Double Dragon II: The Revenge (NES)

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The North American box.

Double Dragon II: The Revenge is a beat 'em up video game developed and published by Technos in Japan on the Famicom on 1989-12-22, then published by Acclaim Entertainment in North America on the NES in January 1990. The game is based on the arcade game of the same name, but it is so different, it deserves its own page. It is the fourth game released in the Double Dragon series.

The game is set after the first, and a nuclear war has left New York in a shambles, and the Black Shadow Warriors, in attempt to gain control of the city, have attacked the Double Dragon Dojo, killing all the students and Billy Lee's girlfriend Marion. Billy and Jimmy are now the only ones left to defeat the Black Shadow Warriors. The game uses different mechanics than the first, allowing two-player simultaneous fighting (with or without friendly fire), flips the attack buttons when you turn (like Renegade), and starts you with all the special attacks rather than making you earn them.

Personal

My brother's friend Rob had this game in the early 1990s. I first watched them play it, then played it with Rob's little brother Chris. They owned a NES Max, which made it much easier to pull off the special moves using the controller's turbo buttons. My brother and I had an NES Advantage, but the adjustable turbo dials didn't sync up, so it didn't help. We played the game all the time, and also pretended to be Billy and Jimmy and play fight. We were able to beat the game on Warrior difficulty, but only Rob beat it on Supreme Master difficulty and saw the true ending. On 2020-08-21, I finally beat the game at Supreme Master difficulty.

Status

I own this game on the NES and have beaten it at Supreme Master difficulty.

Review

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6 4 6 5 5

Best Version: NES

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • Although I liked the idea of learning new moves through experience in the first game, it's nice to be able to crack skulls right out the gate.
  • The combat controls have been greatly improved, especially with the button flipping to mirror the direction you're facing. You also have a lot more options at your disposal.
  • The graphics, especially the background scenery, is great for the time.
  • Having alternate two-player modes to allow or prevent friendly-fire was a nice addition.

Bad

  • The music in this game is pretty lame, especially compared to the amazing electric guitar from the first game. Most of the tracks are slower melodies with very similar bass lines.
  • Like with most beat 'em ups, in order to beat the game, you can't just walk up to enemies and punch them, you have to fight them slowly and methodically, which is not very fun.
  • Also, enemies are safe as long as they're off the screen, and can ambush you from the safety, but you're always confined to the screen.
  • The game, like so many before and after it, uses women as plot device.
  • The game's story, box, and the manual can't seem to agree on what happened to Marion. Is she alive or dead?

Ugly

  • Although the combat controls have improved a lot, the jumping controls are still awful. Any section that requires you to jump from one platform to another tedious, and often fatal. Mission 7, the Trap Room, is particularly frustrating because of this.

Media

Covers

Documentation

Maps

Graphics

Videos

Longplay - 2-player, mode A, supreme master difficulty.

Credits

Roles Staff
Director Hiroyuki Sekimoto
Programmers Shintaro Kumagai, K. Sonoda, Genei Fukuhara, T. Obinata
Character Designers Koji Ogata, Nobuyuki Sawada
Background Designers Koji Kai, M. Watanabe
Graphic Designer Kumiko Mukai
Music, Sound Effects Kazunaka Yamane
Audio Programmer Michiya Hirasawa
Special Thanks Tsutomu Ando, N. Fujita, Mariko Kido, K. Kishimoto, Masao Shiroto, W. S. Little, Mitsuhiro Yoshida, S. Tamai

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Japanese ダブルドラゴンII ザ・リベンジ Daburu Doragon II: Za Ribenji Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Links

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