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Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Arc System Works
Developer: Arc System Works
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: Yes
ESRB: E10+

When I think of Double Dragon or the Kunio-kun (Renegade) series, I always have fond memories of beating down street punks and feeling like a hero. River City Ransom was a personal favorite as were the first two Double Dragons on the original NES. The Kunio-kun series only saw a few games in this country and little did I (and many others) know that this series expands way beyond what we saw. Now thanks to this collection we can play them all, fully translated into English with increased quality!

In this collection of 18 complete games, you get all 3 Double Dragons, River City Ransom, Renegade, Super Dodge Ball and Crash and the Boys from the NES. The remaining 11 titles are from the Kunio-kun series and have never been released in the USA. You get the Japanese versions of River City, Crash, Renegade and Dodge Ball that all have major differences when compared to their USA counterparts. Plus you get awesome game that never left Japan like “Downtown Nekketsu March Super-Awesome Field Day”, “Downtown Special Kunio-kun’s Historical Period Drama”, which uses the River City Ransom engine and has the characters play out a Period Play. “Nekketsu Fighting Legend”, a 2 on 2 arena fighting game, and “Downtown Nekketsu March: Super Awesome Field Day” where up to four players compete in Track and Field Events!. All of the games in this series are rather silly at times, with dialog that will make you chuckle, and special moves that are ridiculous. No matter what game you select in this collection, you will have a good time!

Many of the Kunio-kun games revolved around sports like Soccer, Basketball and Hockey and while not as memorable as the other games, they are crazy fun to just jump into and play. As I mentioned, all of the import games in this collection have been fully translated into English, so they can be enjoyed without the need of a walk through or translator. These games are known for being text heavy, which is why so many of these great titles went overlooked in the West. Most of the titles in this collection have some sort of Online Play. Any game that originally featured 2 player co-op or versus modes can be played Online which is a very welcome addition to classic games like this! As an added bonus, some of the titles will display “Quality-Up” in the menu, that means that the game has been given a few fixes over the original, like less sprite flickering and bug fixes.

Every game in this collection looks great on the Switch in any mode. It’s especially cool to play two players in tabletop mode, which is something I did many times with friends. The Online play is great, but nothing beats playing these titles with a buddy in the same room! Control feel perfect with absolutely no lag issues that usually plague HD versions of classic games. Included are options for scan lines and several display variations so that everyone can play they way they want! Audio is spot on to the original games, even playing the main theme from each game in the selection menu as you scroll through. I must say that Arc System Works have done a fantastic job with translating and presenting every game in this collection. The only thing I could see that was missing are the Game Boy and PC Engine Titles, but perhaps they are saving those for another collection or possible DLC. Even without those titles, this is still a fantastic line up!

I have been playing Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle non stop and found it hard to put down with so many games to try and master. As I said, this collection has something for everyone. Fighting game Fans, Sports fans and even RPG fans will find something to like here. At $39.99, it is an absolute steal and should be downloaded by everyone who owns a Switch. Retro Brawler Bundle is truly one of the best and really packed retro collections I’ve seen. I really want to see more collections like this so these and many other great games are never forgotten. Super fun and highly recommended!

Arc System Works provided us with a Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A+