38: Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Genre: Beat-em-up

Developer: Technos
Publisher: Acclaim
Year: 1990

Basic Idea: After embarrassingly allowing Marian to be killed right after you save her, seek revenge while trying to keep your buttons straight.

Review: Double Dragon was an amazing arcade game.  The best part was getting to end of the game, saving Marian, then having to have a fight to the DEATH with your partner over the hand of the lovely Marian.  Unfortunately, the NES game was a major disappointment.  Not only were the graphics less sharp, it was only a one-player game.  You also had to earn your special moves by defeating enough enemies over the course of the game.

The second game, to everyone’s delight, fixed these issues.  The graphics are brighter, better defined. You have all your moves right from the get go.  The levels designs are more creative (including fighting inside a helicopter with the door open!).  Most importantly, you can play with a buddy.  The controls take a while to get used to, as the buttons change depending on the direction you’re facing, but this can be adjusted to fairly quickly.  There are some RAM issues as is typical with Technos games, but it’s not as bad as most of them.

The most annoying aspect of the game is that there are three difficulty levels, and the only way to actually win the game is to play on the hardest level.  On the two easier levels, the game just stops after reaching a certain point.  Changing the ending based on the difficulty level makes sense, but stopping the game?  Blargh.

Double Dragon III was creative but insanely difficult.  If you are more of a casual lover of beat-em-ups like I am, this game is the way to go.


3 thoughts on “38: Double Dragon II: The Revenge

  1. On the two easier levels, the game just stops after reaching a certain point.

    Man oh man. As I was reading, I was trying to remember why I ended up hating this game. There it is. I remember wanting to punch this game square in the face.

    • seriously, while I like everything but that part, it should be said that the worst beat-em-up on the Sega and SNES are better than the best on the NES. It’s like they didn’t know how to make them without forcing players to pump in quarters.

      • Yeah. I never thought about it at the time, but your list is really driving home how developers were stuck in that mindset.

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