Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls

Brad: This makes me sad. Double Dragon is one of my all-time favorite games, and this “sequel” is just somebody’s attempt to try to cash in by remaking it as a remarkably silly fighting game. It would be like if Charles Barkley came out of retirement to play Slamball. And then totally sucked at it, too.

Stryker: The really weird thing is that this game doesn’t really have anything to do with Double Dragon. Ok, I’m not a DD expert or anything, but I’ve never seen most of these characters before. Countdown? Trigger Happy? Where’s Adobo and the Whip Woman? And now the Lee brothers have swords? Where was my sword in the first game? That would have been real handy.

Brad: Considering that the only really effective move in the original Double Dragon was to let the enemies walk up behind you then elbow them in the face, it’s kind of ironic that this wasn’t one of those fighting games where it’s a pain in the ass to make your guy turn around when your opponent jumps over you. In this game, that actually would have worked better. But maybe that just proves that Double Dragon wasn’t the greatest source material for a fighting game in the first place.

Stryker: I just love that the arcade version of the first Double Dragon only required three buttons – exactly the number of buttons on a Genesis pad, even though the Genesis hadn’t been invented yet. Yet this game requires a six button controller, even though the people making it knew full well that was twice as many as what the Genny had to work with.

Brad: Yeah, how did they decide it was a good idea to make a Genesis version of this? I mean, seriously, did these guys not have sales numbers to show them how few people went out and bought the special 6 button Genesis pad? Or did they actually think that the whole “Press start to switch between punches and kicks” worked as a gameplay concept?

Stryker: Or worse yet, did they actually think Double Dragon V was going to be so awesome that everyone would run out and buy a special controller just to play it?

Brad: No way. Nobody who could think that would ever live long enough to become a game designer. That kind of self-delusion compromises you survival instincts. You’d convince yourself you were invincible and walk out in front of a train or something.

Stryker: Yeah, we’re not exactly talking about Guitar Hero, here. If Street Fighter II didn’t get you to buy a 6-button controller, nothing was going to.

Brad: And actually, Street Fighter II just convinced me to buy a Super Nintendo.

Stryker: One last thing – there’s a stage in this game that supposed to be inside a nuclear fusion reactor – fancy equipment, computer, glowing radioactive waste – all that stuff. This is where you fight one of the characters. How does that even happen? Do both you and the other guy have jobs there, and you got into a fight at work?

Brad: Somehow, I don’t think there’s a big demand for sword-wielding martial artists at the nuclear fusion facility. So maybe only the one guy works there, and he invited you over to fight him. He was like “Dude, I totally can’t get out of the plant early today. Just come over and we’ll fight on my lunch break or something.”

Stryker: Hmmm… this fighting tournament seems a little disorganized. And the workplace rules at the nuclear fusion plant are pretty lax. Most of the jobs I’ve had wouldn’t have let us invite people over to have sword fights with.

Brad: I’m willing to overlook a lot of things on that stage – like the fact that nuclear fusion plants don’t exist – but I’m having trouble with the skanky woman in the background. I know producers always want to sex up their games a little, but seriously, what the fuck is she doing there?

Stryker: Maybe she’s their supervisor. No wonder the employees having brawls during work hours. If I had a boss that dressed that slutty, I probably wouldn’t take workplace rules too seriously, either.

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