Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon Review

Nebojsa Radakovic
Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon Info


  • N/A


  • 1


  • Universal Interactive


  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • Xbox


Exit the Dragon, enter the garbage.

Though he only released a handful of films in America, Bruce Lee’s determination,

unbelievable athletic ability and seemingly inhuman will have allowed him to transcend

his somewhat meager acting roots to become a legend in both martial arts and action

filmmaking. Sure, Jim Kelly might

have had cooler hair, but Mr. Han kicked

his ass
pretty easily. Plus, he never made this

cool face.

Bruce has popped up in video games quite a number of times, though usually

(he starred in a C64 game back in the day) unofficially as some archetypal fighting

game character. Remember Kung-Fu, which was based on Game of Death? Law

from the Tekken games? I even remember him as an unlockable character

in Eternal Champions for the Sega CD.

So it comes as little shock to see someone decide to feature Bruce in a new game

for a new console. Unfortunately, it also comes as little shock that the game

sucks… big time. Crummy delivery, a weak engine, awful controls and paltry

depth take all the fire out of the Dragon. Kiyay!

Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon‘s main Adventure mode pits you (as the

legendary Lee) in a story so thin it makes Fists of Fury look like Hamlet.

Apparently, Bruce has just retired from the British Secret Service and gets

tangled up with the Black Lotus organization, which seems to be made up of a

few thousand guys who excel at getting their asses kicked by Bruce Lee. Your

job is to get to the bottom of things by beating people up.

The gameplay is basically Final Fight. You wander from linear level

to linear level beating up hordes of thugs who throw themselves at your flying

feet. There are some in-engine movies tossed in to give the story some sort

of flow, but the modeling is atrocious and the script is so bad you’ll barely

have any idea why you suddenly went from the Jungle to the Beach.

There are other levels as well, as the game is set in a few different cities – Hong Kong, London and San Francisco – and features over 30 areas. I use the word ‘area’ loosely, because they all function the same way. You just run from one end to the other, stopping and fighting whenever a bunch of guys show up.

You’d think that a game featuring the world’s most famous martial artist would

have a seriously intricate fighting engine. And if you’re thinking that, you’re

probably due back at your ‘special’ school. Bruce Lee QOTD‘s combat is

about as thrilling as a pillow fight at an old-age home. See bad guy. Hit bad

guy. See other bad guy. Kick bad guy. See bad guys disappear. Throw game out


The archaic gameplay is hampered further by the awkward controls. In an attempt to simulate the big brawl scenes rampant in every Bruce Lee flick, the game likes throwing a gang of baddies your way at once. There are two ways to deal with this: Non-Oriented fighting or Lock-On fighting.

Non-Oriented fighting means you run around mashing punch and kick like a maniac,

hoping to connect enough times to knock some guys out. Lock-On fighting lets

you target one guy specifically and opens up combo moves and whatnot, though

you’ll likely be just as effective mashing punch and kick like a maniac. Things

would be okay if the combat control was good, but alas, most combos are simply

a string of punches or kicks with the occasional direction thrown in. And since

you have to Lock-On to bust out the combos, you’re constantly trying to switch

to the nearest guy, only to find yourself comboing some poor sap while some

other guy is kicking you in the side.


there’s the camera…oh, the camera. Though the game is in 3D, you cannot move

the camera at all. It just tracks Bruce and zooms in and out randomly. Half

the time you’ll be fighting a guy standing off screen. Not that it matters,

though, since the enemies are morons who simply perform the same attacks over

and over again.

There are also random fight scenes that allow you to use nunchakus, which magically

appear out of your pants. So you smack some guys with the nunchakus and then,

according to the animation sequence, tuck them away in the middle of your back.

It’s just ridiculously bad.

The game tries to reward the gamer who goes for big combos by dishing out

more coins when enemies are dispatched in big ways. Yep, coins. Oddly, this

is one of the game’s bright spots. Defeated enemies leave coins, which are gathered

and then used in between levels to buy new moves, increase attack power, etc.

It’s pretty limited, but at least they tried to give the game some depth. Unfortunately,

the heinous, monotonous gameplay dulls the shine irreperably.

Speaking of dull, the graphics are boring and cheap. Textures are washed-out

and clipping errors abound. Plus, the animations are very, very jerky, which

is sort of strange since they put a great deal of energy into the robust moves

list. It looks even worse than this…

The sound doesn’t fare much better. Some bits are lifted straight out of the

movies, but most of the dialogue is poorly produced. Bruce’s incessant grunting

and clucking sounds more like a Superchicken

than a dragon. And why didn’t they use the terrific theme from Enter

the Dragon?

The developers certainly try to do justice to an incredible presence, but

while they succeed in quoting Bruce Lee like mad throughout the manual, they

fail miserably in creating a good game. The only reason this one doesn’t get

an F is the fact that Bruce Lee is in it, and I don’t want to completely dishonor

him. This game has more in common with The Crow

than The Dragon, a sad case of father emulating son. And in the process, they

have offended my family.


It's Bruce Lee!
Yet it sucks
Boring, stale gameplay
Bad graphics
Weak engine