Nintendo is slowly but surely dropping all its classic Game Boy titles into the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console, with mixed results.

The latest is Taito's side-scrolling beat-'em-up Double Dragon - a game you'll definitely have heard of, but may not have given a playthrough.

As with many of these ancient gaming artefacts, Double Dragon provides a huge dollop of nostalgia while simultaneously showing just how far the beat-'em-up genre has come.

This is definitely one of the better GB experiences, with animation and visuals that were some of the best around at the start of the '90s, but it still feels hopelessly slow-paced and far too simple to enjoy fully.

Enter the dragon

Billy Lee's girlfriend Marion is punched in the stomach and kidnapped by some street thugs.

What did she do to deserve this treatment? It doesn't matter. It's a stirring pretext for a violent stroll through the neighbourhood.

Right off the bat you can feel where two decades of beat-'em-ups have taken their inspiration from. Double Dragon is classic button-bashing, face-punching action, with enemies falling all over the place at your might.

Hammer the attack buttons and your character will get troublemakers into various headlocks, rendering them DOA. Then you can grab a baseball bat and teach them how to hit a homerun. With their testicles.

You can jump-kick with Billy by pressing 'punch' and 'kick' together, making for a seriously powerful takedown that feels satisfying to behold.

It doesn't half drag on

While the action is generally fun, it's also generally slow.

Billy shuffles along at an excruciating pace, and watching enemies shuffle along behind him looks a little like two pensioners playing tag.

Double Dragon does not get better as you progress. Using the same three moves over and over again becomes tedious, and quite quickly you realise that simply jump-kicking every single enemy seems to work pretty well.

Then, while you're trying to be as careful as possible with your energy, you accidentally fall down a hole and lose an entire life in one fell swoop. It's frustrating to say the least.

The frustration doesn't last too long, though, as there are only four levels, and each is around five minutes long.

No double vision

As if to rub salt into the wound, this Virtual Console version lacks the two-player action that came with the original GB edition.

It's there on the title screen, but if you try to select it the pointer simply shifts back over to single-player. Very disappointing, and pretty much the difference between picking this up for the memories and not bothering with it at all.

Double Dragon is a classic Game Boy title that you may remember fondly. You should leave those memories where they belong, in a safe place at the back of your mind. Playing this will only soil them.