Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons Adds Online Co-Op and More Next Month 3453

Is Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons’ Online Worth Return For?

When Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons originally released players were disappointed to see online was not present. It was among a number of unfortunate choices that negatively impacted reception. Surprisingly, Secret Base released a free update that addressed criticism, most notably by adding online, along with new characters, and modes. However, given how much time has passed, is it worth buying/returning to Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons?

Before commenting on performance, I wanted to address the elephant in the room, population. Since I figured there would be a boom following the update’s release, I wanted to a wait a day or so to see how much momentum Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons was able to maintain.

Is Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons' Online Worth Return For? 89768

During my tests there were a total of seven different hosts. Not great, but honestly more than I expected. Based off Steam Charts, Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons has averaged 100 to 150 players (all-time peak is 298) following the update. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is cross-play support. Still, it’s nice to see at least two platforms have some life at the moment.

Fears of the future aside, I ended up playing with three of the aforementioned hosts. Much to my surprise online worked fairly well. There was some lag, but not enough where I would say it was truly detrimental.

Is Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons' Online Worth Return For? 34534

Where things immediately soured for me were disconnects. Whether intentional, or not, any room I disconnected from resulted in my time being wasted. It did not save story mode progress, nor did I receive any Tokens from that run.

Not only is this frustrating, I got the impression it was more due to my partner’s leaving. What would happen is a boss would defeat them, and instead of waiting to see if I could win, they simply left. Since it seemingly kept their progress, it’s only a negative for those who join, but don’t finish.

Is Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons' Online Worth Return For? 3453

Given at least nine items were added to the Token shop; those without 100+ in reserve will likely be a bit disappointed with the loss. Even if I could probably unlock them all in roughly 90 minutes solo, it adds a massive negative to newcomers hoping for online fun.

New characters are in a similar place. Each feel different from the base cast, complete with charming sprites and fun references, but they are not exactly game changers. Chin Sei Mei is a good example of this.

Is Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons' Online Worth Return For? 3453

He starts by being a rather slow character that has a combo that is, at best, okay. From there, each of his specials have distinct disadvantages. Pulling Claw can be hard to hit; Flying Claw is easy to hit, but not the best in terms of range/damage; and while Roll Attack does the most damage, positioning is extremely important.

Along with these considerations, there are a lot of small negatives that limit playability. One of the most annoying is Flying Claw seems to take damage when used by a spike trap. This would be fine if I simply couldn’t go the distance, but from my brief tests I took damage the second he reached said trap. He also relies heavily on positioning, which requires higher situational awareness than several others. At the end of the day, it’s hard to beat someone like Unknown who is so powerful/accessible he is the undisputed meta choice.

Perhaps the most disappointing addition is Survival Mode. Instead of being the usual high skill mode, it suffers greatly from Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons‘ core gameplay loop. Since special KO combos (defeating three or more enemies with a single special) generate health, it’s extremely easy to correct any mistake. Not only that, traps count as a special KO, and can generate health as well. This makes something like cars crossing moot, as they would generate more health than I’d lose getting hit.

Consequences… or Something

Each wave also ends with players being able to purchase the same upgrades as story. After a while I felt nigh invincible. Extreme bad luck could kill me, but anything short could easily be saved. And even if this unlikely event occurred, it would need to happen twice on the same wave to result in failure. Anything short can, again, be salvaged.

Once a stage is completed a defeated ally is revived with one HP. I can easily defeat enemies with the other character to spawn health, and then simply consume it on my other character to bring them to full health. Or, if I don’t want to risk it, just purchase the turkey for $0 that gives 100 HP. That is a 95 percent, or better heal for most characters at base health.

Is Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons’ Online Worth Return For?

While I applaud Secret Base for creating an update most companies would call DLC and charge for, it simply isn’t the second life Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons needs. Online is great for those with a friend, but outside of that has some problems, and will likely die in the coming weeks. New characters are fun, though outside of the initial playthrough they have very little to offer. Even Survival Mode is held back by a distinct lack of consequences. In all it might add a couple hours of gameplay, but that’s about it.

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