Review by Braben
"Damned controls!, they almost ruined this game."
Double Dragon: The Revenge seems to be the most beloved Double Dragon game, and people is probably right, it has its problems, but overall in my opinion not only is the best Double Dragon in the Nes, it is the best Double Dragon game ever.
As the title suggests, here everything is about a revenge, a revenge against the Shadow Warrior Gang because this time instead of just kidnapping Marian they have directly killed her, so it is up to Billy and Jimmy Lee to do something about it the way they like it the best, kicking butts.
While it has improved a lot from the first game, it still has good and bad points. The biggest problem by far in Double Dragon II is the new battle system, the way we attack changes depending if we are facing to the right or to the left, and until you get used to this system you are going to have a lot of trouble while trying to beat up enemies because getting confused in this game means getting your butt kicked.
I have never mastered this system I have to say, I just got used to always punch in the right direction using the legs only to walk. I don`t know you but not even after weeks playing I have get used to the controls. I guess the main idea is ok, because what the developers probably had in mind was that you were able to hit better those enemies coming from behind, but they messed up everything in the end, because even if you manage to master the controls, they are far from being intuitive.
The platform elements have increased in this second chapter, and that is another thing that is not good at all because while I repeat that the controls are better (always excepting for the above mentioned huge flaw), jumping is still a very dangerous movement, those places where we have to jump are the only ones where you are going to die. There aren`t too many of these places, but they are a lot more than in the first game, and even if they are just a few you are going to have one hell of a time, that is for sure, specially in the last scenario, which is nearly impossible to beat, but I`ll talk about that later.
Aside from those problem, the gameplay has improved a lot, this time we have less movements but that work a lot better, it is possible to grab enemies in an easier way and we can use our fists to hit instead of only kicks as the enemies are not nearly as tough as before. The stages are a lot more varied and we have more enemies to fight with, including bosses at the end of some stages.
The two player option this time works the way it should be, we can play with a friend at the same time instead of having to wait; the Street Fighter mode is history, but I can`t imagine anyone sad because of that really.
The Kunio look is almost gone this time, but the visuals are quite better. The variety of enemies has increased greatly and are, at least, ten times more detailed and with quite a lot movements instead of just a shy punch. About the backgrounds I wouldn`t say they are all that better, but the are a lot more detailed. The cut scenes between stages are also well made.
In the vein of the first game only that without any annoying tracks, not even one, and that makes the soundtrack perfect to go out and beat up those punks from the Shadow Warrior Gang.
This second installment is the easiest Double Dragon ever, but like in the first one we have those damned platform elements that are going to make you lose your temper very easily as you are probably going to die unfairly a lot of times, and again, we don`t have continues or anything like that.
Anyway, even with this, after some practice you will get to the last stage without too much problems, but that is probably as far as you are going to get because the last stage is truly hard, we have to jump over A LOT of platforms that are all the time appearing and disappearing and you will probably get pissed off before finishing the game. Thankfully this is only at the last stage, but it is very annoying having to quit because you died after getting so far. Stupid platforms.
In any case, this is the first and only Double Dragon in which you can choose between three different difficulties, and you can even beat the game in the Supreme Master difficulty, which is not as extremely hard as it sounds.
So that is it, this sequel is better than the first one in almost every aspect excepting for the controls, I don`t know if it was just me but I had a lot of trouble while getting used to them and that made me be a little bit sceptical at the beginning, but after some time playing you will see that Double Dragon II definitely delivers the goods, specially if you have someone to play with.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/18/04
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