Double Dragon IV is the long-awaited fourth (numbered) installment of the Double Dragon franchise, released for PlayStation 4, PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch, and iOS in 2017. It was developed by Arc System Works following their acquisition of all the former Technos Japan's franchises. The game was developed by a small team of five people, including director Yoshihisa Kishimoto, character designer Koji Ogata, and composer Kazunaka Yamane, all veterans from the original series.
The game features the graphical style of the NES trilogy (rather than the original arcade games), particularly drawing heavily from Double Dragon II (which also serves as its direct follow-up). This time Billy and Jimmy Lee must face against a new gang called the Renegades, who have joined forces with the remnants of the Black Warriors, as the Lees are ambushed during a business trip to expand their dojo to the west coast of the U.S. Behind the Renegades are the mysterious Okada sisters, who wish to lure the Lee brothers to a showdown in Japan.
Double Dragon IV provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Besides returning Dark Action Girl Linda, another female enemy was added: Ayumi, a Kunoichi.
- Also, the Big Bad Duumvirate mentioned below.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Several of the enemy Palette Swaps have impossible skin tones. Even the default Abobo has a yellow shaded skin tone.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Casey and Shannon, the Okada Sisters.
- Damsel in Distress: Marian again, this time courtesy of Casey and Shannon's minions in the SAME fashion as the first game! The game lampshades this by reusing the very same cutscene of the first game.
- Divergent Character Evolution: The original puffy-haired Linda from the first game and the mohawked version from the second are different characters in this one.
- Evil Counterpart: Casey and Shannon are this to Billy and Jimmy. They're also a Distaff Counterpart.
- Non-Linear Sequel: The official website reveals that Double Dragon III was an interquel set between the first and second game in the series.
- Nostalgia Level: The second half of the game, where the setting moves from the U.S. to Japan, feature many levels inspired by the Kunio-kun series ranging from a maze-like castle similar to the NES version of Renegade to an underground dungeon inside a mansion similar to a later segment in Kunio-tachi no Banka.
- Retraux: The game reuses graphical assets from the NES trilogy, with all the returning characters coming back primarily from Double Dragon II, although the backgrounds are bit more detailed than what the NES could typically handle. The soundtrack can also be played in either sampled or chiptune instruments.
- Secret Character: With each level beaten a character is unlocked for use in 2P Duel mode. If you beat the game in a single sitting, you unlock Tower mode and the ability to play as every character in all game modes. Tower mode also has secret character unlocks of its own, starting at level 30.
- Theme Music Power-Up: The Double Dragon theme kicks in when you fight Casey and Shannon.