Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Nerdicus NES Review #187: Double Dragon

Title : Double Dragon

Publisher : Tradewest

Developer : Technos Japan

Genre : Beat 'em Up

Players : 1 / 2 Players

Release Date : 1988

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $10 - $15

Ahh, tis been awhile since I graced my blog with a video game review, and I am due. My apologies again for the lack of daily updates, but I mentioned before that I am hardcore editing my latest novel right now for submission, as well as building up my youtube channel.

A note! Any contests Ill be having in the future will be held strictly through my youtube channel by way of SUB contests and random contests, so be sure to check out my channel by following the link below! The 100 sub contest is close at hand, and you don't want to miss it!


So, here we are, and by the title of the review I'm sure you know what we're getting ourselves into. DOUBLE DRAGON. Those words bring back so many gaming memories from when I was a tiny tyke. I spent days, upon days attempting to beat this game and not even coming close. I didn't even know this was an arcade game back then. In fact, I just wanted it to play it all the time for two reasons. 1) There were martial artists on the cover kicking some major ass 2) There was a dragon in the title, and you know how I am a sucker for dragons.

Little did I know, that when I started playing this game, it would be the beginning of a 30 year journey until I finally beat it. WHICH I DID....GOD DAMMIT..I DID!!

As soon as you start up the game, you are greeted with some of the most epic music for the NES. I can't even deny it, but this soundtrack is up there in my top ten for greatest soundtracks on the original Nintendo. It's THAT good.

The game has 2 modes - the normal story line mode, and something that is so epic it can only be classified as EXTREME FIGHTING. I'm talking about mode b. I'll talk about this briefly, but it was seriously one of the coolest additions to any game I played. It actually takes 5 of the characters from the Double Dragon game, and pits them in a standard street fighter-styled fighting mini-game. The use of over sized sprites, and the ability to battle against your friend is something that is irresistible. Come on, who didn't play this with a buddy and race head on into each other only to collide and send each other reeling?

Sure, it's not that great, but it was a hell of a lot of fun. Then again, the NES wasn't really built for fighting games so what the hell are you expecting.

Moving on to mode a, which is the actual story line, you really only have a one player mode, although it does give you the two player option. But two players is really just alternating between the same character and switching off, so it's not as fun as the future Double Dragons where you get actual co-op. Once again, this was due to the programming limitations at the time, but was rectified with the sequels (thankfully).

The game starts with your girlfriend getting punched right in the stomach. That's right. PUNCHED. NINTENDO RELEASED A GAME WHERE YOUR GIRLFRIEND IS LITERALLY KNOCKED OUT! I was shocked. Seriously flabbergasted. Of course, as the protagonist, you are seeking out your so-called friend and are about to return the favor. But you have to get through his gang of minions first.

The bottom of the screen shows all the information you'll need to play through the game. Your lives, your points, a life meter, and another meter which is ACTUALLY your move sets. The more enemies you kill, the more move points you earn which allows you to pull off new martial art attacks like flipping the enemy over your back, or doing spin kicks. Trust me, it's worth it to kill everyone and anyone, and there are even some areas where you can repeatedly kill the same guy over and over to ensure you have as many moves as possible early in the game.

You'll battle your way through each level, taking on two enemies at a time on the screen until you can move on to the next portion. And don't think just because you're fighting two enemies that this game will be easy. No...especially not when you're dealing with that bald headed beast, ABOBO. GOD, HOW I HATE ABOBO!!!

And what's worse than one ABOBO? TWO ABOBOS!

Visually, the game is a masterpiece for 1988. It's pretty damn close to the arcade, and the sequels get progressively "prettier." Character designs, and animations are downright flawless (and funny), and the backgrounds and level designs are spot on.

Now, in terms of controls, this game takes quite a bit of getting used to. It's stiff, and slow, even though you can run a bit. Running won't save you though, especially when you are forced to take out enemies that downright brutalize you. And have fun with that hit detection because it can be a pain in the ass at times.

Despite the controls and sloppy mechanics that are rough around the edges, the gameplay is still spot on and addictive and it keeps you coming back for more. The more you die, the more frustrated you get, and the more you want to beat this damn game. It took me 30 yeas I tell you, but I finally did it. I'm not crying...they are tears of joy.

Can't wait to review the upcoming DD games, starring our pals BIMMY AND JIMMY.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until Next Time, Keep On Gaming!



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