Review by DarkKnight114
Like the Synopsis says, the best part about this game was when it was over. I'll admit, the first Double Dragon was pretty good, and when I started playing the sequel, I was interested to see what they did with it. I soon got my answer, but it wasn't the answer I'd hoped for.
In the 1990's the world has turned into crime center after a devastating war. Marian, the hero's girlfriend is killed by these crime thugs, and Jimmy swears vengeance. Thus begins the game. The story is a little more detailed than the first one, but is still just a sea of cliche.
This game follows the same general setup as the original. You play either a one player or two-player game, and then proceed to beat up some bad guys. Sounds fun right? It could have been, only all the problems that plagued the first Double Dragon are back, only worse. You'd have better luck controlling an avalanche than trying to get these guys to do what you want them to. The controls are both sluggish and very difficult to get used to. You can punch and kick, only the buttons used to perform these actions change depending on which direction you're facing. Also, when you kick, it's always behind you rather than in front of you. I'll give Acclaim credit for trying to be creative here, but in the end, it does you more harm than good because you end up kicking when you want to punch and vise versa due to the button to direction changes. There are no real additions here that add in any way to the first, rather more or less, things taken away. There is no longer a one on one fight mode which was so much fun to play in the original. Gameplay is such a vital part of a good game, and it's too bad that this wasn't what it could have been.
The Graphics in Double Dragon II are actually not that bad. There's some lush backgrounds and cool effects such as eyes appearing in walls, waterfalls, and disappearing platforms. As good as this all looks though, a game can never really be as graphically beautiful as it could be when there's no creativity to back up all of these lush backgrounds. Again, like with the first Double Dragon, there are piles and piles of un-motivated thugs that throw punches at you. In the entire game, there are no creative looking enemies. And no matter how great the backgrounds look, a heap of uncreative enemies will always ruin it.
Ouch! Talk about a headache! Usually when I play a game, I hope to find some decent tunes among the bunch. They don't have to be classics mind you, but I do like it when they can be classified as some kind of music. Unfortunately, here, we don't have music. In the end, it's more of a splattering of bleeps and bloops. If anything, this, I thought was the most disappointing aspect of the game as background music can make a game so much better than it really is. That is the power of music. I give this a two instead of a zero because there was one tune that sounded almost musical in the eighth stage.
Replay Value: 2/10
Playing this game once is more than enough for a lifetime; however, the selection of difficulty levels may entice you to play it a second time. At least... it might.
Keeping with double dragon tradition, this game is pretty hard all around. And like the first, may have you screaming at the TV screen, but it is still beatable.
Double Dragon II would likely be put to better use as a paperweight than as a game. All of this may sound harsh, but I would be hard pressed to find anything really good about this game. If you like these kinds of games, stick with the original, it's much worthier of your time.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 10/22/01, Updated 10/22/01
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