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Double Dragon is a game that was very popular in its time but due to some weak sequels at the end of its series is no longer given its proper due. Sure it’s a bit short and lacks a two-player simultaneous option but it is still a very fun and original beat ‘em up classic. For a longer game and the ability to fight together with a friend check out the equally classic Double Dragon II: The Revenge.
C'est l'essence du beat'em up sur 8-bit. Les sprites sont juste à la bonne taille, et donc l'environnement suffisamment large pour être confortable, les couleurs sont assez bien choisies, même quand elles sont tendance fluo, les bruitages sont simples et excellents, les musiques très bonnes (avec mention spéciale pour celles d'intro et des niveaux 1 et début du 4, géniales !), mais le gameplay surtout est vraiment accrocheur, au niveau des attaques en particulier. Difficile de dire quelle en est la raison; donner des coups dans Double Dragon est toujours un régal, peut-être le tempo, peut-être la forme ramassée des personnages, ou peut-être une parfaite connexion entre les sprites, peu de beat'em up donnent en tous cas autant de plaisir que lui en matière de cogne.
Game Informer Magazine
Along with the standard punch and kick maneuvers, there are an assortment of special moves that are opened throughout the game. Additionally, these bad boys can acquire various weapons such as knifes, bats, and the infamous whip. Double Dragon absolutely rocks and the NES version is great in its own right.
Computer and Video Games (CVG)
On their own merits, both versions are competent. I think that the Sega version could have been a little better, as it doesn't play quite well as the Nintendo, but nevertheless, it'll satisfy Double Dragon fans. The Nintendo unfortunately lacks the two-player option, but more than makes up for this deficiency with an extra one-on-one Street Fighter-style game included on the ROM. As a solo game it's engrossing and fun - it's a shame it won't be available until next year.
The Video Game Critic
A two-player "duel" (one-on-one) mode is included, but it's hardly worth your time. A very challenging and addictive game, Double Dragon spawned a number of sequels, including two on the NES.
Just Games Retro
Double Dragon on the NES fares pretty well, even when considering that it has two strong strikes against it from the start. First, it's an 8-bit port of Taito's arcade cabinet, and the NES graphics aren't even close. Second, and more retrospectively, the genre quickly filled with "me too" brawlers - Bad Dudes, River City Ransom, Renegade, and Bad Street Brawler come immediately to mind. If you owned an NES, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a so-called "Double Dragon clone." Even though DD was not the first beat-em-up game (Taito released Renegade the year before), it is credited with defining the genre. So looking back, it must not only prove itself as a good game in its own right, it must also show why it is a better game than all the clones that followed - a sort of Double Dragonian quest for honor, if you will.
Digital Press - Classic Video Games
Beat-em-ups would come and go on the NES. "River City Ransom" is generally regarded as stealing the crown on the system and there's a strong case for "Mighty Final Fight," but you always come back to "Double Dragon." That says something and it's not just blind nostalgia either. This is a true classic, arguably even better than the arcade game it's based on... if it had a co-op mode that is.
Double Dragon est un jeu assez prenant, mais il souffre nettement de la comparaison avec Double Dragon II, qui est disponible en France depuis plusieurs mois.
So ultimately, the NES version of Double Dragon is a good arcade port that still ranks as a decent brawler for the system, but could have been better. The graphics and sounds are well done and it does do a solid job of carrying on the spirit of its arcade predecessor. Unfortunately the lack of two-player simultaneous action, the slighty-annoying earning of moves and the cheap hits may turn off beat-em-up fans, especially those that enjoyed the coin-op original. Nevertheless if you give the game a chance, you'll find Double Dragon is still worth a playthrough or two. Double Dragon discyples looking for real 2-player action should check out the Sega Master System version or better yet, the superior NES sequels instead.
Lens of Truth
Double Dragon was one of my first three NES games and holds a special spot on the retro shelf. To me, it is the “granddaddy” of side scrolling beat-em-ups. There may have been others before it at the arcade, but certainly not on the NES. Its gameplay is solid, complete with a great list of moves, enemies, and a strong soundtrack to keep you deep in gang-pummeling mode. Although its sequel (DD II) is the overall better game, it is not yet available on the Wii Virtual Console. However this one is, and for only $5.00, I say buy and experience for yourself the beginning of the beat-em-up genre at home. And no, Urban Champion does not count.
If you’ve ever enjoyed walking to the right and punching dudes, you need to play Double Dragon at least once. Other games have come along and done things better, including the NES sequels, but the original game is still good enough that it can be enjoyable for an afternoon. This is a deeply flawed port of an arcade classic, but it’s also easy to come by and cheap enough that if you’re at all curious about it, you should still seek it out.