Avatar: The Last Airbender
|a game by||Halfbrick Studios, and AWE Games|
|Platforms:||GameCube, DS, Wii, XBox, PC, GBA|
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||6.4/10 - 25 votes|
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|See also:||Movie-based Games, Action Adventure Games|
Back in the mid-2000s, Nickelodeon was going from strength to strength, with original animated and live-action shows growing the popularity of the channel exponentially. They were on top of the world and aimed to move into a more teen and adult market while still pandering to the kids who they had built their foundation on. So how would they appeal to all demographics? Through a show called Avatar: The Last Airbender which would grow so popular that it would get a video game of the same name.
This game would play similarly to the hack and slash licenced games of the time. Games such as The Lord of the Rings movie tie-in games or the Star Wars movie tie-in games. Or perhaps the Lego games at a push. However, this game would not have the same co-op capacity of these game series and would merely try to replicate their gameplay mechanics and format.
One for the fans
One thing this game does brilliantly is sticking religiously to the source material provided by the animated series. Firstly, the story for this title is one that will be familiar to fans of the series. Although it’s not a straight lift from the show, the events have their roots within the narrative, with the fire benders being the antagonists and the water nation being the allies.
The game has a plot and varied side quests that will hold your attention and have you doing good deeds for those that you encounter, much like the actual show. However, there is a real problem with pacing within the title that makes all this decent storytelling fall flat. The game allows you to control the four key characters within the series main party and grants you unique fighting styles, weapons and special moves. However, the combat rarely feels nuanced for fully fleshed out. It’s one of those titles where you could play with your index finger and tap buttons at random to succeed. It’s good that the game has varied combat moves and animations but they are without any substance to make the effort worthwhile.
Plus, the unique moves are given early within the game and with little context. You just learn these skills and they become just another move in your repertoire. Then there is no real reason to drive onwards beside the story that the game relies on heavily.
Looks the part
The game does a fantastic job of replicating the visual stylings of the anime series. The game has fully realised environments from the series and character models that are instantly recognisable. The cel-shaded style of the visuals lend themselves well to the storytelling and although it doesn’t blend any hand-drawn aspects like some of these titles often would do, it is still a valiant effort to capture the charm of the series. The animations are the only downside is they are overused and repetitive.
Then as for sound, the authentic voice actors from the show lend their talent to the game with great effect. Each line is delivered well by the main characters and NPC’s alike. However, the sheer amount of enemies you’ll encounter means you’ll be tired of all the phrases they can offer as you’ll hear them hundreds of times over. Then sadly, the musical score is nothing more than background music at best.
Hopefully the Last Airbender
This game succeeds in parts when adapting this series into an action-adventure, however, it so many ways it fails to meet the mark. The visuals, voice acting and storyline are the high points of the game but don’t do nearly enough to rescue this game from the bland and repetitive gameplay. The combat system is oversimplified and only offers new moves as novelties rather than useful assets to the player.
Then the game also takes this novelty aspect into the way you use each character, there is little reason to not stick with Aang unless completing arbitrary mini-games to progress. Then arguably the most critical failure is the absence of a co-op function. This would have at least allowed you to have fun with a friend in this universe but instead, you have to go it alone. Fans of the series will find joy with this one and even casual action-adventure fans will be able to appreciate aspects of this game such as the decent levelling system perhaps. Overall though, it’s a game that doesn’t live up to the lofty standards of the source material.
- Decent visuals
- Authentic voice acting
- Competent levelling system
- Compelling story and side quests
- Bland combat system
- Recycled assets
- Repetitive gameplay
- Absence of co-op
Download Avatar: The Last Airbender
Bring to life an adventure of intrigue, deceit and revelation in Avatar The Last Airbender. Play as Aang, Katara, Haru and Sokka as you grow your team into an unstoppable force making discoveries in a thrilling blend of magic and martial arts combat. Use your fully customizable bending powers to master the four elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire and explore the beautifully detailed environments of the Avatar nations. Single-player game featuring unique martial arts style combat. Fully customizable "bending powers" mastering the four elements of Water, Air, Earth and Fire. Journey through all the Great Nations of the Avatar world. Enjoy environments and characters from the TV show plus never before seen enemies and creatures.