Sinclair User1st October 1991
Published in Sinclair User #119
Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone
Ever fancied a spot of globe trotting with a pair of fab and furious fighting freaks from the free world? Well, if so Double Dragon 3 could be the answer to your yearnings. Put simply, it's absolutely fab - in a nutty, Ninja sort of way of course!
Billy and Jimmy, neither of whom are from Glasgow, have a new quest to fulfil, namely recovering the highly valuable Rosetta stones from their hidden resting place in Egypt to pay for the release of careless Marion who has been kidnapped again. Oh no, poor old Marion. (Double Dragon fans will realise that she makes a bit of habit of this). Guided by their friend Hiruko the soothsayer, they must journey through live continents and do battle with the most ferocious enemies they have ever encountered.
In Double Dragon 3 our happy heroes travel to the USA, China, Japan, Italy and Egypt and with four extension game scenarios on the last mission, this gives a grand total of nine furious all action levels. Difficulty is gradually built into the game and as you progress onto later levels it becomes more difficult to manage with only one player so the two player mode is not only very good it's very essential too!
Looking at Double Dragon 3 you begin to wonder why everything on the Spectrum can't be programmed as accurately and beautifully. Unfortunately the screens are all monochrome but this does mean that memory isn't wasted on colour which to be honest would make the game look messy. Other recent examples of this train of thought include Rodland and Pang both of which have most excellent mono graphics. The sprites here are big and very well drawn, in fact you'd almost think they were from an Amiga, which of course they are - and mahhn do they look good!
If you've seen the arcade game you'd instantly recognise all the enemies and end of level baddies which include Hell's Angels bikers, Samurai, mutant tree men and fat sumo wrestlers made of rock.
At the end of the game you must face the ultimate challenge and defeat the Stones' guardian - a mummy who turns out to be none other than Cleopatra (fwooor!)
Double Dragon 3 is faithful to the coin op, and has retained nearly all it's features. The action is gripping and the game lacks the sort of dodgy sprite detection and collisions that often hamper the playability of this sort of game.
If anyone harbours doubts about the Spectrum's capabilities then show them DD3. This game's gonna kick some software butt this Christmas. Hold onto your Pizza's - the boys are back!
Label: Storm Memory: 128K Price: £11.99 Tape Reviewer: Big Al Dykes
Double Dragon 3 has to be one of the best arcade conversions I've ever seen on the Spectrum. Fast, accurate action and superbly animated sprites make it completely essential paying for beat 'em up fans. Miss it at your peril!