Empire Interactive's arcade conversion of Double Dragon is this week's new addition to Xbox Live Arcade, arriving on the service this morning at 9am UK time, with a demo version available and a full-version price of 400 Microsoft points (GBP 3.40 / EUR 4.65 / roughly the cost of Salt & Vinegar crisps on Virgin Trains 2.58 to Morecambe).
The coin-op original, released in 1987, was one of the first scrolling beat-'em-ups to feature two-player co-operative gameplay (preserved in this release and available to play either offline or over Xbox Live), and also introduced the idea of nicking your enemies' weapons. This version is described as "a genuine re-creation of the classic coin-op arcade game", which presumably means it differs slightly from the NES and Master System adaptations for those whose memories are rooted with them.
Nonetheless it should be quite familiar in its depiction of a post-apocalyptic New York City and protagonists Billy and Jimmy Lee, although the addition of new music should be obvious and the game's publisher says we can expect to find a new high definition graphics option in addition to a classic version that leaves the game's chunky sprites untouched. Other tweaks to the Xbox Live Arcade release include a hints-and-tips page, the ability to customise the controls, and three online leaderboards for those of you who like to show off - yes, you in the cape. You can even view the Japanese and US sales fliers released in the late '80s. We don't care either.
Anyway, those of you with only a passing memory of Double Dragon can explore its history in its well-maintained Wikipedia entry, or we suppose you could just download the demo and have a crack. Remember though that to get your hands on its 12 Achievements and their 200 succulent gamerpoints you will need to invest the 400 points required to unlock the full version. Watch out for a review soon.