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Page 1:
Double Dragon (Arcade)

Page 2:
Double Dragon (NES)
Double Dragon (Game Boy)
Comparison Screenshots

Page 3:
Double Dragon II (Arcade)
Double Dragon II (NES)
Double Dragon II (Game Boy)

Page 4:
Double Dragon 3 (Arcade)
Double Dragon III (NES)

Page 5:
Return of Double Dragon
The Revenge of Billy Lee

Page 6:
Double Dragon V
Double Dragon (Neo Geo)

Page 7:
Double Dragon Advance
Double Dragon (Zeebo)
Double Dragon (iOS / Android)

Page 8:
Double Dragon Neon
Wander of the Dragons

Page 9:
Battletoads & Double Dragon
Rage of the Dragons
Abobo's Big Adventure

Page 10:
Other Media

Discuss on the Forums!

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Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls - SNES, Genesis, Jaguar (August 1994)

Genesis Cover

European SNES Cover

Apparently, the Double Dragon animated series hadn't done enough damage to the franchise on its own. Among a variety of action figures and vehicles, there was also this particular Street Fighter 2 clone, the genre du jour for licensed games if it wasn't a platformer, kart racer, or party game. As per usual, Technōs had nothing to do with this, so this particular game comes from Leland Interactive Media. If you're not concerned yet, remember that these are the same people who gave us Brute Force.

Double Dragon V is based entirely on the animated series, meaning that it's likewise Double Dragon in name only. The character lineup is pretty odd, as well, with Billy & Jimmy being the only heroes among twelve different characters, even though the cartoon had "honorary dragons" show up and leave all the time. The rest of the cast is made up of recurring villains from the show, including big bad guy Shadow Master, generic mook Blade, and the bumbling henchmen Icepick, Trigger Happy, and Countdown. Other characters are exclusive to the game, including Bones, a skeleton with a machine gun, a pink vest and eighties shades - this game does not deserve such a cool character. There's also a dominatrix as a subboss, because dominatrixes make great characters for children's media.

Along with the standard arcade mode, there's actually a Story Mode to the game, which at least provides some flimsy context to the fighting. The Dragons' plotline has them going around beating up the Shadow Warriors to prevent them from unleashing a deadly plague, while the evil characters get a plotline about fighting to see who gets to become the Shadow Master's second in command. All of this is contained in a single still image and a block of scrolling text, which never gets more complex than "Shadow Master made an evil Jimmy clone, go beat him up", but it's an honorable, if rather misguided, effort.

Double Dragon V (Jaguar)

Unfortunately, when it comes time to actually play the game, it's a pretty terrible, barebones fighter that offers nothing that hadn't already been done in 1991. Every hit you land shoves your opponent backwards, removing any kind of combo potential and forcing you to constantly have to edge towards your opponent. The biggest crime, however, is the odd stat system the game uses, where you have to allocate a certain number of points between your damage, your defense, and the effectiveness of your special moves. If you leave everything at the default, you're generally going to do pitiful damage, with defense to match. And since most special moves are incredibly easy for the AI to stop before they ever happen, your best chance is disabling your special moves entirely and investing the extra points in your damage output.

About the only real surprise the game has to offer are the Overkills, which are basically character-specific KO animations. On the final round, if you land an attack of a certain strength that varies by opponent, the other character will be defeated in a particularly spectacular fashion. The Lees skeletonize, Countdown has his robotic arms fall off, and the dominatrix turns into a pile of worms. They're not particularly violent compared to, say, Mortal Kombat, and some of them leave the opponent only incapacitated. That said, it's still rather odd that the main character of a children's cartoon, who's an avowed pacifist, at that, can freely murder his own brother. The game makes no note of this, and Jimmy only shows up mildly bruised on the traditional "post victory" screen.

Double Dragon V (Genesis)

The SNES and Genesis versions of the game don't differ too much from each other in terms of gameplay. Some of the backgrounds use different colors. The Genesis version comes with an MA-13 rating, justified apparently by a few blood splatters when characters get hit. There's also an odd difference in one of the Overkills. If Sickle is Overkilled in the SNES version, he drills himself into the ground and looks somewhat annoyed. In the Genesis version, on the other hand, he falls over and is impaled by one of his own arm blades. The European release of the SNES version is also missing several characters for some reason, but makes the two bosses playable.

The version on the Jaguar - supposedly the most technologically advanced platform - suffers from a smaller cast, no Story mode, and characters that do even less damage than before. The graphics have been recolored to use a larger palette, but the shading is somewhat cheap-looking. Parts of the backgrounds are also replaced by ugly CGI elements. The controller certainly doesn't do this version any favors, either.

