Guest Author - James Shea
A video game adaptation of the hit Nickelodeon series, "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is a decent game in its own right.
Following the TV series' storyline, the Avatar game's plotline focuses around a land where there are four types of elemental wielders, or "benders": Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. Each has its own nation; of them, Fire is the most aggressive. Declaring war on the Air nation, the Fire nation wiped out all of the Airbenders except the immature-but-powerful Avatar - their actual target - who was able to seal himself away for 100 years to avoid danger. After he awakes, he finds the world still imperiled by the Fire nation and he, himself, as the last person capable of bending Air. Now he must bring down the Fire nation before they can conquer the rest of the world.
In Avatar, you play as four different characters working as a group (though they may not all be present at the same time): Aang, the young Avatar and Airbender, Katara, a Waterbender who uses healing spells, Sokka, a Water-Nation warrior, and Haru, an Earthbender. Each has unique talents that need to be used both in battle and out of it. Each character has different equipment, combo attacks, and special attacks. Furthermore, some puzzles are solved by elemental bending; these require not only the proper character to be in your party, but also a short calligraphy-style minigame using the Wii remote.
Regular combat is a simple combination of normal attacks (done using the A button) and special attacks (done with a combined A button and Wii remote shake, depending on the attack). Occasional special videos for certain attacks and the party system spice things up a bit, but mostly it's fairly repetitive. However, it's nice to see that they're at least trying to use the Wii's features.
The graphics are done in a Cel-Shaded style. It's okay, but not the best example of it that I've seen. They seem a little less neat and clean than could have been done, though they're at least functional. The voice acting isn't great, but that's more because of the TV show than the game itself. The music is rare and barely noticeable when it is present.
As a whole, this game is a decent adaptation of the Avatar TV series. Even people not familiar with the series might want to pick it up and learn about it. But by itself, the game doesn't stand out much from other games of its genre.