Most famous for its Double Dragon series, Technōs Japan is sadly no longer with us – but its property is owned by Arc System Works and continues to live on via a range of remakes and updates. Another way to celebrate the company's remarkable legacy is Technōs Arcade 1 on your Evercade, a pack which includes eight coin-op releases from the firm's back catalogue.
The Combatribes, Block Out, Battle Lane Vol 5., Double Dragon II: The Revenge, Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone, Mania Challenge, Minky Monkey and Mysterious Stones: Dr John's Adventure are the games on offer, and reading that list might immediately trigger some concerns – sure, there are some coin-guzzling classics on offer here, but they sit alongside an equal number of largely unknown releases.
Let's start with the familiar titles first. 1988's Double Dragon II is arguably one of the best side-scrolling fighters of the era, combining tight gameplay with excellent two-player action. Sure, it would be comprehensively outdone a year after its release by Capcom's stunning Final Fight, but it's still a good time, especially when played on the Evercade VS with a second person.
Double Dragon 3 is less well-regarded, largely because its development was handled by East Technology and not Technōs itself. The more realistic visuals are a step forward, but the sprites are still quite small when compared to those in Final Fight. Fans of the series – and fighting games in general – will still find plenty to enjoy, however.
The Combatribes is the third belt-scrolling brawler in this pack, and it's one of Technōs' most divisive additions to the genre. The large, cartoon-like sprites are appealing, but the action doesn't hang together as well as it does in rival games from the same time. We have a soft spot for it as it was one of the few arcade machines to be installed in our local leisure centre back in the day, but we wouldn't attempt to argue that it's amongst the best the genre has to offer.
The remaining titles are interesting to play from a historical viewpoint but can hardly be considered essential in Technōs' history – making this a cartridge which feels like something of a missed opportunity.