Does Double Dragon Neon soar to new heights?

Does Double Dragon Neon soar to new heights?

William Voorhees, Staff Reporter

Oh no, your girlfriend has been kidnapped; quick, what should you do?  If your name is Billy Lee, you grab your brother and fight through all the goons, thugs, and evildoers on the streets. Billy and Jimmy are at it again in this new installment in the Double Dragon series.

Double Dragon Neon is a beat ‘em up game developed by WayForward Technologies and published by Majesco Entertainment.

Fans of the Double Dragon series might feel a bit of déjà vu when they play Neon.  This is due to the fact that it is intended as a reboot of the series.  This means that, essentially, it is just a polished up version of the original.  Exactly how good is that polish though?

When you start playing the game, it looks relatively good for a beat ‘em up.  All of the character models are three dimensional instead of being two dimensional sprites.  After a few seconds of game play though, you realize that the new graphics serve absolutely no purpose at all.  Sure, the characters look good, but there are only a handful of them in the game, with the majority of enemies being recycled palette swaps.

The combat should be one of the biggest features of a beat ‘em up game.  Double Dragon Neon allows you to unlock new combos as you progress through the game.  This is the only real difference regarding the combat compared to the first Double Dragon.  It is still the same old, slow style that the original used.  The only difference is that now, they have no excuse for it.

For most video games, some form of challenge is needed for players to stay interested.  Neon takes this the wrong way entirely by having the difficulty of the game be excruciating.  You start the game with three lives, just like any standard old school video game.  These three lives might last you through the first section of the first level if you have any idea of what you are doing.  Again, they have no excuse for doing this.  In the arcade age, this would be considered a cheap trick to squeeze a few more quarters out of a kid.

All in all, Double Dragon Neon has no real reason to exist.  It is just a reskinned version of the original Double Dragon arcade game.  It has absolutely no draw for newcomers to the series and even diehard fans of the series would probably just shrug it off.

Do not buy this game.  There are so many better beat ‘em ups you could get instead.