DD II Shrine
|Console: Zeebo (Brazil only)
|Developer: Brizo Interactive
|Publisher: Tectoy S.A.
|Number of Players: 2
|Release Date: May 25, 2009
Story | Codes | Characters
Double Dragon for the Zeebo is a hard game to find... no, really hard.
Unlike some of the other hard-to-find DD games, this one is not only in another
country, but it's on a system that only allows you to acquire games through a
download service that's only available in Brazil! Luckily, through a
Brazilian auction site, Google translate and a lot of dumb luck, I was able to
procure myself a Zeebo system with Double Dragon already loaded onto it!
While Double Dragon Zeebo seems like a remake of the first game (seems to be all
we fans get after DD 3; still just glad to get something), it's more of a remake
of Double Dragon Advance with a few tweaks added here and there. Developed
by a company called Brizo with some help and/or input from Million, DDZ is a
fast-paced game with extra focus on mid-air juggling. But make no mistake,
from start to finish this game is pure Double Dragon.
Color-wise, the graphics in DDZ are very much like the ones in Double Dragon
Advance, but that's about where the similarities stop. Billy and Jimmy
themselves have a more modern anime look now. Actually, they're closer to
the cutscene artwork in DDA. The enemies as well have a new look to them
but for the most part they're recognizable (except maybe Linda, who is sporting
a blue 'fro this time around, and Abobo, who is still as muscular as he was
before, but now he is simply wider than other characters instead of being taller
than them), and the new characters created just for this game look amazing!
This game has six missions: three from the original DD, one that resembles a
stage from DD 3, and two completely new missions. Mission 1 is the
familiar city slum and it looks great. However, it is a bit short compared
to the original, though the iconic spot where the enemies bust through the wall
is still there. Mission 2 is the industrial area, sans conveyor the belt
and with Burnov as the new boss (ala DDA). Mission 3 is the first new
stage, which is a broken-down highway. It's a pretty fun stage and with
its uneven levels and plentiful barrels to throw around, there's a lot to do.
Juggling an enemy off a ledge and then continuing down on a lower level is quite
satisfying. Mission 4 is the second new stage and what I call the endless
hallway. As the name says its a long, dark hallway you continue down, and
it's littered with doors that enemies continue to pop out of. Honestly,
this is one of the less-exciting stages as the colors are drab and there's not
much to look at as you push toward the boss. Mission 5 is an urban dojo
and while it's not exactly like this, it looks to be inspired by Ranzou's stage
from Double Dragon 3, complete with teleporting ninjas throwing shurikens.
Finally, there's Mission 6, good ol' Willy's hideout. It hasn't changed
much from the old arcade version, but this stage sure invokes a feeling of
nostalgia. The moving wall and spear hazards are a bit easy to bypass in
this game due to Billy & Jimmy's ability to run.
Brizo kind of dropped the ball here in my opinion. While the themes
that come from the original are intact and very recognizable, they sound way too
processed. The songs are somewhat bland midi renditions that lack the
charm of even the NES versions, and they hold no candle to the arcade and GBA
versions. While the songs aren't terrible, they still leave much to be
desired. Also, just like with the GBA version, the developers chose to
recycle the same music for two stages (Missions 4 & 5). While this
recycled tune is new, it's more relegated to background noise as it doesn't pump
you up the way some of the other themes did in the past.
The reason the sound even gets a B+ is because of the effects. From the
whip crack to the hit sounds, everything sounds crisp, concise and like it
REALLY hurts! Billy and Jimmy even have new screams and yells that seem to
work perfectly with their new anime design!
Enemy selection in this game is incredibly varied with lots
of familiar faces, a few new ones, and best of all, new moves and attacks for
some of the old characters. For example, Abobo can now block as well as
use somewhat of a super attack. He turns completely dark (except for his
eyes which, sparkle all evil-like), then he smashes the floor with a punch that
sends shockwaves out all around him, and the only way to escape the shockwaves
is to jump. There's a fat break-dancing boss, a swordswoman with white
hair who can sprout angel wings for an instant kill attack (yikes), and a BIG,
club-wielding maniac in an Oni mask that can literally make the ceiling collapse
on you! The ninjas from DD 3 also make a return, except this time they're
teleporting and hopping as opposed to running. The enemies still pull the
official DD AI behavior of trying to swarm you on both sides, but with the new
plethora of moves the game is more fun and challenging than frustrating.
