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ARC

D.D. Crew

Players
333
Length

0:40

Difficulty

Broken

Release

’91

D.D. Crew is an obscure brawler from Sega that features realistic art, fluid animations, and a hip hop soundtrack. Its broken combat engine is defined by useless attacks, nearly invincible bosses, and hard-to-stun enemies. This is the only brawler where your normal attacks don’t have crowd control.

ARC

D.J. Boy

Players
22
Length

0:20

Difficulty

Medium

Release

’89

D.J. Boy is a hip hop-themed brawler from Kaneko featuring voice overs from real Disc Jockeys (Demon Kakka in Japan and Wolfman Jack in the US.) Its style is a blend of 90’s hip hop caricatures with classic Japanese weirdness, such as a fire-breathing hobo that transforms into a Chippendale’s dancer. Its one-of-a-kind rollerskate-based gameplay is defined by its slippery controls and auto-scrolling stages.

GEN

D.J. Boy

Players
1
Length

0:20

Difficulty

Medium

Release

’90

D.J. Boy is a port of Kaneko’s Hip Hop-themed rollerskate brawler. The arcade, Genesis, and Mega Drive versions are all unique games that feature different stages and enemy layouts. The Arcade version is the hardest, the Genesis version is slightly easier, and the Mega Drive version is the easiest by far.

GBA

Dancing Sword: Senkou

Players
1
Length

1:30

Difficulty

Easy

Release

’03

Dancing Sword: Senkou is a Japan-exclusive GBA weapons-based brawler featuring an all-female cast of five fighters. Its combat focuses on alternating the two attack buttons to perform various combos. It also features Survival and Training modes.

NES

Defenders of Dynatron City

Players
1
Length

1:00

Difficulty

Medium

Release

’92

Defenders of Dynatron City is a strange experimental brawler from Lucas Arts. It features six distinct characters that can be switched out at will and open-ended, branching stages that emphasize exploration and stage-based goals as well as combat.

ARC

Denjin Makai

Players
22
Length

0:45

Difficulty

Medium

Release

’94

Denjin Makai, roughly translated as "Hell Power God," is a Japan-exclusive brawler from Banpresto about fighting a futuristic gang that has allied itself with demons. It’s notable for its huge character roster, unique energy-based specials, and team-up attacks.

ARC

Double Dragon

Players
22
Length

0:30

Difficulty

Hard

Release

’87

Double Dragon is a landmark brawler that introduced scrolling levels, items, and simultaneous two-player gameplay, changing the genre forever. Although Renegade came out first, Double Dragon was the first internationally successful brawler. Its unprecedented co-op gameplay, expansive movesets, and iconic soundtrack allowed it to dominate the arcade beat ’em up scene for several years and solidify its status as a cultural phenomenon. To this day it remains one of the most widely recognized brawlers.

NES

Double Dragon

Players
1
Length

0:40

Difficulty

Hard

Release

’88 ’88

Double Dragon is a re-worked port of the arcade classic. It’s infamously a single-player only game, but it compensates for this by adding an innovative experience system where you unlock new attacks by defeating enemies and leveling up. Like the original, it features a phenomenal soundtrack that strongly influenced the following decade of video game music.

GB

Double Dragon

Players
1
Length

0:35

Difficulty

Medium

Release

’90 ’90

Double Dragon for the Game Boy is a pseudo-port of the NES version. It has most of the attacks from that version, but it drops the XP mechanic and changes around stages and enemy placement. Like the original, it’s a single player game.

GEN

Double Dragon

Players
22
Length

0:30

Difficulty

Hard

Release

’93

Double Dragon is a faithful port of the arcade classic that features slightly less lag than the original. Its classic two-player gameplay focuses on fighting small groups of enemies with a large moveset.

SMS

Double Dragon

Players
22
Length

0:45

Difficulty

Hard

Release

’88

Double Dragon on the Master System is the most faithful 8-bit port of Technos’ classic brawler. Unlike the NES version, it has two-player support, features up to three simultaneous enemies of varying types, and omits the platforming sections. However, it’s missing the backwards jump kick and grabs are very glitchy.

GG

Double Dragon

Players
1
Length

0:40

Difficulty

Hard

Release

’93

Double Dragon is a unique entry in the series made for Game Gear by Virgin. It abandons the series’ trademark combat and style in favor of plagiarizing Streets of Rage. Billy looks almost exactly like Axel, and the title music is a Streets knock-off instead of the Double Dragon theme. Its combat is a simple punch/kick system with a small handful of weapons including guns.

