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.
Now the awkward thing (found also on the Amstrad CPC conversion!): the C64 release had two different conversions! One technically mediocre (by Mastertronic in 1988) that runs on cassette only and one limited, but better, conversion (by Ocean in 1988 too) that runs on cartridge. The latter is way more playable with in-game sound etc. A pretty strange story for this game's release on the 8bit CPC and the Commodore that is!
GRAPHICS / SOUND
Both C64 conversions offer nice visuals but Ocean's conversion has a bit better sprite animation and level details. On both conversions, the sprites move faster and smoother compared to the CPC and ZX conversions and the background scrolling is also decent. Technically, both conversions can be compared only to the CPC release by Virgin Mastertronic. You can take a look at a few screenshots to compare both different C64 conversions. In terms of sound, the Mastertronic's conversion offers the original (arcade) tune and sound effects only!. On the other hand, the Ocean's conversion offers a different intro tune and the original (arcade) tune during gameplay (but with no sound effects at all).