Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones

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Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones offers nostalgic gameplay with cooperative mode, but its difficulty may challenge players seeking a classic beat 'em up experience.

Reflecting on childhood memories often paints a rosy picture, and for many, the nostalgic glow of gaming experiences can be particularly potent. One such game that often elicits fond recollections is Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones. Released during the golden era of gaming, this installment promised to build upon the success of its predecessors and deliver another exhilarating adventure.

However, as time passes and perspectives shift, revisiting cherished titles can sometimes reveal flaws and shortcomings that were once overlooked. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the world of Double Dragon III, exploring its gameplay mechanics, visual aesthetics, and overall appeal.

Disappointing Downgrade

Upon booting up Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones, one is immediately struck by a noticeable downgrade in several key aspects compared to its predecessors. The once-impressive character sprites now appear diminutive and lacking in detail, a stark departure from the robust visuals of earlier installments. The iconic Lee brothers, known for their martial prowess, now adopt awkward fighting stances that detract from their formidable presence on screen.

Furthermore, the game’s backgrounds fail to captivate with the same level of intricacy and charm, resulting in a diminished overall visual experience. While advancements were expected with each successive release, Double Dragon III regrettably falls short of meeting these expectations.

Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones (NES gallery 06)

Underwhelming Gameplay

A cornerstone of the Double Dragon series has always been its engaging and dynamic gameplay, but Double Dragon III falters in this regard. Players are met with fewer combat maneuvers at their disposal, robbing the experience of the depth and variety found in previous iterations. The absence of signature moves such as the rocket knee and hyper uppercut diminishes strategic opportunities, leaving combat feeling stale and repetitive.

Additionally, the game’s difficulty spikes prove frustratingly punitive, testing the patience and resolve of even the most seasoned players. It’s a far cry from the balanced and rewarding gameplay that characterized earlier entries in the series.

New Characters, Same Problems

In an attempt to inject freshness into the formula, Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones introduces new playable characters to accompany the Lee brothers on their quest. However, these additions fail to remedy the game’s fundamental issues and instead serve as mere window dressing. While characters like Chin and Ranzou offer fleeting moments of novelty, their inclusion does little to mitigate the game’s punishing difficulty or lack of continues. Ultimately, they feel like missed opportunities rather than meaningful enhancements to the gameplay experience.


In hindsight, it’s evident that Double Dragon III falls short of recapturing the magic that made its predecessors beloved classics. Its underwhelming visuals, lackluster gameplay, and punishing difficulty combine to create a frustrating and ultimately unsatisfying experience. While nostalgia may serve as a rose-tinted lens through which to view the past, it cannot obscure the flaws inherent in this particular installment. For those seeking a true Double Dragon experience, it’s advisable to look elsewhere within the series.

Unleash the fury of the Lee brothers against the Shadow Warriors in Double Dragon III!

Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones (NES gallery 02)

Play Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones Online Anywhere, Anytime!

Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones is available for play on the NES platform, as well as on mobile and tablet devices, ensuring that fans can revisit this iconic title wherever they go.

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Is Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones more difficult than the previous games?

Yes, Double Dragon III is notoriously difficult due to relentless enemy attacks and lack of continues.

Can you play Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones solo?

While possible, playing solo is challenging due to the single-life mechanic and unforgiving difficulty.

Are there any improvements in Double Dragon III?

Unfortunately, Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones lacks significant improvements and suffers from downgraded visuals and gameplay mechanics.

What makes Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones frustrating?

The game’s punishing difficulty, limited continues, and repetitive gameplay contribute to its frustrating experience.

Is Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones worth playing?

Despite its flaws, Double Dragon III may still offer enjoyment for fans of the series, especially when played cooperatively.