Double Dragon 2 logo

Virgin * £19.99. Joystick

Billy and Jimmy Lee are tough. The Black Warriors know they're tough because they were foolish enough to mess with them a couple of years ago in the classic coin-op Double Dragon.

The black warriors had kidnapped Marian, a friend of theirs, and the lads decided to get her back and put the gang out of operation for good. Sadly, they didn't quite finish off the female leader, who then spent a few years recovering before seeking her revenge. And what better way to get back at the brothers than to kidnap Marian again? So that's what she did, killing Marian as soon as she got her hands on her. So the brothers Lee are mad as hell and are going after her.

It's a one or two-player horizontally-scrolling beat-em-up in which the players control the brothers as they work their way through the various levels biffing and bashing the various enemies that come at them from all parts of the screen (some baddies even hide inside things and jump out on the brothers as they pass).

As well as the standard aggressive moves such as punching, kicking and high kicking, the bruvvers can also pick up extra weapons like maces and daggers that come of the baddies will drop once you manage to kill them. Be careful, though, because you can drop the weapons if the baddies manage to crack you on and you don't carry the weapons from one stage to the next. If you don't have any extra weapons you can always resort to picking up bits of the scenery, like oil barrels and crates, that can then be lobbed at the enemies.

The regular baddies are nasty enough - especially when you have several of them to handle at once - but extra large baddies and ones wielding swords and such like make several appearances throughout the games and generally these need to be hit more often to cause them to disappear. Bash your way through the levels without losing all your lives and continue credits and then go back and do it all again.


Large sprites and a full PAL screen; things look good. The perspective is a little odd but very coin-op like. Tunes play throughout that are jaunty and very listenable.


A fun beat-em-up that's a vast improvement on the computer versions of the first game. It's too easy to keep you playing for months, though, and it's likely you'll complete it sooner rather than later. Lots of fun in two player mode.

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Vor gut einem Jahr brachte Virgin die Umsetzung von "Double Dragon" heraus: Obwohl das Prügelspiel am Automaten sehr populär war konnte man die Amigaversion getrost vergessen. Jetzt haben sich dieselben Jungs nochmals an Teil II versucht, aber mit deutlich besserem Ergebnis.

Double Dragon II ist ein horizontal scrollendes Beat 'em up, bei dem sich ein oder zwei Spieler aufmachen, um ihre entführte Freundin aus der Hand des Überbösewichts zu befreien und nebenbei dessen halben Privatarmee niederzumetzeln - die übliche Story halt. Ganz und gar nicht üblich dagegen, was so alles an Gegnern aufgeboten wird: Dermaßen riesige Sprites habe ich wirklich schon lange nicht mehr gesehen! Neben den obligaten Schwarzenegger-Clones, die am Level-Ende den Eingang zur nächsten Spielstufe bewachen, tauchen hier auch mittendrin einige Rambo-Verschnitte auf, denen nur noch ein paar Pixel zum ausgewachsenen Monster fehlen. Unter das gewöhnliche Fußvolk, das zum Vermöbeln angetreten ist, haben sich im Zeichen der Emanzipation zudem einige Punkladies gemischt - sie sind keineswegs nur zum Anschauen gedacht, sondern machen ganz undamenhafte Annäherungsversuche mit schwingeden Fahrradketten!

Wie sie auch immer aussehen mögen, alle haben selbstverständlich nur das eine im Sinn, sie wollen dem Spieler das Bildschirm-Leben ausblasen! Das gelingt ihnen allerdings nicht ohne weiteres, denn die Heldensprites können genauso gut zuschlagen wie ihre Gegner; außerdem kann man alle Waffen, die die Angreifer verlieren (fahrradketten, Messer, Morgensterne etc.) aufhoben und selbst benutzen - und wenn ihre Stricke reißen, gibt's immer noch Continues ohne Ende!

Die Grafik ist im wesentlichen identisch mit der Automatenversion und absolut Amiga-würdig: leider haben die Gegner die unangenehme Angewohnheit, sich (unfairerweise) gelegentlich gleich zu fünft oder sechst auf die geplagten Helden zu stürzen. Im dann entstehen den Gewühl lässt sich Freund und Feind nicht mehr unterscheiden, so dass man im Zwei-Spieler-Modus des öfteren dem Mitspieler eins auf die Nase gibt.

