|System: Xbox 360, PS3*|
|Dev: WayForward Technologies|
|Pub: Majesco Entertainment|
|Release: September 12, 2012|
|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.
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.
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.
Date: September 13, 2012