AGH Atari 2600 Review:

by Activision

Double Dragon
In the late 1980s, Double Dragon established the side scrolling beat-em-up genre of games in the late 1980's. Also during the same period, the 2600, having just been brought back to life, was struggling against the likes of Nintendo and Sega. Activision attempted to bring several modern popular arcade games to the VCS, such as Commando, Rampage and this one. I'm sorry to say it's not a good attempt.

This port tries to follow the arcade game. DD brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee are trying to rescue Billy's girlfroend from the Shadow Warriors, led by the Shadow Boss. They have to fight their way through four levels packed with thugs who want to end your mission permanetly. The brothers can use punches and kicks, and can also use weapons when they come across them lying around. The player also has a limited time to get through each mission, and you begin the game with a mere three lives. Each combatant has a limited life bar, which diminishes with every hit. Once the lifebar is extinguished, a life is lost. Lose all three lives, and the game is over.

This port of Double Dragon is one of the worst I've ever played. Although some of the backgrounds are nicely drawn, the graphics for the most part are terribe, with odd colors for the sprites (purple skin?). The sounds consist of blips and beeps and a repetive music tune that tries to mimic the one found in the original. The control -- or lack thereof, is the clincher, however. The moves are hard to pull off, and the enemies can jump kick you repeatedly, finishing you off before you can say "hay-ya!"

More so than anything, the game's main problem is the concept itself. Come on, an advanced game (for its time) like Double Dragon on a ten-year-old system designed to play different variations of pong? Activision tried, but failed, and the old rule stands: Some games should not be attempted on certain systems. It's nice of them to try, but if you're looking for a Double Dragon fix, you should stick with the Nintendo and Sega versions.

Title Double Dragon
Publisher Activision
System Atari 2600 (VCS)
Graphics 5
Sound 5
Gameplay 2
Overall 3
Reviewer Adam King

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