Review by Psycho Penguin

Reviewed: 11/10/00 | Updated: 07/16/01

Another boring fighting game... this should have been a side scroller!

I have always been a big fan of the Double Dragon series, for a few reasons. One of the biggest reasons for this is because I have always liked the time of gameplay it has provided. The side scrolling action-adventure genre remains one of my favorite genres to this day, and is home to some of my favorite video games, like Sonic Blastman 2 and Final Fight 3. I have really liked most of the games in the Double Dragon series, especially part two, which can be found on the Nintendo Entertainment System.

So, I was really expecting to enjoy playing Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls, as well. How could I be disappointed by this game? Oh yeah, there is one thing they could have done. They could have made this game a game different than a side scroller fighting game. They could have made it a.... Mortal Kombat style fighting game. So what do they do? They make it a Mortal Kombat style fighting game!

Now, I do appreciate the company trying something new and innovative, but they did so at a cost to me, the game player. I really liked Super Double Dragon, so why did they have to screw up the classic formula? And why do they call this, a fighting game, Double Dragon V, and call an actual Double Dragon style game, Super Double Dragon? It doesn't make any sense to me, at all. I would appreciate this game more if I knew ahead of time that it wasn't like the other games in the series.

I can't really remember the storyline to this game at the moment, but I assume it has something to do with Billy, Jimmy, his girlfriend, and the Shadow Warriors. Why do I think this? Because it almost always is about Billy, Jimmy, his girlfriend, and the Shadow Warriors, that's why! I do apologize if that is not the actual storyline, however.

The graphics in the game are pretty good but nothing revolutionary. The backgrounds in the game are actually pretty stale, and the character designs are nothing more than average. I did like the variety of backgrounds in the game, however, and I guess I could find some good points about the designs. Some of the character designs in the game are solid, while others are kind of disappointing. At least they look a lot like they did in the other games, I will give credit where it is due.

The music in the game is pretty good, although certainly nothing special. I liked some of the tracks in the game, and there was certainly a nice variety featured. I really liked some of the music featured later on in the game, as it sounded great. Some of the music could have been a little bit better, though, especially things like the opening theme and the character select screen theme. Sure, they were good, but they could have been a lot betters sounding. Overall, I did like the music, though not as much as I could have.

The sound effects in the game are your standard fighting game fare all the way. Kicks, punches, it's all here. There really is not much else in terms of sound effects besides the basic sound effects featured in a majority of fighting games. I wish there was some sort of voice acting featured too, because I have always liked voice acting featured in video games. It is not a huge deal that it wasn't included, however.

The control in the game is pretty good, but not revolutionary. It does take good advantage of the Super Nintendo controller. However, a lot of the moves are hard to pull off. Maybe it is just me and the fact I have never been really good at pulling off special moves in fighting games, or the fact that it really is hard to pull off moves in this game. I was able to move around, punch, and kick, however.

Despite the fact I was able to punch, kick, and do other normal fighting game stuff, I wish there was more to do. This game, quite frankly, is boring and tedious to play. And I do wish certain aspects of this game were better. The thing I was disappointed most with this game is the fact that it is not a Double Dragon game. Do not go into this game expecting the type of gameplay found in the other games in the series, or you will be truly disappointed.

Instead, you will find a basic one on one fighting game with only a few modes. You get a tournament mode where you have to take out your opponents one by one, plus you get your standard fighting game modes of one player or two player madness, as well as other goodies. There is nothing extraordinary about the gameplay in this game, but at least there are a few modes to the game. However, I really did not enjoy playing this game much at all, and that is the sad truth.

The replay value in this game is not that good. i would much rather play a game of Super Double Dragon or Double Dragon II then to play this game again. Sure, you will probably want to play through the tournament mode until you beat it. But then what? You will probably not want to play the game again after that, because quite frankly this is a very boring game that I did not enjoy playing much, at all.

This is not that challenging of a game, although it certainly could be considered as challenging to some. For those of you that are newbies to the fighting game genre, it may take a bit of time for you to get used to the style of gameplay. The moves are difficult to pull off (at least they are for me) so you are basically reduced to punching and kicking. If that does not make you jump up and scream ''challenging!'' then I don't know what will.

Overall, I was not too impressed by Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls at all. I would have been more impressed by the game had it actually been good. Because if this turned out to be a great fighting game, then I would not have worried about the Double Dragon name. However, the game turned out lazy, so I have to wonder about what if this game was actually a true Double Dragon game, instead of just another boring one on one fighting game.

Good Points
-The character animation is rather solid.
-Some of the music and sound effects are above average.
-I really liked the cover.
-The challenge level is just about right.

Not So Good Points
-It's not a Double Dragon game, yet it's named one.
-It gives the series a bad name.
-The fighting action is boring and tedious.
-Not enough modes to keep you playing again.
-The two player mode is very boring.
-It is very hard, at least in my case, to do more than punch and kick.

I Run Down the Ratings... DaLadiesMan style!
Storyline - Not Available
Graphics - 8.3/10
Music - 6.8/10
Sound Effects - 6.2/10
Control - 4.3/10
Gameplay - 2.8/10
Replay Value - Below Average
Challenge - Average
Worth a Purchase? - Nope.
Overall - 3.2/10

The Last Line: Forget the Double Dragon name and how it gives the series a bad name. This is just a boring fighting game, with no redeeming factors whatsoever. Therefore, I would advise avoiding this game like the nearest copy of Heroes of the Lance.


Rating:   1.5 - Bad

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