Published on June 9th, 2012 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
E3: Double Dragon Neon is Brodaciously Brosome, Bro.
Gaming in the ’80s and into the ’90s were filled with beat ’em up action titles. Games like Double Dragon, Final Fight and Battletoads were some of the most difficult yet popular titles of the genre. Twenty years after its original release the twin dragons, Billy and Jimmy Lee are ready to drop some boot soles to the face, again.
The return of a classic title revamped for a new era would only be suitable if the right developer handled it. After hearing that WayForward (BloodRayne Betrayal, Mighty Switch Force) was going to be bringing this punk rock star back to life, I couldn’t have been more pleased to play it on the E3 show floor.
The game features an almost flawless art style. If you’ve ever played the originals, or have seen some of the gameplay, the moves haven’t changed much. There are a few others included like the bro-five that allow players to share health to keep on fighting. The game is also ridden with ’80s nostalgia, even down to the point where you must rewind a tape with a pencil in order to revive your fallen bro. Wait, what’s a tape?
Something that does stray away from those types of games is the option to turn friendly fire on or off. For whatever reason games like these early on didn’t have this type of feature which is simply a bogus move. Who wants to pull their punches with a bunch of hoodlums needing a boot stompin’ on screen? With the amount of onscreen action this is a must have, particularly for a game that can host one sweet online multiplayer game.
The game includes some of the same moves and characters. Even after jumping into the Main Street level, the end brought an oversized familiar punk by the name of Abobo. He’s had his fair share of appearances throughout the series, and has brought back the same bully business that he’s known for. The other areas that we know of so far are the Back Alleys, Space Lair and Air Locks. These were the five shown. There are five areas and 16 levels of brawling in total.
In each level there is plenty of cash to bash for. Cash earned can be put towards move upgrades, such as the newly introduced fireball that can be thrown with ‘LB’, or offensive or defensive stances. Even with newer moves, players can still drop the classic downward flying kick and the elbow. All this is going to be needed to take out the menacing Skullmageddon.
One thing that I did notice was the game’s slower pace. It wasn’t all explosions and stuff flying everywhere. It was similar to the classic style, but still tough. There were also a few bugs present which is expected in an early build of a game. Even so, it was nothing that hindered the game from performing as well as it did. I would have liked to see the dash instead of a single button press back to tapping the d-pad forward twice.
Make sure to watch out for Double Dragon Neon as it is slated to release summer this year. The game is projected to be around USD $10 on the PlayStation Network or 800 MS Points. There are also achievements, trophies and avatar items to reward your ass kickery.