Monday, August 1, 2011

Double Dragon II (NES Game)

Double Dragon II is the bomb diggety doo-dah that really brought beat 'em ups into the modern age. All of your Streets's of Rages, Finals Fights, and even Teenaged Mutants Ninjas Turtles owe a lot to Double Dragon II. Not only does it feature frantic non-stop cooperative beat 'em up action, it also brings in special moves, and unrealistic physics (I upercutted the guy in the picture above and he flew a good 8-10 feet in the air) that really make it a joy to play.

The big difference between Double Dragon and Double Dragon II is the cooperative gameplay. No longer does your buddy have to sit with a controller in his hand waiting for you to die like a schlub. In DDII he's right in the action beating up guys right along side you and pretending that he isn't annoyed that your score is higher than his.

In addition to the co-op mode which was a sorely needed improvement over the original Double Dragon, there are more special moves in Double Dragon II that are both fun and easy to execute. In the original Double Dragon, you could grab a guy by the head and beat him senseless without fear of retaliation, but you could never tell how to grab the guy. Every time I did it I would exclaim to myself, "Now how did I do that? I want to make sure I can do it again." In Double Dragon II, grabbing your opponents is much easier, and the variety of ways in which you can beat him up once he is grasped is more varied and satisfying. In Double Dragon you could perform a jumping kick, but it was a bit unpredictable. In Double Dragon II you can perform a jumping kick that's a whole lot more consistent, but you can also perform a helicopter kick, which is what really puts this game over the top. Who doesn't want to jump 8 feet in the air and spin like a top, kicking the crap out of opponents some of whom are nowhere near your kick. The helicopter kick is the very knees of the bees.

All things totaled, Double Dragon II is a fantastic game. It's a joy to play in single player mode, but it's an all-out blast to play in co-op mode. There is really nothing I can knock this game with. I love it and I really can't see anything wrong with it. For all the reasons, I award it a plethora of tanookis.

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