Last week we took a look at all the awesome retro games coming out in 2017, so I figured I should grab one and give you all the first review of the new year! Of course being the old man that I am, I naturally migrated directly towards Double Dragon IV. Even though the steam reviews were mixed I decided to press forward anyway (for science of course).
Upon installing and starting up the game I was met with retro glory, as the 8 bit half Japanese, half English main menu lit up my monitor and the amazing throwback beats flowed out of my headphones. I was instantly transported to my living mom’s living room, sitting in front of the RCA T.V. grinding Double Dragon 3 out on my Sega Genesis.
This is also where I ran into my first issue, the game launches in the default language of Japanese making the first mission less of a brawl and more of find the right button puzzle. Once I got the game into English (pro tip try the “A” key), I had to remap all my keyboard buttons and I was finally ready to play. At this point I was starting to understand the mixed reviews, the menus are horrible and that might be being nice, the game starts natively in what seems to be micro windowed mode (pro tip #2 “Alt+Enter” to go full screen) with no indication on how to change it. I was starting to feel like my nostalgia was the only thing keeping me from uninstalling and using the handy steam refund feature.
Fortunately I pressed on despite my growing doubt, and I was pleasantly surprised! From the start of the first mission with classic Double Dragon “cut scene” style intro, to dropping that first flying spin kick to an enemy's head I was hooked. Next thing i know i am 9 missions in and there was no looking back. A steam user named QuinnCo I think put it best when they said “This is what Double Dragon 3 should have been. If you played and loved Double Dragon 2 for the NES, you will love this game. The fighting genre has certainly evolved since the late 80s and newer fans may be put off by the simplicity of this game. There are cheap shots and hard jumps. The first few levels are a cake-walk, while it picks up difficulty pretty quickly in the mid-levels. But if you are fan of the NES Double Dragons, you already know this.”
QuinnCo, I could not agree more! If you have any memories of Double Dragon, either on a console or in an arcade, you will fall in love with this classic take on the iconic game. The developers may have kept it too simple for today's modern gamer, but for any kid of the 80’s or 90’s, Double Dragon IV will have you diggin in your closet for that long lost NES.