Double Dragon IV Review
- Platform: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Steam
- Players: 1-2
- Achievements: Yes
- Steam Trading Cards: Yes
- Controller Support: Yes, Partial
- Retail Price: $6.99
High Level Premise: Side Scrolling Beat Em Up sequel to Double Dragon II
Graphics/Style: 8 Bit Styling with a near copy of Double Dragon II graphics even lifting most of the sprites.
Music/Soundtrack: You can play the classic 8-Bit soundtrack or a new soundtrack that is trying to sound like the old one anyway.
Story: Billy and Jimmy aren't out of trouble yet, and yes their girl gets taken again.
Replay-ability: If you like beat em ups you may enjoy playing burning some imaginary quarters over and over again. However, this game is not as polished as the original games.
Time Commitment: The levels are short and you can play though in a sitting.
Value: $6.99 ultimately isn't a lot, but the game isn't chock full of value. I expect most people will play it a few times be a little disappointed and never touch it again.
Favorite Element: I do love the old soundtrack and the hyper knee and upper cut still are satisfying.
Arc System Works bought the rights to the Double Dragon franchise and went hard on a nostalgic trip down memory lane. They brought some of the creative team from Double Dragon II back and made what feels like bonus levels for that classic title. It actually makes you wonder why they went with the number 4 since they essentially ignore the third iteration. And then you wonder how much time they spent making this game and wishing they spent a little more. I was excited to play some classic side scrolling action but this game is shallow and lacks the polish you need to hold up to repetition. The levels are short, some remarkably short that even made me exclaim out loud when playing for the first time. You also notice dead spots in the game where you get the feeling they meant to eventually add things and never did. The most obvious is a barge you ride toward the beginning of the game which is just 20 seconds of nothing happening while you contemplate what it probably was supposed to be. I imagine a wave of bad guys trying to knock you off the barge. The game it emulates had a mix of beat em up challenge and some dexterity challenges as you try to jump through obstacles. They were hard but you always felt like there was a trick to it. In this game you feel like they added arbitrary difficulty like you would expect from a game trying to eat your quarters but feel out of place here. Later levels will make you angry as you have 6 characters waiting to hit you every time you fall down and unblockable bosses pile up on you. They even have guys waiting for their free hit when you get to the top of ladders, etc.
I love the original series, and for a little bit i loved being back in that world for a few minutes. But it was only minutes. After more time i wished I had just put the old game in instead.