When most people think of Kung Fu movies, the first name that comes to mind is Bruce Lee. I wish the same can be said when it comes to actors in video games. Dragon is another one of those mediocre titles that makes the blockbuster very lackluster. I would only recommend this game to people who really need to kill some time.
In Dragon, you play as the Kung Fu master busting some heads to get a chance to kill The Phantom, a grim reaper type of guy in a samurai getup. WHOOPIE! The levels consist of one-on-one and one-on-two battles. Then you have training levels, to hone your skills, thrown in every once in a while. It’s fun for the first matches, but then you quickly start to get pissed at how the difficulty of the battles is unbalanced. Once you lose the three lives you are allotted, you get a chance to gain another three by holding your own in a short battle between you and The Phantom himself. Though unique, it quickly gets annoying when you just want to continue trying to fight the last enemy that ripped you apart.
The actual story around this game is just as vague as most fighting games, so it’s nothing really surprising. All you are doing is just going around fighting just to find out more information on the Phantom’s location. It’s nothing to go into deep detail about, since there isn’t much from the start.
The multiplayer aspect of this game is fun for a little while. The only crappy part is that the only character available is Bruce Lee. I sure love variety when it comes to fighting games…
The modes for the multiplayer aren’t bad. You and a friend can go through the story mode as the Bruce Lee twins, where, at the end of the fight, there can be only one left standing. It’s also possible to let a second victim join the mind-numbing joys of this game in a three-way battle to the death.
Fighting in this game tends to appear one-sided from first glance, with only a handful of moves from the beginning. It is not the case once you start building up what is called your Chi bar to a reasonable level; this is done by putting those few moves to good use. After the bar has been raised enough, you can change your stance from Mantis Mode, your normal stance, to Fighter Mode, a faster stance with no blocking ability. The moves and fighting methods are altered to vary the experience. Later on, when you’ve acquired more Chi, you can use his last stance, Nunchaku Mode. Bruce breaks out the nunchaku to show the enemies who’s boss. It sounds so cool in theory, but it ends up being an uneventful attempt at adding more to a less-than-interesting game.
The graphics aren’t the best thing on the Genesis, but they won’t make you want to spork out your own eyes. I would have liked to have seen a little more vivid color, since everything leans on the dull site. The music is along the same lines as the graphics: dull, boring, and monotonous in presentation. The sound effects don’t seem like there was much of an effort in their development. It was as if someone took an old Casio keyboard and recorded the sounds off of it; yuck.
The game is good for a laugh if you have nothing better to do, but I would suggest pretending to be Frogger at your nearest highway for an hour before wasting a precious second trying to get any decent playability out of this title. Sorry, Bruce; maybe another game, my friend.