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Avatar: The Burning Earth (Wii) Review

Review for Avatar: The Burning Earth on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Avatar: The Legend Of Aang was one of the American launch titles when Wii first came out, and was received with fairly average reviews. A year on, THQ have brought forth a sequel and Cubed3 is on hand to deliver the verdict.

Based on the second series of the cartoon, Avatar: The Burning Earth picks up right where the first game left off in following Aang in his quest to master the elements in order to unite the world in peace once more. That's the story in a nutshell, anyhow; we readily admit to not having ever seen the show on which it's based, so there were all sorts of weird goings on that went blowing right over our heads. Fans are sure to appreciate the story more. We hope. Some parts really didn't seem to make any sense...

What we have here is a fairly basic action game in which you take control of Aang, along with his merry band of chums, and battle your way through hordes of enemies, jump around a bit and solve simplistic puzzles. Two characters are with you at all times and you can either switch between them at a click of a button (necessary so that you can solve problems that can only be dealt with by certain characters), or you can have a friend play co-operatively with you to replace the AI character helping you out. Co-op is set up so that players can hop in and hop out at ease, so if one players gets bored they can quit and let the other person continue in single player mode without interruption.

The graphics aren't half bad. It's nothing to make you gasp, but it looks like a Playstation 2 title that's had some effort put into it. The style is quite nice and we particularly liked the smoke effects. It's a shame that Aang looks disturbingly baby-like, however, and it's similarly disappointing to see a mixed bag of quality for the cutscenes. The mouths move with the speech in some but not in others, which is a huge lack of consistency. We suspect half of them are done in video sequences, the other half in-engine, but to be honest they look about the same anyway. The sound is inoffensive and unmemorable for the most part, but the voice acting is reasonable.

Screenshot for Avatar: The Burning Earth on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Thankfully, you don't have to go waggling your wand whenever you want to attack enemies. Instead, you used the B button to swipe your staff, but there is still a fair amount of motion control involved. All ranged attacks are activated with a flick of the remote; a standard ranged attack by a quick motion, a charged one by lifting the remote at an angle, holding it to power up and then slamming down to unleash your attack. While the motions work without a hitch and integrate quite well, we do have some issues. Number one, it can be difficult to see exactly where you're aiming, leading to the attacks going wide more often than they should. Number two, the upward tilt for charged attacks is far too sensitive and thus activated too readily. If you so much as move the Wii remote few degrees upwards completely unintentionally as you're playing, your character will freeze to the spot and begin to charge up an attack that you don't want to use, leaving you open to a few smacks around the noggin. The sensitivity of the remote is impressive, but it could have done with being turned down a notch or three.

The game is overwhelmingly simple. Literally all you do is what we said earlier; you jump around a little and solve incredibly basic 'puzzles', such as hitting a bridge to knock it down to allow you to cross, blowing into pipes with your wind powers to raise platforms, or pushing blocks around to allow you to get to higher ground. The bulk of the game is the battling, however, which isn't the most varied system ever but does the job. As you fight you gain points that cumulate to allow you to activate a special move that rips loads of health from enemies, and of course there are a fair few things to collect like health upgrades. At the end of each level there are boss battles that inexplicably spike the difficulty level in comparison to the rest of the game. It's all very standard-fare that's been done for years. Being able to switch characters on the fly makes things a bit more interesting, and we liked the 'focus power' sections. In these parts, you have to stand on spot with specific characters to solve problems using your powers, such as creating an ice bridge to cross a gap between buildings, or using water to extinguish burning buildings.

Avatar: The Burning Earth is clearly aimed at children with its simplistic gameplay, and for that purpose it does well the aspects asked of it.

Screenshot for Avatar: The Burning Earth on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Smack things, collect things, jump about. Generally nothing that will grab older players, but easy enough to get to grips with for kids.

Graphics

Some nice effects, but overall about mid-PS2 standard.

Sound

Utterly unmemorable. Scores points for alright-ish voice work.

Value

Quite short, and probably not worth another playthrough. Co-op mode makes things more fun.

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Mediocre

About this score

We've played far more offensive games. That doesn't make Avatar: The Burning Earth good, but it doesn't make it bad either. It's a middle of the road standard game for children, with little imagination but reasonably solid gameplay. If you like that sort of thing, leap on in.

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12.11.2007

5

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Also known as

Avatar: The Last Airbender -- The Burning Earth

Developer

THQ

Publisher

THQ

Genre

Action

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (2 Votes)

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

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Wow. First thing I saw was a screenshot, which put me aback. Me, the messenger of 'Wii isn't about graphics'! *sigh*

So, another unimportant game. Will be bought because of grannies falling for the anime drawn hero on the front cover, better not check screenshots, ladies!


Isn't this mount a cheap rip-off of some Miyazaki-character?
Well, I have to watch the series and go more far then just the pilot. I think it has great potential, but I never pushed me into watching it much farther.
Gargoyles was much better!

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

It's a shame that you couldn't find a reviewer who has seen the show... Actually, why don't you send it to me and I'll review it. Smilie

Btw the show is great.

I'm sure the show's fine for what it is, that's why I didn't focus on the story aspect too much. :Smilie I'm sure you'd get a bit more out of it if you'd seen the show on that front, but otherwise it's as I say and you're not going to get anymore out of it if you're a fan or not, gameplay wise.

Thanks for reading!

I think it's acutally an advantage not to have seen the show. Then you can unmask the lousy gameplay for what it is: lousy.
You don't get dazzled by shiny fandom-thingies.

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

It's really a shame. The show is AMAZING.
If they released a decent game I would buy it. But a 5/10 just isn't worth my money.

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