Kiyaaa! Bruce Lee’s kung fu is the story of legends, but a game, based on a movie, based on a legend… That’s a stretch, even for the awesomeness of Bruce Lee. The game has a rough story mode, which consists basically of a few pixelated frames of the highlights of the movie, followed by a fight. The game is basically a poorly written 2 (optionally 3) player fighter. If it weren’t contemporary to Super Street Fighter II, it would almost be forgivable, but by 1994, the fighter genre had evolved far past the button mashing and awkward movement of this game.
To be fair, it’s not horrible. The music is probably the best part. The made an effort to put good tracks to the fights. The punch and kick sound effects are the usual brutal, rough sounds, but they fit alright. In the end, what makes the game unenjoyable is really that there is little to now way to refine your skill, and study and practice combos, and interesting special moves and techniques. The game is just too banal. The only point of mild interest is the support for a 3rd player. You could have a bit of a 3 player fighter extravaganza going on for a bit, and the mayhem could be somewhat interesting. Maybe. It is something that was not often seen in that era and helped justify the expensive SNES multi-tap purchase. The game deserves credit for that much.
The idea of walking through a movie in a game was still reasonably new in 1994, so it’s a reasonable attempt. Certainly, we must be careful to not overpraise the Street Fighter franchise, seeing what they did with Street Fighter The Movie The Game. I shudder to think of it.
Verdict: Dragon – The Bruce Lee Story is a fairly pedestrian fighting game that doesn’t offer enough variety or staying power to keep you coming back for more. It doesn’t completely rape the movie franchise, and a decent effort was made for things like music, but on the whole, it’s just not enough to gain any real note in the history books.