Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons Game Poster Image
Terrible remake of a mindlessly violent 1980s arcade game.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

This game trades only in stylized martial arts fighting and sexualized women. It has no redeeming messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game's meat-headed heroes are mindless vengeance seekers who cut their way through countless bad guys, never showing mercy. 

Ease of Play

The stiff and occasionally unpredictable controls are often frustrating, but most players experienced with side-scrolling brawlers shouldn't have too much difficulty working their way through the game on the easiest difficulty setting. 

Violence

Players spend all of their time engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Characters kick, punch, and hit each other with bricks and pieces of lumber. They also occasionally throw knives and shoot guns, but there is no blood or gore. When struck, fighters typically groan or scream before falling to the ground, where they flash for a few seconds prior to disappearing. An opening narrative scene shows a woman shot in the torso and killed.

Sex

The sole female protagonist wears a low-cut top that reveals the cleavage of two exaggerated, jiggling breasts. Female antagonists are dressed in a similarly revealing fashion and look like strippers. A billboard in a western-themed level above what appears to be a bar and brothel shows a woman in a suggestive pose.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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. 

User Reviews

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Teen, 16 years old Written bycombodombie June 24, 2013

Worst game. EVER.

IT IS BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD.

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?

Game details

  • 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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