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Double Dragon 2: Wander of the Dragons review

Double Dragon Neon had a lot to live up to, reimaging a massive classic that many gamer of a certain age would look back on with great fondness, suffice to say, it didn't do too well, receiving a wide variety of reviews. Thankfully there are plenty more Double Dragon games to remake, so moving swiftly on to the next we have Gravity with their version of Double Dragon 2: The Revenge, now inexplicably retitled Double Dragon 2: Wander of the Dragons.

With the internet a current hotbed for sexism in the gaming industry the timing could not have been better, though I am sure this would be overlooked just because no one will buy this game, with the prologue having you being able to play as an overly ample chested Maria in a rather inappropriate karate outfit that must require loads of tit-tape in a training level before witnessing her getting gunned down, thus causing the twins, (no not those) Billy and Jimmy to hunt down the culprit for revenge. If Gravity spent as much time as they did on Marias wobble than on the rest of the game it may have been passable. After that there are fifteen levels in total to play through, though play is a loose term, considering the AI seems older than the original Double Dragon 2, it's almost like Gravity played the original and rather than make any sensible improvements, made them worse with a very light assortment of baddies randomly popping up on the screen, hovering around the outskirts of the screen out of harm's way, or just standing in front of you, motionless. There are times when they may actually fight you and for these instances you have a block, though it is so erratic and slow at functioning that it is rarely used. The same can be said for all of the moves the dragon boys have to use, with simple punches and kicks able to be linked into a powerful move with every fourth hit, a super move that was only used once and Dragon Statues that are littered around the game that change colour but do nothing other than one special move, that is if you are skilled enough to navigate your character over the icon which is easier than it sounds as the animation is appalling, with basic movement taking far more effort than it should.

Each level is based around parts from the original game, expanding them for your "enjoyment", filling them with the same old characters, over and over again. Difficulty is of a mixed bag, most hoodlums you can defeat with ease, but then you have the bosses, which tend to like to block a bit too much and with the ability to combo your life in one move, the easiest way for me to kill them was to die and let the respawn power move take a quarter of their energy, rinse and repeat. Even with the game dragging so much it does not prepare you for the final two levels, throwing pretty much all of the baddies that came before through an extremely laborious battle to the finish.

If a fifteen stage story was not enough you can also try out the Survival Mode, with you and a co-op buddy choosing from Billy, Jimmy, Marian or Jeff and then battling wave after wave of enemies, personally I gave up after wave 4.

Just having the balls to change the games title is never a real step in the right direction in trying to win over fans, but that's the least of your worries as everything about the game is just appalling, I have not played anything like this since the very early days of 3D games on the PlayStation One, pre-DualShock and even the bad games from that era have a lot more going for them. It's not even so bad it's good, it's just plain bad, characters facing the wrong way and an absolutely terrible soundtrack that feels like the composer hit the rock rhythm pre-set on a Casio keyboard and looped it, there is so much wrong with this game, surely the tester flagged some of these issues up?

You would think it could not get any worse, but for some unknown reason QTE's (Quick Time Events) also appear, with completely no warning or obvious reason, like mashing a button furiously to pull a lever to operate a lift or a battle in a helicopter that causes the chopper for no apparent reason to start pitching and crash. Though only a couple appear, they will cause a couple of unexpected deaths just due to the ferocity of the button mashing required.

It is not clear why or how the developers were given this game to remake, a company with no real experience in this sort of title, having taken well over three years to produce this and having no real relation to the other remake Double Dragon Neon. Any fan of these games would be best to just play the originals. I have no real idea who would get any enjoyment out of this game, there are hundreds of better games out there, fully realised and a lot more playable, just avoid.

Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version Tested: Xbox 360/XBLA)


- You can turn it off


- No refunds
- Everything
- Its digital so no DVD to use as a coaster
- Only local co-op

Edited On 12 Apr, 2013

( 11 )
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
This may be the funniest review I have ever read! I LOVE the pros and cons! And I cannot believe you managed to find a use for the words "tit-tape" in your review! Brilliant! I'm still laughing now!
Johno Muller's avatar
Johno Muller 4 years ago
Did Marcus (Borderlands) write this review?
Joe Anderson (Editor)'s avatar
Joe Anderson (Editor) 4 years ago
I love that we can write unbiased reviews. Wouldn't have it any other way.
Bindiana's avatar
Bindiana 4 years ago
So your saying the game is a 9 out of 10 Joe :D
LFC Bywater's avatar
LFC Bywater 4 years ago
lol great review. Know to avoid this now like the plague. Pro's and cons are the best i've ever seen.
HappyNoodleBoy's avatar
HappyNoodleBoy 4 years ago
Sounds like a winner. Guacamelee review incoming?
Joe Anderson (Editor)'s avatar
Joe Anderson (Editor) 4 years ago
Yeah HappyNoodleBuy. Sorry Pyro, I never noticed, will read again.
Ash Buchanan's avatar
Ash Buchanan 4 years ago
Working on the Guacamelee review now HappyNodleBoy, needed something good to wash any lasting memories of DD2 away. Pyro, can you point typos out plz so I can amend.Cant see them, but read so many times its all one blur.
Pyroloveridge's avatar
Pyroloveridge 4 years ago
removed the comment, sorry i was reading an IGN article and commented here for some reason
Pyroloveridge's avatar
Pyroloveridge 4 years ago
mind you " If Gravity spent as much time as they did on Marias wobble than on the rest of the game it may have been passable" is a bit awkward to read ::) (Batarian Smiley)
PrometheusFan's avatar
PrometheusFan 4 years ago
I remember the first I heard of this was a few weeks ago and I thought it was a sequel to DD Neon already. If only. Love DD Neon, even if that game was crap to play (Which it ISN'T!), it has one of the best game soundtracks I've heard in years and would have been worth playing for that alone.

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