October 25, 2006 - Since Avatar: The Last Airbender premiered on Nickelodeon back in February 2005, its success has skyrocketed. The show has been a hit with people of all ages, and the marketing guys at Nickelodeon are milking that marketing cash cow. After Avatar action figures and Lego sets hit the scene, it only makes sense that the young Airbender get a video game. While this Avatar may not be a savior by any means, it's still a really fun action role playing game that is sure to delight fans of the show.
Avatar: The Last Airbender focuses around the story of Aang, a boy with the power to manipulate air. He also has the unique ability to harness the power of earth, water, and fire as well, making him an Avatar. Aang is destined to bring balance to a war torn nation, but for right now he's still in the training stages. Much like the show, Aang and his friends, Katara and Sokka, travel all over the nation, meeting friends and enemies alike.
One of the biggest strengths of this title is its faithfulness to the show. Playing the game feels like I was watching an episode, especially since the game starts with the actual opening title sequence to the show. The cutscenes, although simple, contain a lot of the stylistic elements commonly found in anime. There are even a few cutscenes that have full voice work from the cast, which is something rare on handheld titles. It was probably the first time I was pleased to hear Sokka's whining voice! The story is pretty basic, but there's a healthy smattering of humor throughout that makes it a lot more enjoyable. The presentation feels like the developers actually care about the license, and are fans of the show.
The game is presented in a top down 3D view, allowing the player to rotate the camera at whim. The environments are a lot more expansive than they would be if the game view was isometric. It can get hard to see sometimes, but a couple quick taps on the shoulder button clears that up right away. The 2D sprites are sharp and vibrant, maintaining the popular style of the show. All the characters are easily recognizable, and they all act differently in every facet, down to the way they walk.
When a development team cares about the game it's making, it shows in the final product. This is apparent when it comes to Avatar: The Last Airbender. Tose software has made a solid action RPG. It's not as exciting as the show is, but I still had a pretty fun time playing it. I just wish I could be playing it with my friends. I hope that, like Aang, Tose can master their skills and blow me away next time.
|out of 10||click here for ratings guide|
There's a lot of love for the license that's apparent in this game. The cut scenes manage to maintain the style and humor that is found in the shows
The character sprites are sharp and vibrant. The environments are nice, though nothing special. Collision detection is a little off.
Voice acting in a handheld game? Thank you! Wish there was more of it though. The music is just okay.
The battles can get a bit frustrating, but there's a wide variety of other tasks to perform, which keeps the experience varied and enjoyable.
The game is a decent length, but it doesn't last as long as I’d have liked. No multiplayer really limits the title.
(out of 10 / not an average)
Clips: Avatar: The Last Airbender - Book 2: Earth / Volume 1
Two mind-bending clips from the upcoming DVD set.
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ESRB Content Descriptors: Cartoon Violence
Features: DS Card Save