Top Critic Average
Double Dragon IV is a pure nostalgia trip, but it comes with enough interesting combat tweaks and bonus modes to be worth a few playthroughs for anyone with an appreciation of the NES originals.
You’re either going to love or hate Double Dragon IV and its old-school vibe. If you’re a fan of the NES releases in the series and have always wanted more, then you’re going to love this new one. If, on the other hand, you didn’t grow up playing 8-Bit games and favor flashy 3D graphics and games that are 12+ hours long, then you better stay far away from this one. As someone who enjoyed the Double Dragon games back I the day, I had a lot of fun with this new one and I look forward to seeing what Ark System Works does with the series.
I enjoyed my time with Double Dragon 4, it looks, sounds and plays exactly how I remember it back when I was a kid. The addition of new modes, being able to customize the controls and fun local multiplayer will make this one I most certainly will break out when friends are over. I mean how often do you get the chance to show somebody a purple version of Abobo getting tornado kicked.
If you are a fan and still play retro: worth your time, it's very faithful to the series, almost too much If you are not: probably pass on this one, you'll just be angry.
Complaints and level design grumbles aside, Double Dragon IV is a proud throwback to gaming’s yesteryear and if you’re a fan of the series you can do a lot worse than picking this up. Just watch out for the disappearing bits near the end, the timing on those things are murder.
Arc System Work's staunch dedication to the retro aesthetic for Double Dragon IV is admirable, but still falls short of the mark even when juxtaposed to several of the series' own entries. Punch and kicking dudes as Billy and Jimmy still works, but many elements of IV just feel a little too off-brand for my liking.
If you’re looking for a true-to-form Double Dragon title, this is it. However, with decades passing since the original and nothing to propel it forward outside of the ancient IP, you may have difficulty finding the fun
Double Dragon IV is, for better or worse, a direct sequel to Double Dragon II. In terms of mechanics, it's practically a carbon copy, but it goes the extra mile by including a number of new moves and enemies. The tower mode and massive selection of unlockable characters are also really nice. However, this game is trapped in an odd limbo. It doesn't do enough to compete with more modern beat 'em ups, and it isn't as iconic as its predecessor. Its appeals to nostalgia don't quite hit the mark. Perhaps the second game gets a little too much credit; some fans probably haven't played it in decades. Comparing a newer entry to fond memories is a little unfair, but maybe more could have been done to make this one really stand out.
Double Dragon IV feels like the developer Arc System Works discovered an unreleased old NES game and emulated it on PS4. Its graphics, sound, and gameplay are utterly authentic to the period. Unfortunately, so are its cheap shots and frustrating design elements. It's certainly a lot of fun to play for a while, but once its nostalgic novelty wears off, only hardcore retro fans will likely want to come back for more.
Double Dragon IV is a sequel that came about three decades too late. While it’s a great follow-up to the games from the 8-bit era, it also unintentionally shines a light on the shortcomings of the time—which only the most diehard of fans will be able to overlook.
At the end of the day, Double Dragon IV feeds off the nostalgia of those that spent their youth playing the NES classic titles. While some may argue that the Arcade version of the game was a better version of Double Dragon, there is a certain charm to the 8-bit NES visuals and sound effects. If online multiplayer had been added to Double Dragon IV, it might have helped alleviate the lack of replay value the game suffers from.
Double Dragon IV is a return to the good old days of beat 'em ups that fans may enjoy but it's also a flawed experience that modern gamers will likely be baffled by.
That said, for nostalgia fans, you're right at home. Sadly, this game doesn't even match up to Double Dragon II, which is 28 years older and still holds up. Still, nostalgia will only get you so far. Double Dragon IV definitely had some potential as a throwback to the late 1980's of gaming. Sadly, there's no enough substance to give Jimmy and Billy the return they deserved. I wanted greatness, I got mildly ok. Stick with Double Dragon II, III or even Double Dragon Neon.
Double Dragon IV clings to its retro inspirations just a little too tightly. Fans of the old 8-bit titles will likely enjoy their romp here for what it is, but Arc System Works could have taken some more chances and delivered a brawler that had more to offer. Instead we get a fighting game that is simply average, despite my deep nostalgia for the series.
