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Lunch » Tags » Video Games » Reviews » Double Dragon III The Sacred Stones (NES) » User review

Grasshopper, the quest is frought with peril and sticky controls.

  • Oct 5, 2010

How could one of the best action sidescrollers of the 8 bit era hit such a speedbump and never return to greatness?  Seriously, there were NO good Double Dragon games after this.

The story is that BIlly and Jimmy Lee, brothers and martial arts masters known for their world wide butt kicking have learned that evil has reared their ugly head again and Billy's friend Marion is now missing.  A mysterious old crone appears and tells you that the captors will release Marion if Billy can go around the world and whip more street corner trash to find the stones of power.  You meet some new allies along the way with their own fighting moves.  Action moves from around the world with enemies to fight.

The gameplay is horrifingly bad.  The first Double Dragon game wasn't hard to play, the second had some stiffness in the controls and this game is far worse.  Even the very task of JUMPING can be hard.  Jumping in the old games was never a problem even if it was jumping from moving platforms but here, the mechanics are so broken it's ridiculous.  The ONE moving platform in the game actually can bump you off of it and to your doom because of bad collision detection.

Jumping isn't such an issue if your most effective move, the Hurricane Kick wasn't such a tial part of your arsenal.  This attacks makes enemies go FLYING and get them off of you for a few seconds and does decent damage, but jumping and inputing the command is hit and miss, it's kinda like a bad starter on your car-it only works when it feels like it.  BAD PROGRAMING.

Your other attacks don't do enough damage and are slow making it easier for the enemy your attacking to break out of your combo or his buddy to come up from behind you and the two of them to surround you and demolish you.

The other caveat is NO EXTRA LIVES!!  If you lose your health and don't have an ally yet, it's GAME OVER and you get ONE continue in this game if you make it to the fourth or fifth level!  The two other Double Dragon games at least refill your life when you go through a door and into a new area but NOT THIS ONE.  With a LOT of practice you can get through levels with only your one character and switch em' out if you need to but it's still dumb.

One more problem is the level design.  They're all boring.  Move from the left to the right with little hazards and no ladders to climb or ledges to throw your enemies off of.  Granted this is probably a good thing since the controls are so stiff, makeing complicated jumps or moving your character into positions to knock off the opponents into a hole would be more trouble then it's worth.

The background graphics are alright.  Nothing special and they are colorful and detailed but your sprites take the cake.  Either of the Lee Brothers when standing still have they're legs scrunched in as if they look like they're holding in going to the bathroom.  Chin, your fat and powerful Chinese character runs around in a blue Kung Fu suit and hat and looks completely removed from his long haired, purple pants wearing foe and when he runs has one arm swaying in the breeze.  The other sprites aren't terrible but nothing special.

Music is alright, nothing all that memorable and the sounds are the regular cracks and smacks from punching and kicking.  That cool door opening noise from the previous Double Dragon stuck around but thats it.  No voices at all.

In conclusion, Double Dragon 3 failed hard in this entry.  It's just too hard to play and even when you do master it's broken gameplay the game isn't that much fun.  If you mastered Double Dragon II and want a CHALLENGE, then DD III is a good move but you could also try this tactic.  Pour some pancake syrup in over your controller to make it stick and lock up and try playing Double Dragon II again for a what 3 feels like.

Grasshopper, the quest is frought with peril and sticky controls. Grasshopper, the quest is frought with peril and sticky controls.

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John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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Only one man knows the real story behind Marion's disappearance... and he's dead! Now the Double Dragons must rely on a mysterious fortune teller to locate Marion and her ransom- The Sacred Stones of Power!
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Number of Players: 1-2
Console: NES
Genre: Action

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