Game Review

Double Dragon II: The Revenge Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

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 come along. And while many die-hard NES fans will still claim the original was the best, its sequel has some solid additions too.

Since Double Dragon II is still basically a beat 'em up, you're still going to spend the majority of your time taking down a never-ending barrage of enemy fighters bent on knocking your block off. But unlike the original Double Dragon, the controls have been tweaked a bit to make close quarter combat a bit more fair and balanced this time around. Now when you press the "A" or "B" buttons, your fighter will kick in that particular direction of the screen, allowing you to pull off some killer combos and at the same time be better prepared for those times when you're under attack from both the front and behind. Performing a jump or special move, depending on your proximity to enemies, is as easy as pressing both buttons simultaneously.

Whereas the original NES port only entertained a single player, the follow-up lets two players fight side by side in either cooperative or competitive play. Two friends playing as a Lee brother each is still some of the best co-op fun the 8-bit days had to offer, and a marked improvement over the original port.

Even though we're talking about 8-bit NES visuals, there's a lot to be said about the attention to detail afforded the various scenery and characters in the game. Not only are the backdrops extremely details and colourful, the characters are equally well-designed and animated as well.


Double Dragon II basically takes everything that was great about the original title and then adds in a few much-needed fixes. The gameplay is smoother and less cheap and there's quite a bit more variety in not only how the gameplay functions, but also the visual and musical presentations. The game is a tad bit easy, but considering it's still so much fun, it's a small gripe. It's basically a no-brainer for fans of Double Dragon to pick this title up and if for some reason you've never been a fan of the series, this Virtual Console release could very well change that.

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User Comments (37)



blackknight77 said:

I don't think that final level is a "tad bit easy" but then again if I played in co-op it might help.



Ren said:

word. I do remember this being leaps better than the first just for the 2 player addition. there were a lot of NES games that were weirdly 1 player when the arcade versions were completely dependent on the fun of 2 player. Like the Final FIght Super Nes thing that failed for the same reason. Come on, even in real life if I was going to walk the streets beating up dudes, it'd surely be more worthwhile with a friend (and possible to do it for a while before being pwned). I know that sounds sick but really....



Ren said:

ah, river city ransom was one that beat out DD1 due to it's inclusion of 2player as I remember. Cheaper looking but still better with 2. DD2 finally fixed that.



Retroking1981 said:

My favourite side scrolling beat 'em up EVER! Yes better than Final Fight, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage etc. 10/10 NES game right here imo, so many great memories playing it as a kid in 2-Player. Love It!



Retroking1981 said:

Best side scrolling beat 'em up EVER! Yes better than Final Fight, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage etc. 10/10 NES game right here imo. Great memories of playing this in 2-Player as a kid. Love it!



shonenjump86 said:

Played this a lot when I was a kid. I love beat em up games. Getting this as soon as I can. Double Dragon III will probably make its way to the VC. I don't really like that game though.



ThreadShadow said:

Good old Double Dragon II-talk about Nintendo Club improving the quality of a game-though I can't say for sure how much influence they had on Double Dragon II, it just power-knees the arcade version-a fun game in it's own rite.

Now I hope someone releases the Turbo DUO (TG16 CD) version of Double Dragon II on VC. That version is said to be based on the NES and Arcade and is very good, in the same league as the NES version I hear.

About Double Dragon III NES version, there is only one problem with that game, and that is the lack of extra lives (should have been an option to have more), that is what hikes up the challenge level. Fun, game, very hard. I still can't believe I won it. It is hands down, no contest, THE best version of Double Dragon 3. I've played the GB version, and the Sega Genesis version which is close to the arcade version, and they just don't compare.

It's amazing how most of the time, NES versions of arcade games were higher quality then their source material. NOW YOU'RE PLAYING WITH POWER!!!



SparkOfSpirit said:

"A tad bit easy"

He says next to the screenshot of the hardest platforming section in the game.

Great game, way better than the original and WAY better than the arcade version of II.



Uncle_Rick said:

A great, well-written review like always, Corbie. I've been waiting for this game for quite a while---had the 500 points and a reserved spot with my other NES downloads. Glad to see it finally filled. If only I could say the same for Pro Wrestling............



driversold said:

The Nes version of Double Dragon 2 turned a lot of my friends on to the series. However, this one seemed to be the preferred game. The co-op is one of the best around. The spin kick and knee require good timing, but once those are learned, the fun really begins. This will be the first VC game I've downloaded since late 2010.



Tasuki said:

Does anyone know if the extra live two player B trick work in the VC version?



ogo79 said:

@Tasuki im pretty sure, i used my tricks for streets of rage 1-3 lol
it seems all the old tricks work on vc games



spzero15 said:

I bought this game Sunday, was always a favorite of mine in the arcade an at home as a kid, my son and I played it together for the first time. He loves it, says its more fun than Joe & Mac!



PoorVGameNerd said:

Eh, 8 is a fair score. I can live with that. One minor quibble though: as with most home versions of arcade games, Double Dragon wasn't a "port" in the strictest sense of the term, it was an adaptation. There is quite a difference. Other than that, good review.




@Ren No, I like the occasional stroll through the park, beating people up. Mostly purse snatchers, flashers, and pedophiles is who I like to beat up.



WaveGhoul said:

The Wii VC has risen from the depths of Subcon hell and is finally bringing back some wonderful retro suprises. Strider, Metal Slug 3, Mega Man X2 and now Double Dragon II. Things are looking up in Virtual console Land.

Anyways, I'm madly in love with the first Double D, it's one of my favorite beat em ups outside of TMNT II: The Arcade Game, but i never checked out it's superior & beloved sequal. Will be soon! Plus I'll be super scoring the Cart off eBay. Wonder how long it will take for them to release DDIII and Super Double Dragon



MAB said:

They put this one up a bit too late I think. When you already have the Final Fight and Streets of Rage series Double D is kind of redundant. Way too easy and short with not much of a move variety for my liking. Everytime I see something about this series I get a mental playback of watching the craptastic movie from the early 90's lol if you haven't seen or heard about it I highly recommend the film just for pure comedy value



ogo79 said:

@MadAussieBloke did you try dd 2 on supreme warrior mode?
are you a supreme warrior? do you have what it takes to overthrow the Shadow Warriors and conquer all in a supreme manner?
i just ate some supreme tacos



MeloMan said:

NES greatness... The only thing I will add is I don't see WHAT people see in the vastly inferior NES DD1... It can't hold a candle to DD1 arcade or DD2. What's DD without co-op?? I remember renting DD1 long after I played DD2 and 3... talk about culture shock. Anyway, between this, the arcade, and SDD, they are the best the series has to offer imo.



sinalefa said:

Happy to see this one. I wanted either this or TMNT 2 to play coop with my bro.


I do remember the crappy movie and the Neo Geo got a pretty lame fighting game based on it.



SNK said:

why dont think bring the original arcade version on the vc instead of this junk?



SparkOfSpirit said:

@SNK the arcade version is junk compared to this.

This is still one of the best beat em ups around.

Now we need DD1 arcade, DD3 NES, Super Double Dragon, and Double Dragon Advance [for 3DS] and we've got the series best.



Emannikcufesin said:

I would love for the 2 player simultaneous Sega Master System version of Double Dragon to come to the Virtual Console. Sprite Flicker and all. It was tremendous fun and a faithful port of the arcade game.



motang said:

This game is awesome, I will buy it eventually. I have such a backlog right now.



supocarta said:

wow one the best nes games ,and i was lucky to get this with the turtles set christmas1986 (and yes i loved the first turtles game solid but you got your monies worth ,also their was so much different gameplay styles rare even to day.

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