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This has always been one of my favourite games, helped by the fact that I love side-scrolling brawlers.

 

I was delighted when it came to Switch.  It's on the third row of my games when sorted by hours played.

 

Yes, it's too easy if you use the elbow attack, and the slowdown should have been fixed, but I'd say the game play holds up well.

 

I've ordered a load of Double Dragon games in the last few days.

 

What are your memories of Double Dragon or any games on the series?  Favourite game in the series?

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The arcade game deserved it's legendary status - jankyness and overpowered elbow smash or not - and the satisfying gameplay and sound design kept it in action long after the likes of Crime Fighters and Final Fight arrived. 

 

My favourite games in the series as a whole are probably Double Dragon Advance (GBA) and Double Dragon II: The Revenge (PCE-CD); The former because it's a super-refined yet expanded reimagining of the original, and the latter because it allows you to murder-by-bottomless-pit to an industrial degree.

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Perhaps it’s because I never played it much in the arcade I don’t have as fond a memory of it.

Played quite a few of the home conversions. A personal favourite was Double Dragon III on C64 - the shop is an interesting addition. And I have been playing a couple more on Evercade recently.

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We missed out on the arcade game, and our first introduction to the series was the C64 version of DD1 by Melbourne House, on Ocean's "100% Dynamite" collection.

 

It was a bad port. :lol: If I recall, you had the infamous stage one theme for the title screen music, but during the game you were stuck with sound effects - like, one sound for people getting hit and another for people being defeated. You had a wide range of moves but only one button, so they were all directional moves with the button - and I found that during fights it was easy to get stunlocked and lose a ton of health. I'm pretty sure I ended up reaching a game over on the first screen for a while. Also the regular enemies at the start take about 24 hits each, which seems a bit much. Oh, and I think it was multiload, so if you lost all of your lives you had to reload the thing again.

 

I've since tried the sequels and other releases - mainly the arcade originals and the NES versions - and they're so much better. Mind you, wasn't DD3 the one where you had one life and no continues? I know it was like that for the NES game...

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I've never played it on a home computer.  Put hours and hours into the Gameboy version when I was young. That's probably the version I've played most.

 

Recently I picked up a copy of the Game Gear game, which is supposed to be rubbish, but it's a version I've never played before.

 

Advance is a fantastic remake of DD certainly.

 

 

 

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Anyone who listens to the Retro Asylum podcast (or anyone who knows me) will know that I’m a huge fan of the original Double Dragon.

 

This video is fairly old but I try to explain what I like about the game here.

 

 

As for the slow down, if you have a MiSTer the Double Dragon core has just been updated and now has a Turbo option that eliminates the slow down and as a result it gives the game a very different feel.

 

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The gut punch at the beginning always makes me wince.

 

I really like the way that up until you enter the enemy base, the playing world is one long, unbroken level.  For some reason I find that very satisfying.  In later games I hate industrial levels, like in Final Fight, where you have to watch out for flames.  But the one in Double Dragon is harmless enough.

 

Those blocks in the walls that come out like huge drawers and clobber you, in the last level, can sod off.

 

I played through the arcade version on Switch again today.  Might try a different version tonight.

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Used to love it on the arcade. It was quite novel at the time with its 2 player co-op and weapon pickups. Renegade was it's precursor but DD expanded on it in so many ways 

 

Outside of the arcade I played the non Richard Aplin CPC version which was slow but looked the part and then played the Megadrive version which was also slow. Huge disappointment that one. There are also some excellent OpenBor versions I played in the Dreamcast which are arguably better than the original.

 

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My favourite game for a long time when I was a kid, thanks to only getting to play it in quick blasts when I was lucky enough to get a rare trip to an arcade. 

I got so excited when the Spectrum version was announced.

