Double Dragon

Atari 7800

Review by Kevin Oleniacz



Graphics: 8

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 8

Before the overabundance of SFII "tournament" style games, Streets of Rage and Final Fight were the kings. The roots of these excellent fighting simulations can be traced back to Double Dragon, an arcade translation. Although Double D is simplistic by today's standards, it still packs quite a punch in the fun factor and replayability category.

A common plot is revealed: rescue your girlfriend from a gang terrorizing the city. Rely on martial arts skills as you kick and punch your way through four locales: the city streets, industrial areas, the suburbs, and finally inside the forboding Black Warriors' HQ. Battle it out among a slew of henchmen before your final showdown with the dreaded Shadow Boss, overseer of the underground operation. Defeat him and your reward is your girlfriend as well the strong admiration from your fellow gamers.

Jump kicks, elbow punches and head butts are your specialty moves. Advancing to the fortress is no easy task, as one must contend with thugs wielding knives, whips or bats. Some enemies employ tactics as they try to surround your character and pummel him to death. Don't waste time as a time limit is on the side of the Warriors. To add to the pressure, the mission must be accomplished only with your three original lives.

My main complaint is the animation. Although each move is smoothly executed, the group of enemies appear to share the same moves - even though you're assaulted by several different types of thugs. The characters are very small and stripped of a good deal of detail. On the plus side, a 3D-ish environment is supported by richly detailed backgrounds. A city skyline looming over the streets and garbage littered throughout alleys are two prime examples. Although limited in moves, the lack of variety does not detract from the gameplay. This is the forerunner of today's fighting games. If you're tired of twisting the stick six ways and pushing multiple buttons in order to execute a single move, give DD a try. I guarantee satisfaction.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:22 PM