous life bars and take forever to defeat.

There's quite a bit of Japanese dialogue in these games, so much that it inspired me to want to learn Japanese. Both games also feature an excessive number of load screens, and the unlimited continues remove most of the drama and suspense. D&D Collection is one of those odd games where its sum is less than its parts. I'm happy to have it in my game library, but to be honest it's not as fun to play as it looks. Still, if you're into 2D medieval combat games like Golden Axe (Genesis), you'll appreciate D&D Collection for what it is. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.

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1 or 2 players 

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