If you’re a fan of old school brawling games then developer Arc System Works has a new bundle of games that might interest you. The Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle bundles together 18 classic titles many of which have never been localized in English until now. Is this trip to the past worth your time?
Inside this bundle you’ll find three Double Dragon titles and 15 Kunio-kun titles. The Kunio titles are the ones that are being localized in English for the first time so that alone might be of interest to certain fans out there. Here are the titles included within:
- DOUBLE DRAGON
- DOUBLE DRAGON II: The Revenge
- DOUBLE DRAGON III: The Sacred Stones
- Super Dodge Ball
- River City Ransom
- Crash’n the Boys Street Challenge
- Nekketsu Renegade Kunio-kun
- Nekketsu High School Dodgeball Club
- Downtown Nekketsu Story
- Nekketsu High School Dodgeball Club – Soccer Story
- Downtown Nekketsu March Super-Awesome Field Day!
- Downtown Special Kunio-kun’s Historical Period Drama!
- Go-Go! Nekketsu Hockey Club Slip-and-Slide Madness
- Surprise! Nekketsu New Records! The Distant Gold Medal
- Nekketsu Fighting Legend
- Kunio-kun’s Nekketsu Soccer League
- Nekketsu! Street Basketball All-Out Dunk Heroes
Between all of these games you get a nice mix of genres from beat em’ ups to sports games to RPGs. You aren’t technically getting 18 different games as some of the games in here are pretty much the same only one has the Japanese name and the other has the English name. Not every game within is a winner either as some have aged better gameplay wise than others. I enjoyed diving in and playing the Double Dragon titles along with things such as Super Dodgeball and River City Ransom but other titles such as Renegade just don’t feel good to play. That was the case for quite a few titles here for me as I would dive into them, play them for a short time, and then move on to the next because the gameplay just didn’t feel great. I think only the most hardcore fans of these titles will get the most of this collection and anyone else may want to approach with caution.
The collection also adds new features to the games including online multiplayer support for all of the games, an in-game achievement system that rewards you with avatars and nicknames, save states, and various quality bug fixes. Many of the games didn’t hold my attention for very long but the achievement system could make me go back and put more time into them to earn those titles and avatars. The online options meanwhile let you play any game with up to four players which is nice should you find people to play with.
The collection gives you the option to switch between the original versions of the games or a Quality Up version that includes some balancing and bug fixes to make for a better experience. Every game also has different border options, the ability to remap controls, and the choice of some different screen resolutions. Even with some of the visual improvements certain games still suffer from some slowdown and little visual blemishes that were annoying. The other sad thing is that some things that you’ll find in other collections are missing here. For instance, when I played some of the recent Mega Man collections I enjoyed all of the different music you could go in and listen to as well as all the art galleries that they provided you with. Neither of those things are found in this collection and it’s a bit of a bummer especially given that this collection isn’t cheap.
Fans of Double Dragon and/or Kunio-kun can find a lot in this collection to enjoy but some things hold it back from being a must have. Some of the titles within just don’t hold up today and there are some extra features we’ve seen in other similar collections that are missing here. That said, the fact that many of these games have never been localized in English before is a huge plus of this collection and some of the other new features are also quite welcome. If you want to experience these pieces of beat em’ up history then the Double Dragon & Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle is worth a look.
*Double Dragon and Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle is available now on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review key provided by the publisher for this review.
Double Dragon and Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle$39.99
- A large bundle of classic games many of which are localized in English for the first time
- Some games got some welcome balancing and quality of life improvements
- Every game lets you play it online
- New in-game achievement system gives you more reasons to keep playing each game
- Some of the games don't hold up today
- No art gallery or music test modes