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • Leland Interactive Media

Publisher:

  • Tradewest

Creative Director:

  • Kevin Lydy

Genre:

Themes:


Double Dragon V (SNES)

Double Dragon V (SNES)

Double Dragon V (SNES)

Double Dragon V (SNES)

Double Dragon V (Jaguar)


Comparison Screenshots


Additional Screenshots


Double Dragon - Neo Geo, PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PSP, PS Vita (1995)

Arcade Flyer

PlayStation Cover

By the mid-nineties, belt-scrolling arcade brawlers where just kind of over, which makes it understandable that Technōs final attempt in making the series relevant again also jumps on the 1-on-1 fighting game bandwagon. Apparently someone at Technōs was actually excited about the Double Dragon movie, and thus this game ties in with it, albeit very loosely. Aside from a short clip in the intro and a few still images in the arcade stage, the identifiable references are limited to the boss being named Shugo, Abobo's design (his mutation here is temporary and part of his special moves), the imagery of the amulet and the Lee brothers transforming into their stronger versions, Super Saya-jin style.

Double Dragon (Neo Geo)

For the most part, the game is a very by-the-numbers iteration on the Street Fighter II formula, to the extent that Billy and Jimmy are turned into the obligatory shotoclones with the usual energy ball, uppercut and spin kick special moves. The gameplay feels noticibly faster and smoother than most Street Fighter titles and other fighting games at the time. The two features that make the gameplay stand out a bit are the fact that special moves apply to all attack buttons, no matter if they're punch or kick based, and a rather unique "charge" move system, which combines features of the standard super move and desperation meters: As players dish out damage, they build up a blue energy meter, but it overlays on the standard health bar from the opposite site of the red damage indicator. Once the blue and red parts meet, an indicator starts flashing to announce that the strong charge moves are now available, so this happens a lot faster the less health you have left.

In its presentation, Double Dragon is a true Neo Geo game. It starts with a furious intro accompanied with a fun, poppy remix of the familiar Double Dragon theme while showcasing screen-filling concept art of the characters flashing by in between quick in-engine fighting scenes, and it all culminates with the Lee brothers turning into red and blue spirit dragons flying into the foreground to summon up the Double Dragon logo. Some sprites like Abobo and Burnov are huge, and the camera zooms out when the fighters get far away from each other, like in Art of Fighting or Samurai Shodown.

Double Dragon (Neo Geo)

Each stage has many destructible objects and other visual gimmicks. For example, if a fighter is juggled against the ceiling in Abobo's sewer stage, a subway car comes crashing down from above. The most impressive stage is ninja Amon's arena, which takes place on the wings of a vintage aeroplane, which flies through a canyon with the rock walls on both sides rushing by like in a Sega Super Scaler game. All the combatants also have individual entrance animations for their own home stages - in the Lee brothers' dojo, the host is seen sparring with a generic martial arts guy, before the challenger jumps in and kicks him away, newcomer Rebecca leaps down from a burning building in the background, and of course Abobo comes in smashing through a wall.

The game was ported into a version for the PlayStation, which remained exclusively in Japan until Monkey Paw Games published it on the American PSN marketplace as is, with the win quotes, endings and options in Japanese. It does a valiant job at retaining the visuals of the original. Only the intro was completely replaced to feature mostly a montage of scenes from the movie, with the character portraits now in color, but in FMV with ugly fragmenting. The video is much slower paced compard to the Neo Geo intro, and accompanied by generic hard rock music instead of the iconic Double Dragon theme.

The PlayStation version also adds two new modes: Over Drive Mode inserts a simple priority pattern into the game by which moves cancel each other out based on the button pressed to use them. Tiny 3D Mode is tiny in two senses of the word: It only lasts one fight in the city streets stage before going back to the main menu, and it uses a tiny zoomed-out view of the game - at least until you mess with the camera. In this mode, the stage is transformed into a 3D diorama. It still uses the same 2D elements, but some background elements stand out before others as you pan, turn and zoom the camera around within certain bounds. It doesn't look good, it doesn't add anything to the game and there's not much of it, so it seems it was meant more as a gag rather than a serious feature.

Double Dragon (PlayStation)

While the Double Dragon fighting game is neither particularly substantial in its mechanics, nor innovative enough to reserve it a place in the canon of great video games, it certainly is a great spectacle and a pure celebration of 2D sprite special effects. It is also much more playable and enjoyable than Double Dragon V.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

  • SNK (Neo Geo)
  • Urban Plant (PlayStation)

Director:

  • ??

Genre:

Themes:


Double Dragon (Neo Geo)

Double Dragon (Neo Geo)

Double Dragon (Neo Geo)

Double Dragon (Neo Geo)

Double Dragon (Neo Geo)

Double Dragon (PlayStation)

Double Dragon (PlayStation)


Additional Screenshots


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Double Dragon (Arcade)

Page 2:
Double Dragon (NES)
Double Dragon (Game Boy)
Comparison Screenshots

Page 3:
Double Dragon II (Arcade)
Double Dragon II (NES)
Double Dragon II (Game Boy)

Page 4:
Double Dragon 3 (Arcade)
Double Dragon III (NES)

Page 5:
Return of Double Dragon
The Revenge of Billy Lee

Page 6:
Double Dragon V
Double Dragon (Neo Geo)

Page 7:
Double Dragon Advance
Double Dragon (Zeebo)
Double Dragon (iOS / Android)

Page 8:
Double Dragon Neon
Wander of the Dragons

Page 9:
Battletoads & Double Dragon
Rage of the Dragons
Abobo's Big Adventure

Page 10:
Other Media

Discuss on the Forums!

Back to the Index