If you were following us at E3, you should know that I was really pleasantly surprised by the recently released Double Dragon remake titled Double Dragon Neon. In the time since our E3 write up and release not a whole lot has changed honestly but for review purposes I will briefly go over the basics and show you a very NSFW playthrough of the title with Max and I.
Double Dragon Neon is a complete and total 80′s era arcade brawler with the only main difference is that it uses modern graphics and adds a couple new features such as “stances” and “specials”. What this means is that the gameplay and movement is a bit stiffer then what a modern gamer might be used to. You also need to make absolutely sure you are on the same physical level space as an enemy when attacking most of the time and you can’t just link everything together such as punches, grabs, and specials.
First let’s talk about presentation, the game flawlessly captures the essence of character designer Genzoman beautifully. Genzoman is a worldwide independent Chilean born artist that has been wowing the internet for a few years now. The only real shock is that nobody picked him up for an official game project until now that I am aware of. The screenshots and videos really do not do the game justice at all. You really got to see it for yourself to see how despite the heavy use of 3D models, the game manages to flow and animate like a 2D brawler.
The soundtrack has been getting a lot of attention and for good reason. Virt’s incorporation and compositions are really nothing short of genius. Keeping with the theme of Neon 80′s, each stage switches off between a wonderful remix of a favorite music track from a previous Double Dragon game and then over to a fully voiced song that effortlessly manages to encapture a different piece of that decades era of music.
As for the gameplay it is straight up Double Dragon, the two big differences are grabs are downplayed but you have added stances and specials. As you beat down thugs you will find cassette decks, these deck contain “Songs” which you can equip any time. Stance songs basically alter your stats in some small way, though some have more unique attributes such as regaining a tiny bit of health per punch. Special moves are exactly what they sound like, whether it be a fireball or bolt of lighting or a really powerful close up hit. These moves are executed with the R1/Right Bumper. Other then that the only other addition is the high five ability. At any time during bro-op with another player you can high five in a number of different ways. How you high five will grant a temporary power boost, split life, or even leach it.
Really the only downside to the title is that if you are not familiar with the style and strutcure of the classics, you might find the control and movement off. Also the game pretty much has to be played two player. Sure, it is entirely playable solo, but it’s harder and frankly just not as fun. If you remember the genre you should know this already.
Double Dragon Neon perfectly captures the exact style of game and era it sets out to. If you are one of the unlucky souls to have missed the 80′s you might not understand the fuss, but for us veteran gamers, or those who just appreciate the classics regardless, Double Dragon Neon is a near perfect remake of an era gone by.