Double Dragon 4's Gameplay Looks Unbelievably Old School

The next game in the Double Dragon franchise is coming to PS4 and PC next month.


Although Christmas may be over, the gifts still keep coming. In a trailer reveal today, Arc System Works unveiled both that Double Dragon IV exists and that it's coming to PS4 and PC on January 30, 2017.

The trailer is less than two minutes long and it contains a long montage showing the original NES game in action, which might lead you to think that this sequel is going to have some kind of graphical reboot along the lines of Double Dragon Neon. And then, at the 1:09 mark, the new gameplay footage starts...and it looks very, very true to the original game. The gameplay and sprites are straight from the NES classics.

Sure to please fans of the originals, especially those riding high on the wave of nostalgia from the hard-to-find NES Classic Edition (which included Double Dragon II), Double Dragon IV will also include a few new extras. In addition to the story mode, the main menu for the game includes 2P Duel, Japanese mode, and an unspecified "???"

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According to the game's official website the title will retail for 800 yen (approximately $8) for the downloadable version of the game. It has received a rating of T from the ESRB and 12 from PEGI.

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Avatar image for ProjektInsanity

I've seen many games where "retro" or "oldschool" is a good thing. It's used as inspiration for a style of gameplay that's a throwback to an era where you couldn't lean so hard on cut scenes and graphics. This just doesn't seem like one of those games. It doesn't innovate at all. It looks like a straight-up continuation of the game from the '80s. I'm sure a select few fans will enjoy that, but I've already had my fill of those games. I can't help but think this version looks a bit lazy, and it's got nothing to do with the visuals.

Avatar image for scatterbrain007

Yeah, I'm sold, this looks like a lot of fun. DAMN that theme music gets me everytime, it's my ring tone.

Avatar image for cashx002

I'll get it, yo. I would've liked it to look like the arcade version, but I'm still a fan of the NES 8-Bit. Bring on the happy times, biishhh!

Avatar image for tr4newreck

ugh, i grew up in that era, but pls spare me the 'art direction excuses" its not nostalgia its just bad gfx and no excuses for it... make a modern beat-em up already worth of a double dragon 4th entry.

Avatar image for jasonb520

@tr4newreck: Then it wouldnt be a beat-em up. It would just be a side scrolling fighting game with enhanced graphics. It is nostalgia and this is what that game style looked like. It wouldnt be a double dragon game if it was like tekken, you dont always need superior graphics to have fun. DD series was dope

Avatar image for rickjamesia

@jasonb520: What? How would it not be a beat-em up if it had better graphics? Your comment makes absolutely no sense.

Edit: A couple great examples of games modernizing and still staying fairly faithful to the games that inspired them (to me) would be Strider and Dust: An Elysian Tail. A good example of a game modernizing the beat-em up genre would be Castle Crashers. That game looked much sleeker than 16-bit era games, but still managed to keep within the specs of the genre.

Avatar image for ProjektInsanity

@rickjamesia: Exactly. Hell, even if you weren't a fan of the art direction, Dragon's Crown was an amazing game, and gave a perfect example of how to update the beat-em-up formula while providing modern touches. Randomized loot, special recipes for buffs, awesome special moves...

And yet it still played a lot like Golden Axe or something in that vein. I don't understand people who want the EXACT same experience they had roughly 3 decades ago. You can keep the same flavor while providing enough innovation to make it interesting.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico

@jasonb520: Agreed - Graphics do not make a Game fun or Great !!

Avatar image for quinnd6

It looks worse than the arcade versions of any of the previous double dragon games.

I know its based on the Nes version but that seems ridiculous and makes me wonder why.

Why not instead try and evolve it a bit and make a 3d double dragon that doesn't look like junk.

The Bouncer on PS2 looked better than the last 2 double dragon games on xbox 360 and that came out about 16 years ago.

We have a modern powerful system in the PS4 and the only side scrolling beat em ups we get look worse than something from 20 years ago. It's pathetic.

It's just too retro for me.

I want a proper big budget Double Dragon not this.

Avatar image for Kalbent

@quinnd6: You don't like it, don't buy it.

Avatar image for quinnd6

@Kalbent: I won't buy it.

Avatar image for limelight022

@quinnd6: WAH

Avatar image for markey4eva

@quinnd6: You wonder why?...bcuz modern DD doesn't work well like those 2 DD games on xbox360. Your comment about "beat em ups looking worse than something from 20 years ago" says it all yo.

DD games are best in their 8 to 16-bit glory days...this DDIV will be a PERFECT example of that. Just watch!

Avatar image for tr4newreck

@markey4eva: pls the old DD games are painfully simplistic... fatal fury and streets of rage, are the Gold Standard... double dragon was hideous in appearance and lacking variety in gameplay

anybody telling you double dragon was an amazing game is just looking back with nostalgia clouding their vision

Avatar image for markey4eva

@tr4newreck: And where are fatal fury & streets of rage sequels these days?!???...nowhere to be found! They had no staying power. Those 2 never had the following that DD had and obviously STILL has.

