Review by KasketDarkfyre
"It may be Double Dragon...but the original seems to be slightly better than this..."
Double Dragon started out as something new and something innovative back in the eighties, featuring some pretty brutal fighting along with colorful, detailed stages and some of the coolest looking moves to date. A few years later, a sequel was in order, and low and behold, here is Double Dragon 2! But, as some unfortunate sequels go, Revenge fell off the original Double Dragon bandwagon and incorporated new features that didn't quite come off well enough. This time around, the story takes a different twist in which the old street gang that kidnapped Marion the first time around decides that kidnapping is too much trouble, so they pop a cap in her instead! This really pisses Billy and Jimmy Lee off and away they go rampaging through the city kicking the crap out of anyone in their way! But this gives way to a new set of problems, in which the brothers of crush fall victim to cheap computer attacks and a rather slow and difficult fighting system that makes the player take more damage than necessary.
Even though this is Double Dragon, and it does incorporate the body smashing, teeth shattering action that the first did, it has also come with an amped up difficulty! New moves have been implemented, but they do little or no damage to whoever the enemy may be, and on several occasions, you'll have your ass handed back to you during a boss battle. The actual fighting still remains the same in terms of punches and kicks, as well as the famous knee bash and throw, but again they come off a little slow and don't do the proper amount of damage! Another discouraging feature is the fact that the computer seems to gang up on you constantly, and you're always surrounded, forcing a frantic fight out of the center than costs you most of a life bar in the process. The ramped up difficulty is hard enough to deal with when you have three or four bad guys on your tail and they don’t let up. When you look at it from this stand point, there are plenty of instances where the game takes a cheap turn and let’s you get your ass handed to you at just about every open opportunity.
Tried and true, Revenge brings back the control setup as well as throwing in a couple of new moves that takes a little practice to pull off and control. Jumping is also needed in later stages of the game, so practice up on your jump skills or you'll end up on the wrong side of a serious ass kicking. The moves that you use throughout the game really don’t take too much to learn, so if you’re a veteran to the Double Dragon games, then you should really have no trouble picking up the controller and going with it. What threw me off was that the control seemed stiff and forced in some portions of the game and in all honesty, there is plenty to be said about owning a NES Advantage stick! Once you’ve gotten all of the moves down though, you’ll find that there is nothing here that is terribly new from what you’ve done before other than the two button moves that allow you to clear out a small range of enemies upon implementation.
A step down in this case, Revenge offers simple visuals and little substance! The environments are bland and rather uninviting to the eyes, and even the character designs have gone from being well detailed and designed to flat and thin. Even the weapons that have been added to the game don't throw in enough flair to take away the fact that the game doesn't live up to its legend that the first brought to life. With the way that the game is presented on the Nintendo, you may find that there is nothing here that remotely represents what you found in the original arcade version, and with most of the stages, the detailing of those stages is set to such a minimum that there really is no hope of going back! When you really stop and take a look, the game seems to have tried to focus on more action than it did overall accuracy of the character detailing, and in the end, it really shows with each passing stage!
Strange and rather unique, the music for Revenge is a cross between upbeat tones and some sort of rave music that seems to have been done in true NES fashion with some different tones thrown in to show a difference on each passing stage. With that being said, the overall theme of the game is kept to a slight minimum and while it tries to show the action, there is hardly anything at all that you’ll find pleasing to the ears. Tack that in with the below average sound effects, and you have nothing here that resembles a Double Dragon game, but rather a huge ass mess that hurts the ears. The sound effects range from grunts and groans to your ever present bone crunches and thuds as the bodies hit the floor. Now that part of the game is cool to hear, but doesn't change the fact that it isn't anything that hasn't been heard before!
Revenge is a sequel gone wrong in terms of visuals, game play, and even the audio. The control remains the same, but offers in more advanced moves that take more time to learn and use effectively than it is worth! Revenge isn't Double Dragon, and it doesn't hold the namesake the way that it should, but rather drives a nail into the coffin of an already old series that had nothing to do but go up. While the game is something of a collector’s item on the NES, you may want to take a good look at the first one and the third one before you choose to pick this one up. Even though it does carry the namesake, you’ll find that the lack of Double Dragon feel is enough to make you go through the game once alone and probably a second time with a friend before it sits on the shelf to collect dust!
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 12/27/01, Updated 12/27/01
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