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Avatar the Last Airbender

 

 

SCORE: 68

 

Avatar the Last Airbender  

 

THQ has been introducing us at Family Friendly Gaming to some interesting franchises. There is a lesson in this, that no matter how much you know, there is still a lot that you do not know. Avatar The Last Airbender on the Gamecube (version reviewed), Playstation 2, and Xbox is based on the Nickelodean television show. This game has eastern mysticism martial arts style subject matter. The Avatar Aang has a long way to go in order to fulfill his destiny, and eventually become the savior of this fantasy world. Earth, air, fire, and water are the four elements that benders can belong to. These benders have magical powers that relate to the element they are associated with. The Avatar has to become an expert at all four of them, even though he is originally from the Air tribe. The source of the benders power is their own chi (spirit).

Graphically Avatar The Last Airbender has some decent cel shading. A lot of the game looks like a cartoon, thus keeping it true to the source material. Most of the areas are very bright and colorful in the graphical department. At certain times the details are pretty good, and at others the cel shading seems to bring it all down. Animals, humans, and machines that are the bad guys disappear pretty quickly after being beaten down. Each of the seven different chapters have distinctly different color schemes. The text that the player is required to read is difficult to see thanks to the poor color choices. Dead spirits that the player interacts with can be seen in this game in one chapter.

The sounds in Avatar The Last Airbender are generally really good. They are crisp, and clear. The voice acting is okay, and there is a lot of humor that THQ put into this game. The humor is one of the best parts of this game. The music is in the eastern style. Over the years this reviewer has grown fond of this kind of music, especially when it is done in a subtle manner (which this game does). There are a lot of hitting sounds to go along with the violence. The other benders also use certain sound bytes for specific attacks, and hearing them over and over again can get tiring.

There are plenty of side quests in this game to keep the hardcore gamer interested in finding it all. One of the weird things is the lack of being able to go back to previous chapters. The only way to do so is to restart the game from the beginning.

The controls work well in all areas but one. The set up for the menu screens was annoying. It was too easy to get to the wrong screen and have to start at the top of the armor selection. The level designs in this game are pretty good for a linear hack and slash style game. Even though the action is repetitive I had fun playing this game.

If eastern religious themes bother you, then immediately pass on this game. Two quests bothered me; one was working with an owl spirit to restore a meditation area, the other was getting a man’s dead mother to communicate with him. The latter quest can be skipped. The main theme of doing your duty to help is very good to see.
- Paul

 

Graphics: 61%
Sound: 74%
Replay/Extras: 70%
Gameplay: 79%
Family Friendly Factor: 59%
System: Gamecube/PS2/Xbox
Publisher: THQ
ESRB Rating: 'E10+' for Everyone 10+
{Cartoon Violence}


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