A playthrough of Acclaim’s 1991 beat ’em up game for the NES, Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones.
This Technos developed brawler followup to the classic Double Dragon II: The Revenge is a good game, but it doesn’t compare as favorably to its predecessor as it would probably like. The graphics are packed with detail, but are somewhat lacking in character compared to part 2. Despite the diversity of the background graphics, the whole thing manages to look pretty generic. And very brown. The music is excellent though, and the controls are quite a bit easier to handle than they were in the first two games. I also really liked how the choice of multiple characters provided a bit of variety to the gameplay.
The main problem with the game is that its challenge is a bit on the obnoxious side. It’s nowhere near as hard as most people make it out to be (though to be fair, it’s absolutely brutal until you figure out that 95% of the enemy attacks can be easily sidestepped by moving up and down), but it quickly becomes repetitive. But, the story line, however pointless and senseless, is pretty entertaining and helps to break the monotony.
It does bear mentioning that this wasn’t a straight port of the arcade version (Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone) – there are a fair few differences. Of course, this was typical for NES Double Dragon games, though the Japanese version of DD3 kept the story line much closer to the arcade’s one than the US version did.
The Sacred Stones certainly isn’t a bad game. It plays smoothly, moves well, and puts up a reasonable challenge, and it is quite a bit of fun until it wears out its welcome on the 700th wave of the same pair of enemies. DD3 sits firmly in third place behind DD1 and 2, but then again, so do the great majority of NES beat ’em ups.
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.
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