Super Double Dragon Retro Review

Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback

Super Double Dragon was released for the Super Nintendo in 1992. Following the classic beat’em’up style, players take control of our martial arts heroes, Billy and Jimmy. Seven different unique stages were presented in this version of Double Dragon, and unlike previous titles in the series this game was not a port of a previously rendered arcade game, but a completely original title specifically designed for the SNES.

controlling the on-screen characters is smooth and really self-explanatory. One of the things I like about SDD as opposed to the many other beat’em’up games out there at the time, is that not only can you punch and kick, but you can also block and turn those blocks into a grab combo.  I feel that, especially for its time, SDD was about as advanced as a fighting game could get with fine tuned controls. The player can even pull of a special jump-kick move, adding even more fun to the game. Some of the enemies pull these same block, grab moves off too, adding an interesting challenge that you don’t see in most beat’em’ups.

Another feature to the game is the R/L button bar located underneath of the health bar. It’s pretty hard to get it full but if you do your on-screen character can choose to throw down your enemy without fail, or my favorite spin kick about five times all the way across the screen taking every enemy on your way. Later on during your adventure you gain weapons, such as, the boomerang, nunchuck, bowstaff, knife, and bomb, helping you to take down and annihilate everyone in your path. Some of these weapons are definitely more useful than others but none-the-less a refreshing additive to your regular fighting game.

Artistically the game is quite nice, considering when it was developed. The color scheme could have used a bit more love but the backgrounds and characters are quite nice. The character animations are pretty awesome and unexpected at times. Wait until a fat clown comes spinning through the air at you, it’s pretty sweet. The music is another plus to the game, although since I’ve been playing double dragon for a while I have an appreciation for it at this point. Overall the game is challenging as well, and depending on how much of a challenge you like, can be a bit frustrating. I’m happy with a somewhat hard game rather than not enough of one and consider Super Double Dragon to be a true classic.

Super Double Dragon Gets


Out of five

What’s Legit?


+Artistic style


What’s Perpetrating?

-Challenge (may be too much for some players.)

-The bow-staff is a useless and annoying item

-It takes a lot of effort to fill the R/L bar

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3 thoughts on “Super Double Dragon Retro Review

  1. First off, I loooooooooove this game, I jam on this all the time, it’s so well done, to me, one of the best beat-em-ups of all time, and mainly because of what you mentioned, the fighting system.
    I can’t think of any other beat-em up around that same area that had as much variation in the control scheme and system as this. I don’t know if you were just summarizing or if you didn’t know about these tricks, but there’s actually a modifier you can do with the kick, making it a low-to-high double kick if you hold down while attacking, and then it’s a sidekick when they’re stunned.
    There’s even an off-the-wall kick you can do by jumping at a wall, pressing the button again, and then kicking. I can’t seriously think of many other games in this era that had features like that.

    Not only that, but when an enemy is stunned, either of the punches or kicks become devastating hits, and the grab button allows you to clinch strike, where you can elbow or knee until a finishing elbow/knee, or throw them. That there’s so many different ways to jack someone up is what makes this so satisfying, because it doesn’t get as old!

    You can definitely tell that there are some unfinished parts to the game, I heard that it was rushed for release, and from the incomplete story, lack of other features, and weapon mechanics, you can tell. Like, they worked really hard on the nunchaku animations, those are life-accurate for the most part and detailed for 16-bit, but you were totally right about the staff, aside from it’s range, it’s useless and boring because they only animated one move with it. I get the feeling that were it not rushed, it would’ve been even more skull-meltingly awesome. I put this one up there with Streets of Rage and Final Fight, and it’s possibly more deep and quality than either of those in my opinion.


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