A great port to the hit arcade game.
-Excellent level design
-Great music and sound
-A little too short
-Punching is useless
Alright so here is the deal. Our protagonist Billy Lee (Jimmy Lee as player 2) heard that the love of his life, Marion, has just been captured by his brother Jimmy Lee. Yes, this does seem confusing since Jimmy Lee is played by player 2 in the multiplayer mode but just stay with me here. Anyways, Jimmy Lee capture's Marion because he is jealous of his brother's fling. Now it is up to Billy to travel through the streets defeating Jimmy's henchmen in order to save Marion. Double Dragon is a great port, to the NES, from the hit arcade game.
Double Dragon is a fun beat'em up type game. Not only is the game exciting to play alone, but it's even more intense when playing with a friend. Together the two of you can perform skull crushing punches and kicks as you dispatch enemies and then duke it out for Marion at the end. The game only has four different levels which sadly, makes the game entirely too short. However, these four levels have an excellent level design. Each mission (which consists of the streets, a construction yard, a forest and Jimmy's place) consists of plenty of enemies and some platforming. There are bosses at the end and sometimes in the middle of each level that'll put your martial arts to the test. Taking down these guys is very gratifying. Controlling your character is very easy. All your punch, kick and jump combos are done using both the A and B buttons. You'll probably find that the fighting is very fluid but the platforming can be a bit shaky.
One unique feature, in Double Dragon, is that you gain experience from defeating enemies which in turn unlocks new fighting abilities. At the bottom of the screen you'll notice that there are hearts that keep increasing. This is not your health bar but your ability meter. Here is the layout of all the skills you can obtain. The 1st heart lets you punch (very useless), kick, jump and headbutt. The 2nd heart unlocks the uppercut and roundhouse kick. The 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th hearts enable you to jump kick, hair pull, elbow smash, and tackle respectively. The final 7th heart lets you unleash a devastating jumping roundhouse kick. The role playing aspects mixed with solid controls really enhance the overall fun-factor of the gameplay.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
The graphics aren't as good as the arcade version, but on the NES the visuals work fine enough. The level design and the detail in the characters are of a high quality.
Who could forget the theme song for Double Dragon? Nobody. The music is memorable with its rock type feel. Plus, the sound effects from the high flying kicks to the face smashes can be very gratifying when you lay your enemies out.
Double Dragon is a short but very fun game. If you are looking for a simple game where you can bust open a few heads, then I would recommend this game to you. With solid controls and added role playing elements, this game will keep you coming back for more. So, it's time to settle things once and for all between the Lee brothers and see who gets the girl.