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Double Dragon Grade: A-
In Double Dragon, you star as Reviewer: Agent J
Billy Lee who must save his
kidnapped girlfriend, Marion,
from his brother Jimmy, the Company: Tradewest
leader of an evil street gang. You
must make your way through Released: 1988
four relatively short side-
scrolling missions in order to Rarity: Extremely
meet up with your brother at the
end of the game and save your easy to find (E)
one true love. Expertise: Beat it
Double Dragon was originally
released in the arcades in 1987 by
Technos (the makers of River
City Ransom). A year later, 2nd Opinion – Agent K: B+
Tradewest released the game for
the NES and had a major hit on
their hands. Like any arcade
translation to the NES, the graph- Double Dragon is good but the
ics were severely altered and the gameplay was changed as well. For instance, in the arcade, sequel is so much better.
Jimmy was the 2nd player (ala Luigi in Super Mario Bros.) and was not someone that you would
fight against. The main change from the arcade hit, though, was that you could no longer fight
simultaneously with a friend. This disappointed many fans as this was a major draw to the game
and the two-player cooperative mode would be implemented in every sequel after. This has led
many to incorrectly think that the original Double Dragon for the NES actually has this feature. Nintendo Power
Positives: Top 30 Results
There are a lot of great things about Double Dragon. The fighting is crisp and easy to get the
hang of. The game has great music and is a little challenging without having any cheap deaths.
The most unique aspect to the Total Rank: #38
game is that you actually gain Months on Chart: 8
experience points as you defeat
enemies. Every kick that you Peak: #4
connect is worth 15 points, while
punches are worth 20. Once you
gain 1,000 experience points,
you earn a heart. Each heart
means that you have mastered a Tips and Tricks
special move. You begin with
one heart and must acquire six  Entering doors resets your health and
more. After you earn the seventh the timer. You can often exit and re-
heart, you no longer accrue enter a door if you have taken dam-
experience points. With your age in a room.
second heart, you gain the ability
to uppercut and high kick your  Dodge any item that gets thrown at
opponent at the end of a series of
punches or kicks. At three you. They take off about half of your
hearts, you earn the ability to life meter.
jump kick, which is nice but
very weak. The fourth heart is a crucial one because you learn how to grab a hold of your oppo-  Punch every guy on the first mission
nent’s hair and give them a good over-the-shoulder toss. This move is crucial to your success. to gain more experience points.
The other major heart to earn is the sixth heart. With that one, you gain the ability to elbow your
opponent from behind, a strategy that sounds lame but is the most effective move in the game  Master the elbow move because you
and necessary to beating many of the bosses. This experience point system was very original at will need it to beat all of the ex-
the time and was not season often afterwards – it isn’t even in either of the Double Dragon se- tremely tall bosses in the game.
quels! 
Any time you have to jump over a pit,
Glaring Negatives: jump a tiny bit before you normally would and you will be safe. If you
Wait a second, I’m playing Double Dragon and I can’t play at the same time as my friend, what wait too long, you will fall into the pit
is going on? I can only imagine that some poor sucker out there is going to pick this game up before you even jump.
(Continued on page 25)
24 | Video Game Trader Magazine | June 2008 |
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