Die Steuerung bietet zahlreiche Aktionsmöglichkeiten - mehr, als man in der Spielpraxis tatsächlich benutzen wird. Animationen und Scrolling sind nicht hundertprozentig zufriedenstellend, was aber im Eifer des Gefechts, gar nicht weiter auffällt. Die fünf Level sind mit einem Zeitlimit "versüßt", während des Spiels gibt es passende Soundeffekte oder, mittels F2-Taste, Musikbegleitung. Kurzum: Double Dragon II ist ein grafisch schön gemachtes Beat 'em up mit ausgezeichneter Spielbarkeit! Wer sich trotzdem an den kleinen Macken wie der mäßigen "Intelligenz" der Gegner und des Anleitungsübersetzers stört, ist schon ein arger Spielverderber. (mm)

Double Dragon 2 logo

Price: £19.99

When the first Double Dragon appeared this time last year, it was received with almost uniformly awful reviews. Readers voted it one of the worst games of the year. Disappointment was evident because expectations were high.

The appearance and subsequent licensing of Double Dragon II gave Virgin another chance to produce a game which does the coin-op justice and this time they have made a better fist of it.

The first thing that strikes you about Binary Design's conversion is the full screen image, which helps retain the feel of the arcade original.

There is little to separate the first Double Dragon from its successor. It is another horizontally scrolling beat 'em up much in the same mould with you battling your way through henchmen, with a variety of weapons such as chains and knives.

The game loads in section-by-section, not just between levels, but also midway through. This can catch you unawares, particularly as you begin level two, since the first thing that happens is that you receive a smack in the mouth because you materialise right in front of an extremely large bit of muscle. Nevertheless there is no doubt which game you are playing from the moment you begin as the two characters (instantly recognisable because they dress so badly) begin their cross screen surge.

The action is furious enough, although at many points characters seem to behave peculiarly, mainly because of untidy bits of programming. Some opponents stick on ladders invitingly, allowing you to trash them with lumps of chain without fear of retaliation, others jump off upper levels suicidally, and indeed a whole gang can be induced to hurl themselves from the top of the machinery like lemmings.

Whilst Double Dragon II is good fun, particularly in two player mode, it is the kind of game with which you cannot help picking faults. These faults are particularly glaring once placed next to Ninja Warriors which is polished in comparison. The sound in Double Dragon II is messy with exclamations from battered baddies that sound like hiccups, and the backdrops in some places are extraordinarily flat. Witness the end of the third level where the field full of cows looks like a bad attempt at cubism.

These criticisms are not to suggest DDII is unplayable because it is not, there is still a lot of fun to be had playing this conversion, merely that it is not the game it should have been.

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Virgin, C64 £9.99 cass, £14.99 disk; Amiga £19.99

Five years ago the brilliant Double Dragon team, Billy and Jimmy Lee, rescued the beautiful transsexual singer Marilyn (Marian on the C64) from the clutches of the evil Shadow Boss. Until yesterday the three friends lived together quite happily. Yesterday Marilyn was shot dead, and the Lee brothers have sworn revenge.

But the Shadow Boss has not spent the last five years idly watching TV. He has worked long and hard using oriental black magic to establish another vast network of underworld crime. The Lee brothers quest for revenge begins at a heliport run by the Shadow Boss. They must fight their way through the heliport to confront the end-of-level baddie, a man twice as big as them. Along the way Schwarzenegger-clone muscle men and punk women armed with bicycle chains will try to stop them. Dropped weapons, such as the chains, can be picked up and used. Alternatively crates can be picked up and thrown!

Level two takes place in a warehouse, level three in the Midwest complete with combine harvesters, the tiny level four on a mountainside, and level five is inside the Shadow Boss's temple. Apart from the graphic changes the basic game is little changed from the original. There's some shared continue-plays, a time-limit and plenty of bashing.

Robin Hogg Beat-'em-ups are great fun to play although nowadays a little more originality is required in execution and game ideas. While Amiga DDII is certainly nice to look at with some good animation about the characters and a fantastic title screen tune, there is a lack of graphical variety and I'm not very sure by the long term appeal. The 64 version is a better game to play with a difficulty level set just about right. On the debit side there are some pretty garish background graphics and weak sound effects, but the sprites are very well animated.
Stuart Wynne There is very little difference in game structure between this and the original Double Dragon, but this conversion is much better and very playable. While I was disappointed there's nothing new to it, art dept star Mel absolutely loved it. With other software houses neglecting the beat-'em-up format, Virgin seem to have cornered the market with this, Shinobi and Ninja Warriors. For the C64 Shinobi is the best, although worst on the Amiga where DDII and Ninja are very close.