It does seem as though Arc System Works were relying entirely on the nostalgia to sell Double Dragon IV. And while it captures the essence of those original games it falls short of being a good game today simply because the original hasn't aged well. It would have been pretty rockin' back in the 80s though.
Double Dragon IV isn't a good game in a modern sense, but it certainly is an honest trip back in time that will, if nothing else, offer a heavy dose of nostalgia for anyone with a fondness for the Lee Brothers' 8-bit adventures.
"If the developers were looking to take Double Dragon IV back to the series' roots, great. It's just that the formula does not translate well after nearly thirty years. What was the standard then isn't the standard now. Having enemies who can move faster than you while your stuck with middling delays was not enjoyable in the slightest. The graphics and enemy design choices were nice but a side scrolling beat'em up is hardly judged on those alone. Absolute die-hard fans of the genre or the Double Dragon name may find something to like here, but anyone else should steer clear."
Double Dragon 4 plays the nostalgia card harder than most, but its narrow-sighted reliance on this has left it feeling like a relic that perhaps shouldn't have been disturbed. The combat can be simplistic fun but is ruined by cheap AI, and the trio of modes don't offer much to stick around for. The presentation is a cool look back at the 80s school of design, but once the novelty wears off, you're left with a frustrating beat-em-up that inadvertently highlights the leaps in gameplay, animation, and visuals that games have made over the last three decades.
Double Dragon IV sounds like a surefire winner on paper. Craft a sequel to one of the most beloved arcade games of all-time, keep it retro in spirit, profit. However, seeing as the game was announced and released in just over a month it feels like about that much effort went into crafting this game. Will we ever get a solid follow-up to one of the greatest arcade games of all-time? Things are not looking promising for Billy and Jimmy.
There's certainly nothing wrong with celebrating the past and polishing up classic game concepts for modern consumption, but Double Dragon 4 is a prime example of how not to do a revival - which is ironic when you consider that the WayForward-made Double Dragon Neon did a much better job back in 2012. The use of NES-style graphics isn't a negative in itself, but too little has been done to refine and improve gameplay which, even back in the late '80s, was showing its age against a new breed of slicker and more enjoyable examples of the genre. The co-op focus of the Switch and its Joy-Con controllers does at least mean it's easy to rope in another player for a trip down memory lane, but this is nonetheless a crushing disappointment given the incredible potential of the franchise, and should only be purchased by diehard Billy and Jimmy fans.
Double Dragon IV doesn’t quite live up to its potential. Those looking to scratch that beat-em-up itch are better off playing WayForward’s Double Dragon Neon or waiting for the upcoming River City Ransom: Underground.
I do hope Arc System Works continues to develop this IP though, because if the same creative minds that worked on this game came together to try to advance the series as a whole like Double Dragon Neon did, I believe they could make something really special. Sadly, I would only recommend Double Dragon IV to you if you are a Double Dragon fanatic or very die hard beat 'em up fan, and if that's the case, you probably already own it. It is fairly cheap, but even then, I have played much more enjoyable games for the same price.
Even with pixelated rose-tinted glasses, it’s difficult to recommend Double Dragon IV to anyone but the most die-hard fans of retro games and the series in general. It brings back all the frustration, but does nothing to improve upon the formula. It does offer around an hour of fairly entertaining co-op with a buddy, but your time could still be spent better elsewhere. If you want your Double Dragon fix, Double Dragon: Neon is a far better investment and holds true to the retro style gameplay with modern day improvements and online co-op.
For fans of the series I suppose this could be a good time if you're looking to relive the magic, but this game feels ancient without any regard for advances in gaming since the earlier games.
I am certainly not immune to the charms of 80s and 90s game design, but the NES version of Double Dragon wasn’t a great example for Double Dragon 4 to follow. It’s not just that this simplistic beat-em-up formula didn’t age well graphically or mechanically, it’s that it simply isn’t very fun or engaging to play in 2017.