|System: DS, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Halfbrick Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 29, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The Last Airbender excels on a visual level as well. The game is linear, but it takes you through a variety of settings, including a ship and a town where you do your training, in a sizable 3-D world. The cutscenes look great and capture the series anime feel. We encountered only one hiccup: about halfway through the game, we managed to get our character stuck and had to restart the console. Thanks to the frequent checkpoints, the glitch didnt cost us more than a minute or two.
The sound is a serious problem, however. The music seems to be going for a Zelda meets anime feel, but its far too hyper and gets annoying long before youve finished the game. The cymbals in some of the songs are especially irritating coming through the DSs tinny-sounding speakers. The sound effects, meanwhile, are not noticeably good or bad.
The other significant problem is the games short length. If youre diligent about collecting currency, youll have unlocked all of the special powers by the time the credits roll, so theres not much of a reason to go back through searching for secrets. Thirty dollars for a fun five-hour experience that ties into a beloved cartoon series (and a terrible movie) isnt a ripoff, but its not really a deal either. All but the most diehard fans should probably wait for this one to come down in price.
In addition, The Last Airbender wont do much for gamers who arent already fans of the series. Theres not much challenge, and theres nothing groundbreaking about the gameplay. It pales in comparison with its obvious inspiration, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. (Then again, what game doesnt?) We doubt most non-fans will even give this title a second glance, but those who do should be wary.
For the countless children who love the series (and made their parents take them to that awful film), the game is a great way to continue the experience. The puzzles, combat, and boss fights will keep these fans occupied for a few hours, and the cutscenes tell a story theyll want to experience. Thats a lot more than you can say for most movie games.
CCC Freelance Writer