The Legend of Korra – Review
Follow Genre: Beat 'em up
Developer: PlatinumGames
Publisher: Activision
Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, 360, Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One

The Legend of Korra – Review

Site Score
5.0
Good: Authentic cutscenes, has potential when it comes to the overall fighting mechanics
Bad: Unfinished, Story does not feel connected
User Score
5.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 5.0/10 (2 votes cast)

After a decent amount of Avatar: The Last Airbender games, which sadly did not prove to be of any quality, The Legend of Korra now gets its own game. Even with a big developer such as Platinum Games behind it, the game does not raise the bar by a lot.

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Story

The story in The Legend of Korra seems to be loosely tied to the plot of several seasons (or books) of the series. You’ll start off in the middle of a fight with many spirit animals, which seem to be taken over by a dark presence. When all seems lost, the game suddenly propels you back in time, to earlier events.

You’ll be fighting ‘chi-blockers’ all of a sudden, who have taken away your powers to bend. You’ll have to fight your way through different areas in order to regain your bending powers and pick up your role as the Avatar once again.

Overall the story has some several fun features, in the form of animated scenes, just like the series. These scenes add a tad more story value and actually give you the impression there is still a story. You’ll vaguely understand what is happening in the game but overall, the story value is on the very low side. It’s quite regrettable that a series, with such a powerful story, opts for neglecting the great story potential this game could have brought us.

Graphics

Graphically the game looks quite simple. You’ll be encountering the same 5-10 enemies over and over again, be it in slightly different colors and in turn you’ll encounter these reused enemies in the same 3-5 worlds.

The environments in The Legend of Korra seems to be quite empty, seeing most of them are open ‘fields’, deserted streets or fairly abandoned passageways. The developers tried to spruce things up slightly by reusing the same cars in the streets or the same type of rubble here and there.

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Sadly, again this creates the impression the game was made in a rush, in order to create something that bears the ‘The Legend of Korra’ name.

Luckily, not all is bad, Korra herself is animated quite nicely and the enemies themselves are done decently as well. A fun thing is that the cell-shaded animations make the game feel a bit more connected to the actual cartoon series. The battle animations are also quite pleasing to the eye and thus the game redeems itself, even if it’s only by a little bit.

Having tested the Xbox One version, there was never a real ‘next-gen’ feel. The game looked decent for the previous generation when it came to the characters. Even for the previous generation, the environments felt quite empty.

Sound

Sound wise the game offered a decent experience. The developers got a few of the original cast on board, in order to offer a more authentic experience. It’s pleasant to hear voices that sound familiar and perhaps this is one of those things that make the game a tad more bearable, in many ways.

The music itself was also a great mood setter and proved to create the right atmosphere to get rid of those pesky chi-blockers or spirit animals.

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Gameplay

At its core The Legend of Korra is a reasonably ok Beat-Em-Up. All you’ll be doing in the game is defeating your enemies with boss battles and an occasional ‘run’ with your trustworthy pet, Naga. Overall a fun mix, except the most of it proves to be unfinished or uninspired.

At the start of the game, you’ll quickly lose your powers and thus you’ll be fighting your way through eight chapters in order to get them back. These eight chapters often consist our of different zones you’ll have to clear, by defeating all the baddies the game throws at you. In certain zones, you’ll get slightly different objectives, such as destroying several items, performing a combo streak or learning how to use your counterattacks.

Combat in the game proves to be fun but at the same time frustrating. The bending you will unlock during the game is impressive and the fact that you can switch between the elements at any given time creates a fluent way of fighting your opponents, to a certain extent. You’ll notice that certain enemies are more resistant to certain elements compared to others. The counter and guarding system in the game seem to have a 50/50 chance of working. You’ll often find yourself being hit, whilst guarding or not performing a counter, whilst you do what is required. Last but not least is the locking system, which is downright horrible. You’ll be able to lock on to your enemies, but for some reason the game often decides to pick the enemy that is furthest away from you. Switching between available enemies proves to work at the whims of the game itself and when getting hit you’ll notice that you suddenly aren’t locked on to your target anymore.

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You’ll encounter certain obstacles during your playthrough which can only be destroyed/opened with the right bending skills. This gives you the slight impression that certain sidetracks (which are nearly nonexistent) will pay off, even by a little bit. You’ll be rewarded with certain collectibles, that give you more credit to purchase things.

As mentioned earlier, you’ll sometimes be able to ride your pet, Naga. This is pretty much a speedrun, in which you’ll have to dodge obstacles, jump across pits and even defeat an occasional enemy. Sadly, this mode gets overused a bit and it actually feels quite unfinished. These runs take quite long and the obstacles are pretty much the same every time in all of the chapters.

Sadly, eight chapters is already not that much, the overall length of each chapter tends to vary from 10 to 45 minutes. This means you’ll reach the end of the game in roughly three hours, making this a very short game. Luckily the game offers a decent amount of replay chances, in order for you to collect enough ‘Spirit’ power for you to purchase items, skills or other trinkets. Also gained when playing through the chapters, you’ll gain experience for the type of bending you’re using at that current time.

After completing the rather short story mode, you’ll unlock the Pro-Bending mode, which as the name states is all about the Pro-Bending League. The Pro-Bending mode is a fun extra but it feels like another missed chance. You’ll only be able to play a short ‘league’ of five matches, on different sets of difficulties. Nothing more, nothing less. It would have been quite fun if the game implemented a multiplayer mode or even a local co-op mode for the Pro-Bending portion of the game.

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Seeing the game will also attract a slightly younger audience, it has to be said that certain features in the game feel a tad difficult for younger children, in order for them to progress. Even the casual difficulty provides certain ‘challenges’, thanks to the non responsive controls. A more adult audience will probably strive through these so called challenges and reach the end goal.

Conclusion

Overall The Legend of Korra feels like a missed chance to redeem all the poor Avatar games that came before it. Whilst the game has a decent amount of fun options, that could have been great if the developers had finished them properly, The Legend of Korra turns out to be a slight improvement for the overall Avatar games franchise. It shows that even a developer such as Platinum Games can drop the ball. Fans of the series might find a little fun in playing through this fairly short title, others might be sure to look up enough before purchasing this title.

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Rating: 5.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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The Legend of Korra - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

1 Comment

  1. MC_JP
    MC_JP
    November 3, 2014, 6:47 pm

    great review !

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