Review by Godai-Kun
Reviewed: 08/10/00 | Updated: 08/10/00
One of the better ports of the original.
ABSTRACT: Here I go again, with another review of another Double Dragon game. I only doing it this time because nobody had ever bothered to review this game yet. But I promise my next review will be far more original. Double Dragon was Technos' first game for the Game Boy and as you can clearly tell, it's based on the first game in the series. For some reason, they never did a 2nd Double Dragon game for Game Boy (DD2GB was actually a reprogrammed Kunio-kun title, while DD3GB was made by Sales Curve and it sucked like any non-NES version of DD3).
STORYLINE: The same crap here. You're Billy Lee, out to rescue your girlfriend Marian from the Black Warriors. However, while this is a solo-affair like the NES version, for some reason the game doesn't end with a brother vs. brother fight and Jimmy is nowhere to be seen (except the VS. mode), making the Double Dragon title seem meaningless. Also in the Japanese cover art, Billy has dark-hair and a red suit like the one Jimmy wears regulary, while Marian has red-hair. Talk about mix-up.
GAMEPLAY:The gameplay has more resemblance to the NES version than anything else. Thankfully, you don't exchange hits like the NES version and all the moves (except the Pin Attack, which is only featured in the NES version) are availble from the start, so you don't have to waste time trying to punch the enemies without killing them. The controls are a bit more responsive than the NES version, although the jumps are more floaty.
The gang from the NES version is here too, meaning that instead of Jeff, we get Chin Taimei. For some reason Linda now looks more like a schoolgirl rather than the afro-haired Richard Simmons-lookalike from the NES version (it's more or less the same thing with Marian).
There are four missions, although they are significantly different from their counterparts in the NES version. Mission 1 is more or less the same stage, but Mission 2 now feels like a Platform game and Mission 3 has a dissappearing platform like the ones in Mission 7 in DD2 for the NES. Mission 4 has a new outdoor scene and doors that sucks you in.
THE GOOD: Double Dragon for the GB is one of the more solid conversion of the original game. The gameplay is more balanced than the NES version amd a bit more challenging. The graphics were good for it's time and the music from the NES version was translated well in this version. This definitely the best portable version of the series.
THE BAD: This version of DD1 suffers from the same flaw as the NES and that is the lack of a 2-Player co-operative mode. While playing solo is alright, it's not Double Dragon without a 2nd-player. While there is a Vs. Mode, it's not the same game. The Vs. Mode is even worse than the NES version, because the only characters to play as are the Lee brothers and you can't play as any of the game's villains. The Jumps are a bit floaty and everytime you die, you have to start from the beggining of the same area, which is not a big deal in the end of Mission 1, but can be frustrating in the later Missions.
THE VERDICT: Despite the lack of a 2-players co-operative mode, Technos' GB version of DD1 is the best portable version of the original, beating out Virgin's Game Gear version (which is not a real Double Dragon game) and Telegame's port for the Atari Lynx (which was a crappy port of the crappy Genesis version). Buy this game if you want Double Dragon to go. It's too bad we will never see Double Dragon DX for the Game Boy Color.
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