Street thugs, beware! Stop punching women in the stomachs! Billy Lee and his brother Jimmy are back in action and ready to level an entire city to rescue their girlfriends this September 11th in Double Dragon: Neon, an HD remake of the Technos Japan classic beat ’em up. No company keeps it old-school better than WayForward, and the team’s latest promises to serve up plenty of high fives and 80s nostalgia to those who suffered through the early days of smokey arcades.
Double Dragon‘s release in 1987 was a watershed moment for the beat ’em up genre. While not the first to define the group, new ideas like co-op mode and stealing enemy weapons added layers of depth beyond just punching dudes in the face. Future street brawling giants like Capcom’s Final Fight and SEGA’s Streets of Rage would borrow heavily from Double Dragon, and its influence can be seen even in hits today like Castle Crashers.
In fact, Double Dragon has already been remade for Xbox LIVE Arcade by Empire Interactive, but it was universally panned and eventually dropped from the service. Majesco obviously believes in the franchise, and its a huge pat on the back for WayForward to be given the chance for the second remake. Luckily, the talent behind this new project is the best around.
Double Dragon: Neon marks the third time WayForward has revived a classic NES franchise, following Contra 4 for the DS in 2007 and A Boy and his Blob for the Wii in 2008. The company revels in the irony of its name, refusing to move on from the early decades of gaming by keeping old ideas fresh twenty years later. With the genre defining run ‘n gun series, Contra, under their belt and now the premiere beat ’em up franchise as well, which franchise CAN’T they revive.
Double Dragon: Neon has been confirmed for a PlayStation release on the 11th with the Xbox LIVE Arcade release the following day.