Double Dragon IV Officially Announced for Playstation 4 and Steam

A retro-flavored continuation of the classic Double Dragon game franchise from the original creators is coming to Playstation and Steam.

Double Dragon IV

While the console gaming market has suffered setbacks and unsure prospects in recent years, the renewed appreciation of vintage "retro-gaming" has become an increasingly mainstream phenomenon; with Nintendo scoring a major holiday hit with the NES Classic (and their own long in-development Universal theme park), along with a surprise movie and TV deal for fellow old school gaming icon Sega.

Now, a newly-unleashed trailer reveals that the retro-game revival movement will continue with Double Dragon IV. Originally released by Japanese developer Technos in 1987, Double Dragon was an arcade side-scrolling beat-em-up in which 1-2 players simultaneously (hence the title) led Billy and Jimmy Lee as they used martial-arts and melee weapons to battle through waves of enemies on a quest to rescue their kidnapped love-interest Marian from a rival gang, in a gritty urban setting that contrasted sharply with the more stylized action and aesthetics of other Japanese action games of the time. Its success inspired a series of sequels, an animated series and an infamous live-action movie starring Scott Wolff and Marc Dacascos.

While popular in arcades, the series is arguably best known for the 8-bit adaptation released for the Nintendo Entertainment System home console; which was one of the most popular titles released for the system but also had to make significant changes to the gameplay and even story of the game: As simultaneous play could not be easily managed, players controlled only Billy Lee with Jimmy appearing as the final boss in order to mirror the arcade version's conceit where a two-player victory climaxed with both players fighting over a post-rescue Marian's affections.

Abobo Double Dragon Wreck It Ralph
Billy Lee and Abobo as they appeared in the NES version of the original 'Double Dragon'

It's that version that Double Dragon IV is looking to emulate; with the original game's creators Takaomi Kaneko, character designer Koji Ogata and music composer Kazuo Yamane onboard. The art design reflects a "cleaned-up" version of sprites and background style utilized in the first NES version, as opposed to the slightly more detailed and/or "busy" designs used for the ports of the second and third games to the same console; along the return of enemies like the 8-bit version of Abobo.

The curious numbering likely reflects the unusual development history of the games sequels: The third installment in the series (on both arcade and NES consoles) continued the storyline but was developed by a different studio, while a fourth installment titled Super Double Dragon for the SNES featured no storyline and was followed by a one-on-one fighting game released as Double Dragon V, but based on the short-lived animated TV show rather than the games. While no plot details are yet available, the new title is believed to be a continuation of the NES version of the series set after the events of Double Dragon III.

Double Dragon IV is due for release on Playstation 4 and Steam platforms on January 30, 2017.

Source: Arc System Works

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