Write what you are looking for and press enter to begin your search!


Live News

SEGA Mid-Year 2024 Sale Goes Live with Fan Favourite Games: In an intense match, the Lone Wolves came out victorious. Read all about the big night here // Endless Dungeon To Add New Hero Alongside Free Update; Out This Week: In an intense match, the Lone Wolves came out victorious. Read all about the big night here // Star Wars The Acolyte Episode 4 Breakdown & Easter Eggs: In an intense match, the Lone Wolves came out victorious. Read all about the big night here
post-16 post-13

Double Dragon Gaiden Is The Legacy Series’ Standout Entry Since Double Dragon Neon

Platform(s): PC (version reviewed), Xbox Series, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch
Genre: 2D beat-em-up roguelike using the Double Dragon name

If there’s a video game series that is usually mishandled, you can put Double Dragon atop that list. For how revolutionary the original arcade beat-em-up was back in the 80s, its sequels and iterations have gone through a few ups and many, many mediocre attempts along with some very low lows. The most recent entry is Double Dragon 4 in 2017 which was middling at best and a hodge-podge of clashing retro ideas and aesthetics forming a hot mess at worst.

Leave it to 6 years of introspection and hard work from a small team who love beat-em-ups and the franchise’s legacy to create the best Double Dragon entry since WayForward’s starry entry. I’m referring to 2023’s Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragon, an action title that puts a nice twist on things while retaining its appeal and retro roots.

Seeing Double

Double Dragon Gaiden is still a 2D beat-em-up with tight controls, lovely pixel artwork and animation, and co-op mechanics. What it adds to the standard beat-em-up formula are extra playstyles, a new gameplay structure, and unlockables. Tons and tons of unlockables.

The game’s main plot is about two up-and-coming martial artists Billy and Jimmy Lee, along with short-skirt cop Marian and the Lee brothers’ father figure Uncle Matin, attempting to get rid of the four gangs ruling their hometown: The Killers, The Royals, The Triangle, and The Okadas. When you start your session, you pick up to two characters you can tag between, then pick any of the four gangs to start with. Once you cleared the first gang, you can keep picking the rest until they’re dealt with.

Here’s the kicker: each subsequent pick adds more stages and tougher enemies as you progress. This means that your Mission 1 stage with one boss will be a simple 1-stage “back alley brawl”, but the Mission 3 and Mission 4 variant will be a literal climb to the top capped off with an epic version of the gang’s boss. For example, The Killers’ hideout in Mission 1 will be a far cry from its Mission 4 variant, which features additional longer stages with different hazards (and platforming bits) as well as a souped-up stage boss who now rides a helicopter and summons additional troops.

It’s a great concept and well-executed idea if you picked the “correct” final gang member to have an epic and challenging battle with. However, there was one boss left out of that department: The Royals. The Royals’ Mission 4 final boss was a pushover compared to the other three with bigger and better forms and tougher challenges like Machine Gun Willy and Lady Okada. Other than that though, the escalated stages are tough but fair.

This is definitely due to the spot-on controls and the initial roster’s variety. Billy uses fast kicks while Jimmy uses slightly-slower-but-hard-hitting punches and fist attacks. Uncle Matin is the slow but hard-hitting powerhouse whose riot shield special attacks have lovely knockback and crowd control advantages. Marian’s the outlier as she fights with long-ranged guns and rocket launchers; while her zoning and keepaway game is peerless, she will get KO’ed really fast if put in a tight crowd situation.

The best part about this game’s roguelike structure is you can adjust the difficulty any way you want. If you rather have a higher score and tougher challenge, just crank all the settings up to the highest. If you want to actually beat the game, you can tone down enemy aggressiveness and stats, as well as toggle infinite continues so you can try and try again. If you feel that your current run isn’t so hot, you can just cash out and delete your save so you can amass tokens from that playthrough to use for the game’s unlockables. It’s essentially a really accessible beat-em-up with a plethora of options at your disposal.

Yes, you can unlock more characters when you keep at it, and they have a ton of different playstyles from the fast-hitting Chin to the most-requested big boy Abobo, a slow but hard-hitting powerhouse that rivals Uncle Matin. True, some of the more expensive characters you can unlock (the bosses, basically) are pretty broken if you know how to spam some of their better attacks, but this is a PvE title. You want to keep playing more rounds and sessions to amass as many tokens as possible, using these newly-purchased characters to break the game after you’re done with the mandatory challenges.