And nobody's telling me DD was amazing, it IS an amazing classic 2D beat-em-up from back in the day. I should know, I was there in the 80's playin em all! DD2 is my fave DD ever, and this DDIV is a direct sequel to I'm down all day! I luv my DD games!

But u wanna talk "gold standard" as in best Beat-Em-Up ever?!?...that title belongs to the original Final Fight (Arcade version)

Avatar image for scatterbrain007

@markey4eva: Really? Not the Aliens vs. Predator beat'em up by Capcom? Oh wait or the Dungeons and Dragons beat'em ups also by Capcom. Almost forgot about those, they were awesome!

Avatar image for markey4eva

@scatterbrain007: Hahaa nice picks! AVP would easily be in my Top 10 beat-em-ups of all time, wicked action in that game

Avatar image for jmangamer85

omg happy

Avatar image for markey4eva

@jmangamer85: SUPER HAPPY!!! :)

Avatar image for Trev786

Character models could have been updated a little bit better imo. Still, looks like a great blast from the past.

Avatar image for jasonb520

@Trev786: No way! thats what will bring me back, maybe some more responsive controls but i love that it maintained the models, hopefully the 8 bit music too. I mean for $8 you're not going to get much more and how much is your child worth? This is a damn fine price. I got P.O.W on the classics too. this is what defined the prime of my gaming years. I want streets of rage next

Avatar image for simplytheebest

The original arcade ROM has been in MAME forever! This release is unnecessary,

Avatar image for Neo_Sarevok

When I saw there'd be a retro version, I got excited, but after seeing it's literally like the NES version, I don't feel pumped anymore. I like retro but not copy-paste retro.

Avatar image for skemaal

@Neo_Sarevok: Bingo!

Avatar image for Sw1tched

Why would you recreate the NES version aesthetic and not the ARCADE? .... LAME!!!!

Avatar image for juboner

@Sw1tched: Was going to say the same thing.

Avatar image for skemaal

I am fan of the original series but the dev. fad of going retro, while cool, is getting a bit stupid. I would much rather have a follow up to DD Neon than this.

Avatar image for s1taz4a3l

I liked more the gameplay of neon, i dont think this game is a good idea.

Avatar image for biggamerdude

I think I might get this

Avatar image for whatsazerg

This is an INSTA buy for me.

Avatar image for markey4eva

@whatsazerg: Same! :)

Avatar image for MuffintopX

The least they could do is reveal the "? ? ?" on the title screen with the hype trailer. Jan 30 is not that far away.

Avatar image for whatsazerg

@MuffintopX: I'm guessing the ??? is Online Coop

Avatar image for airboygt

They used the character models from DD2?! Now I LOVE DD2 but it's not the first game I would run to for creative data to make a spiritual successor.

I mean, holy crap, could they have at least used graphics from the 16 bit or 32 bit era, or better yet how about the ARCADE engine from DD2 the Revenge?!

This is just a lazy nostalgia grab.

Avatar image for gottago42

The graphics are garbage they should've updated everything

Avatar image for uk_friday

i dont know why they just dont do a upto date new double dragon with 2017 graphics, they stopped making games like double dragon and streets of rage years ago....last game near to it was fighting force.........despite how old it looks....its still better then COD

Avatar image for deactivated-5c56012aaa167

@uk_friday: recommend you to play God Hand.(ps2 game)

Avatar image for pa_amb_tomaquet

Most of that game footage of the "original" game is from DD 2.

Avatar image for jamesbr27

The best game in this franchise is still the SNES version Super Double Dragon.

Avatar image for scatterbrain007

@jamesbr27: I honestly would have agreed with you had I not played Double Dragon Advance on the GBA. Super Double Dragon is definitely the shizz, but the one on the GBA is fan-freaking-tastic!

Avatar image for StonerDemon

The true good news is that the game is being developed by Arc System Works. They will deliver.

Avatar image for sladakrobot

Sorry...not even if it was for free

Avatar image for killerious


Avatar image for dlM0kn

I'm a fan of DD and had a lot of fun with the NES versions but the retro graphics? C'mon Arcsys, you can't try a little harder than to copy and paste the sprites, add a couple more moves and slap an IV on the title screen? I watched this trailer and thought, "Yeah, the old school games were cool but wheres footage of the new game?" Until I scroll down and see that that was the actual game. siiiigh, would've loved to have had a DD using the same level of graphics and animation as Guilty Gear Xrd. I might get this...I dunno. I'll read the reviews first.

Avatar image for artemis-v

@dlM0kn: Absolutely agree. Not only do they pretend like Super Double Dragon didn't exist, but this is a literal rom hack. Coming from Arcsys, I'd expect quality sprites if not something like the recent Guilty Gear games. Heck, there was a mobile remake of the original Double Dragon some time back that used SNK style sprites that looked leagues better than this.

Avatar image for commander

didn't you people have arcade machines or a amiga, this version is too low quality

Avatar image for DARREN636

I'd love a streets of rage game

make it pretty but keep the originals feel and method