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Double Dragon II: The Revenge (Genesis) artwork

Double Dragon II: The Revenge (Genesis) review

"This game takes a revenge on YOU instead."

There was a reason why anyone missed out on Double Dragon II in the US for the Genesis. Simply put, the game port is just awful. While the NES had its own version of the fabled arcade game, the MegaDrive would get a semi-decent looking adaptation, mimicking the arcade original for the most part but just not cutting it as a game you would have too much patience in playing or even enjoying for that matter.

Graphically itís quite passable, the sprites are way smaller but everything looks the part regardless. Some stages have been modified with the second stage having a complete different route than the arcade, along with a bothersome pit obstacle on which you must jump over to reach the end of it. Even when said pit is simply a small gap to jump across, the treadmills leading to it will give you a hard time in clearing said jump, as well as with your character suddenly freezing mid-air as you try to jump over it. This would not be the sole problem which plagues this game as with the tractor on stage 3 would also be such a pain to transverse through.

CptRetroBlue's image
The infamous intro to the game remains intact in the MegaDrive port.

Gameplay is quite erratic. Enemies will surround you and mercilessly beat up on you whenever your character tries getting up, as well as tossing a barrage of knives and hand grenades when you distance yourself from harm. Your sole defense here is to execute the "helicopter kick" which will clear said enemies away from you to have a fighting chance. At times your punches and kicks will seemingly just go through enemies without any reaction given. It is quite a chore to defeat just about anyone on this port. While it is problematic to deal with such complications it is possible to beat the game with the credits given and chances are you would not need to exhaust all of said credits to do so.

CptRetroBlue's image
Stage 2 is drastically changed on this port and quite frustrating to play through.

The music might be its sole positive aspect, almost matching the arcades superb soundtrack. Unlike the first game's outing the ported sequel makes better use of its musical composition. Other sound effects however are lacking, this includes the grunts enemies make when defeated. However punches and kicks have a solid sound to them, which can be satisfying after defeating a number of pesky enemies who were crowing you and giving little room to fight back. The game also suffers from the mercy invisibility being rendered useless, not being able to fight back while enemies would have no problem in hitting you in turn. This would sound more like a glitch than anything, but the game simply makes it hard for you to defend yourself.

The game also tries to glitch whenever you defeat an enemy. As soon as they mouth off their death soundbite the screen would try to freeze and become unresponsive. This only adds to the pile of problems you encounter when playing.

CptRetroBlue's image
Enemy AI is relentless and will corner you until you lose a life.

Double Dragon II on the MegaDrive would come out as a novelty given its problematic gameplay, but you still feel like giving it a go every once in a while. If anything, the iteration on the NES is far more playable and enjoyable so you would be better playing that instead.

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Community review by CptRetroBlue (April 07, 2020)

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