Far From A Drag(on)

Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons’ roguelike structure might take a while to get used to, and the game can get absurdly tough in Mission 3 and onward. And it’ll take you a while to get used to each character’s recovery animations as it’s purposely made like this to make you think twice before you button mash. Still, you won’t find a worthy remake and beat-em-up revitalization project like this “side story” filled with so many deep cuts that will make beat-em-up fans of the Technos era smile. This is very apparent with the game’s musical score; it’s immaculate and will make beat-em-up fans jump for joy just like Lee on expresso shots.

Some advice to Arc System Works: keep giving Secret Base more beat-em-up work (or anything within that vein of the genre); they stand alongside WayForward (River City Girls series) in making Double Dragon great again! At the very least, it’s an excellent apology for the lacklustre Double Dragon IV.


  • Fun controls and beat-em-up action featuring four fun characters.
  • Roguelike structure absolutely works in this beat-em-up context.
  • Unlockables aplenty and very replayable.
  • Excellent pixel art and soundtrack.


  • Last mission boss fights are insanely difficult, especially in higher difficulties.


Final Score: 90/100

Review copy provided by Modus Games.

Related News

The Games From China's F5 Games Showcase 2020

Who said the Chinese gaming industry is dead? It's thriving as all hell, and with events like these, it'll keep on trucking. Check out all the latest...

Apex Legends Reveal Loba's Teleportation Abilities In New Trailer

Apex Legends is officially kicking off Season 5: Fortune’s Favor on 12 May 2020, and a new gameplay trailer has revealed more about the unique ...

Cyberpunk 2077 Is The Most Pre-Ordered PC Game Of All Time

It's official, Cyberpunk 2077 has surpassed a whopping 8 million pre-orders worldwide before it even launched on 10 December 2020. CD Projekt Red ...

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons Free DLC Pack Characters & Modes Revealed | Kakuchopurei

    March 27, 2024 at 10:40 pm

    […] Set in the nuclear wasteland of New York City during the year 199X, Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons features a showdown between the iconic Double Dragon brothers, Billy and Jimmy Lee, and their allies against the criminal gangs terrorizing the city for dominance. Defeat one gang and the others will seize the opportunity to grab more power for themselves by enhancing their own abilities and bringing in new sub-bosses to take players down. To combat this, you’ll have a multitude of powerful friends and resources at your disposal as you fight to save the city. Check out our review here. […]

Tournament Tool Kit

Kakuchopurei Community

Popular Posts

Shin Megami Tensei V Endings & New Game Plus Guide: How To Get All Of Them
Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance – How To Find Nahobeeho
Fatal Fury: City of the Wolves – What You Need To Know About The Upcoming 2025 Fighting Game From SNK
8 Things You Need to Know about Zenless Zone Zero
XDefiant: Best Loadouts To Melt Your Enemies
Summer Of Gaming 2024 Schedule: Video Game Live Streams & Showcases
XDefiant: The Best Guns To Dominate Pubs
Street Fighter 6: How To Find Akuma In World Tour Mode
Diablo 4 Season 4: The Best Builds Per Class To Get To Level 100 Fast!
Diablo 4 Season 4: Tempering & Masterworks Guide
V Rising Everything You Need To Know About Stygian Shards
Vampire Survivors: Operation Guns Contra DLC – All New Evolutions & Unlocks
Vampire Survivors: The Best Builds For Each Stage
Hades 2 Guide: All Incantations And Effects At Hecate’s Cauldron
Hades 2: All Boons List & The Best Ones
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes – 11 Tips To Get Ahead In This JRPG
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes Review – Rally Forth
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Queen’s Blood Guide: The Best Cards & Decks
Introducing The Kakuchopurei YouTube Membership Program!
Palworld: All The Guides You Need For 2024’s Surprise Survival Game Hit
Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown Walkthrough & Guide
Delicious In Dungeon Starts The New Year Tastefully
The Games Of 2024: Our Picks & Highlights
Main Game: How To Watch Malaysia’s Best Video Game Show Created By Kakuchopurei & RTM
Marvel’s What If…? Crew Explains Why They Went 3D Over 2D & A Scrapped Episode That Was Too Close To GOTG 3
Hawkeye Episode 6 Finale Easter Eggs & Breakdown
We Talk To Hayden Christensen About Star Wars, Sequels, & Prequels
Sea Of Stars Might Get DLC Post-Launch
The Book Of Boba Fett Episode 7 Breakdown & Easter Eggs Explained