After my Zumba-ing and sweating like a crazed pig, I was on an appointment to go and see Double Dragon: Neon. I haven't had myself a good flashback in a while, so having the chance to experience a notable name from the resurgence of gaming in the last 1980s makes me tingle.
DD Neon is not to be confused with a remake, but a re-imagining of the series. The classic setup—girlfriend is socked in the gut and taken over a jerk's shoulder—and start are there, complete with roaming up and down the street and assaulting S&M-ready dominatrixes, but the rest is a bit of this and that from previous entries to create something new from something old.
While it's one of the older breed of the "roaming brawler" genre and as heavy on story as any others have been, DD feels solid and nostalgic while bringing players together this time around. Classic moves like jumping spin kicks and ground-and-pound tactics are there, but what's interesting are the minor "bro-tastic" ways to balance out games with friends.
One example is that if one player's health starts to get too low, the two players can high-five each other, and if that's successful, the average of their health is used to even out the playing field. If one player decides to be a total butt-head, they can "go low" and simply take some of the other player's remaining health. But if both players go low at the same time, they both lose a bit of health. It's the Double Dragon equivalent of what's known as the DBAD rule: Don't Be A Dick.
Double Dragon Neon played well enough, and it may look like a downloadable brawler (which is fitting since it is one), but it does the trick. It's meant to be a taste of what used to be, and in that there's something to find here. It's not going to revolutionize anything, and it's what the average person will think a game to be: a simple diversion from reality for the few minutes between crippling sadness and surfing through channels. Unless the developers are planning something unique, expect this one to be exactly as it appears.
It should be out before the end of the summer though (there wasn't a solid release schedule as of press time), so it could help pass the time between homework assignments at the beginning of the new semester.