Friday, 22 December 2017

Game Review: Double Dragon Reloaded

Developed by Magggas and released in 2017


Those of you who have followed me on YouTube for a while will know I'm a big fan of Double Dragon, possibly the greatest of all 80's side-scrolling beat 'em ups. It was practically impossible for me to walk past a cabinet running the game and NOT put 10 pence in the slot for a quick game!

Whilst on my travels through the interwebs, I came across an OpenBOR project that really caught my eye. For those unfamiliar with OpenBOR, it's basically an open-sourced version of the Beats of Rage engine, a development kit designed specifically to allow developers to create side-scrolling beat 'em up games. There are numerous games available to download and try out, but this has to be my favourite so far!

Double Dragon Reloaded takes everything that was great about the series, including Double Dragon Advance for the GBA, and blends it into one heck of a package that you can download for free! If you were a fan of the original games, I can pretty much guarantee you'll love this.

Whilst the game tries to be faithful to the original coin-op titles, there's plenty of new content that will keep grizzled ol' veterans (like myself) entertained. Most of the levels have been redesigned, updated or expanded with new areas to fight through, plus there's a range of additional characters that you can choose to play as; my personal favourite has to be Abobo, thanks to his ability to slap his opponents silly!

One thing I should note is the game is tougher than the games upon which it is based. Not only do you have to fight more enemies at once, the old tricks of duping the AI with the reverse elbow (and other cheap attacks) no longer work - you'll definitely need to work harder to beat the game. Fortunately, 29 additional credits means that you should be able to slug your way to the end, no matter your skill level.

The developer did a great job of incorporating (recreating?) the original DD1 and DD2 sprites into the game. Not only this, but the animations for the Double Dragon Advance have been recreated with new frames of animation faithful to the original art-style. For those of you looking for that classic arcade experience then you can apply a range of graphical filters to the display, including the obligatory scanline mode that tries to recreate the effect of playing on a CRT screen.

The game features all of the original arcade music tracks, although I personally prefer the "arranged" mode, which is what you can hear in the video. These are proper audio tracks inspired by the original tunes,  fully arranged and mastered and of much higher quality.

I was also really pleased to see that the team decided to use the original punch/kick sound effects; I highly recommend that you turn the volume up as loud as you can stand it just to revel in the thuds and biffs that rumble from the speakers.

If you're read this far then I think it's quite obvious that I think this game is pretty darn fun. Simply put, if you're looking for an uncomplicated and satisfying fighter, you really must check out Double Dragon Reloaded!

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