All the Double Dragon staples are here. From bats, to
whips, to knives and barrels, everything makes a return! Although the Kali
Sticks from DDA are missing, you can now drop weapons without going into a
blocking stance the way it was required in DDA, which makes weapons a bit more
fun. For example, if you're wielding the nunchucks, you can hit your
opponent twice, and before you deliver the final blow you can drop your weapon
and use your Tae Kwon Do kicks for big damage (which you can't do with a weapon
in your hand)! You can also keep weapons throughout the entire stage.
My only gripe about the weapons is that they don't appear as often as they did
in DDA, so you can't play around with them as much.
Controls and Moves: A+
Being on a gaming console with multiple buttons certainly helps this
incarnation of DD. The moves and controls are very similar to DDA, but now
instead of having to press two buttons together to do crouch, headbutt or
cyclone kick, you can simply push one button. Of course, what makes any
control scheme great is variety, and you can still crouch, etc., by pushing two
buttons together if you want to (which is how I play). There are also two
buttons for jumping: the right shoulder button (GBA style), and one of the face
buttons (SDD style). The left shoulder button no longer blocks but instead
drops your current weapon.
All the moves return from DDA sans two specific ones: the block counter and the
mounted punches. It's never good to lose moves, but in this case I feel
like the developer got rid of them because they would slow down the action in
this game and they wanted it to play very fast and furious, though this is just
The juggling aspect of this game really drives it forward. While juggling
was a component in DDA, this game takes this aspect even further as some of the
moves that couldn't touch you in midair in DDA now can, thus allowing you to
create amazing juggling combos.
For example, you can punch an enemy twice to stun him, walk up to grab him, give
him two knees to the face, then do the pop-up kick (up + kick) and follow it
with two headbutts, a dragon hook (punch while dashing), another headbutt, and
finally a hyper knee. But that's not to say that fundamentals don't count
for anything anymore since you still need to have a good command over moves like
the back elbow and hyper uppercut to progress through the game with any sort of
success, especially on hard mode.
OK, so there are only three modes in the game. That includes One-Player
Mode, Two Player Mode, and "Extra" Mode. Now, I know with only three modes
you're probably wondering why I gave the mode section an A+. Well, for the
Extra Mode, you get to play through the game as ANY of the enemies from the
game! That's right, if you want to be one of the "Agents," you can!
Want to lash your way through the game as Linda? Go for it! Heck,
you can even use the Dragons as well and go through the game as Jimmy and Willy
(complete with machine gun action!).
You unlock this mode after beating the regular game on any difficulty level.
Once Extra Mode is unlocked, you can select Billy, Jimmy, Williams or Roper to
play with. From there, every time you beat the game in Extra Mode you will
unlock four more characters until there are only four bosses left to unlock.
Then you must beat the game once per boss to unlock each boss character.
The selectable enemies don't exactly get in-game endings, but you do get cool
screenshots of the character you used doing things you wouldn't normally see
(like a shirtless Willy shooting into the sky Rambo style).
This mode alone almost makes it worth the hassle of tracking down this game!
A friend and I went through the game as Abobo and Willy, which was amazingly
fun, especially when we were fighting our doppelgangers. You can tell that
the game wasn't designed with these additional characters in mind as they can't
run and some in fact are a bit slower - getting past the moving wall and the
spears in Willy's Hideout proved to be a little ridiculous. But it's still
an amazing mode and (with the exception of the new characters in DD 3) is
definitely unlike anything seen in previous Double Dragon games!
While it can be said that this game is a remix of Double Dragon Advance, I
have to say the overall feel and focus on juggling makes DDZ a different enough
game from DDA, such that it can stand on its own as an amazing title.
Brizo did a great job and it shows that they were also DD fans who put a lot of
effort into the game. The Extra mode is also an amazing feature that no
other Double Dragon has ever had and it adds some replay value to the game.
With six medium-sized missions, some may think it's a bit short, but I think
that's easily remedied by playing the game on the hard difficulty setting. The
trademark two-player mode is also a plus since the handheld versions of DD make
multiplayer difficult (as evidenced with DDA). To put it simply, Double
Dragon Zeebo just plain rocks.
Besides, when else are you going to be able to shoot up the streets as Machine