When I told Pete Rosky, Assistant Product Manager at Majesco and curator of my Double Dragon Neon demo, that I had never played a Double Dragon game he said “Great! I’ll tell you as little about the game as possible then.” Confused and incredulous, I asked why. “I’ve never gotten to do this presentation with someone who hasn’t played a Double Dragon game before, it’s a whole new perspective.” Knowing then what I know now, I would have understood that Double Dragon Neon is an “old soul” of a brawler, living a life in the present with a staunch respect for the past.
Apparently, Double Dragon is kind of a big deal amongst brawler fans, so excuse me for those of you that I’ve offended by having not played the game. If it makes you feel better, I played this one and liked it. Double Dragon Neon is slow paced (which isn’t a bad thing, mind you) and all the character models are huge and for all the brawlers I’ve played this felt different. It’s a brawler that feels old, but looks new. I marveled at the eye-popping visuals and smooth animations, but the gameplay was nothing like the brawlers of today (because apparently it’s like the brawlers of yesteryear).
Just like Majesco did for my demo, prepare for a preview from a different perspective.
Double Dragon means a lot of things to a lot of people. Developed originally for arcades in 1987, a single player version was released for the NES that became one of the defining brawlers of its time. The series eventually went on to span five numbered titles across a variety of platforms up through the Super Nintendo before disappearing into the annals of history – that is, until recently, when 2D powerhouse Wayforward Technologies (A Boy and His Blob Wii, BloodRayne: Betrayal) stepped up to man the helm for a shot back into the ’80s with the upcoming title Double Dragon Neon. We stopped by the Reverb booth at PAX to take a look at what’s on its way.
The first thing you’ll notice is the color. Wayforward didn’t choose the name Neon simply because it sounds cool, they decided to back it up by throwing a rainbow onto the screen and turning the metaphorical color amps to 11. As Assistant Production Manager Pete Rosky told us, it looks a bit garish, but that’s all part of the fun. The ’80s feel carries through to every design aspect of the game, from the ridiculous look of the characters and enemies to the incredible synth rock, which you can hear in the video below. Even the life meters have a bodaciously colorful style, complete with lightning bolts to measure your special power energy.
Have no fear, brawler fans: Today brings your first glimpse of how the upcoming Double Dragon revival will play, as IGN has posted the first gameplay trailer for Majesco …
Everybody loves Double Dragon, brothers Billy (sometimes even Bimmy) & Jimmy Lee are coming back to XBLA in a neon-infused edition. Entitled Double Dragon: Neon and developed by WayForward who are no strangers to 2D-style games from last year’s Bloodrayne: Betrayal and Aliens: Infestation on the Nintendo DS. The 80s motif is heavy in the game from the lifebars to the high fives. The plot of the game involves Marian being kidnapped by an enemy called Skullmageddon which is pretty amazing. In with the 80s presentation is the music is filled with synth and guitar solos and you’ll be able to unlock more songs to beat up people in. Check out some screenshots and concept art after the jump and blast your Poison album as you wait for this to come out in July.
Billy and Jimmy Lee have been pretty quiet for the last couple of years but they seem to be on track for a new revival. Barunson Interactive is developing a remake of the classic Double Dragon II: The Revenge but it will carry the new subtitle Wander of the Dragons. Instead of being a 2D remake, it’s gonna go full 3D with the environments and enemies. The gameplay will still remain the same of going from place to place, beating up a series of enemies with 2-player local co-op to boot. While it’s not an exact remake, it’ll have allusions to the original classic through some of the scenarios. It’ll also include new modes such as Survival and all-new playable characters if the Lee Brothers isn’t your thing. One thing unknown is if the co-op is online so fingers crossed you can beat up thugs with a buddy online in case he’s busy at home. Catch the video above and some new screenshots after the break, it’ll be hitting digital shelves this September for 1200 MSP.