GameBoy Advance : Double Dragon Advance Reviews

Gas Gauge: 75
Gas Gauge 75
Below are user reviews of Double Dragon Advance and on the right are links to professionally written reviews. The summary of review scores shows the distribution of scores given by the professional reviewers for Double Dragon Advance. Column height indicates the number of reviews with a score within the range shown at the bottom of the column. Higher scores (columns further towards the right) are better.

Summary of Review Scores

Game Spot 83
Game FAQs
IGN 70
GameSpy 80
1UP 70

User Reviews (1 - 11 of 21)

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Oh great...another insanely cheap side-scrolling fighter.

3 Rating: 3, Useful: 16 / 19
Date: December 07, 2003
Author: Amazon User

The first Double Dragon really took on in the arcades because of unique moves, great character designs, the weapons, and the ability of the two players to beat on each other if they so desire. I was an absolute fanatic, playing for hours on end on my PC. However, subsequent excursions including an SNES version never grabbed me. It's as if the game programmers felt that the Lee brothers were too powerful and just kept chipping away at their moves until they are almost entirely impotent, far less powerful than each member of the legions of enemies they face.

Double Dragon Advance, unfortunately, continues the trend. It's not that you can't perform their moves. I find it surprisingly easy to perform classic Double Dragon moves such as the headbutt, back jumpkick, and the famous elbow. And a large commendation goes out to the new weapons system; so many side-scrolling fighting games get it wrong, but this game allows you to accurately pick up and retain weapons you like, with complete control. Very good system. The larger array of weapons is also great, with the kali sticks, nunchaku, and ball and chain being especially fun to use.

But the game remains insanely difficult. I started playing on the Easy mode, and though I was able to finish, there were times when I just wanted to flush the game down a toilet. Your elbow is now shorter than the average punch; this used to be the life-saving weapon to use when you're being swarmed, but now it's less than useless. The game pits you against three times as many enemies as in Double Dragon classic (and this is in Easy mode, mind you), with eight or nine enemies onscreen at any given time. Given this number of enemies, the lack of temporary invincibility after knockdown (a staple of 2nd-generation side-scrollers like Final Fight) is a killer. I've found my character entirely unable to move, fight back, or even escape when swarmed by eight or nine enemies, all doing punches that are impossible to stop after the first hit, or jump-kicking with the range of half a screen, continuing to knock me down until my entire life bar is gone. Two or three of the enemies can toss dynamite sticks that explode on impact (!), nearly impossible to dodge, and take out 2/3 of your life. One samurai enemy has a long sword move which is instant death on contact and reaches twice the distance of your kick. The classic character Abobo can now overlap your character after you've been knocked down and perform an unblockable throw move over and over...and it goes on and on. Seems like the programmers forgot fairness and gameplay. The Survival mode is an insult -- pit you against four enemies at the same time, who can keep hitting you without the possibility of recovery. Against odds like this, who can survive? I managed to beat 11 enemies before going down, and I get a "Class E" grade. Insulting.

Maybe you're thinking, "This guy's just a 4th-rate gamer complaining about the game when he should just brush up on his skills". That might be true. But isn't that the point of having an "Easy" mode, to allow the player to build up to harder gameplay? I think this game is just poorly balanced. Which is too bad, because the controls are responsive, the weapons are great, and the look of the game retains the classic Double Dragon feel for a sense of nostalgia. I just wish they'd considered the player more. Frustration is one thing; player abuse is another.

I'm not really sure about this GBA version.

3 Rating: 3, Useful: 10 / 10
Date: February 04, 2006
Author: Amazon User

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Double Dragon! But this GBA version is a blessing and a curse. Double Dragon is commonly referred to as the first side-scrolling beat-em-up. It's not, there were a couple of minor hits before it, but it sure is the best that has ever dominated our arcades.

