Эволюция Double Dragon 1987-2023. Всe игры серии!
Evolution of double dragon Double Dragon is a series of beat 'em up video games created by Yoshihisa Kishimoto and originally developed by the Japanese company TechnōS. [The first game was released to arcades in 1987, turning the game into a franchise and fueling the popularity of the beat 'em up genre. The series stars twin martial artists, Billy and Jimmy Lee, as they battle various street gangs, adversaries, and rivals. So let's look at all the games in the Double Dragon series in order. Double Dragon (1987) The first arcade machine, Double Dragon in 1987, was a real breakthrough. This was the first time an action film had such detailed character animation. The cooperative mode for two players was revolutionary . Double Dragon's gameplay, unique at that time, included a variety of types of attacks. By combining punches, kicks and weapons,
it was possible to create long combos of techniques. Particularly memorable were the brutal finishing moves and techniques performed together with a partner. One of the features of the game were items that could be picked up directly at the levels. Various weapons like baseball bats, nunchucks or knives added
destructive power to the attacks. Fighting together with bats or knives is pure pleasure for fans of hardcore action. Its success in arcades inspired Double Dragon to be ported to the home consoles of the time. The NES and Sega Mega Drive versions have their own features. The NES port differed significantly from the arcade original. RPG elements were added , such as increasing character stats and purchasing upgrades in stores.
The graphics were adapted to 8-bit consoles - they became more colorful and detailed, taking into account the capabilities of the NES. The levels were redesigned and new locations were added. The gameplay has been simplified for solo play, taking into account the features of the gamepad. Although, at the request of fans, the developers left the cooperative, albeit less developed. The Mega Drive version followed the arcade hit Double Dragon much more closely. Thanks to the hardware of the 16-bit console, the game looked very impressive for its time.
The character animations were fluid, and the backgrounds and sprites were well detailed. The Sega version remains faithful to the original in terms of gameplay - the same moves and combos, plus improved co-op. A start was made and a year later the second part was released. 2. Double Dragon II: The Revenge (1988) Deciding to strike while the iron is hot, in 1988 Technos released the second part of the adventures of Billy and Jimmy Lee. A year later,
the project was released on the NES. Moreover, Technos are not making a ported version, but are practically assembling the game from a new one. But while working on the second game in the series, they didn’t reinvent the wheel. They took almost everything from the first part, improved the graphics, thoroughly worked on the sound and music, added new techniques and made a masterpiece. This time, the criminal group Black Warriors decided to act more radically. Instead of kidnapping Billy's girl again, they just killed her.
Naturally, the main characters want revenge. The entire plot of the game is presented in small screensavers explaining the events. For example, one of the most memorable screensavers was the story of how a helicopter flew off into a neon night. Undoubtedly, the main feature of Double Dragon 2 was the presence of a co-op mode. And with the option of beating up your partner. There were often cases when an unsuccessful move hurt a comrade and the whole game ended in a virtual showdown . This is not the fighting game mode from the first part, of course, but it’s still fun. Other components of the gameplay have also evolved. The combat system has become more diverse.
There are more than a dozen kicks, punches and other body parts at your disposal. Well, the weapon didn’t go anywhere, having knocked the chain out of the enemy’s hands, it could be picked up and notably knocked on the enemies. Finally, various obstacles appeared in the levels. Not only can your sides get crushed, but now you can fall into an abyss, hit your head on a spiked ceiling, and even fly out of an opening door in a helicopter. Despite the minimal number of differences from the first part, Double Dragon has become better than its predecessor in many ways. And it worthily continued to bear the title of the best Beat'em Up on the NES platform.
