STORY / GAMEPLAY
Double Dragon is a "kick and punch everything that moves" style game, in which you take control of Billy Lee or Jimmy Lee, two young brothers that sport high martial arts skills. The Lee brothers were born and raised in a very dangerous city that's now swarmed by gangs that pummel the neighborhoods and jeopardize peace. The story starts when some members of a gang called "Black Warriors" punch and kidnap Billy's love interest, Marian. Furious by the incident, Billy sets off to find them, kick their heads off, eliminate their leader and finally save his beautiful girlfriend. But his journey is very tough, since Billy (and Jimmy) must beat up multiple enemies of various sizes and strengths, depending strongly on his fighting skills plus some weapons he gathers by eliminating armed foes (like knives, baseball bats and more). Billy must also confront big bosses and avoid traps that can instantly kill him.
Ok, there's something awkward here referring to the CPC game release. The Amstrad CPC version has two different versions released! One mediocre (developed by Binary Design in 1988) that runs on cassette only and one far better version (developed by Virgin Mastertronic in 1988 too) that runs only on the CPC 6128 (it needs 128k ram). The latter was way more playable but suffered from awkward visual details. For me, the Virgin Mastertronic's version is the best. how didi this double release happened? Perhaps the guys behind the Atari ST/Amiga versions developed the good Amstrad version and the people involved in the Spectrum version made the mediocre ones!
GRAPHICS / SOUND
As I said above, we have two different CPC games. The original version from Binary Design uses nice colors but fails to offer smooth gameplay (or...any gameplay at all!). The sprites move very slow, the game's scrolling is choppy although the level details are good and resemble most of the original arcade version. The gameplay is really pathetic here...! More on that, the sound is terrible, offering a few bad SFX and no music at all. On the other hand, the Virgin Mastertronic's version offers some good technical characteristics. The sprites move faster, the scrolling is smoother and the sound is way better (with music along with SFX). The colors look odd for the CPC palette (they look kinda washed-out) but the graphics are superior to the C64 and ZX versions. You can see the two versions below to compare. The first is the Mastertronic's version and the second is Binary Design's.