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An 80s Arcade Classic Is Getting A Brand New 8-Bit Sequel

When a retro series returns after a long hiatus, it usually takes the form of a modern reboot or at least a spruced up homage with modern visuals, features, soundtrack, etc. That's not happening with an upcoming sequel to a beloved series from the 80's, and we couldn't be happier.

At long last, Double Dragon 4 is set to arrive, and it looks to follow all of the traditions set by the original series from three decades ago.

Yes, it's hard to believe, but Double Dragon is turning 30 this year and, to celebrate, the team at Arc System Works is gearing up to deliver a true sequel to the original trilogy. The studio has become well known for their fighting games, including the BlazBlue series, Guilty Gear and even that rad Persona fighter from a few years back.

What's interesting here is that the team is known for its slick design. Everything from the characters to the environments in their previous games are painstakingly detailed and animated, making the games look like beautiful pieces of art in motion. With Double Dragon 4, though, they've decided to keep the series true to its 8-bit roots.

According to an announcement from the developer, the latest Double Dragon game will pick up right where the original trilogy left off. It's a traditional side-scrolling brawler, with the story picking up following the elimination of the Black Warriors. For those of you who know your DD history, that means that the story of Double Dragon 4 actually takes place after Double Dragon 2. Since a couple of years have passed between the second and third game in the series, it makes sense that this new story could fit nicely between them.

The trailer itself is pretty straightforward. We get a look at some memorable scenes from the first two Double Dragon games before being told "The legend goes on..."

We then see the dynamic duo of Billy and Jimmy dropped into brand new encounters, beating the stuffing out of bad guys aplenty in all their old-school glory. The game keeps the 8-bit aesthetics, but the scenes are noticeably more smooth and crisp. We see the team fighting in the desert, through a mountain pass and even a shrine with spears shooting out of the roof. A brief look at the menu is shown, offering up a Story, a mode called "2P Duel," a bunch of question marks and, at the bottom, the ability to change the language.

Once the whole thing wraps up, we're told that the newest entry in the classic Double Dragon series is heading to both the PlayStation 4 and Steam. No other platforms are listed, which is kind of surprising. We're thinking this would be a perfect fit on the Switch, for instance. Then again, the game launches before the Switch drops, so who knows what the future holds. Look for it on Jan. 30.

Ryan Winslett

Staff Writer for CinemaBlend.