July2018

  • 29

    Switch eShop

    Review Arcade Archives Renegade

    The Kunio-kun origin story

    Hamster is really spoiling us with this port, because unlike the PS4 version, this Switch offering manages to include both the original Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun Japanese release and the reskinned, The Warriors-inspired western localisation known as Renegade. While both games play essentially the same, it's nice...

January2018

  • 36

    Switch eShop

    Review Arcade Archives Double Dragon

    Brief, flawed but enjoyable arcade action

    Scrolling beat ‘em ups may be simple affairs that just have you moving along smacking groups of thugs in the face, but when they are done right they can be hugely entertaining. Before Streets Of Rage, before Final Fight the game that got people excited was Technos’ Double Dragon, which put you in control...

June2017

  • 29

    SNES

    Review Shin Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun: Kunio Tachi no Banka

    Say that title three times in a row

    With the celebrations of all these other anniversaries going about it is easy to forget the adventures of Kunio, which also celebrated thirty years in 2016. Despite being absent from most Western gamer’s memories in the past several years (despite the odd virtual console re-release), the legacy of Technōs most...

March2016

  • 24

    SNES

    Review Shodai Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun

    16-bit barf

    If you were to ask kids in the late '80s and early '90s for iconic NES video game characters, alongside the usual gang of Nintendo, Konami and Capcom regulars, you would often hear the name "Alex". No, not our own Alex "Lovely People" Olney - this Alex was none other than the western version of Kunio, the short-tempered high school...

December2015

  • 18

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones

    A tough but enjoyable adventure for Bimmy and friends

    Bimmy. If there's one thing people know about Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones, it's Bimmy – a typo during the game's (multiplayer) intro that humorously renames the main protagonist. There's more to this third NES entry in the Double Dragon series than a small chuckle however. There's a...

May2015

  • 14

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review River City Ransom

    Holding your funds for ransom

    Originally released in Japan for Nintendo Famicom, classic beat 'em up 'Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari' was then heavily localised for its eventual release in the US; background artwork was amended to look more 'western' (for example, rooftop tiling designs and mailboxes were changed) plus all location names were updated...

December2014

  • 13

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge

    Crashing with the boys

    After another success at the track-meet Crash and the Boys from Southside High are issued a street challenge by a jealous rival; now they and teams from four other schools compete in a series of no-holds barred sporting events to find who really is the greatest. Crash ‘n the Boys: Street Challenge differs from other sporting...

August2014

  • 84

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Double Dragon II: The Revenge

    Double draggin'

    There was a period from the late-'80s to the early-'90s when side-scrolling beat 'em up games were all the (streets of?) rage – from Double Dragon to Final Fight to Streets of Rage, we just couldn't get enough of punching hooligans in the face down long straight paths. Perhaps the most fun aspect of these titles was the multiplayer...

June2014

  • 5

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Super Dodge Ball

    Super Lag Ball

    Many people are familiar with River City Ransom, the cult classic NES game, but what you might not know is that it's actually part of a series with many, many more titles. Of course, that can be hard to figure out when those that were localized all got completely unrelated names. Interestingly, while the series is mostly known in the...

May2014

  • 39

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Double Dragon II: The Revenge

    Now actually living up to its name

    As one of the first scrolling beat 'em ups ever made, the original Double Dragon became a smash hit when it was released way back in 1987, and like most arcade games at the time quickly received a port to the NES. A single year later, Double Dragon II was released in arcades and, as was to be expected, it was also...

April2014

  • 24

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Super Dodge Ball

    Utterly ridiculous and sublime

    When firing up an NES game in the modern day, no less a silly spin-off sports title from the era, a certain mindset is required. If you're intolerant of sticky animation, that flickering effect that NES games have when there's too much on screen and wonky frame performance, there are plenty of games that are immediate...

March2014

  • 12

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Renegade

    GET LOST, PUNK!

    What's the expiration date for nostalgia? Is there a certain amount of time that has to pass before we start looking fondly back at the old, often inferior, games of our youth? It's undeniable that some games have aged gracefully and are still just as good today as they were at their initial launch, but that's far from a steadfast...

  • 25

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Renegade

    Crime doesn't pay

    The company known as Technos might be best known for creating Double Dragon and River City Ransom, but before coming up with either of its two big hits, it made a number of lesser known titles — of which perhaps Renegade is the most well-known. Renegade is actually the first game in the Kunio-kun series, which River City Ransom...

