Double Dragon

When most people hear Double Dragon, they think of the 1987 co-op arcade beat-'em-up classic, or one of its home console adaptations.

What we have here is the Japanese PlayStation port of the Neo Geo fighting game based on the 1994 movie.

No-one remembers the Double Dragon movie. You are either too old, too young, or too damaged from having seen it to remember it. There's a reason for this. It was cheesy '90s pap.

This game loosely based on it is better, but only by a little bit.


The fighting game mechanics here aren't traditional, with the four attack buttons focusing on speed and strength of attacks rather than specifically punching, kicking, throwing, or guarding. It's also possible to attack downed characters if you're quick enough.

And you can perform super-moves, with each helpfully being displayed on the character-select screen. Knuckle drives and overdrives can also be performed in the Overdrive mode, which adds a rock-paper-scissors dynamic to the game as some moves cancel out others.


Aside from the Overdrive mode there's a Normal mode, which is the barebones Neo Geo version, and a rather silly Tiny 3D mode, which allows you to pause the game and use the shoulder buttons to move the camera around the stage as if it were a paper diorama. The Tiny 3D mode only works for one stage, making it all the more redundant.

In any of these modes, you can use the face buttons when the game is paused to change your character into a tiny wee man. For no reason.

There are 12 characters in total, including the unlockable bosses, each with its own stage. The stages themselves are interesting enough, with backdrops including the top of a biplane and an old school arcade.


With the Neo Geo being cartridge-based, there was no loading to speak of. The PlayStation version, however, suffers heavily from load times, taking between 20 to 30 seconds to get from the character-select screen into the match itself. This becomes intrusive and tiring very quickly.

It's a no-frills Western re-shelling of the Japanese release, so expect no English other than the main menu. This means no English options menu, no English victory/defeat dialogue screens, and no English digital manual. MonkeyPaw Games has put a translation of the options menu up online here though.

What all this boils down to is a fighting game that's a curio for collectors, or perhaps something to mix things up a bit for fans of the genre - between matches of Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Street Fighter x Tekken.

Double Dragon

A mediocre fighter riddled with loading times, but worth a punt if you're after something a bit different