Week in Arcade: D&D, Storm, Fireburst


Two $10 releases snuck out E3 week, and Capcom’s Dungeons & Dragons package hits today for $15.


Patterning its ideas from indie beauties such as Flower, this puzzler utilizes three elements to plant seeds. Wind, rain, and lightning combine to help guide seedlings to fertile soil and over obstacles, sometimes stressful, sometimes peaceful. Visuals sit behind soothing music in a game that blends reflexive elements with strategy. It’s odd and unique, which at this stage of the Xbox 360, is a boon.


When in doubt, set it on fire, or so goes the logic of Fireburst. Memories of Motorstorm come rolling in for uncertain reasons, a heft racer with dazzling displays of flaming glory. Pressing A means setting things on fire, bursting into flames to take down opposing racers. Fireburst’s heart is in the right place, but overly bust and chaotic, with constant needs for respawns thanks to aggressive AI that dims the energy pouring out. It’s fun, but the cascade of fire can only take it so far.

Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara

Released in arcades and for Japanese Saturn owners, Capcom’s dual D&D beat-em-ups have been oft neglected entries in an established Capcom genre. Running in the vein of the superlative Knights of the Round, D&D is rich and dense for an arcade game, known for their simplistic efforts to draw people into their fray. This port allows for tweaks relevant to the pen & paper game, altering the hack and slash frenzy into serious adventuring. Ugly filters aside – which can be mercifully turned off – there are few complaints to be had. At $15, this is a thievery compared to the $100+ Saturn edition.