Commodore User


Double Dragon
By Melbourne House
Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Commodore User #64

Double Dragon

I'll make no apologies about this. I'm going to take this review very personally. Double Dragon rates very high on my list of ways to spend 30 pense. It's right up there with Raisin and Biscuit Yorkies and a double pack of pocket size tissues. For this reason I've very protective of the old beat-'em-up.

Rightly so, Melbourne House have produced a version that howls for vengeance. Devotees will know that the coin-op plot has you, and a mate if it's played in its best format, making your way through extremely dodgy territory in pursuit of a gang who have kidnapped your girlfriend. It's pure beat-'em-up fare, and a classic at that.

The programmers converting Double Dragon have ignored the initial on-screen plot which is played out immediately the game begins as your woman is first grabbed, then transported off into the backstreets of Marseilles, where the game is set.

Double Dragon

Instead you begin your quest, only to find out that the programmers have performed an evil deed on your fighter. Not only have they whipped his best girlie, but they've cut him in half too! It's true, no-one bothered to butt the two sprites up together. Still, I mean it's only a minor detail if the main character looks like an extra from Rentaghost!

Still this can't possibly compare to the gameplay which is very average. The instructions maintain that all the moves are there, but I've found it's only necessary to use the punch and kick (I'm never quite sure which one it's going to be) to knock the enemy down. The trouble is they get up again. In fact, you have to thump them five or six times to knock them down, and repeat the process three times until they leave you alone. That's confusing exhaustive boredom with addictive toughness.

This might all put Double Dragon into the mediocre stakes were it not for the agonising multi-load on the thing. Fail on the first level and you have to reload most of it in again. Baaarrrff!

Justice is done.

Amiga Update

The ST version is already around and the Amiga should appear even as you read this. The graphics and gameplay are much improved. Sound too is much superior although it isn't sampled from the arcade machine. Review next issue.

Mike Pattenden

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