If pushed to sum up Heart Of The Dragon in one sentence, then I guess I would say something like "Well, it's very American isn't it?" Let me explain myself. Who but the Americans would stick together a simplistic adventuring game (sort of like Obitus several steps down the evolutionary ladder) and a one-or-two player martial arts beat-'em-up, then evnvelope the whole thing in technical excellence and some ridiculous bragging ('featuring Anatomation for anatomically true animation effects' etc)?
There's a lot of pseudo-technical guff ('my game's got faster frame animation than your game!') on the back of the box, and it really is a load of old cobblers.
Actually that's probably being a bit too harsh. Although the adventure sequences are quite naff (despite the 4096 colours apparently used!), the music has a cinematic quality, and visually the fight sequences are fairly appealing.
No, it's in the actual attention to playability that Dragon (like many martial arts games before it) falls down. Okay, so there are 192 colours this time, pleasing backdrops, and splendid animation of two completely different characters (Tommy Lee fights, while Master Chi levitates and fires 'psionic' bolts at the bad guys), but what's really missing is any feel to the thing. It just is a case of wiggling the joystick a bit to execute a few moves, in the vague hope that they will somehow combine into the correct way to execute your opponent.
The main selling point of the game seems to be that you'll be knocked over by the graphics, and when that quite conspicuously fails to be the case it really doesn't leave much left for it to stand on. Certainly the fights with the various different baddies are nothing to write home about (though Rock Men's hilariously obscene 'weapons' have to be worth a few extra points!) and once you've discovered just how minimal the fantasy aspect is you'll soon be ready to go pack up and go home.
A good laugh for ten minutes maybe (get your friends round to check out those Rock Men!), but there's no way anybody should actually go out of their way to play this (and certainly no way they should blow this amount of money on the blooming thing). Sorry Avatar, come back when you can add technical effects to a game, rather than vice versa.