The Legend of Korra (PlayStation 3) Review

By Athanasios 31.10.2014

Review for The Legend of Korra on PlayStation 3

Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra are probably some of the best animated series of the past few years. They mix anime-inspired aesthetics and a unique world, with its own geography and history. This is one of the few attempts at bringing the Avatar mythos to the realm of video games. Is it worthy of the name it carries, or will it fail like the motion picture adaptation? Thankfully it's a very good game, but it suffers from the typical rushed production, something that plagues most licenced titles and leaves something to be desired. After a look at the PlayStation 4 version, read on for an alternative viewpoint of The Legend of Korra on PlayStation 3.

The Avatar grants the ability to use the elemental magic called "bending," one of the central themes of the popular Nickelodeon animation. The player will get to follow the adventures of the current Avatar's "vessel," a teenage girl named Korra. Since the franchise focuses a lot in the use of martial arts, The Legend of Korra is a beat 'em up and was luckily developed by PlatinumGames, who is no stranger to the genre.

Similar to titles like Bayonetta or God of War, this is nothing more than a barrage of adrenaline-pumping confrontations with group after group of living punching bags. The controls are very responsive, simple (but not simplistic), and the in-game tips will help anyone learn everything about controlling Korra in no time. What is our heroine actually fighting for, though?

Screenshot for The Legend of Korra on PlayStation 3

In the beginning, Korra won't be able to use bending and will have to solve this problem, as well as trying to find out who did this to her and why. Now, part of the show's popularity is its intriguing backstory and well-thought characters, but these are nowhere to be found here. The plot is simply this: Evil old dude does evil stuff. Stop him and end the evil… stuff. That's a real shame, because it will leave newcomers with a question mark above their heads and certainly disappoint long-time fans.

The audio-visuals are fortunately better than the plot and manage to capture the style of the series, especially due to the cel-shaded characters, which makes them look as if they've just popped out from a TV screen. The level design can sometimes look like something from the PS2 era, a feeling instantly forgotten upon entering a battle, the part where the game truly shines, with perfect animation and great special effects that create quite the fireworks display, especially when the full power of the elements is unleashed.

Screenshot for The Legend of Korra on PlayStation 3

Expect little originality, but also great fun, with fast fights against large groups of enemy goons or even giant and powerful mechas. A very crucial skill is the counter-attack move, which lets Korra avoid damage and hit enemies more effectively... and look cool while at it! A thing missing here, though, is a couple of the typical situations found in games of this kind, where one has to press the right button in the right time to avoid danger or inflict even more damage. If this was completely absent it would be fine, but it is used in the final confrontation, so why not in the rest of the game?

Of course, the main dish here is the manipulation of the four elements, which can be rapidly chosen at any given time and help the player kick some major enemy behind. Each element has its cons and pros, like better range or speed, or even more specialised attributes like an unblockable attack. By using them they level-up and enable even more devastating combos and attacks - attacks that can obliterate a team of 20 henchmen in less than five seconds!

All this button mashing can get quite repetitive, though. It's the same four to five enemies again and again and again. To spice things up, every two chapters or so, there is an on-rails game similar to Temple Run or Subway Surfers, where Korra rides Naga, and tries to avoid pitfalls and obstacles, again with the help of her bending skills. It is great, especially in the extreme difficulty setting, but it won't exactly keep gamers coming back to it. Secondly, there is the Pro-bending mode, where two teams must knockback each other through the use of minor bending attacks. Once again, good, but won't last long.

Screenshot for The Legend of Korra on PlayStation 3

No matter how fun this game is, though, it looks more like a toned-down version of the genre's "elites" than a title that can stand out amongst the competition. Apart from the fact that it is based on a popular TV programme, what else does it have to offer? In reality, it is a very formulaic beat 'em up, where everything works just fine, but doesn't have that extra something to keep people interested. Fight, get "money," buy items, repeat chapters in order to get better score, and then… that's it.

If there is something that completely smashes everything to pieces it's the game's length. If it was small in order to give gamers the opportunity to play again, but with additional content unlocked, it would be great. The thing is, though, there isn't really anything of value to obtain. A couple of costumes, some new items to buy, a higher difficulty setting, and that is it! In conclusion, The Legend of Korra is a very entertaining title to let some steam off for a couple of days, but also a disappointingly short one that is in desperate need of end-game material to keep gamers coming back to.

Screenshot for The Legend of Korra on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

With great action, cool visuals, flawless controls and the right amount of challenge for everyone, The Legend of Korra could be a very solid 7/10. The problems start with how low the replay value is. Three days are enough to do almost everything there is to be done, with a couple more days needed to get a perfect score in all chapters or collect all items. Furthermore, the plot's non-existence will disappoint both fans and people new to the franchise. Long story short, this is a very entertaining brawler that will soon be left to collect digital dust in a corner of the PS3's HDD.

Developer

Platinum Games

Publisher

Activision

Genre

Brawler

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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