New Double Dragon Looks Pretty Bland

Okay…

This is an upcoming XBLA/PSN revamp of Double Dragon. Look at it. What can we take from this?

  • 2.5D presentation, that’s fine.
  • Art direction is pretty bad, unless it’s some homage to bad arcade sticker art – then it’s kinda genius.
  • Animation is choppy, unless again… it’s a homage to the 2D animation – then it’s cool (no wait, Super Double Dragon, no excuse).
  • Hit-detection looks wonky. That’s just from watching, though.

I’m a child of quite a few beat-em-ups, and I see it as one of those genres that just vanished without a trace. While many other genres evolved or came back mostly intact with modern aesthetics, beat-em-ups just sorta froze in time. These days there’s been some love for this kind of pastime. There’s been digital releases for old franchises lately, kinda spearheaded by a few Ninja Turtles releases, that made me notice something…

These games could be totally awesome with very little tweaking. Aside from direct ports (at least code wise in regard to Turtles in Time HD), why not try to evolve the formula? Beat-em-ups have a kindred spirit in traditional fighting games, yet nobody seems to be interested in borrowing more from fighters to enhance the experience of beat-em-ups.

I was hoping that a true Double Dragon reboot would be the one to take measures like this, but it doesn’t seem likely judging by that video. I will download the game trial and give it a try, but my expectations are pretty low.

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