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.
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