Avatar: The Last Airbender
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 10/10/06 | Genre: Action
Taking place sometime after the first season of the television program, Avatar: The Last Airbender (the game) puts players in the role of the young man who is considered the reincarnation of the only one who can unite the factioned elements, bring peace to the world, and bake a nice cake. Okay, maybe I’m stretching it a little, but you get the idea. The show takes the “chosen one” theme, as well as the wandering soul and mysterious stranger type myths, blend them together with a healthy dose of mysticism and serves it up for kids – though a large number of adults seem to enjoy the program as well.
The game starts out with Kitara being kidnapped by the Fire nation and naturally it’s up to the young folks to go out and put things right. Those darn adults just sit around and don’t take any action anymore these days.
This is essentially the same game on the Xbox as on the PSP as on the GBA as on… you get the idea. The worst of the bunch is the PSP version because it lacks the cohesion of the controls and combat. Something just got lost on the way to the portable space. The DS version is alright, and the GBA version very dumbed down, mostly because there is a very small amount of controls to work with.
The Xbox and PS2 versions are the better choice, really. The GameCube version is alright, but honestly, if all you have to play videogames on is the GameCube, you’re not going to be playing Avatar.
Playing the game will seem familiar if you’ve played X-Men Legends or any of the other numerous action style RPGs out there. Played out like an action game but with character building in an RPG style, Avatar actually “streamlines” things to make it easy for the target audience to get into. There isn’t a terribly deep character progression system in place, and each character has a limited number of special moves available.
What makes the game somewhat frustrating isn’t the “dumbed down” RPG elements but the uneven balance struck between the normal gameplay and some of the bosses. Many of the target audience will eventually put this down and head over to a game that they can play.
One of the things that puzzled me about the game was the lack of any multiplayer. This is the perfect game to allow players to join in and play together. Team-based action RPGs are perfect for co-op play, and anytime you can get kids to play together in a videogame instead of against each other is … well, I don’t know why THQ didn’t make this happen. NO excuse really.
The graphics are fine, but won’t put the system to the test. It really is just a decent game all around. Older gamers will be able to figure their way around the harder boss battles if they are so inclined while the younger ones may get frustrated and move on.