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Super Double Dragon
©1992 Technos Japan Corp.
Published under license by Tradewest, Inc.
Review by Kitsune Sniper

Following the success of the series in the arcades and almost all existing game systems, Technos wanted to take the series to the next level; they succeeded. However, Tradewest ruined it for the rest of us.

Super Double Dragon was released in 1992, being one of the first generation-games for the SNES. It took the basic Double Dragon formula (Two brothers, Billy and Jimmy Lee, take on all gangs in front of them), and improved on it.

Besides the classic punches, kicks, over the shoulder throws, knees to the face, and flying kicks, the Lee brothers have some new moves, and after 5 years, they can finally block most attacks from their enemies!

Control-wise, it plays like the classic Double Dragon games, though with some differences: you now have one jump button (finally!), you use one button to block, and you can use the "Dragon Power". The "Dragon Power" is the bar just under your life meter. You can charge it by pressing the L or R buttons, and depending on how much you've got, you'll perform many different attacks.

The graphics are the best on any Double Dragon game. The classic enemies, Williams and Roper, got a total makeover. They look better than ever, except that they seem like they're rejects from a biker gang. The stages are very different from each other, starting in Las Vegas, passing through an airport, China Town, a jungle, and a fight on top of a moving tractor-trailer! Though the closeup portraits of Billy and Jimmy Lee look like they were drawn in a hurry (To be honest, Billy looks like he took a beating before going to get his picture taken; and Jimmy looks like Guile's long-lost brother)

The music is quite good (well, most of it is anyway). There's a remix of the original Double Dragon theme played in the title and the final stage; every song is great, though you may get annoyed, because the trumpets get used way too much. You'll turn down the volume when you reach the airport level, believe me!

Many people do not know this, but when the game got released in America by Tradewest, some parts of the game were changed: For example, in the Japanese version (named "Return Of Double Dragon - Sleeping Dragon Has Awoke"), each level's music is played out in different order; the game has an option menu, in which you could select the game's difficulty; and, the final mission is longer. The american version's Level 7 ends at the halfway point of the japanese version's.

All in all, the game's great, if you can forgive Tradewest for taking out parts of the game. It's a great rental, and the 2P mode's great, but it can make the game too easy to beat.