Sunday, September 28, 2014

Soundtrack September: Double Dragon Neon

Game: Double Dragon Neon (2012)
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Composers: Jake Kaufman

If Guilty Gear is a fighting game-shaped love letter to 80s glam metal, Double Dragon Neon is a fist-shaped valentine to the decade in its entirety. The self-aware reboot of the 1987 beat-em-up (which is often called the "grandfather of beat-em-ups," despite having been preceded by Renegade) is on a mission to grab the hearts of all 80s kids. Air guitar, high fives and the aforementioned neon contribute to the overpowering aura of trickle-down radicality that permeates Neon's every stage.

The music does more than its fair share. Kaufman has succeeded in not only doing justice to a few tunes from the original, but also in rejuvenating the franchise with music so 80s sounding, it sounds like Gorbachev's aerobics tape. It sounds like Jesse "The Body" Ventura took music lessons from Oliver North. It sounds like...Manuel Noriega...doing something? I don't know. I'll stop.

Highlights include "Neon Jungle" (third video below), which has more than enough cowbell, and "Pick Yourself Up and Dance" (fourth video below), whose hyperactive keyboards bring to mind Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder.

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