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Double Dragon
Console: PlayStation (Japanese only)
Developer: Technos Japan Corp.
Publisher: Urban Plant
Number of Players: 2
Release Date: July 1996

Story | Codes | Characters


By Saryun Viderum


I would first like to start this review by saying I'm not very good at many fighting games, but I noticed this site was really in need of a review, so I felt I should help out despite the fact that my skills at this game may be below average.  This game is basically a port of the Neo Geo game, but it's only for the Japanese PlayStation.  While being basically the same game, this conversion features a rather lengthy intro with clips from the movie, three different game modes, ten unique characters and load times (although not very long ones).  I have never played the Neo Geo version so I wouldn't know what's different other than what I've already stated.

Graphics: B

For an early PlayStation game released in 1996 they really aren't too bad.  While this is no Street Fighter Alpha 3, it does have very smooth animations throughout the game and no real slow down, as well as very fast game play (although at one point while executing a combo the game got a bit choppy, but then again this could just be the CD).  The backgrounds are smoothly animated and interactive.  One surprising thing is the fact how the characters look different than their movie incarnations; in fact, much better.

Enemies: B+

To be honest, I really like these characters despite being inspired by a crappy movie.  There are about 10 (I read there was a code for more but couldn't get it to work) and some of them aren't even in the movie.

Sound: C+

Not much to say here other than the basic sound in any fighting game.

Weapons: N/A

Modes: B

Other than basic options that are standard in any fighting game, you get three different game modes, such as:

Overdrive Mode: Unsure of what this was other than maybe a faster version of Normal Mode.

Normal Mode: The standard tournament mode found in all fighting games.

Tiny 3D Mode: This is basically some kind of attempt to put a 3D look into the game, and to be honest it's not very pretty.  It would almost feel like a joke mode if the game hadn't come out in 1996.

While there isn't more of a variety, it is nice that they do include these options, which sets this version apart from its original version.

Controls and Moves: A

Very nice.  As I've mentioned earlier, each character is unique, having his or her own weaknesses and strengths.  A lot of moves are unique, at least they were unique for this game's time despite borrowing some ideas from KoF and Street Fighter.  One of my favorite moves is one that at first looks like Ken's hadoken, but turns out to be some kind of running blast attack - very useful.  There are also super meters which allow you to do some pretty wicked moves when used correctly.

Conclusion/Overall: B

Strangely, this isn't the only game series to turn into a tournament fighting game when jumping to a 32-bit system.  Golden Axe: The Duel and Final Fight Revenge did the same exact thing when coming out in the arcades and on the Saturn.  While a lot of us are still eagerly waiting for a true Double Dragon game, just be glad this didn't turn out anything like Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls, and just keep waiting for Double Dragon Advance.  To be honest though, putting all that aside this is a really decent game at least worth trying.