Friday, March 19, 2010

Classic or Crap? Volume 2

This time, instead of letting the hand of fate choose a game for me, I already knew what I wanted to talk about. I have fond memories of this game, but I wasn't sure whether it would stand the test of time. So let's take a look and see if this is as good as I remember it...

2. Double Dragon - Game Boy - Taito - 1990

When I was younger (I forget exactly what age but I think it was in my early teens), I was taken off on holiday with my mum and my grandparents to Majorca. Sitting around in the sun all day isn't really my style, so aside from a bit of swimming and reading, my trusty Game Boy was all I had to keep me sane. I only had a few cartridges for it, and amongst them was a new one - Double Dragon. I played the game to death over the course of that week, gradually getting better at it until I could reach the final stage. I never did quite complete it, and soon it was time to go home. To my complete horror upon returning to the UK, I discovered that I had left the cartridge in the hotel room, so I never played the game again until recently.

I was already extremely familiar with the arcade original by the time I had the GB version - while not the first scrolling beat 'em up it certainly made the genre extremely popular, and soon many other games copied the style, including Golden Axe, Final Fight, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, and many games produced by Capcom. The Game Boy port of Double Dragon is actually one of the best versions of the game available, with crisp, clear and flicker free graphics, recognisable renditions of the music from the coin-op, a surprising array of moves that can be executed with just two buttons, and it captures the feel of the arcade game even if the stages aren't 100% accurate. It even had a two player mode via the link cable (though I never got to try this).

When I fired up the game again recently with the help of a Game Boy emulator for the GP2X, I still had great fun playing it and was impressed at how good it looked. Taking a quick look at eBay, copies can be found for a fiver, so if you still have your GB, GBC, Super Game Boy or Game Boy Player, track down a copy and show it some love.


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