COLUMN: Aaron's Backstage Pass: Double Dragon Neon Review
Yesterday I got the chance to play “Double Dragon: Neon” on the PS3. Double Dragon Neon is published by Majesco Entertainment and was developed by WayForward. I was sent a review code for my review of the game.
Ever since I heard about this game, I was very excited. I pumped a ton of quarters into the original “Double Dragon” back in 1987. You play as either Billy Lee or Jimmy who are brothers and your mission was to rescue your girlfriend Marian from the Black Warriors gang. You could play co-op with another person and you would punch and kick your way through the many different levels to save your girlfriend.
The original “Double Dragon” was released for almost all of the home systems and there were a few sequels and even a motion picture.
“Double Dragon: Neon was released on September 11th on PSN and XBOX Live. You can download it right to your system and it downloaded pretty quickly for me.
As soon as the game loads the start menu, it has the traditional theme music from the original game.
Once you press start, you can choose the difficulty that you want to play on. Normal is the only difficulty you can select the first time you play and you can unlock harder settings once you beat the game on normal.
The game starts out pretty much the same as the original “Double Dragon.” Marian is standing out on the street and a bunch of gang members come and take her away. You play as Billy Lee and Jimmy and it is your mission to go and rescue her. However, there is a new villain. His name is “Skullmageddon” and once again you have to kick and punch your way to save Marion through ten missions.
You also have a bunch of different combo moves that you can use on your opponents. You can do shoulder throws, flying knees, slide tackles, and the spinning kick.
Not only are there are interesting combo moves, but there are a ton of weapons that you can pick up along the way and use. Such as, whips, bats, knives, swords, boards, guns, bombs, and the list go on and on.
One unique and fun thing is that there are ways to increase your stats like your health meter or your attacks. You can pick up mix-tapes that are dropped by defeated gang members or you can go into shops and buy them with money you find along the way.
Billy and Jimmy also now have the ability to use magic and they have a magic meter that is located under their health bar. As you find certain mix-tapes, you can use different spells like fireballs or lightning. This is very helpful.
The graphics are amazing. Everything is very detailed and very colorful. In one of the levels you are in space and you have to fight in an air lock room. The door opens every so often and everything in the room gets sucked out including you if you are not careful. When the enemies get sucked out you can see them get smaller and smaller in the background as they are sucked into outer space. I thought that this was really cool and that it looked great.
Each level that you go through has new enemies that you have to fight and they are all unique in their costumes and the weapons they use. You can really tell that the artists and designers of the game really took their time to create all of the different characters. I really liked this, because it wasn’t the same five guys over and over again.
The music really makes the game. There is the classic “Double Dragon” music and there are a lot of new songs. When you find the different tapes along the way, you can go into a menu and see what new ability or magic spell you found. When you click on the icon, a really cool 80’s themed song plays. The game could have its own soundtrack and I bet people would buy it. I know I would.
I was able to make it thought all ten levels and I do have to say it is very challenging and the end fight was great. This game has great replay value, because after you beat the game harder settings unlock. You can go through the game again and all of your stats from the previous game transfer over and you can keep upgrading your character.
I don’t want to spoil anything but something unlocked after I beat the game on normal so I am guessing there are other things to unlock and discover.
You can also play two players co-op. At the time of my review, multi-player was not available but it will be shortly. When you play two players, you can share your health with each other by giving each other “high-fives” or you can steal health from each other by doing “low-fives.”
Overall I think that “Double Dragon: Neon” is a great game. The graphics are great, it has awesome music, there are more things to unlock and discover. I am a huge fan of the series and I know that I will be playing this game a lot.
Aaron Chalich is a columnist for KSTP.com blogging about latest entertainment news.