In the early 90's, Double Dragon was
pretty much a household name, thanks to the success of the original Double
Dragon arcade beat-em-up, in addition to the flop of the horrible 1994 Double
Dragon film. The 1995 Neo Geo fighting game is actually a spin-off of the
movie, but also takes some cues from the beat-up-em series. Double Dragon
features 10 selectable characters and 2 bosses.
At first glance, Double Dragon seems like yet like another "me too" Street Fighter 2
wannabe of the mid-90's... and for the most part, it is.
As different from Street
Fighter 2 as can be... lol. ^o^
Instead of featuring specific kick & punch buttons like most fighting games, characters in Double Dragon have 4 basic attacks
which wary depending on the character's position. A super move meter is
also present (known as a "charge" meter in this game), and fills up
faster when a character has less health. Special "charge moves" are
performed by executing the command of a regular special move and pressing two
attack buttons simultaneously at the end instead of just one.
Double Dragon is a very straight-forward 2D fighting game, offering halfway
decent gameplay... but really not much we haven't seen before in other fighting
games of the era. To its credit, the game
does have a few entertaining characters with interesting abilities, like
characters that can change costumes mid fight (Billy & Jimmy). However, a lot of the designs
are typical "90's fare"... shallow and generic, with horribly translated
If you could somehow get past all that, some of the characters do feature halfway
interesting fighting styles, making the game "playable" at the least.
Billy & Jimmy doing
what they do best.
Visually, this incarnation of Double Dragon didn't appeal to me like
other fighting games did in the mid 90's. After becoming accustomed to the
smoothness of other 2D fighters, it's difficult for me to go
"backwards" in terms of animation and gameplay. Come on, this game was competing with
the likes of Marvel Super Heroes, MK3, KI2, Samurai Shodown 3, Darkstalkers 2...
the list goes on.
At best, Double Dragon is bright &
colorful, and the character sprites are considerably large for the time period
(but perhaps a bit too 'flat' for their own good).
PlayStation port has some differences from the original version. There were a
few visual changes to backgrounds and characters, and the PS1 version adds 2 new
modes, Overdrive (slightly faster gameplay) and Tiny 3D Mode (a shoddy attempt
at making the game appear 3D). Compared to other PS1 fighting games in 1996, Double
Dragon was definitely "behind the curve" in a few areas.
Geo, Neo Geo CD, Playstation, PSN
June 2nd, 1995
Jan. 14th, 2014
Dragon "the fighting game"was a decent spin-off of the classic
really just an average 90's fighting game. As a fan of many Capcom & SNK
games in the early 90's, Double Dragon failed to spark my interest. I
gave it a try, and still wasn't all that impressed.
I was actually a big fan of the original Double Dragon beat-em-up
games (played DD & DD2 in the arcades and Amiga as a little kid)...
but to me, this game didn't seem to have the catchy vibe of classic series. It
felt like something else entirely. The later released Rage
of the Dragons, also based on the Double Dragon series, was the
spiritual successor to this title. ~TFG