Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Avatar: The Legend Of Aang

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Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)

Electronic Theatre ImageIn recent years THQ has become almost synonymous with making games for children. Despite a dedication to more mature software like Destroy All Humans!, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War, Saints Row and Supreme Commander, THQ’s numerous Nickelodeon franchises appear to be where the majority of THQ’s time goes, most likely due to their consistently good sales. Although THQ are amongst the largest publishers of the oft ridiculed “kids game” their affinity with the genre hasn’t exactly translated into skill. For every Disney/Pixar: Cars or Barnyard there is a The Incredibles: Rise Of The Underminer or Spongebob Squarepants: Lights, Camera, Pants! Making the purchase of a new children’s THQ game a very hit-and-miss affair. THQ’s latest release, Avatar: The Legend Of Aang, looks to have promise. With gameplay similar to Activision’s X-Men: Legends and a great deal of licensed material, Avatar: The Legend Of Aang could very easily be a half-decent game, which is usually enough to spur parents to invest in it. However, given experience with THQ’s past licensed titles, it could all go very wrong.

The world of Avatar: The Legend Of Aang revolves around four nations based on the four classical elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, each of which contains special individuals known as Benders that can control their native element. As the story goes, the Fire Nation is on the brink of world domination and can only be stopped by the Avatar, a being able to control all forms of energy, which Electronic Theatre Imageunsurprisingly is Aang. However Aang is only twelve-years-old and must receive training to fulfil his destiny. In Avatar: The Legend Of Aang, Aang must investigate a new enemy, machines capable of bending. The story may not be especially original or compelling, but, unlike many games aimed at younger players, it is at least coherent.

Avatar: The Legend Of Aang is a Hack-N’-Slash with RPG elements, very similar to the aforementioned X-Men: Legends series. Players initially take control of Aang, the protagonist of the series, however though the game your party will grow to four playable characters each fulfilling a different role. Players gain Experience through the destruction of enemies and for completing Quests. As the characters rise in Level, they gain new abilities and special attacks which add a little variety to combat, although for the most part you will be bashing the Cross Button to dispatch foes. Unfortunately, as well as being somewhat monotonous, combat is also regularly frustrating due to ropey Collision Detection. Bosses are also slightly disappointing, although inherently following the traditions of videogame progression punctuators, with all being simply a case of avoiding attacks until they present a very obvious weak point which the player can attack, after which it is merely a case of repeating the procedure until the bosses submits.

The game takes place over several different environments from the series, each of which are quite detailed and colourful, although a little moreElectronic Theatre Image variety in enemies would have been welcome. The game also provides the player with a decent amount of Side-Quests, although many of them are quite tedious. All-in-all Avatar: The Legend Of Aang will take about ten hours to complete for the average gamer, should the player decide to finish the Side-Quests and find the special items.

Avatar: The Legend Of Aang’s characters are all Cel-Shaded and do look very similar to their animated counterparts, something that will no doubt please fans of the programme. In fact, the entire game has a distinctive graphical style that does work very well. Being a licensed game, there’s also no shortage of speech by the official character which, together with the occasionally amusing script and decent effect make sound one of Avatar: The Legend Of Aang’s finer points.

Although flawed, Avatar: The Legend Of Aang is a passable Hack-N’-Slash that should suit younger players or gamers looking to get into the genre well. Although rarely challenging and occasionally frustrating, it is fun in short bursts and true to the series on which it is based.

 

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