Before the Streets of Rage series perfected the beat-em-up formula for the 16-bit generation, the Double Dragon series was the unquestionable king of the 8-bit streets. Brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee embodied unbridled machismo, and their skills as martial artists were unrivaled circa 1988.
The original Double Dragon pitted you against the Black Warriors gang, a motley crew of thugs, lowlifes, and whatever Abobo is. In the arcade, Billy and Jimmy were able to fight together as one brotherly unit, but the co-op was regrettably chopped from the NES version. This does hurt the port’s street cred a bit, but the fighting is solid enough to see you through to the end.
Billy and Jimmy have a wide assortment of moves that you learn as you fight. The more thugs you take down, the more hearts you obtain, the more moves you’ll learn. For example, four hearts allows you to grab hair and throw the person over your shoulder while doing so. Smooth!
And despite the lack of co-op play, Mode B allows you to duke it out against a friend with either Billy, Jimmy or four of the game’s enemies. It’s not the perfect replacement, but it does provide additional replay value for an otherwise short game.
PUBLISHER: Tradewest DEVELOPER: Technos GENRE: Beat-em-up
RELEASE DATE: 04/08/88 – (JP), 06/1988 – (US), 1990 – (EU)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON: Atari (2600, 7800, 8-bit), Amiga, Android, ARC, C64, Amstrad CPC, GB, GBA, GEN, GG, iOS, Lynx, MOB, MSX, NS, PC, PS4, SMS, X360, Zeebo, ZX Spectrum, VC (Wii, 3DS, Wii U), NS Online