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Double Dragon EX
Console: Cellular Phones
Developer: Eolith
Publisher: Bandai
Number of Players: 1
Release Date: May 25, 2005 (Verizon Wireless), June 15, 2005 (Sprint)

Story | Codes | Characters

By Nathan Clark


Double Dragon has always been one of my favorite series.  When I opened my VX6100 one morning and noticed that a version was released for it, I immediately downloaded it, something I almost never do as I think most cell phone games are overpriced.  So what is the final verdict?  Read on to find out.

Graphics: B

This game looks damn good for a VX6100 game.  Initially, you might be wowed by the graphics - that is, until it starts to move.  It is at this point that you will start to notice some faults.  The game has very weird hit detection and the animation is very choppy, though this is more than likely due to the limitations of the hardware the game is running on.  I would say that with the exception of the sluggish frame rate, this game looks great given the limitations of the hardware it is running on.

Sound: A

The biggest annoyance is that you can only have either the sound effects or the music on at one time due to hardware limitations.  The sound effects are your standard fare; nothing great, but nothing terrible.  The music, on the other hand, is fantastic.  Classic Double Dragon tunes throughout and very well done for the hardware it is on.  If you like Double Dragon tunes, you will like this.  Period.  The sound effects, while very generic, are still probably above average for a cell phone game.  You really can’t fault the game for not allowing both sound effects and music at the same time as this is a hardware limitation and not a fault of the game design.

Enemies: A

The enemies are mostly based off of Double Dragon I.  All your favorites such as Linda and Abobo are present.  Level two ends with the final boss of the first level of Double Dragon II.  This is what you have come to expect from Double Dragon.

Weapons: B+

Standard.  The four weapons available are the whip, bat, knife and barrel.  While it would have been nice to have some of the weapons featured in later games such as the nunchucks, the weapons suffice.

Controls and Moves: C

The controls on this game are very confusing.  It takes advantage of all nine number keys as well as the directional pad.  To make matters worse, the buttons operate in different manners depending on your position such as crouching and jumping.  Most of the time I just found myself just using the "3" key to punch as kicking seemed to get me hit more often than not.  To add insult to injury, the game is filled with slow down and a horrible ability to turn around and maneuver around enemies.  I hate to say this, but the slow down and the sheer amount of different button combinations just make this kind of a horror.  The fact is that if you can remember what things do, you won’t have many problems.  But as it is, this can be a very daunting task.

Modes: B

Double Dragon EX gives you three difficulty settings, three speed settings and the option to play as either Billy or Jimmy, although they play identically.  The game also allows you to turn the volume on or off as well as the option to turn off the vibration if you so wish.  This review was conducted using speed setting two.  For a cell phone game, these are pretty sufficient.  However, I would have liked to have seen maybe a survival or time attack mode.

• Stage 1 = Fist Of Anger – This stage is mostly an adaptation of the first stage of the original arcade Double Dragon including the same music.  The level is scaled down considerably, however.

• Stage 2 = Dragon’s Awakening – Appears to be a Chinatown level.  It has pits in it and reuses music from the second stage of the Double Dragon arcade game.

• Stage 3 = Power Of The Mind – Based on the fourth level of Double Dragon arcade and also uses the music from that stage.  At the end there is an almost endless barrage of enemies until finally you confront Willy.  Beat him and you have finished the game.

Conclusion/Overall: B

Overall, this game takes advantage of the VX6100’s hardware.  For all its faults it is still a very playable game and if you have access to it and are a Double Dragon fan with $6 to burn, check this one out.  The things truly holding this game down are the sluggish frame rate, complex controls and lack of length.  Overall though, well done.  One of the better cell phone games I have played.