Review

“A Martial Arts Explosion!”

Publisher: Acclaim
+ 2 Player Co-Op play on the NES!
+ Great Music
+ The devastating “High Jump Kick”
Developer: Technos
Genre: Beat’em up
Released: 01/1990
ESRB: NA
- Glitchy
– No continues, Not enough special moves
Platform: NES


What’s the story: Double Dragon II was originally released in arcades in December of 1988. The game then made its’ way to the NES in January of 1990. The story picks up where the original left off. Billy and Jimmy Lee find themselves in a nuclear ravaged city. The evil Black Shadow Warriors are back to harass our martial arts masters. After decimating the Double Dragon Dojo, the Shadow Warriors actually kill your girlfriend Marian. And so begins our quest for revenge! What a great reason for revenge…murder!

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retro_review_double_dragon_2_04 What’s to like: The first and most obvious feature added to Double Dragon II is the addition of 2 Player simultaneous play. Due to technical limitations this very important feature was missing from the original Double Dragon on the NES. Technos added two different modes to co-op as well. If you select “Mode A”, you and your buddy won’t be able to damage one another. If you select “Mode B”, you can inflict damage on each other. Our advice: Select Mode A to avoid a broken friendship.

retro_review_double_dragon_2_13 Next up are the story sequences that divide each stage. These sequences are similar to the cut scenes found in the original Ninja Gaiden games on the NES, only no where near as detailed or as involving. Still, they do a nice job setting up the plot for your romp through the upcoming stage. As for the stages in Double Dragon II, the arcade had a total of 4 stages, while this NES version has 9. In them, you’ll fight across rooftops, in a helicopter, and through a forest finally making your way into the Mansion of Terror – the home of the one and only “Mysterious Warrior”.

retro_review_double_dragon_2_02 The “Mysterious Warrior” is actually exclusive to the NES version and serves as the game’s final boss. He can only be reached by playing the game on “Supreme Master” mode. Beating him is the only way to truly complete Double Dragon II. You’ll need all you’ve got to take him down – good thing there’s a few cool new moves for you to do so. The most notable are the “Hyper Uppercut”, and “High Jump Kick”. The High Jump Kick is more of a knee then a kick. No matter what the their called, both moves are extremely powerful. Both these moves are executed by performing a punch or kick when landing from a jump. Mastering these two moves are a must for completing Double Dragon II.

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Whats not to like: Besides some common NES glitches (characters that flicker, etc), Double Dragon II is a fairly solid Beat em up. My two main complaints are that there are no continues without the use of a code. Second, there are no unlockable moves like the ones found in the original Double Dragon on the NES. You’ll begin the game with every move in your arsenal. While not a major issue, there was something about obtaining all 7 hearts in the original NES version that made the game more fun. Below is the first 15 minutes of Double Dragon II. As always, this video was taken from an ORIGINAL NES.

Score
Overall
Double Dragon 2 is better then its predecessor in almost every category. It has sharper graphics, 2 Player simultaneous play, more enemies, a better variety of stages, and of course more weapons. Is it a perfect game? Not even close. There’s way too many glitches and not having a single continue (beside the use of a code) is really annoying. However, in the fairly large library of NES side scrolling beat’em ups, Double Dragon II stands out as one of the best.

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