Review: Double Dragon: Neon

The game plays just like Double Dragon should. Side scrolling, beat’em up fun. Various weapons appear both old and new. You can beat the snot out of enemies with grenades, pistol whips, actual whips, lead pipes, and crow bars, but my favorite of all was the boomerang. That’s right. A boomerang and with it you can do a few hits of damage with one throw and your partner can even catch it and use it himself.

There are also new obstacles to avoid. There are large gaps you must run and jump over, arrow showers, and on some levels even flying missiles and air locks sucking you and enemies alike. The controls are quite easy to pick up and while you can do more than the standard punch and kick like the old games, it’s not hard to get used to.

Double Dragon: Neon has an upgrade feature, not present in the older games, in the form of tapes and the Tapesmith. Enemies will randomly, and sometimes always, drop a cassette tape. These tapes can then be taken to the Tapesmith to be upgraded with Mythrill, an item picked up from defeating bosses. Tapes provide Billy and Jimmy with special moves and new abilities and stats. Things like A fireball, low range power punch, and a flying fire dragon are in your specials, while things like extended weapon life, health leach, and better item drops are available in your abilities and stats. Also in the game is an item shop with which you can use your money, previously used in the older games purely for score, now can be used to buy health, fill your power meter, and buy tapes.

Overall the game is something anyone who loved the classics should buy. There is not any gore, HD life like visuals, nor any 3D open worlds to run around in. This is not the Bionic Commando reboot. This is a faithful update to the originals. If you don’t like classic beat’em ups this is not the game for you. However, if you love the old Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, or the original Double Dragon games, this is for you.

Double Dragon: Neon was developed by WayForward Technologies and published by Majesco Entertainment for the PSN and XBLA on September 11th 2012. A XBLA copy of the game was supplied by the publisher for review purposes.