Legend of the Dragon Review
Legend of the Dragon is a PSP fighting game based off the animated series on Disney's Jetix lineup. While not the most groundbreaking series ever made, Legend of the Dragon holds up well on the network and is popular enough to be showcased every morning on Toon Disney. So, how is the game? Well, to sum it all up in one word, forgettable.
Let's start with the meat of the game - the fighting. The fighting is very basic with little variety outside of the standard punch and kick. Other than the sidestep features that can be used during battles, the game plays just like a 2-D fighter although it is 3-D. Think of a watered-down version of Dragonball Z Budokai without the ability to fly. Each character comes equipped with a few combos and simple attacks. A good chunk of the combos are basically performed the same way no matter what character is chosen - punch, punch, forward, then alternate between punch and kick to finish the combo. The attacks and combos are different per character so there is some variety in the way they look but not much in the way to perform them.
The characters can all transform into mythical warriors once their super gauge is completely full - kind of like Bloody Roar's Beastorizer only the characters change to bigger human warriors. While transformed each character takes off more damage per hit and has a total of three super attacks. Once the command is given for a super attack, a button-tapping minigame will be launched where both players must spam an on-screen button, input, a button sequence, or perform timed button presses. The opponent is given the chance to cancel any super move before damage is received - this will result in the opponent taking less damage from the attack. There are arguably four super attacks, but the other is only a counter that can be done in both powered up and normal form. The counter move can easily lead to transforming on accident while in normal form since the button command for the counter is L + R + X while the transforming command is L + R.
I'm the type of gamer that likes to play with characters based on their personality. The personality and look of the character are the main aspects that lead me to a character that I will eventually learn to play. Well, in Legend of the Dragon, all the characters look unique as I would expect from a fighter, but they are all basically absent of any type of personality. The sound effects during fights range from nothing more than standard grunts that provide very little emphasis on giving the player the feel of the character. There are no shoutouts of special moves, Hadoukens, Kamehameha's, Get Over Here's, or anything other than a standard punch or kick grunt and a yell when the character transforms or performs a super attack. Even winning poses usually only showcase a simple laugh. The characters all have unique looks based off their TV show persona but they are all boring while controlling one of them.
While the sound effects are nothing special, the background music matches the game fairly well with its mystic sound. The overall graphics are fairly average, basically the same level of detail already seen in a standard PSP game - nothing outstanding and nothing completely awful. The arenas are usually enjoyable with plenty of scenery and a few destructible environments. Ring out arenas can get annoying very quickly however. With attacks that make players fly about halfway across the screen, a ring out is very easy to get on these type of arenas. Thankfully not every arena is like this.
Being a fighting game, one can expect Legend of the Dragon to contain quite a few varieties of play. Gameplay options range from single player modes such as quest, quick fight, survival, and time attack to two player modes like versus, team battle, tag battle, practice (free and training). The main single player experience lies in the game's Quest mode. The player is given the option to choose between two characters and is then sent out on a quest to fight challengers around the area. All conversations are text based, so there is quite a bit of reading at the beginning. Once an opponent is met then the game switches to the standard battle mode. Beat the opponent and you will be given a choice of how to upgrade your current character's stats. The upgraded characters can be chosen in other modes of the game.