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Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom (Arcade) artwork

Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom (Arcade) review

"Don't be duped. "

Don't be duped.

The 'net and its brood would have you believe Heroes of the Lance was the worst D&D game ever made. They think its stellar blend of unmanagable controls and inexplicable death meld for the greatest smiting the mighty D&D universe has ever seen.

But they haven't played Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom, the single most strained, liberal, and inaccurate D&D game ever. Feel my wrath, Capcom, for I have an axe to grind. On your butt.

Let's start: you choose from an elf, a fighter, a cleric, or a dwarf. Now, last time I checked my core rules book, the fighter's hair was not platinum blond like this guy's. The elf's tunic is all wrong and I swear the dwarf bears the symbol of Bal'tah Neth, something he'd never wear at the start of a campaign. I'd say I'm digressing, but this bloody river runs deeper.

When you start a quest, your warrior is not assigned attributes such as charisma, luck, strength, stamina, durability, dexterity, skill, endurance, charm, wit, tenacity, resourcefulness, courage, honor, and alignment. Instead, all you get is a stupid health bar and a sack for your money. I reiterate: you roll no dice nor assign any attributes. Please bear with me and read on.

Your first level in this game has you fighting typical Kobolds and Gnolls (except way to make the Gnolls so short), trying to gain a little experience and money. Except the experience system is all jacked up; you get experience for every shilling and trinket you collect as well as the monsters you have laid slayance to. This means it's as rewarding to pick up a sixpence from the earth as it is to annihilate a band of Owl Bears. Some balance.

Don't even bother playing the cleric. They omitted so many of his spells and abilities I almost threw my Mountain Dew at the coin-op machine. Where is the Fountain of Threll? Elevate Mind? Erude Sal'tok? All he gets is some crappy ''Turning Undead'' and some ''Sick to Snakes?'' Even D&D posers know more spells than that without looking at the AD&D Spell Book.

And the boss encounters are pretty damned underwhelming. I know you'd expect to come up to a boss, exchange some dialect, and start rolling all sorts of dice and relying on various stats and luck to determine the outcome. But you know what really happens? You just start freakin' fighting! WHAT THE HELL? The foundation of D&D is based on assigning statistical data to immeasurable attributes! Shouldn't Capcom be sued for something like this?

I really hope I've saved you from wasting your quarters on this game. We all know how tight a fellow quester's purse strings can get, so I am doing my part by warning you. This game is worse than a Magic deck with no Valiant Orc (I didn't want to say that but it's that bad).

sinner's avatar
Community review by sinner (April 25, 2004)

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