If you grew up in the 80’s, you most likely played Technōs Japan‘s famous brawler, Double Dragon. I remember playing the crap out of this game as a kid on the Nintendo Entertainment System. What made it fun for me though was the ability to play it locally with my brother. Well, now a new generation of players can experience what we did with Arc System Works release of DOUBLE DRAGON & Kunio–kun Retro Brawler Bundle. This insane bundle not only comes with the entire DOUBLE DRAGON series, but also 15 other games from the Kunio-Kun series, many of which were never released here in the United States.
This collection includes 18 titles from the DOUBLE DRAGON and Kunio-kun series but with modern conveniences such as online play, missions, save states, and the ability to switch between the original or “Quality Up” versions.
The entire list of games include:
DOUBLE DRAGON series
DOUBLE DRAGON (1987)
DOUBLE DRAGON II: The Revenge (1988)
DOUBLE DRAGON III: The Sacred Stones (1990)
Super Dodge Ball (1988)
River City Ransom (1989)
Crash’n the Boys Street Challenge (1992)
Kunio–kun series (Published only in Japan, first time localized in NA)
Nekketsu Renegade Kunio–kun
Nekketsu High School Dodgeball Club
Downtown Nekketsu Story
Nekketsu High School Dodgeball Club – Soccer Story
Downtown Nekketsu March Super-Awesome Field Day!
Downtown Special Kunio–kun‘s Historical Period Drama!
Go-Go! Nekketsu Hockey Club Slip-and-Slide Madness
Surprise! Nekketsu New Records! The Distant Gold Medal
Nekketsu Fighting Legend
Kunio–kun‘s Nekketsu Soccer League
Nekketsu! Street Basketball All-Out Dunk Heroes
I’m obviously not going to go through every single game on this list and instead will focus on the package as a whole. For starters, there is an incredible number of games included in this bundle. From what I’ve tested so far, each seem to be quite accurate and representative of the era they were released. There are two ways you can play each game. You can play them in their original form or in what they call “Quality Up” which fix bugs and adjust the game balance. For the most part, I don’t think you’ll really be able to tell the difference between both modes, but I do appreciate that it’s there.
In terms of graphics, everything seems to be just as they were when the games first came out. They have the same aspect ratio as the originals and the extra space on the sides that would normally be black space is instead filled with a wallpaper that represents the game you’re playing. This helps fill up the whole screen while adding some attractiveness to it. Another cool thing is that you can even add scan lines to the game to make it look like you’re playing on an old school television.On the audio side of things, it seems like all the original audio from each game is still present. That means this will be a feast for those who love nostalgia.
With gameplay, since most of these games were released back in the 8-bit era, you’ll mainly be using the d-pad and the A & B buttons. The Y & X buttons seem to have become the original Select and Start buttons from old school controllers and using the top shoulder buttons are like pressing both A & B together. Also, if you’re not comfortable using the d-pad, you can also use the analog joystick as well. I also really like the fact that there are modern conveniences now such as being able to save your game state so you can come back to the game later. This obviously was something you couldn’t really do back then.
The developers really put a lot of work into this collection. As I mentioned above, 11 of these games were never released here in the US, nor localized. They are here which means full English in these games, not just Japanese text. Online multiplayer has also been implemented for all games whereas the original titles were only local multiplayer. Lastly, this is a very wide variety of different genres to check out – everything from action to sports to RPGs. This really is a solid collection.
Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle in my opinion is a very good package. There are so many games on here that I think it’s well worth the price of admission. Arc System Works did a great job bundling this all together with a user interface that’s easy to use while also adding a lot of those modern conveniences you’re used to these days. They even added in-game instruction manuals that show you how to control each game. This is a throwback to when games actually came with instruction manuals.
Overall, I give Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle a huge thumbs up. This is retro gaming done right.
Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes. (Disclosure Policy)
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