Review by liltony

"A Tragic Fall From Grace..."

Ok. I admit. I'm very fond of this series. It could be many things. Maybe it's the Abobo desktop on my pc. My many attempts on EBAY for the machine itself. Or perhaps, it's my copy of Double Dragon 2 for the mega drive that I paid $111 dollars for. Did I mention I don't even HAVE a mega drive? Don't worry, my fondness for this series won't hinder my judgement torwards this game. You saw the score. Now, for those who DON'T know:

Double Dragon was one of the VERY FIRST side scrolling beat em ups to hit the arcades. It came about in the late eighties. I wanna say 87,maybe? Anyways, when it hit, there was nothing like it. Everyone flocked to the machine as if it had the answers to life. It was a site to behold. Little did they know, Technos of Japan had just paved the way to arcade greatness, which would lead to such gems as Final Fight, TMNT, X-MEN, and even Golden Axe. This would also spawn craptacular ME-TOO's, such as Combatribes and Bad Dudes. Undisputedly, everyone looks at the classic Double Dragon as the starting point.

The Genesis version of Double Dragon was ported over a considerabley long time after it's initial arcade debut. In '92, Double Dragon finally came home on the Genesis! (Albiet, without the official sega SEAL of approval-thanks BALLISTIC!)The story is simple. You are one of the DOUBLE DRAGONS. Billy or Jimmy Lee. A gang of thugs has kidnapped your sweetie. You must rescue her at all costs. Simple, right?

The first thing you'll notice are the graphics. The graphics are as close to the arcade as any port previously released. Abobo is well proportioned this time around,(take that, Nintendo!) the background graphics are spot on, save for minor (and I do mean MINOR) differences. If you aren't the hardest of harcore DD fan, you won't even notice the changes. Some of the animations are missing as well, but that's no biggie. The sprites on the characters are big and colorful, yet not as sharp as they were in the arcade. Nonetheless, this is pretty darn close.

All of the infamous tunes from the arcade are faithfully reproduced. They will engrave themselves into your head. You will have nightmares about them. It's a given. Unfortunately, you will also have nightmares about the voices and sound effects. The sound effects leave alot to be desired. Clunks, plinks, and blotches, (yes, the same blotches from Golden Axe!) round out the effects for most everything that happens in the game, whether you are jumping, or swinging a bat. Purists will also notice the dying grunts and abobo yells are left out altogether, replaced with, you guessed it, blotches!. How DARE they?! Abobo Smash!

Gameplay, gameplay, gameplay.... where were YOU?! You have forsaken the almighty Double Dragon! The gameplay is as simple as the story. You get a punch, jump and kick button. Somehow, it's not enough. The enemy A.I. is unpractical. Following your every step as if it were reading your mind. You ''skate'' around the environments at breakneck speeds, often getting clipped before you knew what hit you. Sometimes, punches and kicks go through the enemies, or don't even work AT ALL. That's right, AT ALL. Jam on the button all you want, for some reason, Billy Or Jimmy just won't punch. I guess you could compensate for this by picking up one of the five weapons lying around during gameplay. BaseBall Bats, Whips, Knives, Oil Drums, and Boulders. There is also dynamite, yet I was never quick enough to grab it to see if I actually could. Good luck on that one. Once you pick up one weapon, the game will not allow you to pick up another. Ugh....I have a headache.

This game is ultra challenging. Not only due to the shoddy control and evil A.I., but the game only gives you two lives, and 1 continue. This can be adjusted in options, but any game that allows for you to adjust the lives from 2 to 6 should tell you something. Replay value is NILL, since the game only lasts about 20 minutes, tops. Better yet, grab a friend, since this game is two player. Share the pain! It's alot more fun pummeling your friend while he fends off three baddies at once. Abobo Smash!

If you are a collector, or an abobo head, then I suggest picking this up. After all, it's the closest DD port made. To those of you who aren't, it doesn't necessarily mean it's fun, either. Stick with Streets of Rage, or better yet FINAL FIGHT Sega CD. My verdict is in, and unfortunately, it's final. I give this game a 4.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 02/27/03, Updated 02/27/03


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