Happy Monday folks, and back again with a CLASSIC game review. If you haven’t played this one, shame on you!
Double Dragon on the Arcade!
Ladies and Gentlemen boys and girls, children of all ages, The Retro Review is proud to present to you, one of the best beat em’ ups in the wooooooooorld! – Double Dragon!
Oh yes! the side scrolling beat em’ up that paved the way for future games such as Final Fight and Streets of Rage and the many more that followed. This game oozes class from start to finish, including that all important 2 player co-op mode which sees you and a friend battle to rescue girlfriend Marian, upon which point the Co-Op ends and you have to kick the shamrocks out of each other to determine who wins Marian’s heart ( the lady doesn’t seem to get a choice on the matter ). When you first start the game you are presented with a short introductory to the big boss, who strolls in and punches Marian in the stomach, then slings her over his shoulder and carries her away to his lair. This is where you come into the game and start your path of destruction. The controls are very easy to get to grips with…up, down, left and right for movement and Punch, kick, jump for basic attack moves. Other moves can be executed as well, which include a grapple with a knee to their face and a throw over the shoulder move too. This simple control method works very effectively throughout the game. Some bad guys carry weapons such as whips, baseball bats, crates, knives and more, where upon disarming them you can wield these for your self to use against the oncoming badsters. Enemy characters come in a variety of flavours and difficulty across the stages of the game, and the learning curve is pretty good too, allowing you to gain access to the game mechanics before throwing the heavy hitters at you. The side scrolling is very effective, and will stop when the designated amount of bad guys for that part of the mission has been reached, prompting you to move along once they are defeated by a hand prompt. Bad guys can literally come from anywhere, including smashing through walls! I like that touch as you never know where the danger may come from next. I think if I have one criticism really it’s that the game can slow down with bigger sprites or multiple characters on screen at once, but it’s such a small niggle I am going to ignore it. This game is a staple part of the beat em’ up genre and really where it began life for the others, Double Dragon itself is the successor to Techmo’s earlier game, Renegade.
Graphics:- Nicely drawn sprites and animation is very smooth too, the punching and grapples are particularly fluid. Backgrounds to the scenario’s are well detailed and drawn, and include hints to who you may be facing in the coming screens, all detailed on wanted posters on the walls. Really good effort made on this.
Sound:- With a belting sound track that just gets you pumped up for the big finale with the boss, this games atmospherics are awesome. The in-game sound has a real subtle impact as well, from punch connects to knocked out sounds, it’s all there and there’s a sound effect for practically everything you can do, this is not a lazy game when it comes to sound, and I applaud that!
Overall:- If you have never played Double Dragon, then I implore you to get hold of this game and give it a whirl, great fun and double fun with a friend to go beat the heck out of a bunch of hoodlums on a wet or cold day! – This is a staple part of any Retro fan’s diet, so go get some! – Get it, play it, love it!