Game: Double Dragon Neon
Genre: Beat 'em up
Describe This Game in Three Words: Welcome back '80s.
Plot Synopsis: In case you were utterly absent in the '80s (And you might have been... Dear Christ I'm getting old), let's recap. Karate master brothers Jimmy and Billy Lee must rescue one of their girlfriends from... Skullmaggedon? Did I read that right? Ooooooookay... Skullmaggedon in a classic example of punching solving everything.
Up Up: To be honest, I always thought Double Dragon was an overrated game. The interface was clunky, the story was stupid even for that time period, and it more or less rode a mention in the Wizard into its place in history. When it came to beat 'em ups, I always liked Final Fight and Renegade better. I didn't have high hopes for this remake is what I'm trying to say, and I have to say I was wrong. This game is ridiculously fun!
It starts out just as the classic one did, with a woman getting punched in the gut and hauled off while her karate master boyfriend runs after and tries to save her. The graphics this time around are absolutely beautiful, calling to mind something like Viewtiful Joe in all its garish glory. That's not to mention the unabashedly cheesy '80s metal soundtrack that accompanies your journey.
'80s nostalgia forms a big part of the game. You increase the power of your martial arts by collecting heavy metal cassettes, Billy and Jimmy Lee both rock the acid-washed jeans and vest with no shirt look that Winger pioneered, and in two-player mode high-fives have actual uses. You even end each level with an impressive air guitar solo.