STORY / GAMEPLAY
Double Dragon is a "kick and punch everything that moves" style game, in which you take control of Billy Lee or Jimmy Lee, two young brothers that sport high martial arts skills. The Lee brothers were born and raised in a very dangerous city that's now swarmed by gangs that pummel the neighborhoods and jeopardize peace. The story starts when some members of a gang called "Black Warriors" punch and kidnap Billy's love interest, Marian. Furious by the incident, Billy sets off to find them, kick their heads off, eliminate their leader and finally save his beautiful girlfriend. But his journey is very tough, since Billy (and Jimmy) must beat up multiple enemies of various sizes and strengths, depending strongly on his fighting skills plus some weapons he gathers by eliminating armed foes (like knives, baseball bats and more). Billy must also confront big bosses and avoid traps that can instantly kill him. Double Dragon is quite slow in the NES and quite hard to play in a single player mode, as the nasties will always try to hit you...from everywhere! Also, the game’s controls are very annoying at times due to the button limitation of the NES’ control pad. To jump kick, you have to press 1 and 2 at the same time and this often does not work! Note that, this port surely differs a lot from the MS, since the latter is more faithful to the original, offering the same stage layouts and gameplay style. In addition to the main game, the NES version includes a VS mode where you can fight against the console or versus a friend; you can choose among six characters, including bad guys. This can be fun for a while and I think it’s a nice addition to the whole eperience.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
Visually, the NES port is pretty decent, particularly in terms of characters’ design, although the stages are differently designed than the original. The backgrounds have a good amount of detail and they range from buildings to caves etc. The characters’ animation is fine, as well as their design. The NES version features a variety of sounds for every move you make like punches, kicks, bat swings, dynamite explosions and many other actions (all having their own sound effect.)