When I was a kid I remember going to the Toys R Us and looking at the games consoles and computers in the glass display cabinets.
In those days there weren’t any of the interactive displays that you would find today. There were no Game or HMV stores . The only way to get my gaming fix was to watch the demos play in an endless loop.
Luckily my parents got me a Sega Master system for Christmas.
(Although, I would have happily accepted an NES as well. After all those adverts for Rob the Robot and Duck Hunt on TV were pretty cool!)
One of the first games that I got was the awesome Double Dragon!
The plot was basic but serviceable (rescue the girl) however this was not a big deal as the game was so much fun. The music was memorable; especially in the opening stage, from which I can still hum the theme of, to this very day!
There was variety in the weapons you could use (Rocks, Knives, Whips, Dynamite, Baseball Bats) and the background was interactive in some stages. (You could punch your foes into the water or into a spiked pit). Not bad for an 8 bit console!
Although there wasn’t too much variety in terms of enemies, the gang members were all distinctive looking in their own way (a pink haired punk, a lady with a whip, a Sagat lookalike who punch through walls!), and the last boss was pretty cool.
The best thing about Double Dragon though was the local multiplayer. Playing with my brothers made the game much more enjoyable and you could even beat each other up in the game if you wanted!
Overall I have fond memories of Double Dragon and I believe that it should be commended for setting the standard for side scrolling beat ‘em ups in the late 80s and early 90s. After all, if it were not for the influence of Double Dragon, we may have never seen the likes of fantastic titles like Final Fight or Streets of Rage.
There have been many reboots of gaming franchises over the years, some fantastic (Streetfighter IV) and some not (any non 2D Bomberman), but personally I would love to see what they could do with Double Dragon!
Thanks for listening.Pang Man