Double Dragon Neon (Nintendo Switch)
Double Dragon Neon was first released on PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2012, then on PC in 2014. The game served as a reboot for the Double Dragon series, which first appeared in the arcades in the 1980s. The creator of the series, Yoshihisa Kishimoto, describes it as a very western adaptation of Double Dragon, mixing elements from the first episodes of the series with the look and feel of the early Double Dragon games. Finally, eight years after its release, the Nintendo Switch is experiencing a revival of interest.
Double Dragon Neon follows the same story as the original Double Dragon game, where Billy’s girlfriend, Marian, this time is kidnapped by the Shadow Warriors gang led by Skullmageddon. Billy and his brother Jimmy must follow the trail of the bad guys to save Marianne and destroy Skalmageddon and his buddies once and for all.
Following the basic material, Double Dragon Neon is a side-scrolling beat’em up that allows you to go from point A to point B and beat anyone who gets in your way. While it looks like everyone beats them there, Neon has some unique mechanisms that I’ll get too soon. The Lee brothers can attack, kick, run and dodge. Players can combine kick and punch buttons to create devastating combos.
The special thing about this device is the mixing conveyor system. Some enemies drop mixtapes after you’ve defeated them. Players can collect 20 different comics: 10 for attacking skills and 10 for passive skills (both can be equipped at any time). This can give the players a boost when they try to get through a more difficult part. If you take a mix tape that you already have, the level is raised. The level of each mix tape is maximum 10; but Tapestry (the trader) can raise this level to 50 with Mythril released by the defeated bosses.
Besides, boss fights are a test of patience and skill. Luckily they start blinking as soon as they’re close to death, but to survive you have to be tactical and watch out for the boss’s attack pattern. Stealth is the key to survival, because stealth to perfection means that the player gets a temporary, ephemeral increase in attack. The hosts are also wild, ranging from a mega man like Rider to a giant ass plant.
Double Dragon Neon sounds great. WayForward has done an excellent job by modernising the classic game, retaining the basic material but adding a unique design. It is clear that the new look of the 80s game is inspired by the palette of neon colors (in the name) on different levels. She was beautiful in 2012, and she still is. The soundtrack, composed by Jake Kaufman (of Knight Rider Glory), is one of the best soundtracks of the last ten years. A mix of remixes of classic Double Dragon tracks and a new synthesizer-inspired score ensures the perfect mix.
Double Dragon Neon is still the best thing ever made. The game is easy to learn and play, addictive and has a surprisingly deep and fun fighting system (a welcome addition to the original Double Dragon game). It sounds familiar, but at the same time completely new. It takes some getting used to, but once you’re inside, don’t put it down until you’re done. This is a great addition to the Switch library. Don’t miss it.
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