When Double Dragon Neon was initially launched in 2012, the WayForward-developed reboot of the traditional beat ‘em up was meant to provide the collection 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—equivalent to River Metropolis Ladies and Streets of Rage 4—respiratory some new life. So, does Double Dragon Neon nonetheless stand toe-to-toe with people who have come after it? The brief reply: Sure. And, fairly frankly, this suped-up reboot nonetheless packs a superb 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 varied bells and whistles and twists and turns added for good measure.
From the get-go, the state of affairs is quite acquainted to those that grew up taking part in Double Dragon in both the arcade or on the NES. The Shadow Warriors kidnap Marian, which then leads you into the town streets as you punch and kick your approach via hordes of foes earlier than your individual thumbs tire out. However, it’s immediately 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 house and different new locales that put a recent spin on the collection’ system. One of many extra enjoyable and memorable set items has you preventing enemies inside an air lock when you should rigorously keep away from being sucked into the vacuum of house. 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 the complete journey.
Together with the adjustments to the surroundings and temper, Double Dragon Neon additionally introduces some new choices in the way you interact in fisticuffs with varied henchmen. The primary addition is the power to evade. When you keep away from an enemy assault on the final attainable second, both Billy or Jimmy will begin to briefly glow pink, thus activating a Gleam increase that grants double harm. Whereas at occasions straightforward to drag off, the Gleam capability is very really useful 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 dropping 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 laborious to the bottom.
Now, if performing the Gleam capability turns into troublesome if you’re in a bind, then there are the added mixtapes you’ll be able to acquire. These mixtapes, that are unfold all through every degree or gathered from fallen enemies, provide you with two types of bonuses that may be outfitted concurrently on the pause menu. One set of mixtapes lets you summon a robust assault, supplied you could have sufficient consumable vitality to make use of. In the meantime, the opposite set boosts your general stats coupled with sure perks. Discovering a number of variations of the identical mixtape will mean you can additional enhance the energy of the ability increase, so don’t hesitate when an additional copy lands at your ft. Except for that, you can even improve your mixtapes by spending the legendary metallic Mythril at Tapesmith retailers in varied levels. The one solution to acquire Mythril, although, is by defeating bosses. Fortunately, you’ll be able to entry previous levels to farm for extra of the dear metallic in case you so need. Regardless, discovering the best mixture of mixtapes to your disposal is vital when coping with clearing out a display screen filled with enemies small or massive, or the equally ridiculous (however enjoyable) wanting bosses.
When it comes to visuals, Double Dragon Neon doesn’t skirt from the “Neon” in its title. Graphically, it actually received’t be something new to some, but it surely matches so nicely right here within the Double Dragon world. The sport is infused with vivid 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 nicely 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 strong, and typically bouncy soundtrack. General, visually and musically, it needs to be no shock to anybody taking part in that the theming right here works so nicely collectively.
Whereas the general package deal is straightforward to manage and handle as you whip via the sport’s 10 levels, there are a couple of nagging annoyances. Whether or not you’re taking part in solo or with a buddy, 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 any tomorrow. You should buy further lives on the retailers inside sure ranges, however there’s a cap on buying them. Nevertheless, apart from a recent, vivid coat of paint, new combo talents, and an added dose of wackiness, Double Dragon Neon doesn’t provide an excessive amount of moreover a couple of further playthroughs on a better problem or co-op with a buddy.
In the long run, Double Dragon Neon is one more well-tuned and well-oiled retro beat ‘em up for the Swap that also holds up eight years later. Whereas it won’t greatest its contemporaries within the style as we speak, this reboot of an arcade beat ‘em up traditional does nicely sufficient to impress veterans and newcomers alike.