Double Dragon


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


Arcade perfect is a term that gets tossed around alot. Many games associated with the term are usually extremely close to the arcade game, but only a remote few can truly be considered "perfect" conversions. While not one of the dead-on conversions, Double Dragon for the Genesis is close. Play this one with an arcade stick, and there's almost no way to tell the difference from the arcade version, a perfect way to recreate the memories of days gone by.

Very few games, especially those from the late 80's, feature scenes of explicit violence. Double Dragon begins with a brutal beat-down of your girlfriend Marian (who strangely doesn't move as the attackers advance towards her), and you're immediately thrust into the gameplay. Walking to the right brings on even more enemies and you're required to beat everything out of all of them until they fall, blinking as they die. Two players can join in the quest to bring down the likes of Williams, Roper, and Abbobos, making the task at hand seem somewhat easier.  

Being an arcade game from the late 80's, the graphics are about what you should expect. The characters are small, slightly detailed, and lack animation. Five characters on the screen at once taxes the hardware and can cause some massive slowdown, something that a little more programming could've eliminated. This is how the arcade version looked, so all of these complaints may seem mute to purists. The big change is speed. The arcade game slowed down worse than this, and the rest of the time on the Genesis, the speed seems doubled. It leads to loose control, and it becomes the biggest downfall of this translation.

The soundtrack to Double Dragon is one of the all time classics, easily ranking amongst the top 10 most memorable. It's recreated here on the Genesis hardware flawlessly. Not a cue is missed and the sound effects are also recreated perfectly. Nope, there's no voice, no digitized sounds, or any other sugar coated sound effect, but this is the way it should be.

With the gameplay that made it famous, the soundtrack we'll never forget, and the unforgettable late 80s look, this is one for the ages. There's no arguing that later games in the genre did it better, but looking back, very few could ever be this memorable. Double Dragon is one title that will live in the minds of gamers no matter how long our hobby is around, no matter how mainstream gaming gets, and no matter how old we all get. Get it, play it, remember it.


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Last updated: Friday, September 23, 2005 11:44 PM