Double Dragon II (Game Boy)
Double Dragon II is a beat 'em up video game developed by Technos and published by Acclaim Entertainment in December 1991 for the Game Boy. Although the title suggests it is a port of Double Dragon II: The Revenge, it is actually the game Nekketsu Koha Kunio-kun: Bangai Rantohen with Double Dragon style graphics and music. In the game, Billy and Jimmy are being framed for murder, and the Scorpion gang is after you looking for retaliation. You have to defeat the Scorpion gang and find a way to clear your name. Two players can play simultaneously by using a Game Boy Link cable.
Not owning a Game Boy, I never played this game or even saw it when it came out. I played it in order to better acquaint myself to the Technos catalog of games and ended up beating it on my first attempt.
I don't own this game, but I beat it on normal difficulty on 2019-08-30.
Best Version: Game Boy
— This section contains spoilers! —
- For a Game Boy title, the graphics and sound are above average.
- The boss rush in the last stage is a bit refreshing after fighting so many of the same enemies over and over again.
- The AI is pretty easy to game. By getting an opponent near the edge of the screen, you can uppercut them, move up or down a little bit, wait from them to move to your level, and uppercut them again. This tactic works on all enemies and bosses.
- Beat 'em ups are supposed to have a lot of great close-quarters combat, but the controls are really watered down. Unlike previous Double Dragon titles, there just aren't that many moves to do. You can't even jump normally!
- The story from the manual doesn't accurately follow previous Double Dragon games, but at least we're not stuck with a damsel in distress trope this time! Also, the manual claims the game takes place over 10 stages, but it's really just 3 stages that are broken up into multiple rooms.
- ROM hackers have shown that the developers at least attempted to make a better game. There is graphics for an introduction and code for an additional grapple move, but both were cut from the final game.
- The game is far too short and there is very little variety.
- The game isn't just shamelessly stealing the thunder of the real Double Dragon II, but it also is a reskin of an totally unrelated game. This is pathetic.
This box art was used in North America and Europe. European boxes had the tagline translated into their native language. I appreciate this box. The logo is fantastic; great dragon, and the flame tail on the R looks great. The montage painting on the background isn't a bit unfinished, but it clearly shows that you're going to be playing a beat 'em up.