#137 Double Dragon

Posted: 3rd May 2017 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

599th played so far

Genre: Fighting
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1987
Developer: Technos Japan
Publisher: Taito

When I was younger, one of our NES games (that I played over and over) was Double Dragon III, a fun two player beat ’em up that we invested a lot of time in – even if I’m not sure we ever saw the end of it. It was a big thing that cemented my feelings about the genre and still is what I compare a lot of these to.

It’s the first game that’s on the list. It seems like that’s mostly because the sequels improve on the game – somewhat. More important though, does it still measure up to my memories?

Our Thoughts

So first of all, yeah, it was fun to play a game in the series again. True, I could set myself to have infinite lives, which greatly sped up my progress and allowed me to beat the game, but it was fun to get there, for a large part. The beating it part isn’t a great accomplishment – this isn’t a long game, having just a few longer levels – but it felt right for a game of this type. Not wasting too much of your money, and the difficulty is high enough that there aren’t loads of places to go. It’s optimized to actually give you an ending if you get good enough.

One of the more interesting things of this side scrolling beat ’em up comes from the weapon interaction. Most enemies have a chance to spawn with a weapon, which you can knock out of their hands and use yourself. There are also elements in the environment that allow you to do the same. These days that’s fairly common, but it still feels special, especially with the era, graphically, it really takes place in.

I had some issues with the combat not always flowing naturally into each other, which gave me some trouble with flinching. There were a few points where that got frustrating, as I couldn’t quite figure out the rules – happily, as above, sorted by not having to worry about lives.

Final Thoughts

While the actual fighting isn’t the most polished I’ve seen, Double Dragon feels good to play. The weapons do a lot to help with that, while obviously a lot still felt familiar to me. I’m glad I got to cheat a bit, but after that, the game was a lot of fun to play through.

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