Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon
Legendary martial-arts master Bruce Lee is about to make a return to the video-game world in Universal's upcoming Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon (due this summer). An action-based fighting game along the lines of The Bouncer (or Final Fight, for you old geezers out there), it tells the story of Bruce's journey to find his kidnapped father and retrieve the Golden Relic, the key to ancient secrets of the martial arts.
The action spans different locations around the globe including Hong Kong, England and Lee's birthplace, San Francisco. Developer Ronin is promising unique personalities for each of the game's enemies, making for more interesting action than your typical beat-'em-up. In addition, eight different martial-arts styles will be represented, including Lee's own Jeet Kune Do. A unique lock-on targeting system will allow you to take on several enemies at once, as only the master could, and besting enemies will net you tokens which can be used to purchase new moves.
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In 1973, Enter the Dragon was the first time a major American studio (Warner Bros.) made a big budget martial arts movie. Up until then, movies involving the martial arts were cheesy low budget crap usually imported from Asia. Enter the Dragon became a huge success and Bruce Lee finally achieved the super star status he had longed for in the U.S.A. My point being, Enter the Dragon became the martial arts movie ALL martial arts movies are compared to, even to this day.
How does this fact translate into a game review? Well let me say this'Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon does not do justice to the martial arts legend. As a matter of fact, this game is of such poor quality, I would not be surprised if Bruce Lee rose from the grave and exacted his revenge on the people responsible for this tripe.
The control scheme is set up so poorly that it is conceivable one could play this game using none of the combos featured, by merely pressing the punch and kick buttons. It really is a fighting engine worthy of a dirt sandwich. While the game hints that you will be tossed into fight scenes where it's 15 on one (similar to Bruce's movies), it rarely happens. Often times, bad guys will just stand there, as you beat up their friends and they will patiently wait for their turn to scuff your knuckles with their faces. On a positive note, once while playing the game, Bruce performed one of his trademark no-look punches on a bad guy that walked up behind me while I was kicking the crap out of some nameless thug. But this only excited me the one time. The game also suffers from some serious clipping issues and a way-too-easy difficulty setting.
Don't waste your money buying this game. I was really disappointed with this title, especially since it was hyped heavily as a launch game and while the idea was noteworthy, we still have yet to have a standout adventure game with a full on fighting engine. In two months this title will go for $19.99 and even then it's just not worth it.