* This review was conducted with a retail copy of the title purchased by the reviewer *
PLATFORMS: PS3,PS4,Xbox 360,Xbox One & PC
DEVELOPER(S): Platinum Games
GENRE(S): Action / Adventure
RELEASE DATE: October 21st / October 22nd Xbox 360 & Xbox One
PC specs used in the review: Intel i5-4590s, GTX 780, 16GB DDR3 & Windows 8.1
Oh yes the Avatar is here
If you’re playing this game for the story then you’ll be better off watching the show. Without giving away too much of the main story, you are in the center of a on-going issue, as is normal for the Avatar. Without any reason you are attacked, stripped of your bending powers and are forced to find a way to get them back and stop the person behind the attack while stopping him from doing anymore damage. Pretty typical stuff, but you’re not here for the story, right? You’re here to be the Avatar and to kick some ass!
More than just a mindless action game
Of course one would expect that since you’re the Avatar that you have total control of the elements and this much is true. Well initially anyway. As you start out you are thrust into battle against several spirits which also serves as the introduction to the battle system and how to do basic combos using your element bending skills. That said getting the basic move-set down is pretty easy and thankfully the game relies on two buttons for combat (light and heavy), one for jump and the other for a taunt move. You also will utilize the triggers as a block/parry system and for dodging. The block parry/counter system works but holding down the block button to block a move or by timing it just right and using the block button you can parry/counter a hit which can either score you a free attack, multiple attacks by making you smash the light attack or by redirecting a projectile that was launched at you back to the sender. You’ll also make use of the bumpers to switch back and forth between the elements and the d-pad to equip items to.
While we’re on the subject of combat I have to say that I originally thought it was pretty boring as most attacks involved either light, light, light or light, light, heavy. How wrong I was. As you play you earn different moves and access to different attacks for both basic and elemental attacks. Those attacks also change as well when you add a jump into a combo. For example when using water you have access to the water slinging ability using the light attack or a massive funnel attack using heavy. Now adding the jump into the fray you can float using the water as a stepping stone to gain some distance or you rain some massive damage on your foes. And the action is pretty addicting, basic but addicting. In no time I was mastering the elements and doing chain combos which thankfully the game also includes a chain meter so I could see how many hits I could get in.
But that’s not all! In-between the fighting there are segments that ranging from platforming and portions that have you navigating maps to collect spirits and is reminiscent to Temple Run or Subway Surfers. You’ll even get to play some Pro-pending, which is also un-locked once you beat the game.
I am the Mutha F’ng Avatar
As the Avatar not only can you tap into the elements for a power boost but you can also charge up your attacks. As an added bonus you can also level up your elemental attacks by using a specific element exclusively. Want to do nothing but focus on your earth bending, then keep on using earth being as your main attack choice or any of the other elements. Keep in mind however that there are situations where you’re going to need to switch up from your favorite element, being the Avatar and can’t expect to blast your way through the entire game using just one element, that wouldn’t be very fun. And for the curious the element levels max out at 10.
You also have access to an item show where you can pick up a number of useful items to help you in your quest which can be bought with the “spirits” you accumulate from battle or from breaking items as you make your way through the game. Ranging from health items, items that boost your attack and more. You can also earn several costume for Korra as well as visit her home to equip your items that you purchase or change costumes.
The game is pretty on the eyes as well. I can’t actually tell if this is cell-shaded or not but everything is detailed and the characters in the game are fluidly animated. The best way to describe it is if they literally took everything from the tv show and put in the game. However I did have an issue with some of the animated parts that told the story, the animation there wasn’t on par with the tv show. Nothing horrible but however and nothing to worry about. The music is a different story. Everything heard in the game is basically ripped from the Legend of Korra soundtracks, which isn’t a bad thing but I would have loved to get some new music recorded for the title. So even though it’s recycled musioc from the series it still sounds great and fits the tempo just fine. On the PC front this is sadly just a basic console port as there are no PC specific options available; no V-sync, no Anti-Aliasing, or FOV but thankfully the game doesn’t really seem to need them. On my modest review PC I was running at 1080p@60 fps with no slow down, no dips in frame rate. In fact only real issue I had with the game is that the controls are a bit touchy, the jumps are way too floaty,there’s NO WAY to change your button mapping and the camera tracking is perhaps one of the worst in a game to date. Those issues aside fans of the series and lovers of face paced actions games will enjoy the title.
The Legend of Korra is a short game and you’ll be able to blast through it in a few hours. However what it lacks in longevity it makes up in challenge. Every battle is a timed one and you’re graded on how fast you can complete it and depending on the time you are rewarded with a rank (Gold, Silver, Bronze). You also have several ways to defeat a boss so trying every method will also take some time, increasing play-ability. As mentioned before you also can unlock the Pro-bending mode which is more in-depth than what you get to play during the story mode and it’s entertaining if not frustrating at times, plus you get to play along side Mako and Bolin. Oh and there’s that New Game mode as well, you know if you feel like playing through the game again.
Big on fun, The Legend of Korra the Video Game lets me live out my Avatar bending fantasies
While not a AAA title or even a heavily prompted on (like the tv show isn’t), Platinum Games has managed to capture the essence of element bending and turned it into a fun albeit short game that lets everyone live out their Avatar fantasies. That said I wish that this wasn’t a simple console port but that can be overlooked as the title is beautiful, engaging and more importantly it’s fun. Coming in at just $14.99, you couldn’t ask for a better afternoon romp that can be enjoyed the casual or hardcore game.
- Addictive combat system (The ability to change elements on the fly is fantastic)
- Good looking environments and detailed animated characters
- Get to access Pro-bending during the game and unlock a full fledged Pro-bending mode once you beat the game.
- You can be the damned Avatar
- Assets from the Legend of Korra show are heavily re-used
- No ability to change button mappings
- The camera acts like it has a mind of its own at times
- No PC specific options
- Wish they could have gotten the actual voice-actors from the series
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