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Legend of Korra Review

A legend that may not have needed telling

Legend of Korra Naga

Nickelodeon really struck it lucky with their follow-up to the Japanese anime Avatar: The Last Airbender. Titled Legend of Korra, this American-produced anime tells the tale of another gifted individual, known as an Avatar, who can bend all four of the world’s elements in a bid to bring the world together again.

That’s because, despite being set 70 years after Aang’s story arc as an Avatar in Avatar: The Last Airbender, the world has still fractured itself into four separate states with each one holding the ability bend a separate element. In steps Korra, a new Avatar and Aang’s successor, to help reunite the world once more.

However, most of this isn’t exactly obvious in Activision and Platinum Games’ Legend of Korra. In fact, it’s pretty much just assumed that you know what’s going on from the word go. You’d hope that it would mean there’s a strong storyline here, but in reality that isn’t the case either.

Focusing around the events that took place between the third and fourth series, a villain known by the name of Hundun – an ancient evil being previously trapped in the underworld – sets out to unleash chaos onto the world and peruse his ancient grudge against the Avatar. This results in the terribly predictable circumstance of Korra losing all of her abilities due to a powerful chi-blocker acting against her. As you can imagine, this means that you’ve got to regain your powers of Fire, Wind, Water and Earth over the course of the game.

Thankfully that isn’t as arduous as it sounds, mostly because you can finish it within a handful of hours. But that does mean that the combat system needs to be up to scratch to keep fights using your limited powers exciting; unfortunately, it is not.

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Platinum Games always seem to create polished top-notch action titles with excellent combat – just look at Bayonetta 2, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance and really anything else they’ve ever made. But here, things are a little dull. Combat is mapped to just two buttons as quick and heavy moves. Combining them works well, but the list of moves isn’t overly rich and so it really does just feel like you’re spamming the same moves over and over again.

Things do improve as you gain powers, with firebending offering you fast and close-range attacks, waterbending giving you long-range attacks, earthbending focusing on slow yet powerful hits, and airbending allowing you to move quickly and deliver balanced long-range and close-range attacks. You can switch between different elements mid-combo too, opening up the range of attacks at your disposal. But even then, the bland environments and copy-paste enemies make for some tiresome encounters despite your newly swollen move set.

The best feature during fights has to be Korra’s ability to counter foes and do spread damage as a result of it. Just before enemies attack you’ll see them flash red, perform a counter at the right time and a QTE event will appear allowing you to blast them into oblivion and knock back any foes around you. It’s great for pushing back large crowds, and great for getting you out of stickier situations too.

In fact, Platinum has crammed in a lot of ideas in a short space. There’s a ton of collectibles to find hidden through levels, and reasons to back track to chapters to find more once you’ve regained powers. There are also endless runner-like levels that make use of Korra’s polar bear dog Naga, which can be replayed over and over with different challenges if you so wish. You can also take up the role of the Fire Ferrets in pro-bending matches depicted in the TV series, playing it as a separate mini-game once you’ve completed the story. While not amazing additions, they’re definitely something fans of the series will enjoy.

I suppose, the biggest let-down with Legend of Korra for me – someone who is only really a passive fan of the series – is that I expected far more from Platinum. I’m aware it’s designed to be a game for a younger audience, but with various difficulty levels you’d hope a steely challenge would be available. It could quite easily be a gateway game for young fans to get into the genre when they get older.

Instead, it just feels like a cash tie-in that doesn’t quite satisfy fans of the series, and doesn’t quite satisfy fans of the third-person action genre. And, seeing as you can snap up some really enjoyable titles for less than Korra’s asking price of £11.99, it’s hard to recommend at what seems like a decent price point. Still, über-eager Korra fans may still want to pick it up.

TheGamersHub Score
Reviewer: Vaughn.H
5.5
10
+ Pros

+ Elemental shifting combat mechanic is interesting

+ Fans will enjoy nods to the TV series

 

- Cons

- Gameplay is generally dull

- Storyline is poor

- Can find more bang for you buck in other titles

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