Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | AND | IOS | PC | PS3 | PS4 | VITA | WIIU | XB1 | All

The Moonlight War novel by S.K.S. Perry

Double Dragon (Sega Master System) artwork

Double Dragon (Sega Master System) review

"I'd say that if you have friends that you play the Master System with, you NEED this game."

Billy and Jimmy Beat 'em Up!
Enter the Dragon...Double Dragon. Brothers, Billy and Jimmy Lee, team up to take on a deadly street gang who have kidnapped Billy's sweetheart, Mary Ann. Double Dragon was originally a successful beat 'em up arcade game and became the poster child for the entire genre. Due to its grand success, it was ported to as many systems as they could scramble to find. Here, the Sega Master System is home to perhaps the most faithful port of that classic arcade game. You keep the ability to kick, punch, use weapons, and, best of all, team up with a buddy for a beat down in this beat 'em up.

Double Dragon (Sega Master System) image

Flawful Fun
Let's be clear, the best thing about Double Dragon is the fact that you and a friend can team up and clobber bad guys. There simply aren't many games on the Master System that allow you to play together with a friend. Thankfully, Double Dragon helps to fill that void. Whether you team up on one bad guy, square off on separate enemies, or pummel each other, the one sure thing that you will be having is a blast! One player controls Billy and the other controls Jimmy, and each player has access to a surprising repertoire of moves for a two-button game. You can punch, kick, headbutt, elbow, jump kick, use weapons, and even throw things. The ability to pick up and use weapons was, for its time, ground-breaking, and just plain fun. Nothing feels better then battering baddies with a bat! However, even with how fun this game is, there are some technical issues that hinder the experience.

Perhaps the most glaring issue is the hit detection, which is spotty. You will find yourself sometimes punching an enemy straight in the face, and missing. Even worse, the whip (a weapon in the game) really only seems to hit half the time...which is doubling annoying since using weapons is one of the best parts about the game! Added on top of this, in the later stages enemies have better recovery from your hits, which prevents you from combo'ing them. This adds a lot of challenge to the game, which is welcome (since it is a bit short), but also makes it really tedious in the later stages. One of the other issues is that some of the moves are pretty useless (looking at you headbutt and elbow)...which turns the pretty impressive moveset into just a couple attacks that you repeat over and over because they are the only ones that work. Finally, the game looks pretty good and doesn't suffer from slowdown, but has a ton of issues with flickering...and it gets really bad when playing with a pal. Even though all these issues are pretty annoying, the game does remain a super fun experience overall.

Double Dragon (Sega Master System) image

Double Up in Double Dragon!
If you play this game, you should play with a buddy. I did have fun playing through this game the first time by myself...but there was really nothing to keep me playing it after I beat it. Some of the glaring technical annoyances really started standing out in the later stages too. I found myself forced to use a jab-and-run tactic for most enemies rather than just plowing forward and beating 'em up. However, playing with a friend amped the "fun" meter up to max and you overlook all of those issues. It tends to get really interesting if you "accidentally" attack each other in the midst of a heated fight. Regardless, this stands as a good port of Double Dragon, which is a classic game worthy of playing. I'd say that if you have friends that you play the Master System with, you NEED this game. For those solo players though, it remains a fun game, but the flaws do detract noticeably from the experience.

Double Dragon is a 8 / 10, for being an unforgettable multiplayer experience, but having definite flaws which do detract from the gameplay.

Rating: 8/10

Never3ndr's avatar
Community review by Never3ndr (June 16, 2014)

Retro-Gaming Enthusiast!

More Reviews by Never3ndr
Learn Japanese to Survive! Hiragana Battle (PC) artwork
Learn Japanese to Survive! Hiragana Battle (PC)

A great game for the niche market of early or casual Japanese learners...
Power Strike II (Sega Master System) artwork
Power Strike II (Sega Master System)

The best (but not perfect) shoot em' up on the Sega Master System
Fantasy Zone II (Sega Master System) artwork
Fantasy Zone II (Sega Master System)

I'd honestly recommend for any retro gamer to try this game out


If you enjoyed this Double Dragon review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Policies/Ethics | Contact | Advertise | Sponsor Guide | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2016 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Double Dragon is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Double Dragon, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.