 

More recently I've often found myself recommending to DD fans that they check out Shadow Force. It's a Technos beat 'em-up that came out a good few years later, but was made by quite a few of the same people as worked on Renegade and DD. More so than the official DD sequels, in fact, which were mostly made by entirely different people (Certainly in the case of 3, according to Mobygames). Not a lot of people have heard of it because it never got a home release and, if it even got into the arcades over here, I never saw it. But I think of it as a spiritual successor to to DD, and it certainly feels like it was supposed to be part of the series, even though it's got a sci-fi setting rather than street fighting. For example, it's much closer in the way it plays/feels to DD than it is to Renegade/ Combatribes. The gameplay dynamics are a very similar but a lot more polished - there's SF2-style combos and specials, and best of all you can possess enemies bodies and fight using their special abilities

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I remember the NES games and a dodgy home computer port that I played at a friends house one time. I think my cousin had DD2 for the NES, which was pretty good fun. I once traded in a whole bunch of stuff to buy DD3, probably because the box art was cool, but I remember the crushing difficulty the most, even if the gameplay itself was good. I also had Super Double Dragon aka Double Dragon V on the SFC/SNES which was really good. I don't know if I've ever played the arcade originals.

 

A quick search on the PS4 store lists the following titles:

Arcade Archives Double Dragon 1 £5.79

Arcade Archives Double Dragon 2 £5.79

Double Dragon IV £9.49 (this looks like a new game but done in the old style)

Double Dragon and Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle (18 different titles including DD 1, 2, 3, Renegade, River City Ransom). £29.99

 

And on the Switch is the following:

Arcade Archives Double Dragon 1 £6.29

Arcade Archives Double Dragon 2 £6.29

Double Dragon IV £8.59

Double Dragon and Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle £32.39

Double Dragon Neon £11.09

Arc System Works remakes(?) of the NES trilogy, individually sold. £4.49 each

 

How different were the NES games to the arcade versions? 

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1 hour ago, Swainy said:

Very.

 

Here is a video of the arcade version (without slowdown) being played on the MiSTer.

 

 

That's really cool seeing it with no slowdown, after all these years of playing it and putting up with the judder. 

Is there no option for something like that in MAME? I remember when I was at Antstream we would regularly get people reporting the slowdown in DD1 as a bug/lag, and have to explain to them that this was how the game originally worked, and there wasn't anything we could do about it. 

 

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6 hours ago, Anne Summers said:

That's really cool seeing it with no slowdown, after all these years of playing it and putting up with the judder. 

Is there no option for something like that in MAME? I remember when I was at Antstream we would regularly get people reporting the slowdown in DD1 as a bug/lag, and have to explain to them that this was how the game originally worked, and there wasn't anything we could do about it. 

 

There has been a couple roms that were supposed to run better but I couldn’t see any difference in them.

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12 hours ago, acidbearboy said:

 

How different were the NES games to the arcade versions? 

 

I haven't got very far into the NES one, but it is very different.  So is the Game Boy one.

 

Both worth playing, and they do have the Double Dragon feel to them.

 

The Lynx version, which I played last night, would be good were it not zoomed in so much.  I suppose that's a resolution issue.  Also, there didn't seem to be an elbow attack.

 

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13 hours ago, Swainy said:

Very.

 

Here is a video of the arcade version (without slowdown) being played on the MiSTer.

 

 

Cheers for that. I don’t think I have played that before. But I do have the soundtrack on my computer. 
 

I assume the Arcade Archives releases include the slow down?

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1 minute ago, acidbearboy said:

Cheers for that. I don’t think I have played that before. But I do have the soundtrack on my computer. 
 

I assume the Arcade Archives releases include the slow down?

Yeah, I think so. It’s been a while since I’ve played the Arcade Archives version.

 

Time to get a MiSTer :)

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I played this alot in a local cafe that had a small arcade out the back. What is the best way to play a near arcade perfect port of it? I was always irked that the home release on most consoles of it's era was bollocks.

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Love this thread. You're all "my guys" now.

As a teenager in the mid/late 80s I hung out at a local squash + snooker club because in the corridor there were always 2 fruit machines and 2 arcade machines.

This was one of the arcade games for ages and we used to play it to death as it was on 10p a go.

Not knowing about the game and it's influences we basically made up our own lore and in jokes around all the characters and settings.

