The Double Dragon series: a classic arcade quarter-eater in the '80s, but by the '90s, the joys of repeatedly punching clones of the same bad guy started to fade.
The next decade of video games needed more well-developed characters, and greater realism -- why, for example, did enemies blink and disappear when defeated? And why did their weapons dissolve into the same mysterious netherworld when the last of that clone-series evaporated?
Yes, the youth of the '90s demanded greater realism from their video gaming experience -- this "walking across town, beating cloned gang-members" foolishness would not pass the mustard.
To help rid us of our quarters (at the doubled rate of 50 cents per play for some reason), we received Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. Now we could enjoy the increased realism of hand-to-hand combatants chartering expensive private planes to every corner of the globe for the express purpose of punching each other until they vomited:
Yes, one-on-one fighting games became the name of the...uh, game.
While the Double Dragon
series stumbled to a lackluster third
NES beat-em-up, it broke out into the SNES with...a fourth lackluster* beat-em-up.
After lacking all this luster, the good folks in charge of the adventures of Billy Lee, Jimmy Lee (and sometimes Bimmy Lee) decided, well -- if you can't beat 'em
up, join 'em up, and released Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls:
(the 'V' stands for 'five', in this case)
Unfortunately, Taito seemed to have turned the reigns over to Tradewest, who evidently subcontracted with bizarre Super Nintendo Game-making lightweight, Leland Interactive Media:
When "Interactive Media" or "Interactive Entertainment" appears in a company's name, I think it's business-speak for, "this is a company that never made video games, but then saw it as a way to make a quick buck and were like, 'Oh, we gotta get a piece of that -- how hard can it be?'"
You may remember Tradewest as the guys who brought us Battletoads and Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team
Though perhaps they should have called it, Battletoads, and Other Battletoads Who Look Kind of Like Humans:
...because nothing says "Double Dragon" like Billy Lee dropping The People's Elbow to unlock a health bonus on the surface of a rat-shaped space ship.
And thus, Double Dragon V: Street Fighter II Knockoff Edition was born.
Unfortunately, its evidently ALSO based on some sub-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles spinoff cartoon. At least, I assume it is, because the character design just smacks of me-to-ism from THAT medium, as well:
Well, not so bad SO far...
So, that's enough contextualization for now...next week -- CONTENT!
Thanks for riding shotgun as I ran down some
history free-association related to Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls. And Leland Interactive Media, if you're still out there --
...no hard feelings, right?
— carlmarksguy, 2014-07-04