3 Double Dragon 3: The Sacred stones (1991) New adventures of the Lee brothers came out in 1991 year. The project offers the strangest plot in the series. Even though it was almost absent in previous games. A year has passed since Billy dealt with the Black Warriors gang (the plot of the 1st part), but evil is again raising its head. Marian, Billy's girlfriend, disappeared (and according to the plot of the 2nd part, she was killed). Suddenly, a strange old woman named
Hiruko appears who has information about the girl. It turns out that in order for Marian to be released, she needs to collect three sacred stones. After this, a map opens in front of us, and the game itself begins. As you can see, now events will take place all over the world. The first destination is the United States. In the future you will be able to visit China, Japan, Italy and Egypt. Also, along with the plot and expansion of the game's geography, the game has made significant strides in improving graphics and sound. But there are also disadvantages. Unfortunately, the arsenal of weapons knocked out of enemies has been reduced. The only things left are knives, bottles and nunchucks (with restrictions). Along
with the weapons, most of the obstacles disappeared from the game. Now crashing your head into the spikes while jumping will not work. Conveyor belts and many other things were also missing. On the plus side , full-fledged bosses with various mechanics arrived in the third part, and not strengthened opponents without any techniques. Moreover, you could take a couple of bosses into your team and even play for them, using unique features. The third part turned out to be excellent, some
things improved in it, some things got worse in comparison with previous games. But this is quite a cheerful Beat'em Up, which even now can serve as an example of how to make high-quality games. 4. Super Double Dragon (1992) With the release of Super Double Dragon (1992), the series briefly left eight-bit consoles and arcade machines. The new game was developed exclusively
for the SNES. The first thing I would like to note is that the fights are fast and absolutely stunning in quality . Beautiful kicks with a body turn, the ability to grab the opponent's hand at the moment of impact, then beating him with his knee, an excellent choice of weapons. Plus excellently animated characters, both heroes and villains. The advantage of the game was its varied, memorable locations - the adventure began in Las Vegas, then the Lee brothers ended up at the airport, at a martial arts school in Chinatown, fought on the roof of a truck and in the city slums. Fascinating gameplay, familiar soundtrack -
it would seem that the game had everything to become a hit. Only there was nothing new in it. Yes, the graphics have improved, and the set of attacks has changed - but that’s all. The series froze in place, it stopped developing. Over and over again we were offered the same street fights, often the opponents were warriors from the Shadow clan. It's time to change something. And the developers understood this - only
by that time the Technos banner had already been picked up by another studio. Double Dragon - in cinema and on TV In the first half of the 90s, the popularity of “Double Dragon” was so great that even a cartoon TV show called Double Dragon appeared. It was about twins Billy and Jimmy Lee, separated at birth. One of them became a noble warrior,
a master of martial arts, while the other was raised by warriors of a criminal clan. Fortunately, already in the first episode the brothers united in order to confront their enemies together. The cartoon lasted two seasons, and was so popular that it even brought the Double Dragon universe into the big cinema. In 1994, the movie Double Dragon was released, starring Mark Dacascos (Jimmy Lee) and Scott Wolf (Billy Lee). The films were full of magic, martial arts and humor - but were created with an eye on a children's audience who loved animated series and video games (after all, games were still considered children's entertainment back then). This is probably also why the movie ended up failing at the box office. And after the completion of
the second season of the animated series, the Double Dragon universe finally left television and movie screens. Whether it will be forever - time will tell. 5 Battletoads & Double Dragon (1993) Rare Ltd, which replaced Technos as the developer of Double Dragon, immediately began vigorously experimenting. The first project of the new developers was the game Battletoads & Double Dragon, released in 1993 - a bright and colorful crossover that connected the Double Dragon universe with universe of Battletoads - Battle Toads. In fairness, it should be said that there is much more of Battletoads in this project than of Double Dragon. The game takes place in space, the heroes confront aliens and robots (although there is also a place for street punks in the plot), the engine is also taken from the Battletoads games. On the other hand, it was in the crossover that Double
Dragon fans received that novelty and unusualness that was so lacking in the last games of the series. Outlandish super attacks, great animation, challenging platform levels... and, of course, simply amazing graphics! In fact, it seems that Battletoads & Double Dragon squeezed all the juice out of the old 8-ball. Versions subsequently appeared for the SNES, Sega and Game Boy, but many gamers still consider the NES version to be the best. And it’s good that the eight-bit story of Double Dragon ended with this game. Because the next game in the Double
