Double Dragon Neon Review (XBLA)

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Game: Double Dragon Neon
Genre: Side Scroller/ Beat em up
System: Xbox 360 (XBLA)
Review By: MrB4

Recreations of classic titles is becoming a staple in the industry as of late. At almost every turn some company is trying to cash in on the success of popular franchises instead of coming up with new ideas of their own. To be fair, sometimes going this route does prove to be successful, and anybody afraid of failing miserably is within their means to give it a try. The only problem with the idea is the fact that what they create usually takes away our precious memories, which in turn leads us to playing the original and leaving the unsatisfying experience on a digital shelf. A recent attempt at this concept entitled Double Dragon Neon falls somewhere between the two, and ends up being a forgettable adventure most people will forget as soon as they are done playing it.

Fun Factor: Enjoyable for awhile but becomes repetitive rather quickly. Beating up a variety of enemies with some karate moves and an extensive amount of weapons is satisfying for the most part, just  don’t expect the feeling of excitement to last for very long. Still, watching an unsuspecting foe fall down to his doom never gets old. Some inside jokes relating to pop culture are thrown in for good measure to keep things from getting boring as well, but in the end, this is basically an incredible simple beat em up at heart, which will definitely please people looking to release some aggression in a positive way, and that is all that really matters.

Gameplay: No surprise here, simple, repetitive, but entirely enjoyable for the crowd that it is trying to appeal to.  You basically move from left to right through each stage, beating up as many enemies as possible without dying until you have reached the end( which sometimes results in a boss fight). The controls are easy to understand for the most part, one button to attack, one to jump, and a few others to block, run, etc. While every aspect of the game was functional, there was nothing too deep about it at all. Still, I had a lot of fun here, even if it was extremely shallow to begin with.

Graphics: The enhanced visual style is absolutely gorgeous. Each level is designed like it came straight out of the 1980’s,and are just as enjoyable to look at as they are to play through. Character designs were impressive, the goofy animations had me laughing on more than one occasion, and the frame rate was steady throughout the entire game. All of these elements combined together form a delightful package worthy of anybody’s attention, enough said.

Sound: This is where things started to go downhill for me. The background music, although enjoyable, got annoying real fast. Sound effects were cheesy too, but given the source material, I think I’m going to let that one slide for now. What I will not let go though is the voice acting, seriously, it’s terrible, not much more to say there.

Replayability: You will finish this adventure in only a few hours, and there are a couple of things to do once everything is said and done. A leaderboard system will entice players to try to outscore each other, new difficulties can be unlocked, and people can play through the title with a friend as well. The drawback to this feature is that you can’t play co-op online. Despite that flaw, these additions will give people reasons to come back to this game more than once.

Double Dragon Neon was a nice attempt at trying to modernize a classic series, but sadly, it falls short of that goal in more ways than one. Fans of the franchise may want to check it out, everybody else should probably just leave it alone.

Final Score: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Double Dragon Neon
Developer:  Wayforward Technologies
Publisher: Majesco Entertainment
Metacritic: 65
MSRP: 800 MSP ($10.00)

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