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Double Dragon NEON - Billy & Jimmy's EXCELLENT Adventure!

GrimthwackerGrimthwacker Registered User regular
edited September 2012 in Games and Technology
ddneonart.jpg
Publisher: Majesco
Developer: Wayforward
Available on: XBLA (800 MS Points), PSN ($10, FREE for PSN Plus subscribers)


Hey, do you remember the Eighties? I sure do! The great tunes, the crazy styles, the arcade scene - the 80's were AWESOME! Especially that staple of the arcades, Double Dragon. Two bad dudes beating up on a bunch of bogus poseurs to save this bodacious babe; how cool is that?

Well, the dudes at WayForward also remember the Eighties, and they know a thing or two about radical retro-style gaming (*coughContra4cough*), so it wasn't a stretch for them to bring back the Dragons for a tubular new game - set in the EIGHTIES! Rockin' to the MAX, man!!!

Okay, all that aside, Double Dragon Neon - now available on XBLA and PSN - is an homage to Double Dragon, the Beat-'em-up genre as a whole, and the decade in which it all started. Something of a "remake" of the original (and I use that term loosely), the game finds the Brothers Lee, Billy and Jimmy, once again trying to save their hapless lady friend Marian from a new group of Shadow Warriors led by the hilariously campy Skullmageddon. Gameplay is as elegantly simple as it's always been: pound anybody who gets in your way into submission while avoiding getting pounded yourself. You have quick punches, slower but more powerful kicks, and jumping variations of each; smacking enemies around enough can stun them, allowing you to grab and thrown them (with the same button used to pick up and throw weapons) or uppercut them into the air for some follow-up juggle action. Neon adds a few new tricks into the mix for some extra depth, though. . .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT0re3Ml7w0
At your disposal is a dodge button you can use to evade enemy attacks; timed right, it gives you "The Gleam", temporarily boosting your attack strength. Dodging can also be used in conjunction with other commands to laterally roll in one direction or deliver a quick sweep or lunging knee strike. Also available are power-up cassette tapes that offer two types of enhancements: Stance tapes provide passive buffs to your attributes or special abilities - getting health back from successful attacks, improved usage of weapons, attack boosts from pulling off long strings of hits without taking damage and the like. Soesetsuken tapes give you powerful moves executed by pressing the right shoulder button including the ever-popular Cyclone Spin Kick, long-range fireball attacks, knee drops, rapid shoulder tackles and other techniques that use "electricity" that can be recharged by picking up batteries, scoring hits, and slowly over time. Of course co-op is in, and though it's currently local play only an online mode patch is coming soon.

Sure, the animation is a bit on the slow side, and the "So 80's it hurts" style might not agree with everybody, but there's no denying that Neon is a fun game. All this is topped off by a fantastic new soundtrack by WayForward's own Jake "virt" Kaufman combining some great remixes of classic DD tunes with original compositions done in the style of the time. It'd be a shame if something so enjoyable gets overlooked, and ten bucks isn't exactly bank-breaking, so give the demo a whirl and see what you think!
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PARTY ON, DUDES!!! (image courtesy of NeoGAF)

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    Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I've been playing this as well - it's a game you really have to play twice. The first time I played I was slightly disappointed as the controls were sort of odd and the game felt a bit slow. The second time though it really clicked and I had a blast.

    The soundtrack and voice work on Skullmageddon are just flawless. As a side note: in co-op - the right stick is mapped to high five your partner.

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    LBD_NytetraynLBD_Nytetrayn TorontoRegistered User regular
    When I first played it, it was alright.

    Then I got my wife to join in, and that changed everything. This game feels like it was meant for two players so much, it feels like there should be an AI controlling player 2 when no one else is around.

    I am absolutely loving it. Unfortunately, the other day, we got up to the tank and wound up beaten. Stage was tough, too-- funny, we stopped just prior to that, and when we came back, it was like the difficulty had ramped up. Looks like we'll have to go back and grind a bit.

    Also, the is great.

    I'm glad someone made this thread; I was going to if no one else did, though I was going to call it "For Might! For Right! We are [Double Dragon Neon] Thread!"

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    GrimthwackerGrimthwacker Registered User regular
    Finished it last night - ye gods is the wrap-up hilarious. The final fight does have elements of "last boss cheesiness syndrome", but not too much, and you'll be able to continue right beforehand if you get beaten, but it's very doable even in single-player. I'm with LBD on the tank fight ("Why do we even HAVE a weak point on this thing?! Didn't you cover it up?!?"); there's way too much stuff flying around on the screen, but once you get the hang of how it works and have something like Training Wheels or Balance equipped it's not too much trouble.

