Review by Aqlex239
"Fans will be pleased...but only for about 6 hours"
Let me start off by saying that I love Avatar. I've seen every episode multiple times, and I played the first Avatar game. This game was actually much easier than the first, with a lot less customizables and a lot less play time as well. I beat the game in 3 days, playing for under 2 hours every day. That is about 6 hours of game time. There are a few extra things and a few unlockables, but they shouldn't add more than an hour. This is still a decent game for fans, but the price may turn some away.
Gameplay: (7) The game itself is pretty good with some decent controls. The camera was a bit confusing at times, because when you go into a new room, the camera angle suddenly changes and you must quickly adjust your direction of movement to go with it. It still wasn't bad. One of the main problems was the saving. You don't save. The game decides when you can save. It doesn't let you save very often either. This normally wouldn't be all that bad, but I had many glitches which required me to pull the plug on my Wii and turn the game back on to find myself pretty far back. The game itself froze 4 times, always while loading, and twice an enemy which needed to be defeated to continue the storyline froze in midair, twitching, totally invincible to any move I attempted. This required quitting and trying again. There were a couple combos in the game, all focusing on the Z and B buttons. Most were pretty easy to pull off. There were some Zelda-style block puzzles. They took less than 10 seconds each to figure out, and another 5 seconds to actually push the blocks into place. Also, the Appa flying parts were a good idea, but they worked out terribly. The controls were not tight at all.
Graphics: (7) Graphics are okay for a liscened game. They're better than the last game, and the actual videos are animated very well. You can tell what character you're looking at with a single glance, if you've watched some Avatar of course. The animations are decent, but for some reason, they didn't feel a need to make people's mouths move during speeches. They only did that in the actual cutscenes.
Controls: (8) The controls are pretty good. You never really end up using more than A, B, and Z. The fighting and combos are all done by a combination of A and B. Once I got the highest attack combo, I didn't use any more above that. Stun ones seemed somewhat pointless. All the characters have the exact same controls though, which may be good to some people but bad to others. Some of the "focus moves" or whatever they are barely work, and the game doesn't give very good instructions on how to make them work. Appa's flying bits, which are fun, have a very loose control which makes it almost lose any of it's fun factor.
Sound: (9) All the music in the game is something very close to what you'd hear in the show, and it fits very well. The characters also had their own voices from the show, which was nice, although they sounded like they were recorded in a small room on a 10$ microphone. The little dings and stuff you hear when opening treasure chests and finding secrets were the only things that did not seem to fit too well into the Avatar game.
Story: (8) For a game based on the show, it really doesn't stick to it much. They managed to cut 20 chapters down to 7, with one of the chapters lasting about 2 minutes. They also managed to make the episode in the middle of the season somehow end the game. Aang never dies, and Iroh's fate never gets shown or mentioned. They managed to make the story somewhat interesting though, making up their own plot for most of the game but somehow ending it in the same way as the season finale of the show. The story is okay for a liscenced game though.
Replayability: (7) The game itself is so short that you will probably beat it in under a week. There are also many little extras to find, but they are really nothing special. A couple concept drawings, and unlockable music from the game, which you probably won't listen to much. You can also rewatch the cutscenes that you have already seen. This helped me once, because I accidentally skipped one. The really good thing they decided to do was the 2nd Co-op player though. Playing through this game once more with a friend would probably be worth it. Theres also the fighting mode, but it doesn't have too much special value.
Overall: (7) The game, while being fun, is way too easy and short, with not much left to bring you back for more. The unlockables are limited to some pictures, music from the game, and cutscenes. You'll see the pictures once and be done, probably never listen to the music even though it's pretty good, and leave the cutscenes. The graphics, while simple, work well and don't ruin the game. The few puzzles in the game are so easy, your brain might just burst from lack of thinking. Decent controls, but a couple wonky motion based controls that are terrible. If you're an Avatar fan, you may CONSIDER buying this game. I would reccomend renting it for a week, and you'd really have no reason to come back. I would probably not buy this game though.
Rent or Buy?: Rent. Theres no reason to buy it, unless you collect everything related to Avatar.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 12/11/07
Game Release: Avatar: The Last Airbender -- The Burning Earth (US, 10/16/07)
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