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Double Dragon II
  GBBeat_em_upNA  
  opened by paleface at 04:15:19 09/13/05  
  last modified by paleface at 00:53:21 03/02/23  
  paleface [sys=GB; cat=Beat_em_up; loc=NA]
           
A copy of Japan's "Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun: Bangai Rantouhen," re-done with Double-Dragonesque sprites and re-released for the North American market. It's not a bad sprite edit, actually, except for a few wiggly heads and a torso or two that looks a little blockier than it should. They must've swiped most of the sprites from an actual DD game or something, though, because they fit pretty well.
 
The moves are still the moves of the Kunio game, though, so it doesn't feel quite Double Dragony, and those who played the first one on GB (see entry 855) will be left wondering why most of the moves got taken out, and why the music isn't quite along the same themes.
 
And yet, it's based on a pretty good game, and it comes through in surprisingly good shape considering the extreme visual makeover.
 
Multiplayer is here, too, but I haven't tried it. I did try linking this with Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun, but it didn't seem to want to work. Now *that* would have been something!
 
  paleface 23:24:32 02/28/23
           

 
Playing w/ ROM dumped by Sanni Cart Reader V5 & running in Mesen. Normal difficulty.
 
Getting re-acquainted with this has been delightful so far: challenging but not impossible stages, unlimited continues, simple controls that lead to varied outcomes, beefy punching, really lovely and evocative pixel art, and shockingly pumping music. This might be THE guideline for how to do a great low-tech beat-em-up. As a re-skin of a Kunio-Kun Game Boy game, it benefits from not being burdened by trying to imitate the more complicated trappings of arcade Double Dragon games, and gets to focus on the essentials.
 
Oh right, I DID have the Kunio GB game of which this was an art edit, Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun: Bangai Rantou Hen (see entry 884), and yep that map screen character IS Kunio, they didn't edit that one for DDII: https://paleface.net/cgi-bin/gdb/n.pl?i=884_nkk_map.gif (seen in the blur-o-vision that was the GameCube's Game Boy Player video-out, even via D-terminal).
 
Also my notes here reminded me my old cart of this was the NA version. Wait a sec. Oh, because I think there wasn't a Japanese GB *Double Dragon II*--the Japanese version was the Kunio-Kun game. So yeah. ; )
 
  paleface 00:53:21 03/02/23
           

 
Taking up from where I left off last time playing through Double Dragon II for Game Boy w/ ROM dumped by Sanni Cart Reader V5 & running in Mesen. Normal difficulty.
 
Then I mess around with coloring the game in various ways, including with another cart I dumped, a Super Game Boy; and I go through the SGB's various features.
 
Turns out I was right at the last stage, which becomes a boss rush! Had some trouble with that, but fortunately the final boss isn't actually all that hard. ^ _^
 
This is one DD that doesn't have those horrible insta-death platforming bits. : D
 
I forgot about GBC palette selection: on a GBC, when powering up the system, you can hold (or not) a button, plus a direction on the d-pad, to pick an alternate color palette, including one that's grayscale (left+B). However, that doesn't seem to be working in the Mesen emulator when I tried it after recording (also tried it unsuccessfully in the VisualGameBoyAdvance-M emulator).
 
Wikipedia notes about a dozen GB games that have a special palette when put in a GBC, including Tetris--which gets a high-contrast red/orange/black palette that I think is pretty close to one of the Super Game Boy palettes; doesn't seem to have separate sprite vs background colors. GBC ran at effectively double GB's speed (just over 2 MHz vs just over 1 MHz).
 
Looked through Wikipedia's list of GBC games twice and didn't manage to spot anything I have to have, but that's mostly just going on names and then checking a few of those in YouTube. I'll probably find something eventually. Mario Golf is good but I played through that back in the day and don't feel a need to revisit it.
    
 
references:
· The Combatribes (SNES)
· Double Dragon (GB)
· Kunio-kun: The World Classics Collection (PS4)
· Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun: Bangai Rantou Hen (GB)

 
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