Dragon series ended up almost driving the universe to its grave. 6 Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls (1994) The development of the fifth part of the series was carried out by the publishing company Tradewest on the shoulders of the Leland Interactive Media studio. This team also decided to experiment with the series - this time it was decided to leave the beat'em up genre behind and build a real fighting game. Fortunately, there was a basis for this - in 1993, the animated series Double Dragon appeared on American screens. At the time of the development of Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls, the series was at the peak of its fame - it is not surprising that the game, which went on sale in 1994, was made according to his motives. Yes, we definitely haven’t been shown a Double Dragon like this before! Cartoon graphics, funny characters hitting each other with awkward movements, crudely drawn arenas. It's true that
fans were tired of the monotonous beat'em up games, but moving into the fighting game category, where Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter reigned, was a clear mistake. The reputation of the series was dealt a terrible blow. And then everything was even worse. 7 Double Dragon (Neo Geo). 1995 The last game in the Double Dragon line for a long time was released in 1995. The developer of this project, created for the Neo Geo console and then ported to other consoles, was Technos. In the new game, the developers who gave life to the series tried to correct the mistakes of Leland Interactive Media. The game was based on the film “Double Dragon”, but apparently there were not enough characters from the film for a full-fledged game, so it was decided to add many “third-party” fighters who first appeared in the series. By the way, the game
included inserts from the film, although the in-game graphics remained cartoonish. However , compared to Double Dragon V, the quality of the characters and arenas has improved. In general, the style of the new Double Dragon was very reminiscent of Street Fighter. This is probably what ruined both the new game and the entire series for a long time. Technos simply didn't understand that the Double Dragon series didn't need yet another essentially derivative fighting game. The series needed new ideas, it needed a restart, but it was in the beat em'up genre, in which Double Dragon was traditionally strong. And even if Technos didn’t understand this, many years
later, another company thought about restarting. Thanks to which Double Dragon rose from the ashes, like the legendary Phoenix bird. 8 Double Dragon: Neon. (2012) 17 years have passed since the end of the Double Dragon story. It would seem that the story of the dragon brothers is completely over, and the famous duo will never return to TV screens and arcade machines. Therefore, in April 2012,
the news about the imminent “restart” of the series became a real bolt from the blue for Double Dragon fans. WayForward Technologies was responsible for the new version, promising to preserve the spirit of the original Double Dragon in the game. From the first glance at the game, it becomes clear that the developers of WayForward Technologies know how to make remakes of old games! Literally everything, from the start screen to the final song, is permeated with nostalgia for the eighties. Neon Dragon brings together many recognizable elements from popular beat-emups from the early 90s, making this game a real treasure for retro gamers. Special thanks for creating an amazing I would like to say something about the atmosphere of the game to the game composer Jake Kofman, who not only made excellent arrangements of tracks from the original games of the Double Dragon series, but also wrote several playful songs for the game in the “disco of the eighties” style. The game's combat system is also a lot of fun. Taking
the concept of the original Double Dragon game as a basis, the developers pretty much combed it into modern trends, relying on the entertainment of what was happening. At the same time, combat also has a second bottom. For the first playthrough, it is quite enough for the player to simply wave his arms and legs, enjoying watching the scattering bodies of enemies. But as the difficulty level increases, the enemy’s health increases significantly, and here you have to master dodging attacks with subsequent counterattacks that deal double damage. The developers did not forget about leveling up the character, which maintains interest in the game after the first playthrough. Reviving forgotten genres from oblivion is a difficult and risky task. The developers of Double Dragon Neon took the safe route and released
a small but high-quality game that you can happily spend several evenings playing. 9 Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons (2013) Double Dragon 2: Wonder of the Dragons is a remake of the classic beat'em up Double Dragon II: The Revenge, in which karate brothers Billy and Jimmy brutally avenged their girlfriend who was killed by evil bandits . For the late 80s, the game was very good, which allowed it to contribute to the popularization of the entire genre. But its remake... let's just say that Billy and Jimmy are simply obliged to pay a visit to the game developers in order to brutally avenge their violated honor. Wander of the Dragons is unique in that it can be criticized from absolutely anywhere. For example, she has terrible technical problems, which
becomes clear literally from the first frames. When moving, the screen twitches disgustingly. The characters are clumsy and poorly animated. The controls are so unresponsive that even if everything else in the game were perfect, it would still be a failure. And she still slows down. A toy with graphics from fifteen years ago is slow. On a console that can handle Far Cry 3. The enemies are up to par with local quality standards: they're slow, few in number, and boast a unique combination of impenetrable stupidity and cunning. Most of the time, opponents stand like sheep in the middle of the battlefield,
