Review by TWIAYSDTI109

"Entertaining gameplay but not nearly enough"

This is a review of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" for Gamecube. This video game is based on Nickelodeon's somewhat popular telivision show with the same title. Personally, I find the tv series quite enjoyable and expected a lot more than I got out of this video game. I cannot speak for the versions of this game on other systems, but if they're exactly the same, I recommend rental as opposed to purchase.

Graphics: (6) As with most games, the intro-movie has much better graphics than the game itself. The same goes for this game, however I find that because this was released on Gamecube, the graphics had a lot more potential. During each movie scene, the graphics resembled moving comics a little too much. When on the playing field, the camera is at a set distance. It's quite literally a bird's eye-view of all characters available. The only time the camera angle is different is during boss battles. Because of the distance from the characters that the camera provided, graphics proved to be unimportant during gameplay, however still desired. As a general note, the graphics during gameplay were more realistic than the movie scenes.

Sound: (8) The sound in "Avatar: The Last Airbender" had sound that fit the gameplay. The voices were almost dead-on, including Sokka's witty comments with the same sarcastic expressions. As for music, there would be a general "light" feeling to the music that was played unless a battle began. In which case, the music became more up-beat. However, the music wasn't at all something that was worth hearing and I found myself turning down the volume more than once. Fortunately, this was the only fault I found in terms of sound. Each bending technique had its own sound and even the sound of walking in different areas had different sounds.

Game play: (5) I found the game play to be the most enjoyable part of this game. Being able to use three different bender techniques (air, water, and earth) proved to be quite enjoyable. However, the usage of the fourth element, fire, was non-existant. In fact, the "Avatar" was not able to master any elements other than his own: Air. Each character had one element, the same was what they had in the series, and Sokka had his trusty boomerang. Personally, I expected to be able to master the elements with the "Avatar" and have Katara and Haru, two other benders, tag along with their single-element skills. Another disappointing factor in this game was the abilities of each character.

Each character was given a certain number of points, in which were able to be spread among their own abilities. Unfortunately, there are simply not enough points for many of the "best" abilities to be used. Items were not organized very well but each increased stats by a small bit. Each character could only have three items held and nothing more. In general, playing on the field was fun but the technical necessities nearly killed the the whole thing.

Another disappointing thing about game play was that each "chapter" displayed a percentage of completion. If all items and side-quests (of which there were A LOT) were completed, then and only then would you get 100% in each area. Then it gets worse: if you didn't recieve 100% in a chapter, you can never go back. Once a chapter was completed, you would have to start over to play that chapter again.

Storyline: (6) The storyline was rather strange. The entire game seems to have taken place between two points in the series: right between the end of the first book (Water) and before the second book (Earth). The entire story was generally easy to follow but did nothing but lead up to a made-up boss that never existed in the series (and most-likely never will). The "Avatar's" #1 enemy, Prince Zuko made a couple appearances but did not ensue in a battle with any character.

Summary: (5) Even big fans of the "Avatar: The Last Airbender" series will find it difficult to enjoy this game. Although the game play can be quite enjoyable at times, there is way too much to be desired and glitches occur left and right. Not enough levels and technical details become, quite frankly, frustrating. The best choice that can be made for this game is to rent it, not buy it.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 10/16/06

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