Reviews

Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun: Retro Brawler Bundle

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Title: Double Dragon & Kunio Kun Retro Brawler Bundle
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: Arc System Works
Website: https://arcsystemworks.com/game/double-dragon-kunio-kun-retro-brawler-bundle/
Genre: Action, Sports, Fighting, Multiplayer
Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch,
Age Rating: 7 PEGI
Release Date: 20/02/2020
Price: £32.39 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.

Punching Round The World

Just when you thought there wasn’t any more room for another classic game collection on Switch, another one shows up in the form of Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun: Retro Brawler Bundle by Arc System Works!

What we have here is 18 classic arcade brawlers, 11 of which were never released in the west. Included in this collection are the Double Dragon trilogy and even some sports spinoffs from the Kunio-Kun & River City franchises.

The full list of games are as follows; 

Classic Titles
DOUBLE DRAGON
DOUBLE DRAGON Ⅱ
DOUBLE DRAGON Ⅲ
Renegade
Super Dodge Ball
River City Ransom
Crash’n the Boys Street Challenge

Classic Titles (unreleased in North America)
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

Retro Brawler Bundle Nintendo Switch

It’s fair to say then, that there is a wealth of content to play through, all captured in pixel perfect quality. Speaking of quality, there is a good number of titles that give you the option of playing in Original or Quality Up mode.

The emulation on offer here is superb and nostalgia buffs are really going to get a kick out of this one. Simply choose your title from the menu, take your seat and enjoy all the sights and sounds of the arcade cabinets of yesteryear.

Bored of playing on your own? Fear not, as this collection gives you up to 4 player multiplayer both locally and online. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to test the online multiplayer during my playthrough as the servers weren’t very populated at the time. Locally, however, is everything I remembered it to be, whether that is couch co-op or competitive carnage.

Streets Of Red

There are a lot more options too, aside from the quality improvements I mentioned. When it comes to these retro collections, it’s become industry standard now to include a bunch of different aspect ratios and filters.

Retro Brawler Bundle Nintendo Switch

For the filters, you get to choose from Standard, Standard Zoom, 4:3, 4:3 Zoom and Full Screen. So you are able to tailor the experience to your liking, adding scan lines for further authenticity.

You also get to choose which background you want to play the games on, this option essentially changes the border art, all inspired by the games on offer. Each one has it’s own music to accompany the menus which I thought was pretty cool.

Critique

Arc System Works have done a commendable job of bringing some of the most beloved beat em up titles together in one huge package.

All the greats are here from the Double Dragon and River City series to the Japanese variants, the Kunio-Kun and Nekketsu games.

Retro Brawler Bundle Nintendo Switch

Whilst this is great for the more hardcore game collector, it did strike me as rather odd that they would include both regions of the exact same game. Maybe I’m missing something here but I thought they could’ve added in a different unique title.

Some great use of quality options, filters, and border art. Also, the now obligatory save state function is included here to help you get through some of the longer story-driven titles.

Some games haven’t aged particularly well and harken back to the days when they would’ve been played with an arcade joystick. It’s definitely one of those games that shows the weaknesses in the Switch Pro Controllers D-Pad and will make you pine for a better one.

To this effect, some games like Renegade have maintained their “white-nail” brutal difficulty curve from the moment you fire it up. Even some of the sports titles suffer from this, as your opponents run rings around you whilst you try to get to grips with the controls. Though stick with it and you’ll get there.

I feel some may be turned off by the more premium asking price here and that this one would appeal more to nostalgia buffs, but with what’s on offer here, 18 titles (11 of which never released in the west) I feel the price is fair.

Verdict

You can grab your copy of Double Dragon & Kunio Kun Retro Brawler from the Nintendo eShop here.

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