Version Reviewed: 1.00.01
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Double Dragon celebrated its 25th anniversary with an updated iPhone version, but has it managed to hold on to everything that has made it such a legendary franchise in the process?
I was happy to see that the classic visuals, 80's soundtrack, and damsel-in-distress story were all still present and cheesier than ever before. In terms of the game screen, the amount of buttons is deceptively simple. Although there may only be one directional button and four attack buttons there is an impressive array of moves available as laid out in the command list. Uppercuts, flying knees, head-butts, and special attacks all go towards keeping gameplay varied and particularly challenging to master (especially when it comes to initiating juggling). Let's not forget the infamous weapons either. Barrels, whips, and steel pipes are all available to pick up and wield against the never-ending parade of thugs.
Double Dragon came from a time when games were difficult. Thankfully, a forgiving easy mode and a generous amount of lives means that players have a fair chance of completing the game in one sitting. However, there is no opportunity for users to leave the game and come back to it at a later date, meaning that gameplay can become monotonous as time goes on. Fortunately, the story and outlandish bosses provide a welcome distraction from the endless pummelling.
To be honest though, the fun was never in playing this game alone, but rather in recruiting a buddy to button-bash along with. Co-op multiplayer is possible through Bluetooth, adding some much-needed longevity and playability to the game. Teamwork was what Double Dragon was all about, and it's still just as fun as when I used to play it with my brother when I was younger (preceded by many arguments and tantrums, of course). Game Center is definitely something that is missing though. Co-op is the main appeal here – certainly for me – so auto-matching would add even greater replay value.
Double Dragon will be a burst of nostalgia for some and a history lesson for others. Those who have never played one of the grandaddies of the side-scrolling beat-em-up genre should check it out, especially for this price.