Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Back on the old site William wrote an article about Bruce Lee in video games titled "PLAYING THE GAME".  Now I hate to step on his toes with another article about on the exact same subject, but I will do it anyway just because mine will be better.  Oh snap!

The other day I was at EB Games, Canada's version of GameStop and noticed a copy of BRUCE LEE: QUEST OF THE DRAGON for the XBox just sitting there for a mere $4.99.  Desperate for something to write about I grabbed it which wasn't the brightest idea.  Make sure to do some research first especially when buying XBox games because not all of them are compatible with the XBox 360.  Unfortunately, BRUCE LEE: QUEST OF THE DRAGON is not backwards compatible meaning I can't even play it.  That might be a good thing because after reading a few reviews for QUEST OF THE DRAGON it sounds like it sucks.  Since I can't deliver a game review, here is a list of all Bruce Lee games made to date.

BRUCE LEE (1984)
Developed by Datasoft and published by Datasoft, US Gold and Comptiq on a variety of platforms, half of which I've never even heard of such as Atari 8-bit family, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, MS-DOS and Apple II.  Apparently this game is one of the originators of the platformer beat 'em up genre which received favorable reviews when it was originally released.  In the game you play Bruce Lee fighting your way through twenty chamber collecting lanterns with the evil wizard appearing in the final chamber.  Somehow, I doubt it stands the  test of time.

A MS-DOS based PC game developed by The Software Toolworks.  You play as Bruce Lee (of course!) as he battles his way though goons and thugs to the final boss, Master Po, and put an end to his destruction of Hong Kong Palace.  Forget about Valve's Virtual Director in LEFT 4 DEAD, BRUCE LEE LIVES features an AI engine that changes the difficulty of the game depending on the player's technique.  The game even includes the biography book "Dragon's Tale: The Story of Bruce Lee" written by Linda Lee.

A fighting game based on the movie starring Jason Scott Lee which was developed by Virgin Interactive and published by Acclaim Entertainment.  The game somewhat mirrors the movie as Bruce fights thought scenes in the movie and if you die you must fight the Phantom, the personification of Lee's fear.  Apparently, the game was rather difficult, but did feature 3 player co-op.  The funny thing is that the additional players were just "clones" of Lee with different colored pants.  The game was available on a variety of systems like the Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System, Atari Jaguar and Nintendo's Super NES.

Bruce Lee has to save his kidnapped father AND retrieve a mystical artifact from the Black Lotus led by Dragon Lady Natascha.  As your progress though the 40 areas of the game you gather coins which can be used to purchase new moves.  Unfortunately, the game received less than favorably reviews due to it's bad controls, poor graphics and slow loading times.  The game was developed by Ronin Entertainment and published by Universal Interactive.

A year later and Universal Interactive (this time with VU Games) is back at it with another Bruce Lee game exclusively for the Game Boy Advance and apparently it's actually supposed to be good.  A side scrolling beat 'em up has Bruce Lee playing the role of Hai Feng, a martial arts student out to avenge the death of his master.  I'm a bit confused here because it's a Bruce Lee game, but you are Bruce Lee playing a movie character?

The most recent Bruce Lee game from Digital Legends is a 3D fighting game for Apple's iPad.  IGN gave it a very nice review saying "it is a solid fighter with a great star."

So I haven't actually played any of those Bruce Lee games, but I could if I bought an original XBox, but I probably wouldn't want to because it sucked.  I'll probably never get an iPad unless I find one at the thrift store in about 10 years.  I might try and get my hands on Bruce Lee: Return of the Dragon for the GBA.  I've looked for it, but no luck yet, and if I do I'll let you know how it is.  With the exception of the iPad game all of these games can be found on eBay, although finding the systems to play them on might be a little harder.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

KUNG FU FEVER (movie review)

Year: 1978
AKA: Black Dragon Fever
Starring: Dragon Lee, Ron Van Clief, Amy Chum, Bill Stanley, Steven Chow (No, not that one!), Bruce Lee (clips...Classy isn't it!)
Directed by: Kao Ke

After the death of Bruce Lee various crime lords and gangsters are out to get their hands on Lee's Iron Finger technique book. It's up to Bruce's star student, Ricky Chan (Dragon Lee), to get to the book before they do and keep the Iron Finger technique safe. With two rival groups trying to get the book and a hot chick dressed in black leather thrown into the mix, Ricky doesn't have an easy job.

Before I watched KUNG FU FEVER it had been quite a while since I had watched a low budget old school kung fu flick. I had forgotten how bad they can be and it wasn't helping that the picture quality of my DVD was watching absolutely horrible. I almost turned the movie off as it started off pretty slow. Ron Van Clief just shows up to beat up some guy in some field and then he leaves after which Dragon Lee appears out of nowhere to console his fallen friend.  The movie took 30 minutes before Dragon Lee got around kicking ass, but when he finally did the movie turned around.

Dragon Lee looks pretty good here with lots of kicking and some impressive acrobatic flipping. He also pulls out all the stops in his imitations using all the gestures, taunts, howls, and yellow jumpsuits in the Bruce Lee repertoire. This is Bruceploitation!

During the opening credits there is a title card that reads the following:
The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in the production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons, places, buildings and products is intended or should be inferred.
Okay, so they use actual footage of Bruce Lee, use footage from his funeral, refer to him by name, and still have the balls to put up a disclaimer up saying all names and characters are fictitious?! NOW THAT IS BRUCEPLOITATION!!