Rage of the Dragons

ABOUT:  Evoga originally envisioned Rage of the Dragons as a "sequel" to the Neo Geo fighting game incarnation of Double Dragon released back in 1995. However, Evoga were unable to use the intellectual rights for the characters, and thus, Rage of the Dragons was turned into a homage to the Double Dragon series instead of an official sequel.


Why is the R in "Player" lower-case? lol.

REVIEWRage of the Dragons is an interesting and unorthodox homage to the classic arcade beat-em-up series, Double Dragon. ROTD includes several classic several characters from the series, along with some brand new character designs.

presents Tag-Team gameplay, 16 playable fighters, and some nice looking hand-drawn stages. The game shares a similar visual style to Garou: Mark of the Wolves, with smooth character animations and hard-hitting super moves. In my opinion, something about ROTD's visuals seem "unfinished" or perhaps a bit rushed. In particular, some of the projectile sprites & effects look very generic (and lack animations) compared to some of the top 2D sprite-based fighting games of the era.


Haven't I seen this background somewhere before?


The Tag-Team gameplay mechanics are intuitive and straight-forward, with some easy combo possibilities for pretty much any team combination. Players can switch out characters at will, and the character who is not being controlled will recover life while their partner is fighting. Characters have a decent amount of priority attacks, special moves, and super moves. Some of the "Team Duplex" combos can be pretty flashy, and are easily the best-looking moves in the game. On the downside, there are some very cheap exploits and infinite combos that definitely "break the game" in high-level play.


What a ridiculous kick...


While the 2D fighting game fundamentals are accounted for in Rage of the Dragons and do offer some enjoyable "traditional" 2D gameplay... the incredibly cheap juggles and infinites kind of ruin the game (especially since they're so easy to perform). While similar cheap combos can be "overlooked" in other 2D fighters (due to a higher execution required), the same can't really be said about ROTD's broken combos. In theory, if you "ban" these infinite combos... the game can be more fun and might add to the game's replayablity. At the end of the day, Rage of the Dragons features an interesting cast, based on a beloved retro beat-em-up series, and it's one of the most interesting SNK fighting games released in some time.


Page Updated: December 1st, 2020
Developer(s): BrezzaSoft, Noise Factory
Publisher(s): SNK Playmore
Designer(s): Evoga
Platform(s): Arcade
Release Date(s): September 20th, 2002
Characters Billy, Jimmy, Lynn, Radel, Annie, Cassandra, Oni, Pepe, Pupa, Alice, Elias, Mr. Jones, Kang, Sonia, Abubo, Johan

Featured Video:

Related Games: Double Dragon, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Power Instinct: Matrimelee, Guilty Gear XX, Soul Calibur 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper, Capcom VS SNK 2, King of Fighters 2002

Gameplay Engine  6.5 / 10
Story / Theme  6.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  7.5 / 10
Animation  7.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  5.0 / 10
Innovation  5.5 / 10
Art Direction  8.5 / 10
Customization  6.0 / 10
Options / Extras  5.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  7.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  5.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  6.0 / 10
Characters  6.5 / 10

 6.8 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version    


Final Words: As a big fan of Garou: Mark of The Wolves... I had high hopes for Rage of The Dragons (since the graphics style and animation is similar). However, ROTD has some pretty broken gameplay / combos, and also doesn't quite have the "wow factor" of the top 2D fighters from the era.

Even so, ROTD's characters are interesting and worth a look... but some of them are definitely odd and perhaps a bit boring, in some cases. In any case, ROTD is a "different" SNK fighting game visually and technically, and for that reason, is a game worth
a fair shake.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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