Chronicles Of Those Games That Ate All My Quarters

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I recently downloaded the compilation Chronicles of Mystara on PlayStation Network in an attempt to get some serious nostalgic side-scrolling going on. It totally worked. I had to bust out the trusty arcade stick so I could the feel exactly right and proceeded to hack, slash, and boom my way through dark wizard's towers, across orc-infested forests, and everywhere else the game could take me.

I couldn't help but notice that both the graphics and the game-play have been polished up a bit since the last time I played this game at the video arcade in Anchorage, Alaska some 15 years ago, and that was sweet. The fact that a single play-through of the game didn't cost me more than the $15 I paid to download it was pretty sweet too, since I'm positive that the last time I beat it I burned through about three rolls of quarters.

I've talked in other posts about how the Dungeons & Dragons brand, once the unrivaled lord of pencil and paper RPGs, has been steadily losing ground to the inheritors of their hallowed traditions, most noticeably the Washington based company that purchased the OGL for the 3.5 version of D&D, Paizo.  Chronicles of Mystara reminded me that in the RPG world, there are still a few places where the D&D brand is strong. With releases of classics like the Mystara series, and promising new projects like Cryptic Studio's Neverwinter , D&D still manages to be a pervading presence throughout the digital world of RPG enthusiasts. And that's totally okay by me.

While new businesses may come in and steal my immediate attention with their shiny new toys, or coax me away from Wizard's less perfectly executed experiments, the brand just carries with it this weight of nostalgia and loving childhood memories that other brands just can't compete with.