Back in 1987 me and my uncle spent a fortune on this game and it took us about 40 million credits to get to the end. It was almost as exhausting as actually beating up hundreds of thugs. You'd hammer the buttons so hard that by the time the game had ended, you're arm would be tripled in size and you'd be sweating like crazy. And I was only 7-years-old at the time!

Despite the games that followed which were classics in their own right (Streets of Rage, Final Fight) none really ever matched up to Double Dragon. When playing as 2 players, this game is absolutely lethal. By the time I was 12 I managed to finish it with a single credit. That's how sad I am. Or is it because the game is so good?

But it ain't just it's high playability that makes it so good. The cartoonish graphics have just enough color and Manga to make them almost iconic. And the music? It's amazing! When I was 7 I'd be humming this at school or while I was walking down the road. Even 19 years later it hasn't dated a bit and still sounds brilliant. So many themes, so many melodies and so bloody cool.

Double Dragon was also released on practically every home platform (don't get me started on the awful C64 version) but none of them, not even this Gameboy Advance version, really ever matched up to the awesomeness of the arcade machine.

First of all, this GBA version is just too damn short (despite being extended by a few levels beyond the arcade version). The furious button bashing just ain't there anymore. There is no save function and no unlockable features and sometimes the controls can come across as a bit stiff and unresponsive. It's not really worth more than $10 if you're desperate for it. Sorry folks.

However, if you're in an arcade and you see this game, do not hesitate to spend all of your hard-earned pennies on it. It's well worth it.

The game that started it all

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 7 / 7
Date: November 25, 2003
Author: Amazon User

I remember when I was a kid getting to waste all my Mom's change on the original Double Dragon arcade game. When the game hit home systems, it was a massive hit and helped inspire countless other 2-D side scrolling beat 'em ups like Streets of Rage and Final Fight. Double Dragon Advance mixes the addicting gameplay of the original with many upgrades and elements from the various sequels released after the original. Plaing as twin brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee, you go up against the Shadow Warriors in hopes of locating Billy's kidnapped girlfriend. You get to punch, kick, and use many a weapon, in your mission as you go against a host of baddies from petty thugs to well manicured suits (who look like the Agents from The Matrix) to the infamous buff, bald headed, and bearded Abobo to even Machine Gun Willy. The controls are tight, the graphics bring back plenty of nostalgic memories, and the music is ever catchy. The only drawback of Double Dragon Advance is the game is ultimately too short, and by the time you beat it you'll be wishing for more. All in all, fans of the original game who own a GBA will find plenty of great memories with this game, and those new to the genre should give this a look.

Great game

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 4 / 4
Date: November 22, 2003
Author: Amazon User

Double Dragon Advance is a good translation of the arcade game of 15 years ago. While there have been characters and stages added, it still has the same look and feel of the original. Some of the additions may be from the best parts of the Double Dragon sequels and other Double Dragon-type games, like Bad Dudes. The stages certainly all felt familiar. Most of the original moves are still there, and it's fun to experiment with the new moves and weapons -- like the running punch and the sticks. Of course, you'll eventually go back to the old reliable flying elbow. If you were a fan of the original, you'll like this game.

Excellent port from NES to GBA

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 3 / 3
Date: November 23, 2003
Author: Amazon User

This was always my favorite fighter on the good old NES and even more so on the SNES (Super Double Dragon), so I was happy to find that Atlus combined the best elements from both games (plus a few new levels and better graphics) to come up with an excellent new fighter for the Game Boy Advance. I love this game and haven't put it down since I bought it three weeks ago. It's a bit harder than the original cuz more enemies gang up on you and they are more agressive but the more you play it, the better you get (plus you get 5 lives and 5 continues and you're gonna need 'em). The gameplay is excellent and it's a blast to use all the moves and weapons against all the baddies. Buy this game!

