Review by DillMan926
"Almost as fun as Penguin Sledding"
Avatar: The Last Airbender, for the Nintendo Wii, is based off the popular show on Nickelodeon. The fire nation is at war with the rest of the world. Each nation, fire, water, earth, and air, each posses special powers (called bending) in their respective elements. The main character, Aang, is a 12 year old boy who was recently woken up after 100 years of being frozen in ice and is the last Air Bender alive. He is also the Avatar, the only being capable of mastering all of the different elements. The video game takes place between seasons 1 and 2 of the show.
Graphics - 6
This is the worst aspect of the game. The game is cel shaded (and poorly so) and is not very good looking. This never actually gets in the way of the game, but it definitely brings it down a notch. The game is probably a direct port off the Gamecube, but being on a "next gen" console, the graphics definitely underachieved, which is a shame because the show is extremely well animated. During the actual game the graphics are just fine looking, but the cut scenes look pretty bad.
Gameplay - 8
The gameplay in this game is quite fun. It is a mix between an action/adventure game and an RPG. All of the fighting is in real time. You have the "A" button to attack, and the "B" button for your bending powers. As you defeat enemies, find new areas, complete missions, and find items you will gain XP. Once you gain enough XP you will get to level up and learn new moves that add to your current combo for physical attacks, learn more bending powers, or upgrade current bending powers. You will also find different items that you can equip to increase the characters' stats. It is also kind of cool how each character has a "set" of items that once you have multiple items of that set and equip them, you get bonuses to your stats.
The different characters are Aang (Air bender and Avatar), Katara (Water bender and healer), Sokka (not a bender, but he has a boomerang), Haru (Earth bender), and Aang's pet lemur, Momo. You start the game as Aang, and Momo, and once you get more members, you can freely switch between them. You will have to switch between members to perform different moves to help you throughout the game. Momo is used to find special items that only he can find. Whenever a character comes near an area with a chest or item that is hidden, your Wii Remote will start rumbling and a "?" will appear on the screen. So as long as you come somewhat near, you should not have too much trouble finding the hidden items.
The game is broken up into chapters and in each chapter you will be able to explore a new area. In each new chapter there will be about 5 or 6 different areas to explore and about 10 missions that you can complete. You will have a handy map and journal so you can see where all of the areas are, where your current location is, and all of your current missions.
The game is not very hard at all, I never died once. Your health and chi automatically regenerate after a certain period of time when you are not fighting, so the only time you will really ever have to use any type of healing items is possibly during boss fights. Katara also heals party members. The game is probably about 10 hours long. It would have been nice if it were a bit longer.
Wii Gameplay: There are a few specific functions that only the Wii version of Avatar has. First, for the bending powers, you can assign up to 4 powers in the menu to use in the game. You will use these powers by pressing the "B" button and swinging the Wii Remote either up, down, left, or right. You can either let the game automatically assign powers for you, or you can manually pick which powers to use and which direction to swing the Wii Remote to use them. The other special function is that whenever you encounter something called a "Focus Move" in the game, you will have to draw a symbol of the screen with a calligraphy brush using the Wii Remote to do it. "Focus Moves" are used to find hidden chests and to perform special bending powers to move forward in the game (for example, maybe there is water preventing you from going into an area, but Katara, the Water bender, can freeze the water to make a bridge to walk across). Overall the controls are probably about the same as with the other console versions, but the Wii has a few extra additions.
Sound - 8
All of the voice actors, at least of the main characters, are from the show, so it is a nice touch to hear the right voices for each character. The whole game is not voice acted, but the cut scenes are and they also say things periodically throughout the game. The music is pretty good, it stays in the right theme with the story and the show.
Unlockables - 7
You can unlock 3 different galleries of images by beating the game and entering codes. It is interesting to see and it gives you something to unlock, but overall not that thrilling.
Overall Score - 8
Overall, I would say Avatar is must own game if you enjoy the show, but is probably not as interesting for people not familiar with the show. The show is generally geared more towards kids, but I am sure some adults like it as well. The game is just a fun, relaxing adventure with cool powers set in a fantasy world that is great for all ages.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/27/06
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