Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Nintendo NES

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 7

Billy and Jimmy Lee's second foray onto the NES wasn't as memorable as the first game, but still ends up being a great romp in the tradition that the original game that spawned countless rip-offs and sequels. Everything seems to be just one step below the first game, including a few inherently frustrating moments, but you should manage to enjoy yourself through 9 levels of fighting action.

Instead of being kidnapped, your girlfriend, Marion, has been killed. As usual, this has pissed off our heroes and their after the same group of locals from the first game. Every character has a new look for the sequel. The colors are more vibrant, the stages are more varied, but the overall game just isn't as solid.

Unlike the first game, your allowed the full spectrum of movies available to your fighter from the start. You've gotta wide variety of choices here which range from the standard punch and kick to the new super moves. Your training has earned you a super spin kick, super uppercut, and a ridiculously powerful knee strike.

The controls are quite innovative, but could be the reason that most people didn't enjoy the sequel as much. The 2-buttons on the NES controller respond to which direction your facing. If your facing left and press B, you'll punch. Face the right and press A, you'll punch. Confusing at first? Yeah. Once your used to it, you'll find it not only innovative, but useful as well. It allows you to take on 2 opponents at once, there's not way they can take advantage of you.

Opponents are much more intelligent this time around and you'll be lucky to land any jumping maneuver on them. They'll constantly duck just at the last second, even the enormous bosses. Not only is it frustrating, but a poor design decision as well. Adding to the frustration level are the asinine stages that require jumping on moving platforms, disappearing bridges, and moving gears. These types of stages DO NOT belong in any fighter. If want to jump on platforms, I'll play Mega Man.

With the exception of one track (the final stage only available when playing in the expert mode), the music is also lackluster. After the stunning, classic tracks of the first game, this is a major letdown. Not even the undeniably memorable theme song has returned. The sound effects are also sub-par.

The gameplay is still solid, but sequels should improve on the original, and DDII doesn't do that. It's not a bad game, just a major disappointment considering the classic status of the first game in the series. Double Dragon fans will be pleased with the majority of the game, but shun the platforming elements that should've been left on the development table.


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Last updated: Sunday, January 30, 2005 05:47 PM