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OC HIGH: STUDENT : video game review : Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls; For Super Nintendo by Williams Entertainment. No suggested retail cost.

August 26, 1994|WILLIAM SCHIFFMANN | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Billy and Jimmy Lee, proud products of the Dragon Dojo, have returned as the stars of their own martial arts fighting game.

And in Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls, there's a lot of fighting to do.

DD5 drops the Lee boys into the now-familiar Street Fighter II combat mode-- mano-a-mano with a bizarre series of martial monsters. Defeat the 10 men and women who stand in the way and your champion earns the right to fight the Shadow Master, martial meanie deluxe and the guy who personally started World Wars I and II.

The game gives you four modes--tournament, a vs. battle, quest and a demo section. You also have two "administrative" modes--options and dossiers, in which you learn interesting things about your enemies.

For instance, did you know that Countdown, a cyborg assembled during Mardi Gras and sold as rejected scrap, plays accordion with a zydeco band when he's not trying to disassemble the Lee twins?

Options include variable difficulty, adjustable time limit, continues (up to five) and a chance to customize the controller. Pay attention to this one and try several alternatives until you find one that's comfortable. Remember that, like Street Fighter II, your fighter has more than two-dozen moves, and some involve major controller contortions.

The L, X and Y control the hard, medium and light punch, respectively, with R, A and B handling matching kicks. The directional pad controls a variety of jumps, crouches and attacks.

And you can play as either of the Lees, or as one of the Shadow Master's flunkies, in the vs. mode.

There are a dozen venues available, including the Dragon Dojo, a chemical factory, the Metro City Hotel and three views of the Shadow Dojo, including that popular vacation destination, the Shadow Dungeon. You can select from among them if you are in the two-player mode; otherwise, the CPU will pick an opponent and location for you.

DD5 plays like most of the martial arts games that followed SFII, but it has its own charm. Graphics are clean, colorful and crisply drawn. The combat, especially in the Hard mode, is rough-and-tumble, and the controls work smoothly.

I don't generally talk about the instruction manual, but DD5's booklet is special. Jimmy and Billy, who have their own syndicated TV show, appear in a comic strip explanation of how everything works, written in plain English and aided by the drawings.

All in all, DD5 is a solid, entertaining addition to the list of fighting games, one that will give you hours of fun pounding baddies to paste.

*

There have to be millions, maybe billions, of Game Boy carts moldering on shelves or in boxes at homes where a Super Nintendo is now the focus of attention.

Nintendo had those tiny, orphan carts in mind when it created Super Game Boy, an add-on that plugs into the cart slot on your SNES. A slot at the top of the SGB is just the right size for Game Boy carts.

Slip one in and you'll be amazed at what happens. Those teenie little images explode in size, and you can even pick from a selection of colors--shades of four colors with GB carts you already own and up to 256 with new carts designed for SGB.

The first SGB cart is a revival of one of the most popular of the early video games, Donkey Kong. Putting it on the big screen really makes a difference.

If you have a drawer full of GB carts you rarely look at, spend $59.95 and get yourself a Super Game Boy. It will give those little games a big new lease on life.

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