Double Dragons: Gaiden acts as sort of like an(other) alternate retelling of the original Double Dragons.... as a rouge lite beat em up. It takes all of the key characters throughout the entire series and reimagines and condenses them into a slightly new story. A very Buff Mayor enters the Lee brothers Dojo carrying a KOed Marion and ask the brothers to rid the New York of its gang wars. Off they go! No questions asked. If they felt that strongly, why in the hell did they not get up and do it sooner? Why did they need to be asked?
+ You are in control of how difficult your run will be. When starting a new game you can adjust various sliders (Continue type, starting health, upgrade cost, revive cost, enemy strength, and enemy aggression) with the only consequence being the easier you make the game the higher conversion of money to tokens will be, which are needed to buy new characters, art and, music.
+ Main goal of game is to take down the 4 kingpins that are currently fighting turf wars around New York City. There are 4 levels, and like Mega Man, can be taken on in any order. What is not like Mega Man is that every time you defeat a kingpin the remaining ones will fortify; This means their levels will get longer, enemies get stronger and more varied and the kingpin gets tougher. The final fortification adds extra element to Main boss.
+ A key feature of DD:G is the "Crowd Control" mechanic. Each time more than 3 enemies are killed at a time you'll trigger a crowd control which will award you with a health item; 3 is a Hot Dog that restores 25 HP, 4 is a Burger that restores 50 HP and 5 is a Turkey that restores 100HP. This is the main way you'll be keeping your team healthy as levels rarely supply you with recover items. Even without the health drops it's just super satisfying to KO multiple enemies at time. I got a point where KOing only just one at a time felt so dirty.
+ There are 14 playable characters in the game, and yes, Adobo is one of them. They are all pretty varied, so you have a lot of options when trying pick that perfect duo that matches your playstyle. My personal favorite characters are Billy, Linda, Cheng, and Marion.
* The game has absolute no I-frames(Invincibility frames). Very easy to get juggled to death if you let yourself get ganged up on. When switching characters, the previous character does not leave the field immediately so it's possible to be in a situation where you want to switch your character to break an enemy combo of your current character only for both characters to get caught in a pummel and both get KOed in a matter of seconds.
* The rouge lite elements are very basic, almost to the point of why be there. You only get an opportunity to purchase an upgrade after every section of a level and of course its all random. I would have preferred something more in depth... less lite I guess.
* I feel like the game needs an extra mode. Streets of Rage 4 may have spoiled me with its survival mode.
* I don't hate the art direction, but for Double Dragons, I think it is too cutesy. I would have preferred an evolution of Double Dragons Advance, Super Double Dragons or even the OG arcade release.
- There is no online co-op play at all. There are just some genres that should always come with online co-op and beat em ups are one of them. I am pretty sure this is the only beat em up releasing this year with no online co-op.
I had a lot of fun with the game, and would continue to enjoy it if it were not for no online coop! Solid start to hopefully, a new birth for the franchise.