GB

Double Dragon 3: The Arcade Game

Players
22
Length

0:40

Difficulty

Brutal

Release

’92

Double Dragon III: The Arcade game is the final release in the Double Dragon Game Boy trilogy. Unlike the first two games, this one is based off the Arcade version instead of the NES one. It’s combat is brutally difficult, but you can buy extra health, lives, damage, and attacks from shops in each stage. It also has two player support.

GBA

Double Dragon Advance

Players
22
Length

1:00

Difficulty

Hardcore

Release

’03 ’04

Double Dragon Advance is a GBA-exclusive DD game featuring eight stages and two-player gameplay via link cable. It incorporates stages, enemies, and attacks from the original trilogy as well as adding new content. It features the largest moveset the series has ever seen, huge gangs of enemies, and additional modes such as Survival and a 1P Double Dragon setting where you can switch off between the Lee brothers at will.

GB

Double Dragon II

Players
22
Length

0:40

Difficulty

Medium

Release

’91

Double Dragon II is the second DD game on the Game Boy, and the first on the system to feature two-player brawler gameplay. Its combat is more similar to the original Double Dragon than The Revenge. It also replaces the jump with a crouch that can be followed up with a flying uppercut. This game is actually a re-working of Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun: Bangai Rantou Hen with new graphics and music yet identical stages and gameplay.

ARC

Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Players
22
Length

0:50

Difficulty

Hardcore

Release

’88

Double Dragon II: The Revenge is the sequel to the arcade favorite featuring more of the same co-op beat ’em up action. In addition to new bosses and enemies, it mixes things up with a Renegade-style control scheme and a neww whirlwind kick attack.

NES

Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Players
22
Length

0:50

Difficulty

Hardcore

Release

’90 ’89

Double Dragon II: The Revenge is a port of the arcade version with very few similarities. It’s a completely re-designed game that features new moves, enemies, stages, cutscenes, and a unique soundtrack that’s at least on par with its predecessor. It also has 2-player simultaneous co-op gameplay and three difficulty settings.

GEN

Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Players
22
Length

0:50

Difficulty

Hardcore

Release

’91

Double Dragon II: The Revenge is a Japan-only port of the arcade classic. This version is known for its poor quality but at least has two-player co-op gameplay and is relatively faithful to the original.

PCE

Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Players
22
Length

0:50

Difficulty

Hard

Release

’93

Double Dragon II: The Revenge is a remake of the NES version featuring a remixed CD-quality soundtrack and fully voiced cutscenes. It features the same Renegade-style left-right attack scheme and large movesets of the original, but ups the number of simultaneous enemies to three and removes the platforming segments.

GEN

Double Dragon III: The Arcade Game

Players
22
Length

0:50

Difficulty

Hard

Release

’92

Double Dragon III: The Arcade game is a fairly faithful port of DDIII: The Rosetta Stone. It features extra unlockable characters and techniques, as well as an added dashing ability.

ARC

Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone

Players
22
Length

0:50

Difficulty

Hard

Release

’90

Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone is the final chapter of the classic saga. It adds several attacks such as running, triangle kicks, and suplexes. It also features a unique shop system where you spend money on new techniques, weapons, power, health, and unlockable characters.

NES

Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones

Players
22
Length

1:00

Difficulty

Brutal

Release

’91

Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones is the final chapter in Technos’ genre-defining brawler trilogy. It’s the only version of the game that was actually developed by Technos. It’s a globe-hopping adventure that’s notable for its brutal difficulty and innovative character system. You unlock additional fighter by beating bosses and can switch between characters at any time, although each character only has one life for the entire game.

PS3

Double Dragon Neon

Players
22
Length

1:45

Difficulty

Medium

Release

’12 ’13

Double Dragon Neon is a modern revamp of Technos’ classic genre-defining brawler series available on PSN and Xbox Live. It keeps the series’ punch/kick button setup but adds a throw button and gets rid of a lot of moves like knees to the face. However, it adds an RPG element where you have a stance that affects your stats as well as an upgradeable special attack that costs energy. It has a humorous style and an excellent 80’s rock soundtrack composed by Jake Kaufman.

ARC

Down Town

Players
22
Length

0:30

Difficulty

Medium

Release

’89

Down Town is an early overhead two-player arcade brawler with a standard urban setting. Like Ikari III: The Rescue, it features a special rotating joystick that allows you to move in one direction while facing another. Besides that, the combat is a simple Double Dragon-esque punch/kick setup with a small handful of weapons. It’s notable for being the only arcade brawler where the bodies of enemies remain onscreen after being defeated.

PCE

Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari

Players
22
Length

1:30

Difficulty

Hard

Release

’93

Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari (known as River City Ransom in the west) is a port of Technos’s beloved NES brawler/RPG. Its gameplay is nearly identical to the original, and features two-player brawling in an open world where you collect coins from defeated enemies to buy food to upgrade your stats. It also features a remixed CD-quality OST.

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