Double Dragon Neon Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Double Dragon Neon Box Art
System: PS3*, Xbox 360
Dev: WayForward Technologies
Pub: Majesco Entertainment
Release: September 11, 2012
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Suggestive Themes, Partial Nudity, Fantasy Violence

I am a little more critical, however, with how the graphics were handled. My biggest complaint is with the character models. Like I mentioned earlier, the size ratio doesn't feel authentic to the series, and the aesthetic is over-stylized, again more like other brawler games of the era than a true Double Dragon game. The animations are smooth enough, but the backdrops are rigid and clunky. Sure, it feels nostalgic, but it's underwhelming nonetheless. When you look at a series reboot like Rayman: Origins and how pristine its visuals are, there's certainly room for Double Dragon Neon to show modern detailing while still feeling retro.

Double Dragon Neon Screenshot

The selection of music is vast, with each Sosesitsu and Stance song having its own track. They're all original, but all definitely pulled from 80s artists (I'm particular fond of the track that pays homage to Depeche Mode). The background music during gameplay is a mix of electric guitars and synthesizers, which thankfully isn't too overbearing, but also isn't memorable. The voice acting is full of the surfer lingo of the era, mixed with extra-cheesy one-liners. Even the main badass, Skullmageddon, dishes out lame taunts with a high tone that is a carbon copy of He-Man's Skeletor.

I have to admit I was quite deflated when I found out the drop-in/drop-out online multiplayer was absent at launch. "Bromancing" together against waves of enemies was a highlight of the original, and while there's still two-player local co-op, I was really hoping to knee-smash some heads with strangers. It may be a solid inclusion when it rears its head, but not having online co-op ready at launch tells me some publishing executives wanted to kick the game out the door and turn a profit before it was completely ready.

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Hopefully Double Dragon Neon hasn't given you high expectations, because it doesn't raise any sort of bar for the reemerging beat 'em up genre. It won't be the time stealer that the series' pioneer was. Nevertheless, despite simple game mechanics, the game is not shallow by any stretch, and the difficulty is a refreshing tribute to the classic challenge of old that doesn't coddle us with checkpoints and infinite lives. The controls are not refined, but it's nostalgic, engaging, and worth the ten-dollar asking price.

By
Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: September 13, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
Apart from overt pixelation, the visual design screams old school. I think it could have looked a lot better though.
3.4
Control
Combat is easy to pick up and tough to master, but the animations are slow and the target area slim.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The diversity of the Sosesitsu and Stance songs has me sitting in the menu screen bopping my head. The rest of the music is passable, and the voice acting hilariously cheesy.
3.5
Play Value
It's not terribly long, but fun and challenging enough that you'll want to test your skill on the harder difficulties once you've unlocked them.
3.6
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Billy and Jimmy are back to celebrate 25 years of being the best around!
  • Pick up weapons! Throw fireballs! Knee thugs in the face!
  • Collect Power-Up Songs and put them onto your custom mix tape!
  • Travel to strange places like space and the mystic Orient, kicking everyone's butt along the way!
  • Fight thugs, monsters, huge bosses, and save Marian... if you can!


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