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REVIEW by Phoenix Otaku
Bruce Lee was a Martial Arts legend, who built himself up through years of hard work and training. By the time of his death, his legend was already set in stone. Books were written about him, documentaries were filmed about him, what was least expected though, was a computer game about him. Still, we weren't disappointed as like the man himself, the Bruce Lee game became one of the most important platformers of it's kind.
In the role of Bruce Lee, the idea of the game is to collect lanterns in the various rooms to allow you to advance onto the next, each time fighting your way through the relentless onslaught of the Black Ninja and the Green Yama. Your ultimate goal is to reach and defeat the Wizard, where you will gain infinite wealth and immortality.
The levels are fairly well designed. Each screen presents a new problem for you to solve, whilst you must avoid the ever persistent Green Yama and Black Ninja. The game does get increasingly harder, with some of the last few screens being quite a challenge, involving good timing and great concentration. The game keeps pace well, and there isn't a dull or monotonous level in the game.
This game is unique in the fact that it has a fighting element to it when compared to straight forward platformers, such as Miner 2049er, which involved simply jumping from platform to platform. Bruce Lee is vastly different in that although it is still a basic platformer at heart it is essential to fight your way through some parts of the game, using punches and flying kicks, adding a new twist to the genre. The game graphics are enough to add character and colour to the game without putting too much detail into it, and the sounds in the game are simple and not overused. The game controls are not complicated and are easy to get to grips with.
The two player feature is unique to this game. Each player can take it in turns to play as Bruce Lee or the second player can take control of the Green Yama to oppose Bruce Lee. This adds a whole new challenge to the game. In controlling the Green Yama, you will find that he cannot duck like Bruce Lee can, instead pulling down on the joystick opens the Yama's mouth, letting out a calling noise, which makes for some amusing moments in gameplay. For variety, or if Player 1 is finding the levels too difficult, the second player can use the Green Yama as an ally, by stopping the Black Ninja with a volley of kicks and punches.
one and only fault with this game, is that the AI for the computer controlled
Green Yama isn't too well tuned, as the Yama never follows you up ladders. This
can be used to your advantage, by ascending platforms and leaving the Green
Yama yawning at the bottom of the screen. That aside, Bruce Lee is a well rounded
game, and a joy to play from start to finish.
Title Music from Disk version
To enter the underground lair, you must collect ALL the lanterns on the first three upper levels.
A corridor in the
castle contains a pair of orange shields. Collect these for an Extra Life! Also,
by running left off the screen and returning you'll find the shields reappear
for more extra lives (these only appear for a total of 5 extra lives though).
CLICK HERE to Download an Unlimited Lives file for use in the Atari 800Win Emulator.
As well as the Atari 8-bit Version, there were versions for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad. The Commodore was the nearest version to the Atari, with a few minor graphic and sound differences - for example, Bruce Lee's digital representation was more a yellow colour on the Commodore and an orangey colour on the Atari version. The Spectrum version has the poorest graphics and sound, although it is still quite playable. Strangely the Green Yamo never seems to do running kicks in the Amstrad version, which certainly makes things a lot easier!
SCREENSHOTS of the these versions
ZX SPECTRUM Screenshots
The Bruce Lee
Foundation (Official Site)
(Founded by Bruce Lee's Wife and Daughter)
(Bruce Lee Filmography)
Bruce Lee 2 -
Return of the Wizard
(Fan-made PC sequel to the original game)