allowing themselves to be beaten with impunity. In general, we will not focus on it, we will move on 10 Double Dragon 4 (2017) Arc System Works (currently the owner of the franchise). I wisely remembered that the fourth part was never released on consoles and instead it is customary to remember Super Double Dragon on the SNES, and the fifth part in the fighting game style was already extremely canonical and moved away from the series almost irrevocably. The plot of Double Dragon 4 picks up immediately after the story told in Double Dragon 2, when brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee defeated the powerful Shadow Warrior clan. At the beginning of the game, in small alternating pictures, as in the days of consoles, we learn that the brothers are traveling through the desert to one of the martial arts schools. They are attacked by militants from a new gang of renegades who have infested various parts of the future world. I would say that the game presents us with a classic plot - a story about revenge,
about the struggle for the supremacy of fighting styles, about competition between powerful clans. in 2017 it was received rather coolly by the gaming and retro community as a whole. Almost all respected gaming resources criticized the game, and independent reviewers on YouTube also added fuel to the fire . Reviewers made many complaints about the project's graphics. It was done in a classic 2D perspective with an old school feel. The game has 12 different levels, some of them have components of a platform setting. In addition to all
the minuses, almost everyone speaks positively about the game’s soundtrack. The new high-quality stylization of 8-bit music, diluted with completely new compositions and cover versions of old tracks, sounds energetic and original. The action that unfolds on the screen is harmoniously combined with the musical accompaniment 11 Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons 2023 It’s an alternative post-apocalyptic 90s. New York's new mayor can't cope crime on the streets of the city, so he turns for help to the main characters - Billy and Jimmy Lee, who take with them a couple of assistants. Then everything is standard: clearing areas of the metropolis from bandits of all stripes, battles with bosses and gradual progress towards the final enemy.
The authors of the game relied on variety. Even the starting characters are significantly different from each other: Billy and Jimmy Lee are martial artists, each with their own set of attacks. Officer Marian is armed with a pistol, so she stops enemies before they even get close to her. A former military man, Mateen uses a shield to crowd and knock down opponents. And this is just the beginning, because as players progress, they will be able to unlock new fighters with new abilities. Including the bosses they will defeat in the story campaign. This opens up good opportunities for replayability, so even the short duration of the game does not disappoint - you can go through it again with other characters, try different pairs of heroes, and even see new locations: all areas are open from the very beginning, but their duration depends on the order of selection. The mechanic of switching fighters became key in Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons. Each
player can take two heroes on a mission and change them with each other at any time at the press of a button. This allows the battered fighter to take a breath, and the player to slightly change battle tactics, as well as invent interesting combinations, since the chain of attacks is not interrupted when switching. Changing characters costs a special scale, which is restored over time. She
is also responsible for carrying out special techniques, so you won’t be able to use her thoughtlessly. Moreover , the special reception is the only way to get “first aid kits”, represented here by hot dogs, hamburgers and other fast food. It is enough to use it against a group of enemies (three or more), and the game will immediately reward you with a “healer”. The combat system here is familiar to the genre: punches
and kicks, jumps, grabs, various techniques. You can actively use the environment: fragile boxes are destroyed, leaving behind coins, red barrels explode, taking a couple of villains with them if the circumstances are successful. Enemies have unique attacks and sometimes carry weapons that can be knocked out of their hands and used until they break. Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons
looks great: what is happening is not mixed into a pixelated mess, and even during a battle with dozens of opponents you can clearly control your hero. The game boasts a pleasant soundtrack with a memorable title theme. And the presence of local co-op allows you to spend an evening or two in the company of a partner with gamepads in hand. The return of the series can definitely be called successful: the game makers from Secret Base have released an excellent beat'em'up action movie that you don't want to part with. twins Billy and Jimmy Lee, separated at birth. One of them became noble.
In general, the Double Dragon series can without any doubt be included in the founders of Beat'em Ups. It was in the games of this series that the distinctive features of the genre were formed. “Double Dragons” gave players many enjoyable hours and, what’s most interesting, managed not to fade into oblivion. With the advent of emulators for personal computers, the series came to life again, received several ported versions to mobile platforms and modern game consoles, and even had several full-fledged parts in our time.