Sunday, May 29, 2011
Rage of the Dragons - A fighting game inspired by Double Dragon.
Rage of the Dragons has some rather unusual origins. This game was released on the NeoGeo in 2002 (yes, they were still making games for a system that made it's debut in 1990!) and it was a collaborative effort between a Mexican game company named "Evoga" and the Japanese company "Noise Factory". Yes, you read that right: Mexico teamed up with Japan to make this game. When was the last time the Mexicans and the Japanese ever teamed up for ANYTHING?! This must be the first of it's kind! Not only that, but it's a great game too! I bet nobody saw this game coming for sure. I certainly didn't.
Originally, this game was intended to be a sequel to the "Double Dragon" fighting game that was released on NeoGeo in 1995. Of course, with Technos going bankrupt, Evoga couldn't acquire the intellectual property rights before Million did. So this game became a homage to the franchise with a few of it's characters. Just like there was a Billy and Jimmy Lee in Double Dragon, you get a Billy and Jimmy LEWIS in Rage of the Dragons, same goes for popular boss character Abobo, he is referenced with Rage of the Dragon's own sub-boss Abubo! Aside from similar names and designs, this is still a game that stands on it's own.
Rage of the Dragons is a 2 vs 2 tag-team fighting game with a few tweaks. You can tag in and out with your partner at anytime, and combo like you would in a game like Marvel vs Capcom. What makes this a bit different is that you can surrender one of your characters to forfeit the match transferring his/her health to their partner. This is great if you are good with one character but suck with the other! There is also a combo system that sends your opponent into the air and you have to enter in a specific button command to unleash a string of attacks to capitalize on the situation. All-in-all, it's a very fun and fast paced fighting system.
Graphics are well animated and nicely detailed for a game made in 2002. NeoGeo truly was a 2D powerhouse to still have games made for it a decade since it's launch! All characters in-game dialogue is a mixture of Japanese or very funny sounding Engrish. Billy and Jimmy try their best English language impersonations but you can still hear the accent!
Funny voices not-withstanding, this game is a solid piece of work that is well worth a look. I honestly find it's quality to be quite surprising given that there aren't many Mexican video game companies out there. And, sadly, things didn't turn out well for Evoga either as they went bankrupt in 2004. Still, they helped make one hell of a game, and I applaud them for that. Be sure to think about checking this one out.