Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior in Review – The martial arts master comes for the iPhone!

The Fighting genre has taken a long time to prove it can be made to work on the iDevice. After some hiccups and original views Ragdoll Legends for example, one  of the most famous franchises of fighting games – STREET FIGHTER IV took the AppStore literally by force. It finally put an end to the discussions around the right of the fighting genre to exist on the platform. And almost out of the blue Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, originally designed for the iPhone, has arrived to fight for the crown of best fighting game.

Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior is a classic fighting game. What’s quite uncommon about it is the fact it is backed by solid 5-chapter storyline worth up to 5-6 hours of gameplay. The story revolves about a young and brash Bruce Lee, newly arrived after growing up in the States. After getting into a drunk fight in a bar one night he joins a martial arts school to further his skills. After many ordeals he faces a rival school in a tournament and a number of underground fights. And it’s your job to help him emerge victorious.

The essence of Dragon Warrior is the classic – pummel your opponent to death. To attain this you have a number of attacks, split into normal, combo, special moves, grabs and even the end attack aka fatality. On the unusual side there is no jump button. Instead, Bruce Lee moves left and right, in and out. The other unusual feature is – there is only one playable character (at least in the storyline mode) – Bruce Lee himself. Variety comes by customising the moves and attacks he uses out of the ones present in the game. Considering there are 7 categories with from 5 to 10 different unlockable moves each, the possibilities are mind-boggling. And if you fancy a quick Arcade or VS battle you CAN choose any of the unlocked characters to play with.

The moves themselves can be virtually split between simple combos and special attacks and grabs, the latter two requiring chi energy to use. Chi energy is gained by doing certain attacks, as well as blocking and evading.

Bruce Lee includes 5 different types of gameplay modes: Story, Arcade, Time Attack, VS and Survival. They don’t differ much but allow you not get bored of the same old same old. In addition you can choose one of 3 difficulty modes to adjust the gameplay to your skill level. As you complete various stages you gain EXP and level-up, though I was unable to understand what the level actually affects.

The graphics in Dragon Warrior are simply astonishing. I was not even aware that my old iPhone 3G was capable of delivering such beauty. And without any hiccups as all! I have to make a special mention of the movement animation – using motion-capture has obviously done its job since the quality and fluidity of movements is simply outstanding.

The interface matches up to overall quality of the game and interface – done with a simple combination of a virtual D-Pad (which may be switched to a virtual joystick) and only two attack buttons punch and kick. There aren’t any crazy combinations required to do special moves; instead the maximum series amounts to 5 and that is for 2 moves only, making the game very friendly to the casual gamer.

Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior makes good in its attempt to challenge Street Fighter IV as the best fighting game on the AppStore. They are both good in some respects while lacking in others. The former is more friendly to the casual gamer and the latter more targeted at hardcore fighting fans. The only real grudge I have against Dragon Warrior is the absence of any kind of multiplayer, which has always been an integral part of any fighting game. Regardless, providing both an exception graphical experience even on the older devices and polished easy-to-use controls, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior is the number one choice for anyone willing to try out how a fighting game should perform on an iDevice.

With this I declare Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Bruce Lee Dragon WarriorDeveloper: Indiagames Ltd.
Reviewed Ver:1.0Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$4.99App Size:84.7 MB
  • Superb graphics and fluid performance
  • Very easy-to-use interface
  • Configurable fighting style
  • 5 chapter storyline
  • No multiplayer

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