Double trouble, and other cliches, Billy and Jimmy are back in the much-anticipated sequel to Double Dragon: Double Dragon II. Who’d have thought that a) the brothers would make it back to the gaming arena and b) that the title would have a two in it, in this case, roman numerals. How sophisticated. But sophistication stops there. All conflicts are sorted with fisticuffs, and the brothers are some bad dudes. Not those brothers, the other ones.
As you – specifically you [say your name aloud so that this post seems applicable and personalised for you] are well aware, I enjoyed the original Double Dragon. It is known. Sure, the NES wasn’t the best version, but I had to write about it as I like the game and want to marry it, plus it came with the NES Online catalogue – I don’t need to pay or ask the developers to send me a copy. Please, Mr and Mrs Developer – please let me have your games. I’ll be nice…
The same stuff happens here: it’s a side scroller, and it’s a beat ’em up. Billy and Bobby Lee (not Jimmy, he was removed and replaced with Bobby of MadTV and Tiger Belly fame) are out for Willy. No, they haven’t changed sides, it’s the same dick from the first one, but as he’s such the gent, he’s gone and murder death killed Billy’s true love, Marian. Bummer. It goes without seeing he needs to be dealt with, but first, the brothers need to illustrate their dissatisfaction by cracking some eggs. They don’t cook, that’s a metaphor for beating people up. Ah – you got it? Ok, maybe I shouldn’t have explained that as it just seems a bit excessive now. You know, explaining a joke, then self-aware and writing so much that it’s almost half as long as the bit about the game.
Yeah, so Billy and Jimmy (not Bobby Lee – I phased you) go about beating people up. NES fanboys might argue that this is the better game as the controls are better, but I poo-poo that notion and say Double Dragon is better. The story was more in-depth, I preferred the controls, and it has much more appeal for me in particular as I played so many versions of it. This is an excellent opportunity for me to mention the arcade game and the beloved Amiga. That is all.
What’s my beef with the controls? You hit a button to attack in that direction. Facing right, you attack right with one button, and some scallywag attempts to sucker-punch you from behind? Press the left attack while cleverly facing the right still. I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. Why? Because I can just turn to face that way. Every other side-scrolling beat ’em up has managed to. Why does the DD have to change things up? Revolutionaries my arse – they were trying to be clever, and I don’t like it. I repeat: I don’t like it. Delete the game.
That’s dramatic. They don’t need to delete the game as it’s pretty good. Still, I just suggest that Technos Japan do a recall and rewrite the code so that players turn to face their opponent and each button represents a punch and a kick respectively. I believe that to be a fair criticism and suggestion. Your time starts now, Technos Japan. My version of the game will remain for as long as Nintendo keeps it in their catalogue. Meanwhile, play this game on the NES Online with the dodgy controls and see how you get on.
Disclaimer: I once had a friend named Lee. He was a nice guy. There aren’t any Billy’s or Jimmy’s in my circle of friends, but I know a Harry. He doesn’t do any martial arts as he’s a dog. Perhaps that could be a future title: 3D – Double Dragon Dogs. Hands down I’d play the German Shepherd as I wouldn’t want to disappoint my pup-pup. Her special move would be farting silently, walking away then whoever is left in the room gets the blame. The move would be called furz sturm X.