January2014

  • 41

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Double Dragon

    Dragon us down

    From the moment protagonist Billy Lee’s sweetheart is sucker-punched in the opening sequence, Double Dragon establishes itself as an action-packed, thrilling battle through hordes of enemy combatants in an attempt to reclaim the captured damsel. As soon as gameplay begins, however, this façade is quickly stripped away to reveal an...

December2013

  • 8

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge

    Challenge accepted

    What do you get when you combine the River City Ransom theme with Track and Field-style gameplay? You get Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge. The game takes the street gang theme and creates some fitting Olympic-style events to go along with it. It sounds like a mouth-watering proposition, but sadly while the unique urban...

  • 31

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Double Dragon

    Solo komodo

    Double Dragon is notable for a whole host of reasons, among them that the NES version bears one of history's most misleading game titles by being a solo adventure with nary a dragon in sight. It also opens with an iconic, if anachronistic, bang — or, more specifically, a pow. A gangster brute socks a woman in the gut and carries her...

August2013

  • 37

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review River City Ransom

    BARF!

    River City Ransom — or Street Gangs as it was known upon release in Europe — is arguably one of the most famous fighting titles for Nintendo's 8-bit NES console. Ported from the Japanese Famicom title Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari, the game combined the pugilistic focus of Double Dragon (which was created by the same company, Technōs...

June2012

  • 37

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Double Dragon II: The Revenge

    Revenge is sweet

    When Double Dragon first hit the arcade scene back in 1987, it was immediately lauded for its intense beat 'em up gameplay and slick visuals and soundtrack. After making pit stops on a number of platforms, the NES included, the game only grew in popularity. So it was only natural that a sequel, Double Dragon II: The Revenge would...

June2011

  • 24

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Double Dragon

    Streets of Joy

    Double Dragon begins with Marion minding her own business when she is confronted and kidnapped by three thugs. She can remain calm, though. It's not because the cartoony visuals give the abduction a Donkey Kong vibe (even with a punch to the gut) – it's because her boyfriend is professional bottom-kicker Billy Lee. Based on the...

December2009

  • 24

    Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review The Combatribes

    A beat 'em up that packs very little punch

    There was a time when Technos ruled the beat-'em-up genre of fighting games during the 8-bit era with their Double Dragon and River City Ransom titles, but sadly the 16-bit generation wasn't as kind to the company. Once Capcom's Final Fight hit the scene, there was little room left for any other beat-'em-up, not even a port of their popular The Combatribes..

October2009

  • 34

    Super Nintendo

    Review Super Double Dragon

    Billy and Jimmy Lee star in Super Double Draggin'!

    The scene is set: grimy, littered streets patrolled by ruthless gangs, whose sole intent is to cause mayhem in the neighbourhood. This urban jungle setting for Return of Double Dragon (Super Double Dragon in the West) is as synonymous with 2D side scrolling beat-em-ups as it was with movies like The...

September2009

  • 20

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge

    It's River City Ransom with a side order of Track & Field.

    What do you get when you combine the River City Ransom theme with Track and Field-style gameplay? You get Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge. The game takes the street gang theme and creates some fitting Olympic-style events to go along with it. Sounds like a mouth-watering proposition, but...

September2008

  • 2

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Super Dodge Ball

    Not too dodgy

    The characters from River City Ransom (of which the main character is known in Japan as Kunio-kun) are back for a friendly game of dodge ball. Or are they? If you've played the aforementioned game, you'll know that the Kunio series hilariously overdoes everything. You were able to smash enemies around not just with chains, but also...

May2008

  • 2

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Renegade

    A beat-em-up best forgotten

    Technos' Double Dragon became a household name and River City Ransom gained rave reviews from all and sundry, but people often forget that the company also released Renegade on the NES, forming what many fans deem to be a classic trilogy of 8-bit fighting games. Sadly, Renegade is easily the worst of this trio. Although...

April2008

  • 6

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Double Dragon

    Single Dragon

    Double Dragon is a classic NES game that was immensely popular in its day, so much so that it led to a string of sequels. Predictably the NES conversion of the arcade original made some compromises and changes to the game, so the question is whether it stands up well in the current day. In terms of differences from the arcade version,...