The original assortment of brutal weaponry has returned and in addition to baseball bats, knives, barrels, dynamite, and whips; new goodies are now readily available. Nunchakus, sticks, and even a battle axe can be used to unleash your righteous fury.
All of this wouldn’t be too exciting if it were just brushed over the same old layout. Thankfully, the developers took this into account and incorporated as much freshness to the game as possible. For example, the added levels, some of which were lifted from previous DD titles were combined with several new stages, creating a refreshing facelift to the famous classic. The original’s overall length has been almost doubled and includes some hectic scenarios such as fighting on the top of a moving tractor trailer. Familiar foes from past installments return, including the first boss from Double Dragon II and everyone’s favorite henchman, Abobo.
While Double Dragon Advance is great for the most part, a few problems, most of them minor, surface almost immediately. The minute combo system showed some promise but was never fleshed out enough to become something worthwhile, especially given the combo-crazy nature of fighting games today. Moreover, the new AI-controlled partner is utterly useless. Designed to allow a single player to control both brothers, the whole concept lamentably dissolves into you basically using one character while the second stands idly by, getting his face punched in. The package is rounded out with the standard survival mode (yawn) and a two-player link mode.
Overall, beat-'em-up junkies and Double Dragon fans alike will be wholly satisfied with the vast degree of features offered in the handheld installment. While it may not appeal to the casual gaming audience, the added features and overall playtime (approximately an hour) accout for enough incentive to warrant a purchase for anyone looking for a new action thrill.