Review by Spektre

"A promising sequel that delivers better gameplay and variety."

Double Dragon II is a much better game than its predeccesor. The game sports a much better fighting system, prettier graphics, more stages, and a multiplayer story mode (I believe that the fighting mode has disappeared into the fray...) The two-player co-op mode allows you to fight your way through the city in order to destroy the ever-living Shadow gang. Billy and Jimmy Lee are back and fighting for the revenge of Billy's girlfriend, Marian, who was murdered by the Shadow gang after Billy freed her from their grasp in the original. This game became much wider known than the original, and kept that record throughout the series, beating out the forgotten Super Double Dragon and Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stone. How does this game contend? Why did Jimmy switch sides? Is Marian just a NYC corner solicitor-style Princess Toadstool? ONTO THE REVIEW!!!

GRAPHICS: Much better and smoother graphics are presented in the sequel. Much more detail was put into the game than the original, and added new and spectacular looking stages and enemies. Actually, most of the enemies are strangely unique-looking! Weapons are back, and using them to bash foes looks quite ticklish. (It's a joke, duh.) The animation flows much better in this game, and you can actually move in different directions. The little snapshot cut scenes are nice and add depth to the story. Every stage is differently set up from the one before it, and since there are many to enjoy, the change in scenery does good. There is no slowdown still, and everything is pretty hunky-dory. You will notice that I am falling asleep as I'm typing... Uunnnhhh... Oh, well, that's about it. (9.5/10)

STORY: Challenges the original for the ''Most Unoriginal and Overused Storyline Ever'' award. Billy saved his girlfriend Marian in the first round, and also found his long lost brother Jimmy in the process. Jimmy has turned to the good side, and fights alongside his twin brother. Unfortunately, the Shadow Gang doesn't fall that easily. A new Shadow Master has risen from the ashes of the original. Finding disgrace covering the gang, he decides to get revenge on the Lees. You see a cut scene where Marian, while walking down the street, turns and is is gunned down. After finding his love dead, Billy knows the Shadow gang needs to be stopped. Jimmy will fight alongside, trying to stop the everlasting evil! It's sort of laughable, isn't it? (N/A, FOR LACK OF ORIGINALITY)

GAMEPLAY/CONTROL: The challenge has flown sky-high from the original level of difficulty set in the older one. There are more enemies, more stages, and longer places to explore. Some of the bosses are near impossible to defeat, which why you should always make sure you rack up those extra lives by doing combos and special moves and enemies and increasing your score. The two-player co-op makes the road less weary, but presents a challenge all in the same. The game actually flows, like there is a definite change of pace as you move on throughout the game. The variety of stages will keep you on your feet, including the dreadful helicopter stage. The longer life line is a favorable addition to the game, but make sure you are tapping those buttons as fast as you can and beat those gangsters. The new enemies will also give you a run for your money. Picking up weapons and using your surroundings will be useful when surrounded by a lot of foes. You will use a lot of lives, so again, stay on your toes. The controls are strangely confusing compared to the original. Although there are still the special moves, some regular moves with the A and B buttons seems reversed. My advice? Become a button-masher. (9/10)

SOUND/MUSIC: The music is more repetitive than the original- you'll swear you heard the same thing twenty seconds ago. Although it's no biggie, and every stage has a new tune, they will be sort of annoying after a while. The sounds are still the ''biffs'' and ''scruffs'' you hear in the original- I would have liked an attempt for a scream or something. (7.5/10)

OTHER STUFF:
-Players: 1-2. You know, co-op, but no fighting mode.
-Fun Factor: 9. Challenging, but more fun than the first.
-Replay Value: 7. Nothing new the second time around...
-Rent or Buy: I might as well give up on this category for older games.

So, as you have read above, Double Dragon II is a much better way to have a nice day. (Rhyming again...) It is a great game, and is actually possible to get through the first stage, unlike DDIII. I suggest you try it out if you haven't already- it's the best in the series. Oh, and my usual phrase of the day:
TOUGH COOKIES.

OVERALL: 9/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/03/00, Updated 03/03/00


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