Double Dragon Neon Review
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Publisher: Majesco Entertainment
North American Release Date: September 11th, 2012
European Release Date: September 20th, 2012
Trophies: Yes, 1 , 3 , 9
Double Dragon Neon is a reboot to the Double Dragon series, which originally dates back to 1987. Like previous games, you take control of Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee as they fight to save Marian from the evil Skullmageddon. Neon is about as arcade-esque as it gets, and is a great throw back to the 80s-90s style beat-em-ups.
Double Dragon Neon plays much like other arcade beat-em-ups, it's a 2-D side-scrolling fighting game where you roam the streets and punch others. There isn't much to it, because it's style is a simple, old school arcade game, and for the most part works well and is quite fun.
To add some spice to the mix, you can pick up mix-tapes that you can use for certain powers and upgrades. These tapes can then also be upgraded, increasing their usefulness. The powers are game-stopping ones that, for the most part, hit everyone on-screen. These use a meter which quickly drains as you use them, adding a sense of strategy (however little). There are also items that you can pick up that vary from bats to...magical meat-sticks.
There isn't much variety in terms of gameplay, and that itself is Double Dragon Neon's biggest drawback. The levels are all filled with the same generic enemies, switching them up with mini-bosses, regular bosses and other enemies. You'll get bored within a level or two in one sitting.
You get very devastating powers that are very fun to use.
You play Billy Lee, and the evil Skullmageddon has taken your loved one, Marian. Now you must battle hundreds of dudes just to save her. This story sounds right on par with other cheesy '90s arcade games, and since that's what it's going for it's great. You don't play beat-em-ups for the story anyway, unless you're weird.
Singleplayer just has you going through the levels, beating up bad-guys and occasional mini-bosses. There are a few easter eggs and hidden things as well, also like a lot of '90s games featured. There isn't much to say about Double Dragon Neon because there simply isn't much to it.
Double Dragon Neon's soundtrack is truly where the game shines. Each power features a song that, for the most part, is fun to listen to and are actually fairly good and new songs. Even the song featured on the XMB I thought was a treat.
Hit detections can sometimes be a bit off, when you are "farther back" than your opponent. It may look like your hit is connecting but the perspective kind of fools you at times. This isn't a huge complaint, just something rare that occurs. The game looks like a cartoon, which a lot of 2-D side-scrollers do, especially older ones. The colors really pop-out and are just nice to look at.
An odd list, you're required to play the game a few times to unlock the various difficulties, find easter eggs and hit each enemy with a...hairpick. There's also a trophy for completing the game co-op and another for doing it on the hardest difficulty which is tough. Unlocking each power and fully upgrading them also counts for a trophy, meaning a lot of grinding is required just for a 100%. I wouldn't advise you play this for the trophies.
Double Dragon Neon achieves exactly what it tries to, be a throw-back to old school arcade games. It works and plays well, and there's nothing really wrong with it, other than it may get boring after about a half hour to an hour of straight gameplay. It's still a cool game that old school gamers should check out.
Nothing wrong with it, but not much is added that we've not already seen in previous games.
Can get boring after a while, but it's still a fun little game. Don't play this for the story.
Great soundtrack, with the only real draw-back being a hit-detection problem that I found (though I may even be the only one at that). It's colors pop and is great to look at.