Double Dragon on Neo Geo? When I first heard it, I could scarcely believe my ears. But when I saw it on a local MVS... it made a sense. Oh, a fighting game based on the piece of... crap movie. Despite my initial letdown to find the king of all side scrollers wasn't in fact on the Neo Geo, Double Dragon wasn't that bad. It could've been a lot worse (still, it only came out in Japan, so it's obvious not too much confidence was placed in it). And considering the material they were working with, it could've turned out a lot worse than it did, especially with the PSX's hardware limitations.
I've definitely seen better on the PSX. The sprites are a tad ragged, especially compared to other SNK ports on the PSX. It has the infamous "zoom-out" feature that quite a few SNK fighters utilized, and it does a number to the graphics, further enhancing the already bad looking characters. The special moves look uninspired, and certainly aren't the spectacles that they should be (though Billy & Jimmy's transformations do deserve a mention). Character animation is a little choppy for my tastes, but it is the PSX, so one can't complain but so much. The backgrounds are drab and colorless, and could be done away with completely, and you'd never know the difference. You shouldn't play this game because of its graphics.
There are some redeeming points to the game, though not many. Controls are easy to get the hang of, since they're the same as any fighting game, though they're not the most responsive in a fighting game. Also, balance of characters is an issue. Abobo is SUPER strong, and no one else comes close. Also, some special moves hold too much weight, while other seem to do less than a standard punch or kick... it's strange really, as you can never really tell what kind of damage you're about to inflict.
The sound quality of the music is crystal clear, but the tracks themselves are useless. Many of the characters have the exact same, washed out voice for when they're beaten, and it's annoying to have two people fighting sound the exact same when they take a hit. All the sound has a washed out quality to it, and could use a lot of work.
You could do a lot worse than Double Dragon on PSX... you could pick up Gowcaizer and be totally disappointed. Double Dragon isn't the most technical game, nor is it the best fighter. It's not even an average fighter. Still, despite it's shortcomings, it still has one upside that gives it come value: it's kinda fun, and it grows on you. Heck, I even play it once a month or so, which is more than I can say for a lot of games...
- John Gillerlain
Overall: 3.7 / 10
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