I don’t even know why I’m shocked about this game’s quality, it’s being retailed at $7 at launch anyway.
This will be a short review as the game itself is really short with not much to say. Double Dragon IV is a weirdly-named (since there is a Double Dragon V already) blast to the past developed by the original creator of the franchise, alongside the developers of the amazing Guilty Gear games. Naturally I was excited for the final product, but what I got was a somewhat underwhelming budget title.
Double Dragon IV is a very short budget game which felt more like a fan-made homebrew than a proper game in some moments.
First of all, the game doesn’t look very good, even with the intentional retro visual. Not only the courses look uninteresting, but it also runs only in windowed mode, in a small screen, as if you were playing a NES emulator.
Second of all, the game’s soundtrack doesn’t fit in with its retro visual. If you wanna go full retro, do it like Shovel Knight, compose your soundtrack in chiptunes as well! Not only the game features a (bland) MIDI soundtrack, but it features 8-bit-era sound effects. Guys, c’mon…
The gameplay department isn’t anything special by the way. You have a punch button, a kick button and a jump button. There are very few combos you can pull off, and they are way too complicated for this simplistic control scheme for you to even bother trying. You can finish the unbelievably short campaign (I beat it in less than an hour) using the kick button alone, pressing it mindlessly.
The game’s saving grace is its post-completion content. By finishing the 60 minute long bland story mode once, you unlock the Tower mode, a mode consisting on a series of arena battles and the literal act of climbing a tower, which adds a bit of extra challenge and replayability, as it unlocks even more characters for the game’s Versus Mode, a small extra mode included in it. And before you ask, no, it’s not online. Sigh…
Double Dragon IV isn’t godawful, it’s just aggressively mediocre. It might be considered a gift from the gods to the three dozen die-hard fans of the franchise still out there, but it will be considered as a very bland game not worth 7 bucks to all the rest. Even with this low pricetag I still feel that the game will be sold for around three fifty at the end of the year.
But hey, at least it’s better than Double Dragon V for the Atari Jaguar. And that movie…
Also available on PS4