You could punch each other, chuck people down holes and into the river. Doing the moonwalk on the conveyor belt, chucking boulders at baddies and the way the game ends meant it was a source of much amusement for us.

 I've always bought and played it on systems I've owned, and for me personally this is my favourite ever side scrolling brawler, only run a close second by Golden Axe.

 

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I think the graphics were a big part of why it's remembered so fondly. Seeing it at the time, I was excited about how it was one of the first games I'd seen where you controlled a relatively realistic-looking person, moving against backdrops that looked like places that were real. Seems silly now but back then there weren't many games like that, you mostly saw spaceships or strange creatures like Pacman or Dig Dug, in very abstract settings. 

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Master System version for me. Very strong nostalgia with this, playing it right through many times with my brother, and then beating the crap out of each other at the ending, mirrored our real lives growing up as close siblings!

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I'm currently playing the gameboy double dragon.... Started it in the last week or so..... I'm on mission 4.... But not quite got it down yet. 

 

I've owned the original double dragon arcade board.... Its one of the first games I beat on 1 credit in the arcade bitd 

 

Double dragon 2 arcade... Once u get the controls down... Its decent 

 

I've completed 1 and 2 on the famicom in the last couple of years too. 

 

I like the home versions I've played and the devs did a great job on the music on the home versions I've played 

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Master System version for me too. There used to be a shop in town that had Master System/NES games hanging in the window and the cover of DD was amazing. I begged my mum for it every time we went past the shop and one day she relented and bought it for me. Circa 91 I reckon. The music on the first stage is forever burnt into my memory. My cousin and me used to complete it regularly once we get good enough, those big blokes that used to barge through the walls we named Toffee Man. No idea why. Great memories. 

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Yesterday I tried the Game Gear version The Revenge Of Billy Lee for the first time.  I didn't know anything about it, except that it was reputed not to be very good.

 

It's far worse than I imagined.

 

The box art looks like the original game's, but it isn't a port of arcade double dragon at all.  It doesn't begin with the gut punch.  And after going just a few steps to the right, I was astonished to see a gun lying on the floor.

 

Anyway, there are two attacks, a punch and a sort of multi-purpose attack.  The basic punch has awful hit detection - there is a very small margin when you are neither too far away nor too close for it to connect.  When it does, enemies don't seem to get knocked down after a few hits like they do in the arcade.  You can keep pummeling them until they die - enemies have life bars in this game.  But it's very hard to connect, and when it does, it doesn't have a very satisfying sensation of belting somebody.  Enemies have no such problems connecting their attacks on you.

 

The other attack can be a jump kick, can be a sweep kick and can be a flying kick, depending on the directional input.  It's also very difficult to connect.  Flying kicks will take you almost to the other end of the screen, which is good for escaping and little else.  I had a few times when one enemy and I were leaping about the screen like deranged acrobats, until eventually one of us connected.

 

There are weapons and health power-ups, but the hit box for those is even smaller.  I stood for ages over the gun, unable to pick it up, because I was too close to it.  Eventually I managed it, and blasted a few enemies, but even the gun isn't quick enough to deal with multiple enemies.

 

The game looks nice.  Music is typically Game Gearesque.  Overall, avoid this piece of crap.

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Just to throw a curve ball - I had a surprisingly good time with DD3 on the Amiga back in the day. Maybe it's just the lack of other decent scrolling beatemup options on the machine. I've never been able to play the arcade for more than 10 minutes or so without getting bored of it. But I played the Amiga version until I finished it and found it quite enjoyable.

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There's a nastiness to the animations in Double Dragon that I love. They're not realistic but there's a real feeling of pain in that daft squat hit-stun animation. The player's punch combo animation that doesn't look stylish or cool, it's just someone absolutely wailing on their victim. Even with the Fist Of The North Star style fantastic elements like the giant enemies, the casual way they throw you up in the air complete with that weird, contemptuous "Luuuur!" dialogue sample.

 

I'm sure I read somewhere that the director was a former gang member who used to get in to fights in his teenage years, which directly informed Renegade and River City Ransom.

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