Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun: Retro Brawler Bundle (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Luke Hemming 12.04.2020 2

Review for Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun: Retro Brawler Bundle on Nintendo Switch

With Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle, Arc System Works has combined 18 titles in an always tempting pack, housing RPGs, Sports titles, and the aforementioned brawlers to target what seems like an incredibly specific market. With everything included, is this the collection retro fans have been waiting for, or more importantly, wanted? Time to take a trip down a lane littered with 8 bit bodies.

Firstly, it goes without saying that, if a fan of the Kunio-Kun franchise, then there are no omissions here. Needs will be satisfied, but still the question lingers: is this pack needed at all? What is on offer here, however, is rather lovingly presented. Menus are bright and alluring, with some awesome chiptune themes playing throughout. This reviewer is still humming the final boss music for Double Dragon II as he types this. Avatars and nicknames can also be assigned to profiles, and are unlocked as progression is made. Relying heavily on the setup made popular by consoles, such as the NES and SNES mini, a welcome save state function is included, which makes a lot of the unfairness all the more bearable.

Save states are also essential for completing the many RPG-style titles included, but unless a diehard stalwart of every release, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember which you are playing. Be under no illusion this is written by someone with minimal previous experience on the Kunio-Kun RPG staple, but it does feel that these could have been condensed into maybe two or three titles. Repeatedly looking at the same sprites over and over again as they pass another oriental or building backdrop can begin to grate.

Ignoring the obvious draw of the Double Dragon games, the real stars of this collection are the sports titles. For pick up and play value there doesn't seem to be a bad one in the bunch. All offering essentially the same, but fantastically fun experience. Soccer (ugh, it's called football) for example, gives control of one player with the simple option of commanding the rest of the squad to pass, shoot, or tackle. Tackles are particularly brutal and slam any would-be Ronaldo into the ground or across the field. Even special charged moves are available to pull off a spectacular bicycle kick or lace a ball so hard the keeper joins the ball in the back of the net.

Screenshot for Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun: Retro Brawler Bundle on Nintendo Switch

It's these simple controls giving such satisfying results that mean for a quick bash, that players are likely to keep revisiting the sports titles, as a tournament can be completed in about five minutes, managing to leave that sweet taste of both achievement and satisfaction in dealing some serious damage on the way to Soccer (ugh), Dodgeball, or Hockey glory.

Speaking of Achievements, A quite comprehensive achievement list is also included. With such a simple inclusion, for anyone who has spent any time in the past with the titles on offer here, makes those hours perfecting the craft and skill put in on the NES finally mean something. Players should have something to show for finishing Double Dragon III, as it's an unfair, unforgiving slog at times. If any do become a slog however, online play is available to hook up and take down some street crime.

Double Dragon 1-3 are the real jewels in this package, and for any gamer with a casual interest that may have come across this in the e-shop, are what will be the most familiar. Thankfully, the ports do not disappoint, and with all other games included, and the option to play in either original or quality-up resolution. Any Double Dragon is a treat, but it's hard not to think these could have been put in their own collection for a much lower price point. Splitting between the Billy and Jimmy titles, and the Kunio-Kun franchise in fact might have been the best option overall for consumers, if they had been given the choice.

Screenshot for Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun: Retro Brawler Bundle on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

For the quality included in Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle, it feels as if Arc System Works isn't onto a winner here. In fact, when giving it a little thought, it's hard to understand why this collection is needed at all. Any Switcher with access to the Nintendo Online service already has access to some of the best titles available here. Double Dragon and Double Dragon II, as well as River City Ransom[/], and [i]Volleyball are available for the small yearly subscription, and are probably the best titles on offer. It's a major barrier to warrant a purchase, and the question will always rear its ugly head: why buy the gaming cow when you are getting the milk for free? One for the fans, and diehard retro collectors only…

Also known as

Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun Retro Brawler Bundle

Developer

Arc System Works

Publisher

Arc System Works

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I thought putting it in a pack would be fool-proof!

Two packs needed I think, Freedom of choice and purse-strings.

Lukezeppo

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