Back in the 80’s i remember i saw an arcade cabinet in a bar where two guys was playing, it was something new to me, of course i saw Gauntled cabinet and their 4 players control, but i never saw anyone play this one. Back to our two young fine gentlemen, they were playing a game with two guys punching and kicking goons, at this time the most famous beat em all was Renegade on amstrad CPC and their look inspired but the cult movie The Warriors instead of japenes furyos. This is how i discovered Double Dragon, the title itself reminds me a lot of good memories on my good old Sega Master System. Then we cant say we had a lot of good sequel, the 2nd was pretty good and original with their left and right attacks, but the third was definetly too hard and lame, i wont mention the VS adapted from the Double Dragon Tv show, but i remember the good one on Neo Geo based on the awful movie and of course Rage of the Dragons, wich impressed me more than those remake on GBA.
To me, Double Dragon is the top notch side scroller beat em up game and : multiple combos, attacks and special moves. Since of course we had the impressive Final Fight, even if it was simple to use and even if i love Streets of Rage (Bare Knuckles), i have to say no game had the Double Dragon depth, i had to wait untill one of my favorite Ubisoft game Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, and its gameplay inspired by River City Ransom (made by the creator of Double Dragon and Renegade : the kunui kun saga). Then since 2012 we had more beat’em up on pc, the good Fist Punchers and the excellent Foul Play.
Last year i was a bit sad to see there were a Double Dragon on xbox live arcade and psn, but i got my hand on the OST… and it was absolutly great, Jake Kauffman is an excellent composer (he made the ost of Bloodrayne Betrayal and Shovel Knight), i got to listen to 4 first tracks on repeat as they were so good.
Now the game is available on steam, i was finally able to play it, the game is good, not great, but really good if you love beat’em up : punches, kicks, grab, jump, a special move button, one for running and finally one to crouch. The combo list is really impressive, but what i noticed, is certainly the legacy of River City Ranson, no free roaming, but you can level up and use different special moves : fireball, the famous whirlwind kick or summon lightning. Usually in beat em all you got one or two buttons to mix and match your attacks, but at last we got back to the root of the beat em up.
The character doesnt taste like a post apocalyptic setting, like in the original Double Dragon (or Road Avenger the spinoff), the baddies and our twins looks more like from Final Fight, and certainly the game was also influenced by capcom, as our twins has to break trash bin to get foods (yeah back in the early 90s we were scavanging trash to find foods).
My first solo impression are pretty good, i m really looking forward to play a coop mode, but i would more advice the ost, it s free on bandcamp and jake kauffman is a really good composer (check also his other works).