Double Dragon

Double Dragon
Game Boy Nintendo

Double Dragon

ダブルドラゴン || Technos Japan 1990
Original Post Date: October 19, 2019

With the Game Boy edition of Double Dragon, Technos opted for the usual route of building it from scratch, rather than simply porting any existing version of the game.

That being said, it is largely based on the first Double Dragon game for NES, an excellent choice of source material, I might add.

The graphical style closely resembles its NES counterpart, understandably. Your moveset is very similar in the same regard, although the headbutt and mounting techniques are missing from your repertoire.

All your attacks are available from square one, without any sort of experience system to be found. As similar as it may look and initially play, the combat differs greatly from its console brethren.

Enemies are stunned for a great period of time, allowing you to easily chain punches and kicks together. When they’re stunned post-attack, you can also get close to catch them in your grab, an easier system than the grabs in NES Double Dragon, which are activated solely by attack range.

On the other hand, your jump kick is now noticeably slower, serving perhaps as a bit of foreshadowing to the game’s flaws, which will become crystal clear shortly into the experience.

There are four missions found here, where you’ll find elements from both the NES and the arcade version levels, as well as some original ideas worked in here and there.

While the combat in this game feels great, rivaling that of the NES version, for most players, the greatest disappointment will come from its jumping physics.

The out-of-place jumping puzzles are often criticized as the weakest element in the Double Dragon games, and unfortunately, they are jankier than ever here, with shoddy detection on moving platforms and screen scrolling that refuses to cooperate in crucial moments.

The Game Boy installment of Double Dragon is an adequate entry for established fans of the series. It is also one of the best beat ’em ups on the original Game Boy, with little to compete with in its genre.

While a number of excellent ideas went into its design, it is tragically plagued by a number of technical issues that render it harder to enjoy than it should be.

Rating: 8/10

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