50C to Start 25C to Continue (Secret Code)

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 2 / 2
Date: December 02, 2003
Author: Amazon User

This is a great game. Everybody knows the theme music to Double Dragon and everybody does the elbow punch. It is amazing to have Double Dragon The Arcade Game in the palm of your hands, Graphics are true to the arcade and the game includes four more added missions. The Game difficulty level is a lot more challenging. The Game looks better on the Gameboy Player for Gamecube. If you enjoy the great background music Double Dragon Has to offer and want to listen to it enter the following code

while in the options screen.
HOLD SELECT THEN PUSH R L R L to unlock the Background Music Mode.
This game is extremely fun. However like another rewiewer said before me, the game leaves you hungry for more excitement once you have seen the ending.
This game is a keeper, and ATLUS is planning to release other installments of this game in the future. I hope they have the rights to RENEGADE also. Imagine RENEGADE Advance? :-)


It's A $1.00 Game...that's all its worth

2 Rating: 2, Useful: 3 / 5
Date: January 16, 2006
Author: Amazon User

When you play, it takes 1 sec after you press the button for the action to respond. There are no special moves, no special effects, you'd find yourself doing the same stunts over and over again. There's really no variety of enemies, overall this game is only worth a dollar.

Best Double Dragon game ever made

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 2 / 3
Date: February 07, 2004
Author: Amazon User

This is a must have for any fan of the Double Dragon series. It is an expanded version of the original arcade game. Even though this is based on the first Double Dragon game, it does borrow moves and bad guys from Double Dragon II as well. Atlus has also attempted to beef up the story by adding cutscenes in between the missions, but most people don't play Double Dragon for its story. This game is a lot of fun to play (not to mention addictive) and is a great addition to the Double Dragon franchise. Great job, Atlus!

Awesome game!

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 2 / 4
Date: January 06, 2004
Author: Amazon User

Darek Mok totally underestimated this game in his review. I am a long time Double Dragon fan going back to 1987. Since then I've beaten the game on many systems including Double Dragon 1-3 NES, Game Boy 1-2, Arcade 1-2, Sega Master system, Amiga, Tiger Electronic game, and Double Dragon watch (back in the 1980's and early 1990's Tiger and other companies made game watches), and the most difficult Double Dragon game I've beaten was the one for the Sega Game Gear.

This GBA version seems like a combination of the 1-2 games for the arcade which are extremely easy to beat.

The GBA version has many new moves and weapons like Nunchucks, sticks and the like. The Game Gear version you can pick up handguns and shotguns.

So overall I will enjoy this game for many years to come. As far as difficulty it seems a little easier than the Game Gear version, but yet I've only gotten to level 5.

A Classic Rebirth

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 2 / 4
Date: March 31, 2004
Author: Amazon User

Looking at the box brings back a flood of memories, the days when action video games where simple and direct, rescue the girl or save the planet from some shadowy evil that is always cloaked in darkness. The hero is small, the enemy is huge, and towering over your pixel studded character, making your victory all the more glamorous.

It's mob rule in New York after a brutal nuclear war. The streets aren't safe to walk on even in the day time. Twin Brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee, master of a mysterious martial art they created called Sou-Setsu-Ken. They run a Kung Fu dojo to teach helpless civilians to defend themselves against street gangs, the most dangerous gang being the Shadow Warriors.

The Lee Brothers received an troubling letter: "If you want Marian back, bring us the secret book of Sou-Setsu-Ken"-The Shadow Warriors

The evil Shadow Warriors want the Lee Brothers' mysterious martial art! Well like hell they will give it to them! Billy and Jimmy depart on a pummeling rampage, kicking ass and taking names, all the way to confront the Shadows head honcho, Machine Gun Willy, on his home turf.

DD Advances is a fantastic revamped of the world's most legendary Side scrolling, two-dimensional game. With polished graphics, using characters from both arcade games and the Super Nintendo game, and incorporating moves from all ports of the game NES, SNES, Arcade and Sega Genesis, Double Dragon Advanced brings back a class game playing and the prime reason to own a Game Boy Advanced.

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