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Neon is a reboot of the legendary and much-beloved Double Dragon game series which was the first gaming franchise to introduce the then-unknown co-op mode. This game knows exactly what it is and plays like an affectionate parody of the time the franchise originated from.
The graphics are pretty standard for a small-scale classic-looking game originally developed as a downloadable casual product, but the style makes it look big and awesome. It's so 80's you can feel a mullet growing on your head while playing. Pink, purple and blue neon, bright red colors and exaggerated character models make the game look like a parody of 80's cartoons and movies, and the rest of the design only helps. There are large muscular men, big-breasted women and a soundtrack containing both pseudo-glam-rock and synthesizer score with pop vocals.
The gameplay itself is pretty classic. You control one of two brothers, Billy and Jimmy, or you control both of them in the two-player mode. You can beat up an endless supply of punks, thugs, alien space bikers and a talking skeleton who kidnapped your blonde girlfriend. Just another day in the 80's. There's punching, kicking, jumping and something new - the "gleam" ability resembling a power-up. You can acquire new super-moves by finding mixtapes with hilarious song samples describing what it does - add health, punch out enemies in one strike, etc.
You can use all of those abilities while fighting your way through a dozen of levels inhabited by various enemy types, from regular thugs to large enforcers and dominatrix-like women, cyber-geishas, mutants and clones. Every level is full of jokes, good humor and spoofs of the 80's pop culture. Neon feels like an 80's game, for better and for worse. Hit detection is a bit foggy, and player character's movements can be a bit stiff. Sti;ll, that doesn't make the game unplayable, only adds to the challenge, along with some really tough enemies.
Double Dragon Neon feels like a game developed by people who are genuinely in love with the nostalgic memories of the past. The game is a joy to play if you're over 15 years old, and even if you aren't, it's still hilarious and challenging.
- Great style
- Great gameplay
- A sense of humor
- Gameplay can feel a bit stiff due to being classic