Review by Godai-Kun
"What went wrong? Everything"
ABSTRACT:The original Double Dragon was one of the best Arcade games of all times. Double Dragon II: The Revenge was mostly a rehash of the original, but a fine game on it's own. in 1990, about a year after Capcom released Final Fight. Most of the staff that worked on DD1&2 (including musician Kazunaka Yamane) were developing a beat-em-up called The Combatribes, so Technos had to relied on a mostly young staff for DD3. However, instead of trying to retain the spirit of the original, they took everything that made the first game grear and flushed it down the toilet.
STORYLINE: There is a bit more of a storyline in DD3. Billy and Jimmy goes on a journey to improve their martial arts. On the way home two years later, they meet an old fortune teller named Hiruko, who tells about the Dragons about three legendary Rosetta Stones that will reveal it's mystery once all of them are gathered in a pyramid in Egypt. The Dragons decides to help Hiruko, since they see the whole thing as way to teat their strenght. However, the Dragons are unaware of Hiruko's true intentions.
GAMEPLAY: DD3 takes away the Left/Right Attack scheme from DD2 and returns to the baisc Punch/Kick control method of DD1. There five missions in all: America, China, Japan, Italy and Egypt. Each level has a bunch of stereotypical enemies to represent it's contries. Punks and Bikers for Mission 1 (who are members of a gang called the Neo Black Warriors), Kung-Fu fighters for Mission 2, Swordsmen in Mission 3, Archers in Mission 4 and Golems and Mokujins in Mission 5. Each level also has it's boss, Jim (Willy's younger brother) for Mission 1, Li (a Kung-Fu master) in Mission 2, Yagyu Ranzou (a ninja) in Mission 3, Julianno (a gladiator) in Mission 4 and a series of bosses in Mission 5 that includes Hiruko, a Mummy and Cleopatra.
Each levels also has a shop which allows you purchase Extra Men, Power, Moves, Energy and Weapons by inserting additional tokens.
THE GOOD: DD3 is the only game in the series that allows up to three-players at once, which is not a bad thing. The music isn't half bad either, but not as good as Kazunaka Yamane's music.
THE BAD: The game itself is what's wrong. The well 2D graphics of DD1 is replaced by badly-drawn character designs. The variety of enemies like Linda and Jeff were replaced by an army of palette-swapped clones of the same two generic guy for each level. Weapons were no longer taken from enemies, but they had to be bought by inserting tokens and the two weapons (a nunchaku and a ninjatou) in the game aren't very useful. The long and interactive arenas of DD1&2 were replaced by flat stages that only last a screen or three. And some of the special moves from DD1 were removed and the ones like the Cyclone Kick and the Air Throw has to be bought as well. Just about everything in this game is a mess.
The Back-Up fighters that you can buy in the game aren't as strong as your character and you have to kill your character in order to play as them instead of swiching to them anytime, making them useless. For example, in Mission 1, you can hired a pro-wrestler called Ronny, but he is very slow, doesn't have many moves and serves as an easy target for your enemies.
The difficulty is unbalanced. The regular enemies themselves are weaklings, since most of them falls easily for your kicks. The first two bosses, Jim and Li aren't that tough, but everyone after is cheap, especially the end-boss Cleopatra, who can fly around the room very fast, shoots fireballs and has the ability to leviate your character magically.
The shop-system was nothing more than a way for Technos to earn more money.
VERDICT: DD3 is a mockery of the first game. Bad graphics, bad gameplay, choppy animation and a money-grabbing shop-system makes this for one of the worst sequel in history. All the home versions (except the awesome NES version, which is nothing like the Arcade version) are less than Arcade perfect, making them worse than this mess. Play the original, play part 2, play the NES version, play RODD, play Final Fight, play Combatribes, play anything, but abvoid this game like the plague. The only Double Dragon game worse than this is Tradewest's Double Drafon 'V'.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 08/03/00, Updated 08/03/00
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