Double Dragon Returns In A New Digital Reboot

Double Dragon: Neon brings back those mean-street twins for the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, with a July digital reboot that’s potentially totally awesome.

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1987’s Double Dragon, by long-deceased developer Technos Japan Corp., didn’t invent the beat em’ up genre. Nope, as Maxwell Smart would say, they “missed it by THAT much.” In the historical timeline of video games that spot goes to 1984’s Kung-Fu Master by R-Type producer Irem.

Rather, the 1980’s fueled brawler starring two “Bad Dudes With Attitudes” twins, birthed two important in-game features, two-player cooperative play, and picking up your opponent’s weapon after you’ve disarmed them with an attack, which would be leeched endlessly by other games in the genre that followed it, Streets of Rage & Final Fight for example.

It would also make Double Dragon hot, HOT stuff at the height of Arcade Boom. And then, when the game crossed paths with the NES, its success reached infinity and beyond; producing many a sequel, decent cartoon, and a holy poo poo terrible big-screen adaptation starring Mark Dacascos and Scott Wolf. Ugh… Excuse me guys for a moment, I got to wash the foul stench of shame off me, sorry…

Okay, I’m back.

Sadly for Double Dragon (except for that awful movie), a franchise who’s now more than 20 years old, time erases such significant contributions and reverence to the gaming medium. Especially for a genre, “beat em’ ups” that is, that’s no where as popular today as they were back then.

Though, to be fair, there have been many bright blimps over the past few years: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game was fantastic, and Castle Crashers was a hit among the digital channels that it seems we’re in a beat em’ up revival of sorts. Me thinks, publisher Majesco is on to this same line of thought with their latest news.

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Scheduled to release in July for the PlayStation Network & Xbox Live Arcade, Majesco, along with WayForward Technologies, Shantae and Contra 4 makers, will be releasing an updated take on the classic action side-scroller, called Double Dragon: Neon. Oh, the name says it all, ladies and gents. The game is a love letter to the 80’s and the shared imagery that the original Double Dragon is full to the max with.

You’ll be playing as Billy and Jimmy Lee, once again, as they try to fight wave, after wave of baddies to save their common lady-friend Marian, who’s been kidnapped by a villain named Skullmageddon. (Love it!) As for other details – like game content (it’s a WayForward release, a company that puts a lot of love in their titles), a release date, and price, nothing yet.

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Hopefully, Majesco/WayForward releases a video of Double Dragon: Neon soon in motion, because I’m not quite feeling the art style. Those funky Save By the Bell like hud-elements, though. That can stay. And you can stay here on Walyou while you’re at it, and check out another soon-to-be released game, Rock Band Blitz, and a Japanese plant that shows emotion. What a kooky age we live in.