For those of you who don’t know what Double Dragon is, it’s a beat ’em up game that originated on arcades, but most fans are familiar with the NES port. It stars Billy (and Jimmy Lee if you are playing a two player game) and a quest to save his girlfriend, who was punched in the gut and kidnapped by some random person by beating up hundreds of thugs hired by whoever the final boss was. The reason I say “whoever the final boss was”, is because Double Dragon Neon is the first ever Double Dragon game I’ve ever played. The fact that I’m writing this is because my curiosity for the game was sprung by another article about a “questionable review”.
The game starts as your girlfriend is punched in the gut by a random thug… sounds familiar.
That’s right! With any return of a series, paying homage to the original NES version is some sweet fan service to its longtime fans, and I did find this very funny.
The controls are simple: The left analog stick, moves the character. The (X/Square) button lets you punch, the (Y/Triangle) button lets you kick, (A/X) let’s you jump, and (B/Circle) let’s you pick up a weapon or a groggy enemy (except mini-bosses and main bosses). (LT/L2) allows you to dodge attacks, (RT/R2) allows you to run, (LB/L1) does nothing that I know of, and best of all, (RB/R1) allows you to use your special attack. Your special attack is indicated by a bar at the top of the screen and is just like any meter. Now you aren’t limited to just simple punches and kicks, when you jump, you are allowed to hit (X/Square) and do a diving kick attack (similar to Akuma’s in Street Fighter IV) and pressing (Y/Triangle) in mid-air allows you to do another kick attack. Honestly, (X/Square) could have been used for a double ax handle (it’s a wrestling move, and it used to be common). When running, (X/Square) allows you to do a sliding kick and (Y/Triangle) let’s you do a shoulder block ( it would’ve made more sense if these were swapped).
The graphics are in 3-D and remind me, somehow, of the Atlus game Catherine. I’m not too focused on graphics. The buildings have an excessive amount of neon lights, which I’m “on the fence” about.
The gameplay is as satisfying as many classic beat ’em ups such as Battletoads, TMNT II on NES, and Batman Returns on SNES. The rumble feature, used in all games made punching, kicking and throwing very satisfying to any beat ’em up. Just like the first game, you go from stage to stage beating up countless enemies. There is a meter that you can fill up while fighting enemies, which allows you to do a special move. You just need to collect the cards first and select them through the special attack menu by pressing (Select). You can also collect batteries to fill up the meter. The developers could have sped up the characters a little bit (it’s a common complaint with Double Dragon fans). The running did made it better though. There are time when you are actually able to juggle opponents (you know, that fighting game thing that your friends hate when you do that to them). Even in two player, juggling was so much easier to do when you’re both doing hurricane kicks and your enemies are caught in the middle. When a player’s down in two player mode, a cassette tape is shown and you have to use the pencil and rewind the tape, I’m not sure how to do that.
The sound is… ehh. I’m not a huge fan of some of the songs used, but others were amazing. Besides, the sound effects were much louder than the music to the point where there’s not really too noticeable. Some songs are remixes of the original games on the NES. The sound of attacking enemies, just as I said about the rumble feature, is very satisfying.
Some games have their funny moments and Double Dragon Neon is no different, whether you see your girlfriend get punched, you throw a bat at an meney and it break, or my favorite attack I’ve coined, the “D!#@ Punch”. Trust me, it’s funny.
Along with the great things about this game, there are some concerns and complaints I have (I’ll wait for the internet to stop booing and/or questioning my intelligence… you done?). Before I’m pelted with hate mail, hear me out. I’ve stated my control issues already, so I don’t need to mention it again. The excessive neon lights I’ve touched on a little as well. It’s OK to use neon lights because it’s in the title, but there is an excessive amount. It’s like if I took an iPod or iPhone and forced every Apple program to be connected in a way that’s inconvenient to the casual iPod user. Another complaint is Abobo. I have no problem fighting him, especially if I’m playing co-op, but do I have to fight him so many times in the first two stages? It seems a little excessive. There’s fan service, and there’s forcing nostalgia down people’s throats.
Besides that, it’s a solid game. I found it very enjoyable and a break from what I normally play. So for a $10 price tag, it’s worth the purchase. Leave comment below, “like” and share, and be apart of the Gamester81 forums. Click here: