Summary: Beat-’em-ups are quite the strange genre to me. I grew playing many of them: Simpsons , X-Men , and Turtles in Time in the arcades were my jam. In fact, I’d say they are still my jam. That said, it’s easy to recognize their faults, which are really faults of the genre as a whole, even if those faults seem to melt away when playing with some buddies. Lining up attacks can be a chore and they’re generally painfully simplistic when it comes to actual gameplay.
Excerpt: Remaking old games has become chic as of late. Double Dragon Neon is only the latest in a long string of retro classics being reborn for modern consoles. Most of them have failed because they do not attempt to modernize at all. Double Dragon Neon is no different.
Excerpt: Over 25 years ago, the gaming world was introduced to an arcade beat-em-up called Double Dragon. It was a simple premise. Gang kidnaps girl, two guys go out and beat up all the gang members to rescue her. There was not much to it other than simple mindless violence, and it was a huge hit in the arcades.
Excerpt: Introduced to arcades in 1987, Double Dragon quickly became the standard for beat ‘em ups everywhere. Pretty soon there were arcade games popping up left and right with identical siblings pounding hundreds of samey street thugs that had absconded off with their girlfriends. WayForward has taken a crack at remaking the classic series with mixed results, focusing on nostalgia more than thinking up ways to improve upon the formula.
Excerpt: In its genre, Double Dragon is one of the most influential games. As one of the earliest examples, it was one of the pioneers of co-op games, and the first game in its genre to have such a feature. With all the latter said, Double Dragon’s legend is one that deserves to live on for years to come, and it was certainly welcome to play a new installment in the series with Double Dragon Neon .
Excerpt: . Even if you’re not old enough to have fond fuzzy memories of sauntering along with a buddy, beating on relentless low-IQ baddies and having a blast, you’ve at least heard of the name. Thankfully, in an age where the concept of a side-scrolling brawler would be laughed at as a big-budget production, such old-school concepts can still thrive in the downloadable world.
Excerpt: 25 years ago the original Double Dragon was released in arcades and became a commercial success. The game was eventually released on home consoles, went on to spawn multiple sequels, and influenced many a side-scrolling beat ’em up to come. Double Dragon: Neon, developed by WayForward Technologies, attempts to recapture some of the magic that so many of us fell in love with long ago.
Excerpt: Double Dragon was a pivotal video game franchise years ago, and it embodied all of the ‘80s flair that was so prominent at the time. Decades later, Double Dragon: Neon marks the return of the series, and the return of that same ‘80s style that was so cherished all those years ago. The game starts out the way any fan of the series would want it to: with Marian getting punched in the gut by some thugs and being kidnapped.
Conclusion: Double Dragon Neon is a good update to the arcade classic precisely because it's not handcuffed to what the original started. By shifting the tone from serious to crazy and making the combat system rewarding for the most dedicated players, this is a beat-'em-up that fits alongside modern games. The downsides are noticeable.
Pros: Goofy atmosphere with amusing jokes, Defensive mechanics reward skilled players, Passive and special abilities allow for smart customization.
Cons: Tedious grinding in harder difficulties, No online co-op.