With almost 50 years under its belt now, the realms of Dungeons & Dragons have quite the history with licensed video games, but not so much fighting games — and there might be a good reason for that.
Matt McMuscles recently released his latest episode of The Worst Fighting game taking a much closer look at the ill-fated Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft to go back and see how bad of a critical failure the game rolled for the genre.
The game began life without official connections to D&D as its own thing with Ironblood from fresh developers at Take 2 Interactive in the mid ’90s for the Panasonic 3DO M2, which was a console that never hit shelves.
If that weren’t enough of an omen to dissuade them, the project was moved to the original PlayStation and DOS where they struggled to get motion capture to work properly, but hey, they ended up getting the D&D license after all mid-way through the project.
Problem was, however, the publisher Acclaim didn’t give the team (working on their only console game they self-developed) any additional time to fully flesh out the world of Ravenloft into the 3D fighter.
As for the game itself, Iron & Blood dwells deep within the jank of PS1 3D fighters with all the awkward presentation and sound effects you could ask for except they replaced the life bars with torch flames that slowly extinguish.
For a four-button fighter (including a miscellaneous attack button), each character only sports two specials they can perform and a few target combos in matches that can take forever with Matt describing how characters have multiple “lives” on top of fighting on teams.
But those aren’t even the weirdest mechanics.
Iron & Blood seems to have the best shot in recent times at dethroning Expect No Mercy at the bottom of the fighting game barrel, but you’ll need to check out Matt McMuscles’ video below for the full breakdown and final ranking.