SUPER DOUBLE DRAGON / Technos / SNES
Super Double Dragon gets off to a fairly strong start. The pace seems a touch on the slow side, but not intolerably so, and the game has fluid animation (for early SNES) and some good moves. Jumping is now assigned to a separate button for the first time in the series, there's a nifty block button that allows you to catch the errant swing of a foe and retaliate by kicking the hell out of their face multiple times, and holding down L or R charges a "power meter" that lets you do the good ol' Tornado Kick and other classic DD power moves.
Unfortunately, the game seems to embrace, rather than challenge, the inherent repetitiveness of the beat-em-up genre, which becomes ever more apparent as you plow through the game's eight levels. There's only about six enemy models for the entire game; they move faster and take more damage as the game wears on, but they don't change much at all, outside of maybe a palette swap here and there.
The game also seems to be devoid of boss enemies. It has a few bigger doods that it throws out at you here and there, but there's no bosses proper except for the final one, and you likely won't even know he's a boss until you finally land the eighty billion hits needed to beat him and he suddenly flies backward in slow motion. There's also no real ending to speak of, just a "Congraturation" text blob followed by black-and-white credits.
Around Mission 5 or 6 you hit that "when is this gonna end" feeling, where the game starts to feel more like a slog and a chore than something you are doing for fun and entertainment. Unfortunately, there's no other modes of play besides the regular game, there isn't even adjustable difficulty. And the game is overly easy. I played it with friends a few times way back when it first came out, but haven't touched it at all in the ensuing 15 years or so, but when picking it up to re-play for this review I cruised right through on two credits (six lives, of which the game gives you fifteen total per play) on my first try. The game is really no challenge at all unless you refuse to use the L+R charge moves, and even without those it's still pretty easy. Two player mode makes things a bit more fun, but actually becomes a liability as both players share the five alloted credits - the game is tougher to finish with two people than it is alone!
Graphics are pretty nice for early-gen SNES - colorful, detailed backgrounds, decent sprite work with a good frame count of animations. Music is likewise pretty solid with some good original tunes and some nice grade-ups of classic tunes from the first Double Dragon. Unfortunately the game feels more like an 85% complete demo than a full true game, and I'm almost certain it was rushed out the door. It's OK for one play-through, but it'll likely be months or years before you feel any desire to play it again.
* Gameplay Video