You just don't do that to the damsel... You just don't... But it was cool.
Double Dragon II: The Revenge was released one year later after the previous game, and it continued to blaze a trail for the beat’em up genre, and not only in regards to its game play but in its risk taking as well. This sequel managed to improve the fighting engine creating a more fun experience; but what must be noted is that Double Dragon II began its story quite sinister introducing the most memorable opening to any video game at that time. In fact, nothing else was quite like it back then. The story begins when the main boss from the previous game returns to confront Marion, the girl whom Billy and Jimmy Lee saved in the first game. He simply opens up fire with his machine gun and kills Marion instantly. Up to that point in gaming the damsel in distress had never been killed before which was quite shocking back then. When looking back that is pretty brutal and cool, plus the ending with the tear drop added more to it for dramatic effect.
DDII’s new features are immediately noticeable with the directional attack scheme for the characters which was introduced in Renegade. When facing the enemy, the player will throw a bunch of punches ending with an uppercut. When enemies approach from behind, then the player will throw a middle side kick and finish with a spinning hook kick which looks really cool. The button combination attacks are still present with the elbow returning along with a leaping spin kick. In addition, there’s a really cool and powerful Hurricane Kick the brothers can pull off kicking the living hell out of everyone in their path. The hit detection is a lot better along with range of attack. The characters also feel a bit more speedy which I do like plus the elbow cannot be spammed this time for too long because it can be ducked.
Many of the enemies return with something a little different, but it’s the new bosses that steals the show. They are highly OP and have some very devastating attacks that kills the health bar. It’s definitely not recommended to just come out swinging against them. The enemies use the numbers game quite well as usual, but I found them a bit easier to deal with as they die quicker, except for the bosses. Once again the weapons really don’t add much with the knife being the only truly useful weapon.
Although I like DDII better than the previous game it’s not by that much, because there are little things holding it back despite the progress it makes. I do like there’s still more of a focus on the brawling aspect, and the stage obstacles are kept to a minimum with only two areas that really over do the hazards; but there was two much rehashing from the original which gives off this lazy feel, as if Technos Japan were in a serious hurry to ape off the series’ popularity. However, I have no issue with the difficulty spike which throws out there many OP bosses during the end, because this was the norm back then in all games of this type. This was meant to get people spending quarters for that elusive ending.
The visuals have some more fluid animations and the backgrounds have a lively feel to them. The game rehashed older character designs and gave them new updates with the chicks looking far more thuggish than ever before, plus newer looking variations of Abobo. There are three brand new looking boss characters whom are quite intimidating, with one fighting with kung-fu sticks and packing a devastating kick.
There are some people who prefer the original game over this one mainly because of the rehashing and to a degree I side with them; but I simply can’t ignore the more sinister story involving Marion along with the other advancements made to the game play, to include the mysterious supernatural story elements that were left vague, those who played this know what I’m talking about. It felt familiar yet it felt quite improved. I definitely recommend this to fans of brawlers and at least a look for those whom enjoyed the first game.
The Good: Improves on game play of original, tougher bosses, more difficult obstacles, sinister story
The Bad: Lots of rehashing that felt quite lazy