Real Talk By: KJ
Fallen company ‘Technōs Japan’ did what they could to make the 1994 Live-Action movie look sweet. This high-powered intro features rocking music and a montage of film/video game footage. Instantly, your pumped for some retro fighting. Does DD Neo Geo disappoint like the theatrical version? Maybe we have something worth playing in our midst. This Arcade offering was never available in the states, until now. You can grab it for $5.99 in the PSN Store.
For the better, DD is loosely based on the flick. The few characters who were actually in the movie (six of twelve to be exact), do-not resemble their live action counterparts at all. Abobo, Marian, The Bros. They even put in that goofy Movie Villain Shuko played by Robert Patrick. Thankfully He doesn’t look as silly in the game. The man had a blonde and black Flattop. I mean seriously!
Here we have a fighting round game. 1 on 1 play, best out of three wins the match. Defeat the computer, go through each stage, fight Dr. Flattop at the end. A few locales from the film give the game some solid background stages. The muddy color palate does hurt the presentation though. It’s harder to appreciate the sprites with the art direction chosen.
We know that Billy and Jimmy look completely different, but Just like the movie, the brothers can transform. In fact, high-powered abilities is what DD thrives on. Everyone has a charge power. It builds up quicker for those caught in a jam. It’s similar to desperation/comeback supers featured in many modern fighting titles. Players aren’t very durable, so making a mistake could mean fast defeat. Successfully landing supers, gives you a very strong chance of winning each round (like a 90 percent chance). They are that effective. Basic Attacks are quite simple to pull off too. Everybody has a light Punch/Strong and a Light Kick/Strong. You can follow-up those strikes up with quarter circle motions for even heavier moves.
The quickness of matches and overall game speed reminded us of Samurai Shodown. Expect your typical SNK fighting game difficulty. You know, characters that seem to predict your every move, and cheap bosses fights. Nothing out of the norm, but It is more noticeable due to the strong damage each attack deals out.
This port is in Japanese. Honestly, MonkeyPaw Games could have given us some sort of aid. Even the instruction manual is left untouched. If there was a built-in USA command list, this would have been a great gesture. As it stands, pausing will give you no help at all. It does something else that’s rather bizarre. At the pause screen, players can adjust the size of their character by hitting each attack button. A very random and useless feature. Have a bite sized Billy fight against a normal Jimmy Lee.
Tiny 3D Mode takes the camera to a far out distance, shrinking the size of sprites. It lets you manipulate the view to your liking. Want the game focused on a birds-eye view? You can do it. This feature is practically begging for a 3DS. Though you can look around everywhere, the players stay stuck on the same plane. Mess with the camera too much, and you won’t be able to see your fighter at all. Tiny 3D mode will be played possibly one time. The appeal is lost almost immediately.
Double Dragon doesn’t exactly wipe clean my memories of the bad film, but it brings us a decent fighter regardless. This arrived during a time when Neo Geo machines featured visually stunning brawlers, and Deep combat on a non-stop loop. DD’s cast of characters is diverse, and the combat is fun enough that you’ll find some entertainment in the game. A fun fighter, but just not the deepest this era had available.
Double Dragon (Neo Geo) Gets
Out of Five
+A Good cast of Characters
+The Fact it’s loosely based on the movie
-Absurd Presentational options
-No help for US gamers.
-Combat is pretty basic