When Double Dragon Neon was initially launched in 2012, the WayForward-developed reboot of the traditional beat ‘em up was meant to provide the sequence a much-needed increase of western really feel and influences. As well as, Double Dragon creator Yoshihisa Kishimoto helped oversee parts of this new tackle the traditional, such because the mechanics or the designs of brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee. Since then, many new makes an attempt at refining the beat ‘em up style have come and gone, with fairly a couple of—resembling River Metropolis Women and Streets of Rage 4—respiration some new life. So, does Double Dragon Neon nonetheless stand toe-to-toe with people who have come after it? The quick reply: Sure. And, fairly frankly, this suped-up reboot nonetheless packs a very good punch or two eight years after its preliminary launch.
To place it merely, Double Dragon Neon is a re-imagining of the unique arcade traditional with numerous bells and whistles and twists and turns added for good measure.
From the get-go, the state of affairs is somewhat acquainted to those that grew up enjoying Double Dragon in both the arcade or on the NES. The Shadow Warriors kidnap Marian, which then leads you into town streets as you punch and kick your method via hordes of foes earlier than your individual thumbs tire out. However, it’s all of a sudden revealed that mentioned gang is managed by a menacing lich known as Skullmageddon. From the tough and hard metropolis streets, you’re quickly thrust into outer area and different new locales that put a recent spin on the sequence’ method. One of many extra enjoyable and memorable set items has you combating enemies inside an air lock when you should fastidiously keep away from being sucked into the vacuum of area. As a reboot of a traditional beat ‘em up, having developer WayForward lean closely into the foolish and absurd (whether or not it’s the characters or settings) is a welcome addition that invigorates the cheesiness of your entire journey.
Together with the adjustments to the surroundings and temper, Double Dragon Neon additionally introduces some new choices in the way you have interaction in fisticuffs with numerous henchmen. The primary addition is the flexibility to evade. In the event you keep away from an enemy assault on the final doable second, both Billy or Jimmy will begin to briefly glow purple, thus activating a Gleam increase that grants double harm. Whereas at instances simple to tug off, the Gleam potential is extremely advisable if you end up cornered by greater than two enemies. A fast roll or two from an incoming punch or the swing of a bat can imply the distinction in not shedding that final little bit of valuable well being. Nevertheless, I did discover myself failing to execute a well timed Gleam increase solely to see both Billy or Jimmy get knocked arduous to the bottom.
Now, if performing the Gleam potential turns into troublesome in case you are in a bind, then there are the added mixtapes you may accumulate. These mixtapes, that are unfold all through every degree or gathered from fallen enemies, offer you two types of bonuses that may be geared up concurrently on the pause menu. One set of mixtapes permits you to summon a strong assault, supplied you could have sufficient consumable power to make use of. In the meantime, the opposite set boosts your total stats coupled with sure perks. Discovering a number of variations of the identical mixtape will help you additional enhance the energy of the facility increase, so don’t hesitate when an additional copy lands at your toes. Other than that, it’s also possible to improve your mixtapes by spending the legendary metallic Mythril at Tapesmith retailers in numerous phases. The one strategy to accumulate Mythril, although, is by defeating bosses. Fortunately, you may entry previous phases to farm for extra of the dear metallic when you so want. Regardless, discovering the fitting mixture of mixtapes on your disposal is essential when coping with clearing out a display filled with enemies small or giant, or the equally ridiculous (however enjoyable) trying bosses.
When it comes to visuals, Double Dragon Neon doesn’t skirt from the “Neon” in its title. Graphically, it definitely received’t be something new to some, but it surely matches so properly right here within the Double Dragon world. The sport is infused with vibrant and pulsating colours that pop for their very own aesthetic whereas simply echoing off that ’80s vibe. Talking of the Eighties, the music of Double Dragon Neon lends properly to each its alternative of coloration and the environments you journey via. Frequent WayForward composer Jake Kaufman doesn’t lose a step in crafting this hard-hitting, rock stable, and generally bouncy soundtrack. General, visually and musically, it needs to be no shock to anybody enjoying that the theming right here works so properly collectively.
Whereas the general package deal is straightforward to regulate and handle as you whip via the sport’s 10 phases, there are a couple of nagging annoyances. Whether or not you’re enjoying solo or with a pal, the cruel problem spike late within the sport can result in some unlucky continues that ship you again to the start of an extended degree. It’s not unforgiving per se, however does require you to mash your heavy assaults as if there isn’t a tomorrow. You should buy further lives on the retailers inside sure ranges, however there’s a cap on buying them. Nevertheless, except for a recent, vibrant coat of paint, new combo talents, and an added dose of wackiness, Double Dragon Neon doesn’t provide an excessive amount of apart from a couple of further playthroughs on a better problem or co-op with a pal.
Ultimately, Double Dragon Neon is one more well-tuned and well-oiled retro beat ‘em up for the Change that also holds up eight years later. Whereas it may not greatest its contemporaries within the style at present, this reboot of an arcade beat ‘em up traditional does properly sufficient to impress veterans and newcomers alike.