Double Dragon 3DS
Jump into your time machine to play this short but sweet beat-em-up.
Long before Final Fight and Streets of Rage appeared, video game fans got their beat-em-up fix with Double Dragon, a furious side scrolling adventure that first appeared in arcades and was later ported to multiple systems, including the Game Boy.
Turns out, Nintendo just released the handheld edition via the 3DS eShop, and the $3.99 download is a faithful port of the 1990 release, though as with many Game Boy titles, the passage of time makes this brawler less appealing than it was 21 years ago.
In the Double Dragon tradition, the game casts players as brother Billy Lee, charged with saving his girlfriend Marian from a gang of lowlifes.
That said, the Game Boy Double Dragon has more in common with the NES version, with similar (albeit slower) music and levels, though the stages feature different designs than the console counterpart, a fact that makes this adventure somewhat unique.
With this in mind, the typical Double Dragon conventions are alive and well, so expect to punch, kick and jump kick your way through a bunch of thugs, some of which brandish weapons that you can pick up and use.
To that end, there's also a limited amount of platform hopping over gaps and spikes to avoid. This winds up being one of the more frustrating elements to the game, since one wrong move results in loss of life.
The biggest problem, though, is length. You can blow through this game in a couple of hours, and without a two-player co-op option, there's little reason to return; it is kind of weird that Billy's brother, Jimmy, didn't make the cut.
At the same time, Double Dragon has just the right amount of retro charm to make it worth a look, so long as you have the cash to spare. Just don't expect to clean up these mean streets for very long.
What's Hot: Classic Double Dragon gameplay, familiar music.
What's Not: Too short to pay $3.99, no two-person co-op.