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Author Topic: Game Review: Avatar for GBA  (Read 1156 times)
zvko
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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Posts: 105


« on: Oct 20, 2006 06:26 pm »

Let me start off by saying that I am a major Avatard.  I've been very excited about the release of Avatar video games, but I promised myself to not be biased in this game review.  Below is my honest opinion and I hope it will help you in some way.

(Extra information containing spoilers can be found here.  Please read my general review first, though!)


Avatar: The Last Airbender - Game Boy Advance
Developer, Publisher: THQ (Studio Australia), THQ
US Release Date: 10 October 2006
List Price: $29.99USD


Basics:
Single-player.  Three save files.  When any one of your characters loses all his/her health, the game is over.  You must access an area with a Save Stone in order to save the game (or during certain transitional parts in the game, which a prompt will then appear).  You can consider this an inconvenience and/or a challenge... remember to save every chance you get!

Controls:
You will use everything on the Game Boy Advance: + Control Pad, A/B/L/R Buttons, Start, and Select.  A and B buttons are used to perform actions/commands/bending that consume Chi (which is constantly restored).  L and R buttons are used to toggle/switch between characters.  Simple enough.


Gameplay:
This game is 85% puzzle-solving and 15% action adventure.  There are no usable items or forms of currency (meaning no haggling with copper pieces :[!).  The only collectible item would be the limited Health Potions, which increase the maximum health gauge of a single character (note: all of them can reach the same maximum health).  You will get to control three characters:  Aang, Sokka, and Katara.  Sorry, no Toph.  No playable Haru.

Most of the game is basic puzzle-solving involving various switches, gates, and other obstacles.  Aang and Katara will use their bending abilities, while Sokka has various "tricks" up his sleeve.  In fact, you'll be using Sokka much more than I had expected (something Sokka fans have to squee about Cheesy).  Most of the puzzle-solving is easy and straightforward.  I will admit that I got stuck in two different puzzle-solving areas (making me temporarily believe this game should only be played by those of age 15+).

Perhaps the most favored parts of this game would be the boss battles.  Certain strategies will have to be used, but they're easy to figure out.

Pretty much all I have to say as far as general gameplay goes...


Difficulty:
Most of the puzzle-solving is simple and non-challenging (though nicely planned, I must say).  Once you reach towards the ending, it becomes insanely difficult (particularly due to a.. "time limit").  It will take you many, many, many, times to complete this area.

Losing is sometimes hard to avoid, since if any one of your characters loses all his/her health, it's game over.  It doesn't get so bad once you have reached a certain point in the game, though (and it's relatively early).

Boss battles aren't too hard (and yay for Save Stones), but they can still be fun.

Story/Plot:
The game has several influences from the show, but as far as the story goes... it's not very important and it doesn't really follow the show's storyline.

Graphics:
I really like the objects and backgrounds!  The areas are accurately represented (meaning you will probably find them similar to the show).  However, I think I was expecting too much out of the main characters.  In addition, the walking animation becomes a bit "jerky" if you're going in a straight direction.  It's not that noticeable, but it did bother me a bit.  Try walking diagonally..

Also, character dialogue includes zoomed-in facial expressions.  Hurray!

Music and Sound:
The Track Team was NOT involved in this game at all... very, very sad.  Almost all of the background music was just not pleasant to listen to (good thing they included the option to raise the music and sound levels in the menu).  The game would be so much better if the actual themes were included, but alas...

Secrets and Unlockables:
None.  No sidequests or anything.  *dies*

Replay Value:
Pretty much NONE unless you missed a Health Potion somewhere... *dies again*


Summary:
This game took me 4 hours and 53 minutes to complete for the first time... and I was slow with some of the puzzles (FAQ writers have beaten it usually under 3 hours).  The learnable and upgradeable bending skills really made me squee at times, while some areas of the game made me very frustrated.  Overall, this is probably not worth your $30USD.  You'll be better off renting the game.  But if you're an Avatar fan and want to collect, this is a great item to have.

(Oh.  You may want to keep this game away from non-fans.  The show remains superior, but this game could give others a bad impression.)
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