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Double Dragon for the the PC

962637094-00 Back in the day, this was my introduction to the Double Dragon series. Not the arcade version (though I knew it was an arcade port), and not the NES version. THIS particular port. And I remember having such HORRID memories of the game. Maybe I just couldn’t stand the constant gangups (if you’ve got enemies on either side of you, prepare for a beating). Maybe I just wasn’t that much into beat ‘em ups at the time. I don’t know. Or maybe it was the keyboard control scheme for it. Unlike the more popular NES version, this one actually supports two player cooperative play, which was a big draw for the day. And that made it slightly more arcade like in it’s experience.

I remember seeing the iconic cover for this game and thinking “Wow! Looks cool!” and since this was around 1990, it was in the bargain bin of the local video game store. I used my hard earned allowance and snagged it. And since my picking were rather slim back then for games like this, I played the hell out of it.

You had your choice in the graphical style of the game. You could either go 4 color CGA, which, honestly unless you had no choice that wasn’t the one you went with. Tandy 1000 graphics for the Tandy owners. And 16 color EGA, which is the only way I ever played it. You look at it nowadays and it only just barely resembles arcade. But back in the day with my never having played the NES version and only seen the arcade version in attract mode a few times, it really didn’t matter. To this DAY I still haven’t beaten this damn game. I can make it to the last boss … but then I get my ass handed to me.

962637111-00 Back in 1988, PCs weren’t really considered gaming machines as they are now. If you had a computer for gaming, you had something like a Commodore 64, not an IBM PC. So they made due with the hardware they had. The graphics on their own merits aren’t actually half bad for the time. Fairly detailed EGA graphics with decent animation. The sound was almost completely non existent consisting of mainly boops and little crashes from the PC speaker. The big draw for this one is that two people could actually sit at the keyboard and play this thing fairly comfortably … though the first play control scheme left something to be desired. The first player used the Q and A keys to move up and down, O and P to move left and right, and the space button was the single button that you used for everything. The second player has a much more usable setup using either the directional keys or the numerical pad to move around the the 5 key on the pad for the fire button.

There isn’t much of a reason to get it nowadays since there are better ports … well … EVERYWHERE. But for those curious for the history of PC gaming, it’s definitely worth a shot. I just got done fighting way through and getting my ass kicked … AGAIN … but the final boss and the game is surprisingly playable and smooth for the time of it’s release. You definitely want to play this in DOSBox, and even under the default settings for it the game will run lightning fast. You will want to cut your cycles down to about 1000 or 1500.

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