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along with the original Bomberman thinking that they are in for a fun multi-player extravaganza only to find out that both games are really one-
player affairs. One minor annoyance is that you can pick up some sweet weapons, like bats and whips, but you lose them almost as soon as you
obtain them. The only other real problem with this game is that it is only four levels long – and the first two are ridiculously easy. Oh, and the
one-on-one street fighting option is pretty lame as well, but props to Tradewest for even including such a unique option.
Graphics and Sound: Great
The music in Double Dragon is very good. Each level has a different tune so you’re not going to tire of it the way you do in lots of other NES
games. The graphics are very crisp, the characters are decently large, and the backgrounds are decently detailed. Some climbable walls are
poorly drawn though, which may lead you to having to run through Mission 4 a 2nd time trying to find where to go next.
Gameplay and Controls: Solid
I really like how you have to earn experience points to be able to execute the good moves in the game. The controls all work appropriately. My
main gripe with the gameplay is that there are a few spots where, if you don’t figure out where to go, then you have to do the whole level over
again. This wouldn’t be such a problem if you could easily tell what walls you can climb.
Features: Urban Champion Redux
The main special feature of this game is a souped-up version of Urban Champion. That’s right, this game actually has a one-on-one fighting
game in it. Just like Urban Champion you can only fight against the same person that you choose so each of you has the exact same moves. The
improvement that this game offers better graphics, but alas no tournament. Once you defeat the computer opponent, it takes you back to the
main menu.
Fun?: Definitely
You will want to keep playing this game until you beat it. The game plays
fair: there are no birds that will knock you off of ledges and almost no
tricky jumps in the entire game. Double Dragon is just a straight forward,
beat ‘em up classic.
Challenge: A little
The first two missions are incredibly easy but the last two are actually
somewhat tough. One tricky aspect of the last two missions is that if you
miss a door to enter or wall to climb then you have to replay the entire
level. This causes the timer to actually be a nuisance in the game. The
bosses are tough if you haven’t mastered the elbow move and the last two
end guys are tough no matter what. One nice challenge in this game is that
there are no extra guys and no continues. You get three chances to make it
through the game or you’re done.
Replay: Not so much
After you beat this one, you will probably put in on your shelf for awhile.
Although, since it is so short, I can imagine it being busted out more often
than other beat ‘em up classics.
2 Player: Yes
Unfortunately and surprisingly, you can’t fight at the same time. Even though Double Dragon is remembered as a two-player simultaneous
series, the original NES game is lacking that key feature. In an attempt to make up for this, Tradewest offered up the weak Urban Champion
style street fighting option that you can enjoy against a friend. Or you can play the regular game in an alternating two-player mode.
Online Manual?: Yes
Check out for all NES manuals.
Bottom Line: A great early fighting game
Double Dragon is a game that was very popular in its time, but due to some weak sequels at the end of its series, it is no longer given its proper
due. Sure it’s a bit short and lacks a two-player simultaneous option, but it is still a very fun and original beat ‘em up classic. For a longer game
and the ability to fight together with a friend, check out the equally classic Double Dragon II: The Revenge.
25 | Video Game Trader Magazine | June 2008 |
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