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Double Dragon: Neon review

3.5 / 5




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Double Dragon: Neon

As a longtime gamer and enthusiast of the beat 'em up genre, I found "Double Dragon: Neon" to be a delightful throwback to the 80s with its vibrant aesthetics, engaging gameplay, and nostalgic soundtrack. This revival of the classic "Double Dragon" series, developed by WayForward Technologies and published by Majesco Entertainment, captivates both older fans and new players. Here, I will delve deep into the features, nuances, and experiences that make Double Dragon: Neon a notable comeback in the arcade-style beat 'em up the scene.

Gameplay Mechanics and Plot Overview

The core of "Double Dragon: Neon" revolves around two martial arts brothers, Billy and Jimmy Lee, who traverse through various levels to rescue Billy's girlfriend, Marian, from the clutches of the nefarious Skullmageddon. The game shines with its mix of classic side-scrolling beat 'em up action and modern flair. Players can kick, punch, throw, and use weapons against a variety of enemies, which makes combat feel dynamic and ever-engaging.

The co-op feature stands out remarkably, allowing another player to join the fray which doubles the fun and maintains the original spirit of the arcade era. The gameplay is not just about pummeling foes; you also have to dodge, jump, and strategize, especially during boss fights which are uniquely challenging and require specific tactics to defeat. "Double Dragon: Neon" does a great job of combining simplicity with enough complexity to keep the gameplay compelling.

Graphics and Artistic Design

The graphical overhaul in "Double Dragon: Neon" is visually striking. The developers opted for a retro-modern aesthetic that keeps the spirit of the 80s alive with bright, neon colors and exaggerated character animations. The attention to detail in the environments and character designs is commendable, providing a perfect blend of nostalgia and contemporary graphics. Each level has its own theme and is vibrant, echoing the extravagance of the decade it pays homage to.

The character designs and animations are smooth, which enhances the overall look and feel of the game. The backgrounds are not just static but interactive at times, adding depth to the gameplay. The visual effects of the punches kicks, and special moves are especially noteworthy, giving satisfying feedback to every action you perform on screen.

Sound and Music Impact

One cannot overlook the phenomenal soundtrack of "Double Dragon: Neon." The music is an upbeat mix of rock and electronic beats that perfectly complements the game’s aesthetic. Each track helps in pumping up the adrenaline, which is crucial in a combat-driven game such as this. The sound effects are equally impactful, with each punch, kick, and weapon strike sounding crisp and clear, adding a layer of auditory satisfaction to the gameplay experience.

The voice acting, though deliberately cheesy and over-the-top, fits well with the overall theme of the game, enhancing the humorous and light-hearted feel that the developers aimed for. It’s this careful attention to the audio design that elevates the immersive experience of the game.

Bugs and Glitches

No game is without its flaws, and "Double Dragon: Neon" is no exception. Throughout my gameplay experience, I encountered a few minor bugs and glitches. These included occasional frame rate drops and some enemies getting stuck in parts of the environment. However, these issues were not frequent enough to detract significantly from the overall gameplay experience.

It is important for players to be aware that while these bugs can sometimes interrupt the flow of combat, they are generally quickly resolved either through game updates or by restarting checkpoints. The game’s fun factor definitely overshadows these minor nuisances.

Awards and Nominations

Since its release, "Double Dragon: Neon" has garnered recognition in the gaming community. Although it might not have won major award categories, it has been nominated for several, acknowledging its artistic design, soundtrack, and faithful revival of the classic beat 'em up formula. These accolades serve to recognize the effort put into keeping the essence of Double Dragon alive while modernizing it for new audiences.

Cheat Codes and Easter Eggs

For those interested in a bit more fun or needing a slight edge in gameplay, "Double Dragon: Neon" offers a variety of cheat codes and Easter eggs. These can enhance the gaming experience by unlocking special abilities or simply providing comic relief. Familiarity with these elements can also increase the replayability of the game, motivating players to investigate various facets of the gameplay.

For instance, entering a specific combination can enable you to access unlimited lives, or unlock special outfits for the Lee brothers. These playful additions are a nod to the era when cheat codes were commonly used and appreciated by gamers.

Gameplay Tips and Strategies

Understanding the basics of combat is crucial in "Double Dragon: Neon." Players need to master the art of dodging and counter-attacking, as it’s essential for overcoming the tougher enemies and bosses. Timing your dodges effectively allows you to perform powerful counterattacks.

Furthermore, it’s important to utilize the environment to your advantage – be it throwing barrels or using the scenery to prevent enemy movements. Upgrading skills and weapons as you progress is also key to maintaining the edge in battles, making strategic use of the mixtape system to boost your stats and abilities.

Personal Insights and Experiences

Playing "Double Dragon: Neon" was like a trip down memory lane. The upgraded graphics and soundtrack resonated with my love for the 80s, while the challenging gameplay kept it exciting and rewarding. My personal highlight was playing through the co-op mode with a friend, which brought back a lot of fun memories and allowed for shared strategic planning and execution.

Overall, I believe the game achieves a perfect balance of nostalgia and modern game mechanics, making it appealing to both old fans and newcomers to the series. Seeing the Lee brothers in action, with their revamped look and feel, was truly a satisfying experience.

Pros & Cons

  • Pros:
    • Vibrant, eye-catching graphics that stay true to the original vibe.
    • An engaging co-op mode that revitalizes the joy of classic beat 'em up gameplay.
    • A killer soundtrack that enhances the emotional and adrenaline-pumping moments.
    • Smooth and dynamic combat mechanics, catering to both beginners and skilled players.
  • Cons:
    • Occasional bugs and glitches that can momentarily disrupt gameplay.
    • The voice acting might be too over-the-top for some players’ tastes.
    • Limited character development, focusing more on action than narrative depth.


"Double Dragon: Neon" is a spirited revival of a beloved classic. It provides an excellent mix of nostalgic elements and modern gameplay features, making it essential for enthusiasts of the beat 'em up genre. Despite a few minor flaws, the game provides a robust and enjoyable experience, especially when played with friends. Whether you're a long-time fan or a new explorer of the series, "Double Dragon: Neon" provides a thrilling journey packed with action, comedy, and a touch of nostalgia.

Double Dragon: Neon

3.5 / 5

Double Dragon: Neon Logo
Author: WayForward
Size: 3 GB available space

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