#188 – Double Dragon

Billy and Jimmy Lee fight for their right to, er… fight.
Abobo isn’t taking any guff.

PLAYERS: 1-2 alternating

PUBLISHER: Tradewest


GENRE: Beat-em-up


Before Streets of Rage and Final Fight perfected the beat-em-up formula for the 16-bit generation, the Double Dragon series was the unquestionable king of the 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 the disturbing Abobo character 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 bros/chicks you fight, 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. Can’t front on that! 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.


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7 replies on “#188 – Double Dragon”

A few thoughts:

1. That cover is still bad ass.

2. While missing the 2 player, which is just as bewildering as Capcom excluding it from Final Fight on SNES, the other thing these two games have in common, is that all around they’re still great ports of great arcade games.

3. The two player vs. battle mode is a worthless throw away, and I find myself wondering if they couldn’t have possibly left it out and fit in actual 2 player instead. After all, Double Dragon 2 and 3 on NES have co-op, as do other beat em ups like the TMNT games, River City Ransom, Battletoads, etc. My guess is, Technos was just lazy, same with Capcom with FF. Hell, Capcom excluded co-op on Mighty Final Fight, ALSO a great port (and I loved that they threw in the DD-like leveling system).

Bottom line though, DD is still a great game for NES.

Double Dragon for NES, while regrettably lacking co-op, is waaaaaaay better than the Sega Master System version which you recommend; the SMS DD has broken controls, and is frustrating as hell.

No mention of the music ? Easily one of the best soundtrack on the NES IMHO. I have a soft spot for this game even if I resent the platforming sections (just poor jumping controls and cheap deaths) that do not belong in a beat-em-up.

I had a few issues with this game, other than the fact of the double dragons resembling sloth from the goonies on the box art, I was upset how they handled the two player gameplay… Its called double dragon for a reason…. I was broken hearted playing “Single Dragon” and even when I tried playing the fight mode with a second player, I found it totally lame that I and my opponent were bound to the same friggin guy! I wanted to see Billy vs Jimmy! Chin vs Abobo…. instead I got Jimmy vs Jimmy…. sausage fest 1980! Ugh….

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