Double Dragon 3


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 3

Overall: 3.5

The first Double Dragon is a classic, there really is no questioning this "fact." The first sequel, "DD2: The Revenge," changed very little. There were recycled sprites and the stage layout was an exact replica of the first. Maybe that's where Double Dragon 3 went wrong. Everything has been changed from the first 2 games, none of it ended up being for the better.

First, whoever thought it would be a good idea to actually have people pay for powerups (with actual money) is an idiot... period. Each stage has a shop (usually located at the very beginning of the stage) in which you can purchase weapons, new characters, more health, and even a few new moves. The idea of new characters is unique, but you never actually get to choose who you want to play as, they simply replace Billy/Jimmy Lee once they die. Even a bigger problem is that none of these characters have a specific advantage over the dragons themselves, and in most cases they're actually worse.

Making matters even more irritating is that you'll probably keep these power-ups for all of a minute until your life hits 0. The difficulty is so skewed in the computers favor, it's asinine. Some of the lesser thugs are on the easier side, but the bosses are faster, stronger, and all around better than your character. Japan's nameless ninja splits into 3 and attacks from every conceivable angle. $34.75 later, he's been beaten (note that the above total does not include the price of powerups).

The graphics style has been upgraded, but when a game like Final Fight hit a year earlier, this "upgrade" is unacceptable. The characters are tiny, hardly animated, and the movement is so choppy it adds up to an unexplainable mess. The music is still just as good as it was in the first 2 games in the series, but the wonderful "thud" of your fist connecting with an enemies face has been replaced by a sound that can only be described as tinny.

Yes, this is the first DD with ability to play with 3 players, but unless you pay someone to join in, you'll never actually use this feature. This is a pathetic attempt to upgrade the series that really never should've seen the light of day. Had this been the first game in this series, it never would've had a sequel. There is potential in this engine, it just needs a major cleaning up that the developers obviously must have missed.


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Last updated: Sunday, January 30, 2005 05:41 PM