Retro Review- Double Dragon Neo Geo

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Double Dragon is a beloved beat em up franchise that has endured for years. When I was young, I would play Double Dragon II on NES with my older brothers all the time, and it was great fun. However, some of the later games were not as good, such as Double Dragon III on NES, and when Double Dragon V came out on the SNES, it was just bizarre. It was a fighting game and while it had its good points, it wasn’t particularly good as a fighting game. Most agreed that the series should be strictly a beat em up, but thankfully Tecnos did not agree.

1994 was the year that Double Dragon was adapted into a poorly received movie. That movie, received a video game adaptation that stood out. Most video game adaptations of movies are not great and games based on movies based on fighting games…..well you all remember Street Fighter: The Movie :The Game. Double Dragon for Neo Geo was something else entirely, as it was an SNK style fighting game, and was also the last game Tecnos made before going under.

It was criticized as generic and poorly designed at first, but like many other hidden gems, it has aged very well. The fighting is well done, and even though the announcer has poor English even by fighting game standards, the game has a lot of charm, It is remarkably well polished and has animations that are better than many fighting games from the last 15 years. The stages feel different than stages in fighting games from today, and all feel like unique. For instance, Dulton’s stage starts with him jet skiing to the platform while the jet ski continues going off in the background till it crashes into a building that explodes. That is not the only example, however, as the backgrounds all had something going on that felt unique. . Each fighter while having some generic moves, still felt unique in their own way like Burnov, a character from Double Dragon II. It made great use of the camera view and even helped make a few visual innovations for fighting games.

Forgive me for my fandom heresy, but this is actually my favourite game in the series and as the last game Technos made before they went under, it was an excellent game to leave on. I would love it if this could be brought to modern systems, even though some changes would need to be made.  With proper online support, this could even develop a scene around it and that would be amazing, since more people should experience the awesomeness of Double Dragon on Neo Geo!

 

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