    As a whole this is a really great game, and WayForward evidently loved making it so crazy and reference-filled. A lot of the Sosesetsuken moves and stances are very niche - moves like the Spin Kick or Bro Dozer and stances like Balanced and Absorb are far more useful most of the time - but having all the options available to you is good, and the mechanics work well. I'm almost tempted to get a few months of XBox Live for the online patch so I can have some backup on the harder difficulties.

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    darklite_xdarklite_x I'm not an r-tard... Registered User regular
    How does this compare to the originals? I loved the hell out of DD, but I don't know if I can get behind this art style.

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    GrimthwackerGrimthwacker Registered User regular
    darklite_x wrote: »
    How does this compare to the originals? I loved the hell out of DD, but I don't know if I can get behind this art style.
    Honestly, I'd say it holds up very well to the best of the bunch. It still maintains the simple gameplay and pacing of the originals, and the new elements like the tapes and dodge maneuvers don't take precedence over it. Again, there should be a demo if you want to try it out, but the art style - and the very "80's-ness" of the whole thing - add a great amount of charm and humor to the presentation. It might be Double Dragon as viewed through the lens of an exaggerated style, but it's still Double Dragon nonetheless.

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    b1rdmanb1rdman Registered User regular
    I'll probably pick this up, or subscribe to PS+ to get it free. Sadly, I just got Tekken Tag, and Borderlands is out on Tuesday. So looks like this will take a back seat for a bit. But I will eventually play it here and there. Being grown up really takes so much of my gaming time. It just isn't fair.

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    LBD_NytetraynLBD_Nytetrayn TorontoRegistered User regular
    Finished it last night - ye gods is the wrap-up hilarious. The final fight does have elements of "last boss cheesiness syndrome", but not too much, and you'll be able to continue right beforehand if you get beaten, but it's very doable even in single-player. I'm with LBD on the tank fight ("Why do we even HAVE a weak point on this thing?! Didn't you cover it up?!?"); there's way too much stuff flying around on the screen, but once you get the hang of how it works and have something like Training Wheels or Balance equipped it's not too much trouble.

    As a whole this is a really great game, and WayForward evidently loved making it so crazy and reference-filled. A lot of the Sosesetsuken moves and stances are very niche - moves like the Spin Kick or Bro Dozer and stances like Balanced and Absorb are far more useful most of the time - but having all the options available to you is good, and the mechanics work well. I'm almost tempted to get a few months of XBox Live for the online patch so I can have some backup on the harder difficulties.

    I think I have training wheels equipped. What gets me is that I was killed by steam when I'd already taken out the vents. Kinda cheap, maybe.

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    MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
    I had fun playing this for a little bit with an arcade stick, but then I couldn't use high fives. Not worth the trade off!

    This game is truly triumphant. I pray for a sequel.

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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    Played the demo for this. Who cares about the quality of the gameplay when the soundtrack is so damn baller?

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    GrimthwackerGrimthwacker Registered User regular
    I had fun playing this for a little bit with an arcade stick, but then I couldn't use high fives. Not worth the trade off!

    This game is truly triumphant. I pray for a sequel.
    The high fives are what make this game. How could you not love slappin' your bro some skin for fun and profit?

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    MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
    I had fun playing this for a little bit with an arcade stick, but then I couldn't use high fives. Not worth the trade off!

    This game is truly triumphant. I pray for a sequel.
    The high fives are what make this game. How could you not love slappin' your bro some skin for fun and profit?
    Totally agreed! Really helps out in the harder difficulties keeping magic recharging fast, damage numbers up, and health evenly distributed.

    ...but they're even better for stealing your partner's weapon! "High five me!" followed by grabbing your friend's now dropped knife is a hilarious touch of betrayal.

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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    When are they patching in online coop? I could really use a hand when my roommate is not here and I wanna play.

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    GrimthwackerGrimthwacker Registered User regular
    Dunno; WayForward hasn't given an ETA yet, but I'd imagine their first big patch might include that seeing as co-op is one of the game's major selling points. . . Then again, it's taken Ubisoft over two years to get around to patching in online co-op in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and that has four player multi. I imagine it's something of a complicated process.

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