Kidney stones? Gallstones? Stones upside your head? All of the above. Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones brings the punishment. Not only are the foes a great deal harder in this entry, you only have one life and the game begins like you chose expert mode. Having another player join the fray is like taking a couple aspirin when you have a migraine; any sort of relief you feel is a placebo effect.
The real trick to this game is learning the surprisingly vast array of moves and repeating them ad nauseam until you say, “This is silly. I shouldn’t have to repeat these powerful moves over and over again just to beat a single peon. I’m turning this off and playing Double Dragon II.” That being said, one of the best moves is the mid-air somersault. Pull off two or three of those, and your foes will go down – but why should that much effort be expended?
Double Dragon III would still be difficult if you gave the player three lives and left the computer AI as hard as it is. Couldn’t the one-life option be for the super hardcore players? With time, energy, and patience, you can destroy this game and its titular stones, but the overwhelming challenge and repetitive fisticuffs make it the least enjoyable entry in the trilogy.
PUBLISHER: Acclaim DEVELOPER: Technos GENRE: Beat-em-up
RELEASE DATE: 02/22/91 – (JP), 02/1991 – (US), 1991 – (EU)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON: Amiga, ARC, C64, Amstrad CPC, GB, GEN, PC, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Wii U VC