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Double Dragon

Considering its success in the arcades, it was no surprise that fans, long-time and new, were overjoyed when Double Dragon’s port to the NES was announced. Though the port was by and large successful, the two-player cooperative mode was somehow lost in the transition, which was very disappointing. Aside from this set-back, almost everyone out there loved how DD had made the switch, and the console game was an instant hit.

Let me just say that I am going to step out here and be the first person here to say that even though Double Dragon is greatly entertaining, I don’t like it. You get to punch and kick and even grab people by their hair and slam their skulls against the hard bone of your knee, but that doesn’t help you any, because the enemy can do it all too, and with better precision than you. Such difficult AI puts this game low on my list, even though I still return to it often to see if I’ve gotten any better.

Like the graphics, Double Dragon’s sounds are an amazing transition from arcade to NES, a lot of them are interesting to listen to; it’s almost impossible not to start humming along to a few of the more memorable tunes, especially the title screen, which is also the final battle theme. Unfortunately, the sound quality is nowhere near as good as the arcade was, but it’s something to deal with.

The story centers around Billy Lee, a tough kid from the streets. When an evil gang kidnaps his girlfriend, Marian, he vows to take revenge by fighting his way to her. The game takes place through four levels where Billy uses a variety of fighting techniques to take on the hoods that greet him every step of the way.

Strangely Billie’s Aryan brother can also join in the fight.  But watch out, he’s horny.  He’s not battling simply for the heck of it.  He has designs on the girl as well, so if you do manage to beat the game watch out, he might just stab you in the back, or slam your head up against his knee or something.

The game is somewhat short with only four levels, but they are pretty challenging, especially with the lack of a continue or password feature. Unfortunately, the levels are very linear with no secrets, so there isn’t too much replay value once the game is completed. There is, however, a two-player fighting mode where you and a friend can fight each other with various characters in the game. The action is fun, if simple. There is, however, no two-player cooperative mode like in the arcade.

This is easily one of the best games for NES and as far as playability goes, it’s top notch!