As a child, I always thought Bruce Lee was cool. I mean, I just knew by watching his movies and seeing that look in those glaring eyes that he was one bad man. It's unfortunate that he never got around to reaching his full potential as an actor, as the only four movies he released were great (I'm not counting one of "his" movies, which starred him for a total of ten minutes). But, what better way to continue the man's great legacy in a video game, the closest thing to a movie that you can take control of.
BRUCE LEE: QUEST OF THE DRAGON takes place in the 1970s, and we begin with Bruce retiring from the British Secret Service. A woman known as Dragon Lady has sworn revenge on Bruce Lee for killing her father, and desecrates his monastery and kidnaps Bruce's father. So, of course Bruce, known for his rage and fury, is off to teach some people a lesson.
I had a chance to play this a bit at E3, and I have to say I really liked it. I'm a Bruce Lee fan, so hey, anything with him in a game is great to me. But, after playing through the game a bit, my opinion has wavered a bit. Not a ton, but from what I played I was expected more. I was really surprised by the graphics of QUEST OF THE DRAGON. I mean, it's not that they're really bad, but I expected so much more from them. The game has been advertised well (even on the Xbox booklet that came with the system), so everyone expects this game to look really good.
But, graphics do not make the game, and while the controls of QUEST OF THE DRAGON aren't superb, they get the job done. The game plays like a 3D FINAL FIGHT of sorts, where you run through the levels, encountering numerous enemies at a time. You have the basic punch, kick and block buttons, and combos result in pressing the buttons in a series. You also learn moves (which you can purchase after completion of a level), which you can perform by holding the left trigger down and pressing a certain button (don't worry; the moves are in the manual). The one problem I've had with the controls is the responsiveness of them. Sometime, you'll be pressing a button and it will take a second for Bruce to execute the move on-screen.
The voice acting isn't great, but what Bruce Lee movie sported good acting? The whole point of the movie was to see his "fists of fury". I will say that the actor that did the voice-over work for Bruce Lee's character was actually pretty convincing as Bruce. He sounded a bit like him, so it was believable.
The one thing I've heard from a lot of the dissatisfied fans of this game is that there aren't any fights from Bruce's movies. While that may be true, the game does sport a lot of battles and boss battles (although you really fight a lot of generic enemies). But, hey, this is supposed to be a brand new Bruce Lee story, so why would they include something from his other movies? Also, the game can make you lose interest after a while (since there isn't any exploring, only fighting and more fighting).
In the end, QUEST OF THE DRAGON leaves the feeling of mediocrity in your stomach after playing. Its fun, it's enjoyable, but it gets old fast. Fans of Bruce Lee will probably enjoy the game, and 3D action fans will probably have some fun with QUEST OF THE DRAGON. But, other than that, I suggest giving it a rental to see what you think of it first.Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.