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Double Dragon
Console: PC (DOS)
Developer: Arcadia
Publisher: Arcadia
Number of Players: 2
Release Date: 1988

Story | Codes | Characters


By Cloudmann
Contributing Writer


Double Dragon ruled the arcades in 1987 and 1988.  Everyone and their mother wanted a conversion for their game system or computer of choice.  Some conversions were pretty well dead-on like the Master System and Genesis versions, and others like the NES changed a lot, but still remained fantastic games.  Conversions like the PC version were done on seriously underpowered hardware not designed to play this kind of game.  The graphics are pretty weak, sound does not exist except through the crappy PC speaker and the mechanics were altered to the point that this game is almost foreign.  Unfortunately, this is pretty typical of PC conversions in this day and age.

Graphics: C-

Considering what the programmers had to work with at the time, I can't really give this department a D, but I'll tell ya, more work could've been done here, even with EGA graphics.  On the whole, everyone is distinguishable and the backgrounds are pretty decent, but all the character sprites are goofed up.  Take a look at Bolo/Abobo, if you manage to get that far, and you'll see what I mean.

Sound: D-

PC speaker.  Nothing else.  Sucks.  Period.

Enemies: D+

Where do I begin?  Cheap, cheap, cheap, and ruthless.  Combined with the pretty bad control scheme, this is the worst part of the game.  You cannot get away from an enemy once you are hit one time.  All the characters are here (except Abobo, Jeff, and Roper, replaced with Bolo, Billy/Jimmy, and Williams sprites, respectively), but they look goofy, and are all really, really cheap.  Frustration does not begin to describe this.

Weapons: B

Only the bat, whip, knife and box are here, but they all do their proper thing.

Controls and Moves: D

This part blows.  The control is way too stiff, moves are not easy to pull off, and in the meantime, everyone on screen kicks the snot out of you.  Lots and lots of work is needed here.  This really killed the game.

Modes: B

One-player and two-player modes. Fight each other at the end.

Conclusion/Overall: C-

Really, this game could have been a lot better with some work, but it still wouldn't be Double Dragon.  Something is missing and the game just doesn't feel quite right.  Lots of things were reworked with great effort from ground up and the result was something that resembles the arcade game, but in the end really doesn't feel or play like it.