Currently Playing: Double Dragon Neon (PS3)

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Double Dragon was a side scroller beat em up game that was released in 1987. The newly released Double Dragon Neon is not really a remake, but a reimagining. It kind of retells the story of what happened in Double Dragon 1 and 2, but it did shorten up the entire story for convenience and they did a lot of original things along the way.

I miss playing Double Dragon 1 and 2. I miss playing my old Nintendo Family Computer and playing it for hours on end. I remember my older brother is even better than me in terms of this game. I love the idea that you have special moves depending on how you press the buttons. This was the first side scroller that I knew that had special button configurations to use specific skills. And you can’t use them immediately, you have to earn it.

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You play the game as a side scoller, same way it was played before. Playing with 2 players is optional too (just how old games are). You can punch, kick, grab and other things to fight. You can even pick up weapons from your enemies to use against them. One thing I noticed that is new is the tapes that are dropped. You can either gets skills for stance or special attacks. You can only use one stance or special at a time, but you can switch this at any point. The first stage just gives you a taste of how the game works. But the second stage makes it a little more difficult, but you will immediately notice something new, like the stores. Here is where you upgrade your stance and special attacks. The second stage is also the first level where it gives you a taste of how to fight a boss. After that, you can notice that you can switch stages after finishing one. This gives you an opportunity to level up your character before going in for another stage.

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This is obviously a new take on the game. It doesn’t really show as a remake, because there are so many new things in the game like upgrades, you can switch stages at any time, stances and special moves. But even with the new stuff in the game, it reminds you that it’s a game from the 80’s. The neon colors are a reminder of “Miami Vice”, similar to what was done with “Grand Theft Auto Vice City”. The music is another indicator, other than the standard updated music from the original game, there are several original tones here too, but they sound like it’s written during that time period. The main villain, Skullmageddon, is basically “Skeletor” from the He-Man cartoons. The look is different, but they sound the same. There are much more things that you’ll notice, but I won’t get into too much detail.

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The game progresses fine at first, but it can get quite hard pretty quick. It forces you to grind a bit, so you have to go back to previous stages to level up. Another thing is that the game doesn’t have online play. I do wish it had that option since a lot of my friends are not within the same area as I am. I suppose those are my only major gripes in the game. I do wish they have added the 2 original games that it was based on. It would be nice to get back to the original games and see how much has changed. I really do consider Double Dragon 1 and 2 as few of the great classics that was released to us under the Nintendo Family Computer and the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Overall, the game is pretty good. It’s for free for a limited time for Playstation Plus users, which is a great deal. But generally, it should cost you like an estimate of PhP500 for the game on either Xbox Live or PSN. The gameplay is very good and it’s offers a good deal of time before finishing it. There is some replay value, since you can unlock more stuff the more you play harder levels.

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