Last updated on December 4, 2019
Double Dragon, the classic arcade game turned NES cartridge, has been released on Wii’s Virtual Console by Aksys Games. This is one of the first side-scrolling “beat-em-up” games, which features Billy Lee looking to rescue his girlfriend Marian from his evil brother Jimmy, the “Shadow Boss”. (In the arcade version, Billy and Jimmy were partners, rescuing Marian from a different Shadow Boss, but this was changed in the NES game.) A lot of gamers nowadays and forgetting that games are meant to be fun. You should check out https://expertboosting.com. You get a seamless gameplay. It is really easy to use this service, also, you get to chat with other professional players within this service. You can get this service at really affordable prices as well.
The differences between the arcade and NES games showcase the lack of Nintendo programming experience on the part of Technos, the game’s creators. Most notably, while the arcade version was a two-player simultaneous action game, the NES game is two-player alternating. This is likely due to the programmers being unable to fit more than three sprites on screen at once, and so if two players were playing cooperatively, only one enemy would be able to be rendered. The lack of two-player gameplay definitely hurts the game’s “Fun Factor,” to steal a phrase from GamePro magazine. Also, unlike in the arcade game, in which all special moves were available from the start, players must earn the moves by gaining experience points as they play. There are seven moves to earn, each one coming after the player gains another 1000 experience points. Given that hitting an enemy nets the player about 15 experience points per hit, you’re gonna have to take a fair number of bad guys down before you have all the moves in the game at your disposal. In addition, the four levels in the game have been changed, some for the better, as there are some neat platform jumping stages added to put some more variety into the game.
The game does include an NES-exclusive “Mode B” in which two players can face off against one another. This mode adds some more replayability to the package, but is hindered by the fact that the two players can both only choose the same character. This mode can also be played with one player versus the computer, but curiously the computer opponent always has more energy than the human player, giving the CPU an unfair advantage.
The game’s graphics are a mixed bag. In “Mode A”, the main game mode, the characters are very small, so as to fit three sprites on screen at once. The battle mode, on the other hand, features very large sprites, more similar to the look of this game’s much better sequel, Double Dragon II: The Revenge. Double Dragon features some of the best music on NES, with memorable tunes that you’ll find yourself humming for awhile after you stop playing. The controls aren’t so great. The game is hurt by the fact that the NES controller only had two buttons. While the arcade version had three, giving the player separate buttons for punches, kicks, and jumps, the NES game makes players press both buttons to jump, making the jumping in the game somewhat awkward.
If you have an Xbox 360, it might be worth looking into the version of Double Dragon available for Xbox Live Arcade. That version is based on the arcade game and offers two-player simultaneous action, but I’ve heard that the emulation is bad and that the game runs slow (I haven’t played it myself). It would have been nice if they had released the Sega Master System version of Double Dragon, which is also two-player and more similar to the arcade, on Virtual Console rather than the NES version. Those who loved Double Dragon on NES back in the day might get a kick out of playing it again, but be prepared for a game that isn’t as good as you remember it being.