Game Review: Double Dragon Neon
In the following review I will discuss the game, Double Dragon Neon, I will focus mainly on the gameplay aspects in general rather than comparing the title to its predecessor which was released in the beat ’em up heyday.
Video games have come along way in the past few decades and it is important to remember its historic roots as it is with many other notable form of media or entertainment such as comics and films. The task seems to be a difficult one in terms of bringing a game that was a hot seller in 1987 and presenting it to a generation almost thirty decades later.
The history of Double Dragon isn’t as glamorous as Street Fighter or other massive games in the 80’s but it was a genre defining game that set the bar for all other beat em ups.
That was a bit of history, now we will see how the reboot of the franchised today in the 21st century.
Without playing the original Double Dragon I will do my best to describe the game in todays climate and how this will or will not appeal to you…
Neon starts with the kidnapping of a mysterious woman from a bar in a very shady looking back street to which up comes a steel shutter and our protagonist makes his first appearance. The gameplay follows suit with most beat em up games, you are given a simplistic control scheme, that being kick, punch, jump and a special attack.
The game gives you the option to retrieve songs which each provide you with different special attacks that can be changed in game at any point, you may only use one at a time and it is a fresh mechanic that does work well within the game.
The enemies you encounter vary between street thugs, lady’s with whips and robots, this is a weird combination to say the least but the diversity of enemies does weigh heavily in the games favour. Unfortunately the enemies do become quite generic after a while and there isn’t a robust amount of boss battles to keep the player interested either.
The visuals within the game have to be credited as they really do take you back to the eighties without the clunky pixilated characters you were accustomed too. The environments change often and you never feel like you are on the same battlefield every level as is the case with most games in the genre that simply blur stages into one big tedious experience.
The game is very challenging and one wrong move could find you with a whip to the face and your buttocks on the deck, as long as you remain positive and persistent you will be able to withstand the ferocity of your opponents. The multiplayer aspect is only present via a second controller which I don’t think that was initially intended but I could not wait much longer for the developers to add the feature. The lack of multiplayer online made the game a difficult experience, and the fact that my girlfriend or housemates would not play only made the game that more difficult and this killed the “double” part of the game.
To sum up each feature It would have to be as follows;
As mentioned the multiplayer is only accessible with a second controller, the fact that there is no multiplayer makes the game insanely difficult as it is a title intended for two people to play. That said I gave it my best shot but was still unable to complete it.
The gameplay is typical of a beat em up, not much can be said about it other than the ability to prepare with different in game add-ons and upgrades. You walk to the right, beat up some bad dudes and keep moving. There are also quite a few interactive objects in the game such as conveyor belts and television screens.
Visuals and Sound
The graphics and soundtrack appear to be the titles saving grace, The visuals are arguably on par with other HD remakes and arcade games in general, the atmosphere created in the game is one which adds to the overall enjoyment of the game and really makes you feel like donning the fluorescent headband and ankle warmers.
To summarise I would say that Double Dragon Neon is a fun experience and can be considered as a good arcade title, whilst it does lack some aspects that are prominent and standard in today’s arcade titles such as multiplayer and longevity. I cannot see the title making waves in the community nor can I see it being a long lived game. Just like the eighties and in the words of Susie Salmon “I was here for a moment and then I was gone.”