Monday, March 25, 2024

Game Review: 'Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons'

Released in July, "Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons" managed to punch some life into the old bones of a long-decayed franchise by delivering some goofy, "River City Ransom"-style world-building elements and animation to the standard beat-em-up formula. 

Now the underappreciated game is set to a shot in the arm with the April release of "New Beginnings," a DLC pack that will add new modes, characters along with other upgrades and additions.

I missed the original release and wasn't expecting much from the game, even though I'm a sucker for just about anything in the "Double Dragon" realm. Now bolstered with a pair of female characters who join forces with the traditional male duo, the game is more diverse, open-ended and nuanced than the titles that munched my quarters in the 80s and 90s.

The challenge level has been significantly smoothed out, the move sets and combo-driven combat has gotten a boost, and the parade of villains is adorned with more personality and intricacy.

Easter eggs abound, with hidden areas that offer more enemies and loot to plunder. There's also a store that lets you bank your cash for upgrades.

I enjoyed my time with "Rise of the Dragons" and eagerly await the DLC drop. There may be some fire left in these dragons' bellies after all.

Publisher provided review code.

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