Dragon twins reunited for new fight

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Dragon twins reunited for new fight
B6
LEISURE
www.FortHoodSentinel.com
September 18, 2014
Photos courtesy of http://www.doubledragonneon.com/
Dragon twins reunited for new fight
BY CHRIS HAWKES
Commentary
A long time ago, when playing
the latest and greatest video games
meant going to the local arcade,
there was
one game
my brother and I
played religiously.
Arguably
the
first
game of its
kind, “Double Dragon” involved
two twin brothers teaming up to
take down the bunch of thugs
who kidnapped the first player’s
girlfriend. Hammer and Spike,
later renamed Billy and Jimmy
Lee in future renditions, battled through legions of enemies
including the giant Abobo, knifethrowing Williams, whip-wielding Linda and, of course, the final
boss Machine Gun Willy.
The classic game allowed players
to pick up and use an assortment
of weapons including knives, barrels and baseball bats to dispatch
their foes. In a surprising twist,
when the final boss is vanquished,
the game pits the twins to fight
each other. The winner, which
unfortunately was rarely me,
walked away with he glory and
the girl.
Recently, the arcade classic
experienced a reboot in “Double
Dragon: Neon” courtesy of WayForward and Majesco Entertainment.
Right off the bat, gamers
familiar with the series will recognize the same story, except a
new main villain causing all the
trouble. Skullmageddon replaces
the machine gun guy and overshadows his predecessor as a
goofy, charismatic combination
of Skeletor from “He-Man” and
Raiden from “Mortal Kombat.”
His incessant cackling and neverending taunts encourage players to
reach him sooner than later.
There is a new fighting system in place this time around.
Like many other games in the
genre, the system includes some
role-playing elements to help you
power up. By collecting cassette
tapes (relics from the ’80s for the
young readers), Billy and Jimmy
can upgrade eight different fighting stances and eight super moves.
Only one stance and super move
can be selected at a time. Thankfully, the trademark spin kick
from the series returns, but it’s no
where near as useful or nearly as
powerful in “Neon.”
The fighting sysem itself is
where I start to have issues with
the reboot. While the standard
punch, kick and jump remains,
a funky dodge button has been
added to the fray. Dodging in
general feels broken and never
seems to work right. For example,
every time I pressed it, I’d knock
down the wrong enemy or pull off
a move I never intended.
As I played more, a major
omission shocked me. “Double
Dragon” has always had one
combo set apart from all other
games. Essentially, a player grabs
a guy, smashes his knee into the
bad guy’s head (up to three
times), and then throws the vanquished foe over his shoulder.
It’s been in every other “Double
Dragon” game and is a defining element of the series. Yet,
“Neon” refuses to have any part
of that. In fact, throwing and
grappling opponents feels downplayed, ineffective and ignored
completely.
It’s a very strange and disturbing decision. The gamemakers
cut the Dragon brothers most
revered, powerful and entertaining moves. As a result, the
potentially awesome reboot falls
flat and ends up feeling just like
every other generic beat ’em up
around. What might have been
the game to get, leaves this “Double Dragon” enthusiast a little
disappointed.
THURSDAY
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PG-13, 7 p.m., (2*)
FRIDAY
The Expendables 3, PG-13, 7
p.m., (2*)
SATURDAY
Guardians of the Galaxy,
PG-13, 2 p.m., (1*)
Let’s Be Cops, R, 6 p.m., (2*)
SUNDAY
Dawn of the Planet of the
Apes, PG-13, 2 p.m., $1.00 for
everyone
If I Stay, PG-13, 6 p.m. (2*)
WEDNESDAY
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PG-13, 7 p.m., $1.00 for
everyone

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