When I say Double Dragon IV the average gamer should furrow his eyebrows and the older one should then raise one. Double Dragon IV? Did they make a DDIV? It’s possible I guess but, man, talk about a stroll down memory lane! And that is exactly what it is as the original development team from the Double Dragon series has given us this retro gem to load up on Steam. Now we can show the youth what side scrollers were like back in the old school days.
Cue The Cheesy Disco:
Double Dragon IV picks up where Double Dragon II left off about 30 years ago. Since new wave was in full effect and grunge was getting ready to throw on the flannel, players were treated to disco MIDI music because it never dies (surprisingly the moment I heard the theme here again I was humming along immediately and stopped any other sounds in the room). After the amazing battles of the previous Double Dragon, our heroes Billy and Jimmy made dojos across the country to help people feel safe wherever they lived. I was on a hot trip across the desert to check on their West Coast dojos that a black car attacked them, running their vehicle off the road and generally pissing off two guys you didn’t want to mess with. I mean had these guys never heard of the events of Double Dragon II? All the kicking and punching and elbows and kneeing. And what about the jumps, those glorious jumps?
But every bad guy needs to be bad and usually follows a “boss”, so a new one had surfaced and he brought a lot of fellas along. As a matter of fact a lot of the lower level baddies are ones you kicked the butt of before and because they think their boss is stronger so they have come back for another beating. Our boys even know the cronies by name and ask them why, why come back for more beatings? They just never seem to learn.
New ones come along and for each level you clear you unlock characters you can use on two player duel mode. There is co-op fighting, duel and climbing the tower and in the end you fight the ultra secret boss that has pulled all the wrong doers together!
The game’s sound is clear and campy, sounding right out of the mid-1980s, as do the graphics. There are some pretty challenging levels but as long as you clear one, you can restart at the next level with your remaining lives. Once you run out of lives you can restart at the level you lost you last one on. So if you are on level 16 and had a hard time on an obstacle and you can’t get you lose all but you last life completing it and you move onto the next level if you are full dead you can continue at your highest level with all of your lives. This isn’t really obvious at first partially from a bit of difficulty navigating the menu but once you figure out you can enjoy the game without raging on a trap that kills you.
Bowing Out For Now:
Double Dragon IV is such a brilliant taste of nostalgia you would think that it is actually being played on a bit cartridge on a first gen system. It is equal parts fun and challenge while delivering the feel to gamers who didn’t live through that time an idea what the games were like. I look forward to hearing that classic MIDI music again soon…
Double Dragon IV Review Score(5 out of 5 Stars)