Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons Reviews
The breath of Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons burns hot thanks to clever tag combat and a big roster of diverse characters, but it doesn’t burn very long as you hit some poorly executed platforming, uninspired roguelike elements, and a shallow end game.
An occasionally interesting attempt to update the Double Dragon formula, which understands the appeal of the original but fails to offer any longevity or variety.
Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons has some aggravating design choices that prevent it from reaching the heights of similar comebacks like TMNT or newcomers like Young Souls, but this is a respectable return for the Lee brothers. If you’re hankering to punch goons in the face, a good time can be had as long as you bring a measure of patience.
The tokens you earn from each run can be used for unlocks in addition to respawns, including a host of additional characters you can choose to play as. It’s a nice carrot to chase even after you manage to successfully complete your first run, though ultimately Double Dragon Gaiden hasn’t really kept me hooked. I love the roguelite refresh on paper, but it never really commits to it in the way of something like Hades or its numerous clones. Without that extra depth, there’s not enough to make up for Double Dragon Gaiden’s occasionally floaty feel and less than exacting moment-to-moment combat. It’s not quite the Double Dragon renaissance I was hoping for.
Slightly above average or simply inoffensive. Fans of the genre should enjoy them a bit, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled.
Quite possibly, the best installment of the franchise since the original game. The small rhythm problems do not diminish a nostalgic, fun and much more varied experience than it seems at first.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons gives the series yet another fresh coat of paint and I’m glad to see the Lee boys back in action.
Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons is a fast and responsive fighter, with some roguelike mechanics that add some enjoyment.
It’s cheap from both a visual and combat standpoint, it’s unpleasant to control, and the incentives for enduring multiple “runs” are among the worst rewards and unlocks I’ve ever seen. All it accomplished was getting me to replay Shredder’s Revenge and Streets of Rage 4, two games that completely embarrass this sorry little thing.
Double Dragon Gaiden focuses on replayability to its detriment. Solid combat mechanics give way to balance considerations made to justify all of the difficulty sliders and upgrade systems. If I had to pick between a game with a lot of "replayability" versus a game I simply like to play, the latter will win out every time. Double Dragon Gaiden isn't far off from being enjoyable on the merits of the gameplay alone, but it's far enough to consider going back to the dojo and polishing its Sou-Setsu-Ken technique.
As a longtime fan of beat ‘em ups, I absolutely adored Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons. The combat system is extremely in-depth and addictive, the huge roster of characters is fun to play with and the roguelike elements massively improve the replay value. I highly recommend this game if you’re a fan of Double Dragon or beat ‘em ups in general as this is one of the best examples of the genre.
Double Dragon Gaiden continues the trend of the series’ ups and downs. While it has some truly great designs, it has a lot of frustrating choices that hold it back. I was really excited to see a new game in the series, but it feels like they just want to build something new with each entry instead of capitalizing on what made the original so great. With the recent revival of so many classic beat ‘em up franchises, Double Dragon Gaiden just doesn’t impress nearly as much as it should have.
Either alone or with a buddy, Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons is a good time. It updates a decades-old beat ’em up franchise by adding roguelike mechanics that actually harmonize pretty well. The gameplay is accessible but plenty challenging, and the large roster of unlockable characters keeps things interesting.
Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons comes during a time where we wouldn't mind some good ol' fashioned beat 'em up side scrolling games. A huge roster of characters and a great new tag team feature really push the franchise forward. While it gets everything right, it baffles me that we have to wait for online co-op. Still, that shouldn't deter you. Double Dragon fans should grab this right now.
It's hard to recommend Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons to anyone but the the most hardcore fans of the series. Everyone else should probably give this one a pass.
Review in Russian | Read full review
Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons convincingly declines the experience gathered with Streets of Red, giving new and interesting mechanics to the eternal Lee brothers' fight. A good number of extras and a roguelite structure are the pass for good longevity, penalized only by the absence of online play.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Since it's confined to two player local co-op, it's not as exhilarating as the six player online chaos in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge. It also lacks the consistently updated polish of Streets of Rage 4, yet Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons adds roguelite progression, which makes it a strikingly replayable contribution to the modern side-scrolling beat-'em-up resurgence.
The most interesting part of Double Dragon Gaiden's legacy is that it arguably shows there is a whole lot of untapped creative latitude when it comes to freshening up traditional concepts and mechanics. Most commendably of all, late game difficulty spikes notwithstanding, Double Dragon Gaiden manages that rarest of feats by fashioning an irresistibly engaging genre effort that cribs both from the old and the new to give wannabe brawlers one of the best genre entries since Streets of Rage 4 punched its way into our hearts.
On balance, Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons has captured us with its playful system halfway between tradition and innovation and has been able to give us several hours of carefree fun.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Double Dragon Gaiden is an interesting game with a lot of creative ideas. We’ve seen roguelikes and brawlers mixed before, but not nearly as intricately. I could feel that spark of passion as I played. Unfortunately there are some key drawbacks that betray many of those neat ideas and really hamper the experience. From getting slapped out of defensive tags and juggled to death to subsequent runs feeling more and more like a grind, I had less fun the more I played. I love that Arc System Works has been producing cool, experimental games since snagging the Double Dragon and Kunio-kun/River City licenses. This one has a lot going for it, but stumbles toward the finish line.