A playthrough of Tradewest’s 1992 beat ’em up for the Super Nintendo, Super Double Dragon.
Super Double Dragon, Technos’ final main-line entry in their acclaimed Double Dragon series, was released toward the end of 1992 to a fair amount of praise. It wasn’t regarded quite as highly as the first two games on the NES, but It was looked at as a return to form after the middling Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone thanks to Technos handling development once again.
Unfortunately, it never hit the same peak as the earlier games did because it was rushed beyond all belief. There aren’t any in-game cutscenes, the ending is a black-and-white text scroll, levels were missing… there were a number of things that probably would’ve been better if Technos had a bit more time to finish it, which makes how well it came out all the more shocking. Some of those things were fixed in the Japanese version, though, making it a better game.
You can find my playthrough of the Japanese version here:
I *really* loved Super Double Dragon way back, and I’m still very fond of it. In my opinion, it’s one of the better beat ’em ups on the SNES. You get a variety of new moves over the ones from the old games, including the addition of the dragon power bar – when you hold down a shoulder button it begins to fill, and the move that results is a direct reflexion of the charge level. It’s a neat mechanic that allows for a bit more thought and strategy, especially since those moves are the fastest way to stun an enemy so that you can grab onto them and pummel or throw them.
The graphics are pretty nice. They aren’t the best you’ll see on the SNES- not by a long shot – but there are some really cool backgrounds (I really liked the lit-up first stage and the airport runway) and even a few environmental objects (like punching bags) that you can knock about for crowd control. The music is about the same – the tunes are great and the classic DD theme is here, but the weak, tinny samples don’t do them justice.
The controls are excellent – even though every button has a function, they’re mapped pretty intuitively and allow you a great deal of control over your combos. It’s not a game where you can just wail on the punch button and watch everyone around fall. It does run awfully slowly, though, and while this allows you more time to consider what you’re doing, the sedate pace does make it a bit less exciting than I’d have liked it to have been.
Either way, even with its flaws, Super Double Dragon is a super-solid game that could have been much better, but is still well above average as it is. It’s not as bombastic nor as engaging as Streets of Rage 2 or Final Fight, but it’s still one helluva enjoyable game.
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.
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