One of the biggest franchises on the NES was Double Dragon. Many gamers, including myself, feel that Double Dragon II: The Revenge was the pinnacle of the series. The developers managed to make two player co-op work whereas the original left out that important feature. On top of that, the graphics and music were impressive for the day. Double Dragon III would eventually release, but by then the magic had worn off and many consider it to be too difficult for its own good.
Today, Technos and Arc System Works announced that Double Dragon IV is releasing for the Nintendo Switch on September 7. That’s only a little over a week away! We knew the game was in development late last year for the PS4 and PC, but this is the first confirmation that it’s also coming to the Nintendo Switch. It will be a direct follow up to Double Dragon II, since apparently the timeline of the original three games goes: part 1, part 3, part 2 (who knew?).
Double Dragon IV keeps the same graphical style of the NES games. It appears to have more colors on screen and the slowdown and flicker have disappeared, but for all intents and purposes you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for a ’80s NES game. Of course this is on purpose as the franchise is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. In fact, some of the members of the original team have returned, including Yoshihisa Kishimoto as director and Kazunaka Yamane for the music!
The game will feature several modes of play. The one that everyone will be familiar with is Story Mode. This is the main campaign where you and a buddy can team up as Billy and Jimmy (and later other characters) to continue on a new quest near San Francisco. There’s also a two player Duel Mode that will allow you to fight one on one against a friend to the death. Finally, there’s the Tower Mode where you test your might to see how far up the tower you can get as you fight your way through waves of enemies. New playable characters can be earned that will be able to be played in the other modes.
Of course this wouldn’t be a Double Dragon game without the classic moves! You’ll be able to punch and kick your way through the levels, but it’s the advance moves that are really fun to pull off. From grab throws to round house kicks all the way to new attacks like a spinning headbutt – you’ll have your hands full taking out all of the thugs trying to get in your face. Of course, the most powerful technique is still in the game: the high jump kick – a kneecap to the face always does the trick!
Double Dragon IV should scratch that nostalgic itch for classic brawler games. It should be a great addition to the Nintendo Switch library. It should come in at under $10 (it’s only 800 yen in Japan), so it won’t break the bank either! Grab a buddy and get ready for some ’80s style couch co-op gaming.