In which I review a game with few redeeming qualities

When I put my name forward to review Double Dragon II on XBLA, I did it expecting a bad game [I know that’s not the right frame of mind to approach a review, but I trust myself to review objectively regardless of preconceived notions, and many games have pleasantly surprised me when I’m not expecting too much].

This is about as close to an objectively bad game as I’ve encountered, and reviewing it was about as enjoyable as passing a kidney stone. You can read all all about it here:

Double Dragon 2

There’s a magic in the best videogames that’s easy to overlook. Modern games are crafted by dozens, possibly hundreds of artists, slaving away on myriad components that are then woven together into the rich tapestry of interactive entertainment that we take for granted. The best games have such harmony between the graphics and sound and music and game-play mechanics that the player cares little about the individual elements, but rather that holistic, transcendent experience.

A hallmark of games that are merely good is that players will happily overlook the rough elements to focus on on the overall feeling, carried through rough spots by the goodwill built up through earlier proficiency. Games are more than the sum of their parts, and when gamers reflect on the time they invested, are unlikely to fixate on the elements that could have been better. So that’s what makes Gravity’s Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons such a daunting prospect to review. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that there’s not a single element that this game gets right, and I would submit that it ought to become the new watermark for what constitutes a “bad” game.

Read the Full Review at Toronto Thumbs

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