Double Dragon IV


Sometimes I look at a game’s file size and think, “wow over 500 MB. I’d love to see that crammed on a ye’ old cartridge! 90 hours of the finest midi music? Offph, just look at the size of that programming.” 

As a twinkly eyed youth I loved Dougle Dragnet and I’m unsure why there would be a direct sequel in 2017.

I hope the development team have taken note of all the lovely modern progress that’s going around.

It is a surprise to note that the NES version was the inspiration for this sequel. There have been so many ports of Double Dribble over the years and I would have assumed you’d pick the superior Arcade version. I guess it was a lil’ cheaper going the NES route. Especially if you’re copying and pasting the artwork.

Unfortunately they’ve picked the wrong nostalgia, as I owned the Amiga version. That’s the problem with multiple variations of the semi-shared human experience. This is a compromised nostalgia event!

Double Dragon 4

I’m the king of the mamba beat! Also, don’t stare at that background rock. Don’t stare. DO not.

Let’s take a wild guess and assume you’ve working knowledge of a side scrolling beat em’ up. If you’ve never seen the above image before, disregard the entire review, go make yourself a lovely drink, have a nice little sit down. This isn’t the game for you. If you are looking for an excellent beat ’em up, you can find so much better. Why, here’s a handy list: –

  • Castle Crashers.
  • Dragons Crown.
  • Double Dragon Neon. The modern re-imagining.
  • Golden Axe, Final Fight, Streets of Rage, Turtles in Time, games that superseded the original Double Dragon many, many years ago.

Dribble Dragon holds no gameplay mysteries. After the first level you’ve mostly figured out the controls and that’s pretty much it. You punch and kick your way through the screens, like you’ve done many, many times before. No, you still can’t run. The beat em’ up action is interspersed with platforming sections direct from the 1980’s, which requires timing based challenges. Yes… I remember those. It doesn’t improve the game in any way.

Double Dragon 4

You take a 30 minute raft journey at the beginning of the game. Not the greatest introduction.

Throughout the single player campaign you unlock characters for a simple two player battle mode. Every unlocked character has differing and appropriate kung-fu moves and it is a sincere effort. I’m not sure how much time you’d dedicate to this when you’ve an Overcooked in your library.

I got through to the final levels on my first go, and I’ll be honest, I never wanted to play it again. The whole game is lacking inventive excitement.

Technically, the game is threadbare. You’re offered a windowed screen without the obvious ability to full screen it.  Appropriately it feels emulated, so you roll with it. Top tip – alt and enter for full screen action. You set up the controls and away you go. You don’t need a robust options screen, but an exit game button would have been nice. In that regard, maybe it’s good you can’t full screen it. Obviously I’d lost my save and that’s how my grand Double Dragon adventure ended. I tried again the next day, but turned it off around halfway through as I had a pressing engagement*.

*I didn’t.

The music’s fantastic encouraging tearful memories. Ok, that’s not technically true, but that’s something you got to have in these nostalgic reviews. Yes, I love the main theme, yes this game is a love letter to my childhood, but the rest of the music is “of its time”, or to put it plainly, serviceable.

I can’t imagine a newcomer getting anything from this.

Double Dragon 4

4 hours later, you arrive.

It’s not all doom and gloom, they have fixed 20 year old annoyances. You can no longer throw weapons off screen without the ability to pick them up again. Finally. Naturally you still can’t carry weapons through a doorway, not that these weapons have any oofph.

Oh the wistful past, oh how I long for you. Break free the shackles of modern convenience and return to an age you’ll remember, as you pry your grandchildren away from their Nintendo Switches.

This is a game for true fans and I cannot despise the attempt. This is a proper retro sequel and you cannot say they didn’t nail their intent.

FIVEDouble Dragon is devoid of original ideas, with the same ol’ conveyor belts and ladders from yesteryear. 

I bemoan it’s lack of progress, but that was never the point was it.


A pleasing review, I think you’d all agree. Ultimately an arbitrary score chunked on at the end matters very little when dealing with personal memories, so ignore it. Enjoy the words and understand that I completely get why you might love this game. I would have preferred a sequel to Alien Storm.