Double Dragon Neon Review (PlayStation 3)

For our Double Dragon Neon Review, we meet Billy and Jimmy who are back! this time in souped-up HD graphics, promising to give us a fresh take on everything that made the original so popular. With Way Forward tasked with the job of re-imagining a game I personally grew up playing, I had a high expectancy. The game was released to coincide with the 25-year anniversary of the series. Let’s see how this fairs………..

Double Dragon Neon Review Pros:

  • The graphics are at a high standard. Giving us a cartoon effect and for the first time 3D models on a 2D game field.
  • The game oozes the 80s, from the dress sense to the haircuts to the awesome music.
  • The music I must say again is amazing and can be yours for free off the guy’s site or if like me you love it so much you can give him some money. Check it out here, seriously the music is by far the best part of the game.
  • The fighting has changed, collecting mix tapes allows you to upgrade your move sets and unlock new special moves. New moves include invincible spinning kicks fireballs to throwing bombs. Each move has an upgrade value which can be done by collecting more mixtapes or by buying them in shops
  • Shops are on various levels allowing you to buy extra lives, moves, and health.
  • Co-op is brilliant and whilst I’m a bit miffed online co-op wasn’t in there from the off, offline was more than good fun.
  • When a buddy is downed in co-op you can revive them to save them using a life. The best part is the animation for reviving. It’s a pencil winding the tape ribbon back into a cassette! I know right? how cool is that!
  • Another co-op advantage is the high five systems. using your right analog stick initializes high five modes, get your partner to do the same motion and you do a high five. There are 3 types that do various actions, put you in gleam mode meaning double attack damage to splitting your health with each other.
  • As said gleam mode is a new addition, timing a roll to avoid an enemy attack will grant you a quick Double Dragon logo flash and you will glow entitling you to double damage for a short time. Course the high five system aswel can give you a quick gleam bonus.
  • With the ability to collect mixtapes to change your move set and replay any levels, you get a real RPG feel to the game.
  • Levels are a good size and have plenty of hidden gems, the designs are nice and bright. Varied also like levels where you only see a silhouette of yourself and the enemies.
  • Upon completion, you unlock the concept art, which is meaty and really gives you an insight into the game development ideas.
  • The ending. I won’t spoil it but it’s done very well and il just say it has karaoke!
  • On the map screen, you are displayed as the original Double Dragon sprites from the NES days.
  • Co-op whilst only offline is fully capable of drop-in, and drop-out.

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Double Dragon Neon Review Cons:

  • Had a few instances where drops would occur to the edge of the screen, meaning I couldn’t collect them. Mixtapes are fine as they don’t disappear after a time but money does.
  • The boss fights can get really annoying and cheap. learning to time rolls and use the right move set is key to keeping your pad in one piece.
  • The game is quite short on a normal run-through. I did it for the first time in just under 3 hours.
  • Grinding will play a big part if you are going for all the achievements/trophies or max your move sets. By grinding I mean replaying levels over and over. I think more grinding will be needed for the harder-difficulty playthroughs.
  •  Replaying a level to shop for more lives and getting the save notification, does not actually save if you quit mid-level. Plus you lose the money you spent which really annoyed me.
  • A few enemies are really cheap, the ones that teleport near you mean you can’t hit them as they spawn in, but they can hit you. Frustrating is one word to describe it.
In summary, despite not liking the demo, I grew to love the game. Yes, it has a few issues but you can work around them. What you get here is a solidly fun game. Even if you are not a Double Dragon fan or too young to remember it, you will get an enjoyable experience from this. If you are mad about the 80s you will adore the music. I for one am still convinced that the main boss guy and even his voice is a cheap Skeletor impersonation, I laughed anyway. So as a final word, don’t let the demo put you off or the short playtime. Jack the difficulty up and wait for the coming soon online patch and have a blast!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!