This summer, Majesco and WayForward Technologies will be bringing us back to
Double Dragon in a way that is a little bit funny, a little bit throwback, and a
whole lot of fun.
Double Dragon: NEON brings the beat-'em up style from the
arcade original and NES sequels to Xbox LIVE Arcade and the PlayStation store
with updated visuals, a new soundtrack, a bunch of new moves, and local & online
co-op play. The art style has evolved from the original game's roots. Some of
the updated character models may seem out of place a bit, but if purists can get
past the new look, classic Double Dragon gameplay awaits - in spades.
Punches, kicks, jumps, shoulder blocks, and combos help Billy & Jimmy vanquish
their enemies. Some new moves, like having a partner be able to "rewind" a
fallen opponent's life by attending to that player and rotating the analog stick
in a circular motion adds a cooperative strategy to the game. In addition,
special co-op abilities like powering up strength, speed, and other stats are
possible via special "high five" moves which are performed with the right analog
Double Dragon: NEON isn't a port of the original game. In fact, according to
Majesco's Pete Rosky, it's a "re-imagining". He said that WayForward basically
took the best parts of the earlier Double Dragon games and combined them into
one fairly sizable downloadable experience. Players can play solo, according to
Rosky, but playing co-op really heightens the overall experience. When asked
about any potential expansion or future downloadable content, Rosky replied with
"Never say never" and that it largely would depend on the reception of the game
by players. He also cautioned that Double Dragon: NEON won't be a one-trick pony
like other arcade conversions have been. He promised a fair but challenging
experience with one big difference from arcade games: no continues. That's not
to say that NEON will be cheap or impossible, but he emphasized that co-op play
would be the key to success... just like it was in the arcade game.
Based on my hands-on time with Double Dragon: NEON, it's
quickly become a highly anticipated game for me. This game feels like the arcade
original, and the new wrinkles that WayForward has added make NEON its own game.
I'm looking forward to putting this through its paces when it releases by
summer's end. Rosky mentioned that the price target will be $15 maximum, with
the possibility that it COULD be just $10... so here's hoping for good news as
the summer rolls on.