Double Dragon. Now everyone's heard of this game. It's an all-time classic from the Arcade. A side scrolling beat ‘em up, where 2 brothers battle the bad guys. The aim? To rescue a kidnapped damsel in distress of course. It had a great soundtrack and was lots of fun. It even spawned its own movie. Let's just say the video game, on any console is much better than the movie. 😅
I remember running down to the arcade with my friends, hoping no-one would be playing it. There was always someone using it though. We would wait patiently for them to run out of coins, wishing they would die quickly. Once it was our turn, we would then jump on and engage 2 player mode. I would button bash until my pockets were empty. We never did manage to finish the game at the arcade, but many joyful hours were spent trying!
Over the years I've played quite a few ports of this game, and each time I was disappointed. Maybe because I was younger, I didn’t realise the NES or C64 could not produce the glorious game I was seeing in the Arcade. I even bought the Jaguar version, Double Dragon 5, which was a let-down, not a side scroller and a poor imitation of Street Fighter 2. I should have done my research.
It's only right being a fan of the franchise and a Lynx owner that I get a copy of this game. It's quite a rare game to find, especially with the original glossy manual. Luckily Telegames has re-released this game, so I am able to get a copy pretty quickly being in the UK.
Will this port pack a punch or just be another wannabe tough guy? Let's read on to find out. 🤜🐉🐉
The Lynx box certainly looks good. It has the iconic brothers face to face on the front with the game title, exactly how you would expect it to look. There is a good write up on the back of the box and I must say the graphics look good from the screen shots. The game loads up and the music starts straight away on the home screen. If you know the Double Dragon theme tune you will instantly recognise it. Time to press start to see if this game kicks butt.
Even before a kick or punch is thrown, I can see that this game is graphicly beautiful. It looks just like the arcade game. Something I have never seen on a Double Dragon port. Usually the colours are off, or the characters just don’t look like the brawling brothers you're used to. The locations and bad guys look superb. I will say though, the sprites are big and I mean HUGE! It may shock you at first, but the Lynx handles the movement of the viewing screen very well.
Your character moves true to the arcade version. He is easy to control and most moves are not hard to execute. You can throw a flurry of punches, kick, jump and pull off some special moves. The most satisfying move for me is the knee to the head. A powerful move that would make Bruce Lee proud. You will quickly learn what's effective and what's not. I won't spoil it as that’s part of the learning curve. There are various weapons to pick up along the way, who knew that smashing a baseball bat over someone's head was so much fun!
The sound effects when fighting with your opponent are a bit... let's say weak. You would expect an aggressive hard tone but it's more aligned to a soft slap. A bit disappointing as there's no reason for them to use this sound effect, I'm sure they could have easily made it sound more aggressive. The music throughout the game on the other hand is excellent. Very true to the original. If you’re a fan of the game, it will definitely give you the feel-good factor as you reminisce of all those hours spent at the arcade.
The game looks, feels and plays like the arcade. You have all the moves, most of the same enemies and the backdrops are perfect. You get the same floating flying kick, the big bad Abobo busting through walls and throwing you around the room. It wasn’t a smooth-running game in the arcade, it retains the same choppy feel here.
There are a few issues though. The game is far too easy. You can complete the game with any hardly practice at all. You can easily beat some of the bad guys using single button attacks pressed over and over. The game also feels very short. I don’t recall what's been taken out but it feels like things have been shortened. After all these years of not playing Double Dragon, I expected it to be a challenge to finish the game.
My verdict is probably filled with nostalgia. I really enjoy the Double Dragon series, the first one has always been my favourite. I love the graphics and the music. For someone who is not much of a Double Dragon fan, there may not be a lot of replay value in this game. Those not even familiar with Double Dragon should complete it within a short period of time. It also has a high-end price tag, so could be disappointing to a new comer expecting a long battle to the end.
However, I am a Double Dragon fan and love this game. Yes its easy and expensive. But it is Double Dragon on my Atari Lynx. It looks great, sounds great and is still a lot of fun. What's not to love. A nostalgic 8/10