Double Dragon III - The Sacred Stones Review by: Darkpower508Double Dragon III Review
Double Dragon III on the NES is clearly the hardest in the series. I wanted to be good at Double Dragon (because I suck at the game D=), and what better way to do so than to pit myself in the hardest of the series, forcing me to learn fast or die. There was in fact an arcade version of the game, The Rosetta Stones, which included a weapon shop where the player had to insert more credit to gain power ups, extra characters and extra lives. This game has none of that. I'm alway up for a challenge, and this game is sure to offer me one.
So the story is that one year after Jimmy and Bimmy have defeated.....erm, I mean Jimmy and Billy have defeated the Shadow Warriors, Marion dissapears (.....again). A mysterious woman by the name of Hiruko tells them that if they want to save Marion, they need the three Sacred Stones. And then you play the game. One guy, eh? Well it can't be that hard, right? Wrong. The game is as hard as nails, only the nails are made of reinforced steel with guilded gold mards that shatter your very soul a thousand times when you try to break them......with spikes everywhere. If you want a good picture of it, try taking on Chuck Norris in a battle to the death. Yeah, it's that hard. One guy, no continues.
After you beat the first guy, there's someone mortally wounded that wants to talk to you. He says he tried to fight them off, but they were too powerful. They are great fighters, but the one you should be watching out for is.....and then he clechely dies before he utters his name, clearly for-shadowing your experience of the game. Then more guys come out and try to kill you. All the normal moves are there, punching, kicking, jumping and kicking, but there are some new ones as well. You can jump (A+B) and then press the A button slightly after to grab hold of the enemy and throw them off, very useful for when they are walking away or you need some space. Then there is the spiny air kick (Jump and then the A button), much like Ryu's "I would like some pound cake!" kick in Street Figher II, which is pretty useful if your surrounded.
One thing that impressed me about this game was the music. It is awesome. I couldn't hear much of it at first due to the intense difficulty (like the music in the first level only), but of what is there, it's awesome. It does fit fighting a lot of really hard enemies well to the situation. The graphics are nicely detailed. The contrast of colours make the enemies visable and easy to see, as well as who you are. Although to be perfectly honest, one spot was a little too linear in colour for my liking (nearly all purple in the final part of the first level).
You can play with two players, with a Type A and Type B. Type A is sort of like "friendly fire", so if you hit your partner, he won't react. Type B takes this friendly fire away, making the game just as hard as it was before, if not harder. It would be kinda fun if I could punch player 2 in a safe spot for being rubbish at the game, but it's so hard that you need all the healh you can get. You can press Select to open up the player select screen and to choose your weapons. Jimmy has some Nun-chucks you can use, but after five uses, they disappear or get destroyed or something like that. They regenerate after you complete a level (along with your health).
Sometimes, an enemy is holding something, like a broken bottle or a knife. If you knock them over, then there's a chance you can pick them up. These break after some uses, so use them wisely. I'm convinced they also work on a timer as well, so use them while you can. Your enemies are anything from gangster moter bike rider guy, to the thug guy, to.....the lady that wears pink? I'm not sure what she is meant to be.
The game really is as hard everyone says it is, which is why it makes it all the more sweet to attempt to finish the first level by myself and sucssed. If I can do this, then I should be able to master just about any Double Dragon game, as in become a Double Dragon God. As I played more and more of this game, I came to realise the true beauty of Double Dragon. Before, I thought it was all "punch this guy, punch him again, is he dead yet? Yawn", but now I realise the truth. It's an art in itself to kick the enemy to the ground, and then punch them to death, or to throw them across the screen and then expertly fight another enemy behind me as he recovers from the throw. I see now the essence of fighting hoards of enemies and then coming out on top, and out-witting the boss with cunning and subtle moves as the boss leaves himself open for a punch-kick combo. Before I was blind, but now I see truly why this Beat 'em Up series is so loved, and I'm going to repect it by beating the first level of this game by myself.
Overall, I give it an 8.4/10 Had the game been easier, it would have been given a higher rate. The feel of this game is based mainly on the game play and music, which sets the difficulty level to perspective. It really is epic when you can get so far into the level and just wipe out the enemies without getting touched And yes, I did manage to defeat the first level on 1 Player mode (on the original NES system, so no save states!). It wasn't easy, but now I am much more experieced at the game than I was before. I feel I could defeat the original Double Dragon game now. This is something I plan on doing one day, as I want to finish what I started. This game is a huge challenge, but if you are persistant enough, you will be able to defeat the first level of this game on your own.