Double Dragon Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary This Week By Reminding You Of Its Brutal Difficulty

Double Dragon officially turns 35 this week, and for anyone who remembers playing the game in the arcades, they’ll also likely reflect on just how brutally difficult the series was. That challenging gameplay wasn’t accidental, as Arc System Works’ Takaomi Kaneko recalled stories to the PS Blog that he’d personally heard from the game’s creator and then-director, Yoshihisa Kishimoto, when he worked for Technos on Double Dragon 4.

Double Dragon 3, which expanded the co-op brawling from two to three players, was particularly infamous for its high difficulty levels. Kaneko explained that there was no plan to balance its gameplay, and it was designed to be extremely difficult to complete for a solo player. This encouraged cooperative play, and as a lucrative bonus, more coins were pumped into each machine.

“AI and combat was intended to be as true to real life as possible,” Kaneko explained. “This, coupled with the nature of arcade games at the time, meant a playthrough–even with a teammate–wouldn’t become too easy.”

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Author: Darryn Bonthuys