Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Double Dragon isn't just the Chinese restaurant down the road, it was once a fantastic video game series!
When beat 'em ups were king, there weren't many better out there than Double Dragon. A good beat 'em up was akin to what the first person shooter genre is today. There really isn't anything like a good couch co-op game, and one of the best in the business was most certainly Double Dragon. The games were so popular, they even spawned a live action movie!
The original Double Dragon was a port of an arcade game of the same name. Unlike it's sequels, the original is the only game in the series that lacks a true 2-player co-op mode. All the subsequent sequels do contain the feature, but due to the technical limitations of the NES, the original was never given the feature. No matter, the game was still pretty great, even if it didn't contain all the features of its arcade big brother.
There had been other games in the genre such as Kung Fu and Karate Champs that helped to popularize the beat 'em up genre, but it wasn't until Double Dragon that the genre really took off. After the success of Double Dragon, many dev houses took notice and released games of the same ilk. Final Fight and Streets of Rage are two such games that jumped on the bandwagon, and there were even three proper sequels to Double Dragon. There was a fifth game in the series, but it more resembled Street Fighter II to a traditional beat 'em up game as it was a competitive fighting game.