A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons is a side-scrolling beat 'em up game in which players control a revenge-fueled, muscle-bound martial artist who punches and kicks a seemingly endless stream of gangsters. It's neither bloody nor gory, but the violence is constant and enemies often scream and yell when struck. Plus, the game's female characters are highly sexualized and wear revealing outfits that expose deep, bobbing cleavage.
What's it about?
A remake of a quarter-century-old arcade beat 'em up, DOUBLE DRAGON II: WANDER OF THE DRAGONS focuses on martial arts brothers Billy and Jimmy's quest for vengeance after the woman they love is murdered by a notorious gangster. Settings shift from city streets to a lumber mill to old country roads, but the action remains more or less the same throughout: The game's heroes punch and kick their way through reams of bad guys as they inch closer to the gang's big bad boss. Players can adventure alone or team up with a pal in local co-operative play. Outside the story mode is a competitive arena in which players face off against one another, as well as a survival mode that has one or two players facing down wave after wave of attackers.
Is it any good?
There's very little that can be said in favor of this poorly made remake of an aging brawler that itself was never much better than middling. The stiff and unpredictable controls are frequently frustrating, leaving players to rely on simplistic attacks -- like the running dropkick -- to beat harder enemies. The new visuals are ugly and dated, with a frame rate that slows down to a headache-inducing crawl near the end of the game when more than just a few characters are on screen. And the makers have done nothing to mitigate the sexism inherent in the original, choosing instead to -- if anything -- enhance female characters' breasts and dress them in even skimpier and more sexual outfits. If you closed your eyes and randomly selected another Xbox Live Arcade game you'd be all but guaranteed to land on something a lot better than this stinker.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Does it matter whether blood or gore is shown in games that involve relentless killing? Are games that focus on killing with bare hands rather than weapons harder or easier to stomach?
Families can also discuss the presentation of women in games. Why do you think women are typically depicted as "damsels in distress" rather than heroes? What do you think when you see women wearing revealing, impractical clothing in games? Why do you think some game makers portray women in this manner?
- Platforms: Xbox 360
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
Thinking & Reasoning: strategy
- Price: $10.00
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Gravity
- Release date: April 12, 2013
- Genre: Fighting
- ESRB rating: T for Suggestive Themes, Violence, Use of Tobacco
For kids who love action games
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.