The Legend of Korra is a third person beat ‘em up game based on the popular Nickelodeon animated television series. Developed by Platinum games, fans of the show have been eagerly awaiting this title’s release. Unfortunately, Korra’s game fails to provide something that will truly satisfy the fans. The Legend of Korra is not a bad game – there’s serviceable combat, cel-shaded graphics to make it look like the television show, the stages are set in some of the shows locales, and it’s nice to see them realized in a video game. The implementation of Korra’s ability to utilize the elements of Fire, Earth, Air, and Water in is nicely done as well. Despite these positives, The Legend of Korra is a boring and sometimes confusing video game.
The major confusion within The Legend of Korra is the developers indecision in making the game for kids or adults. The simplistic beat ‘em up game play leads one to believe the game is for kids, but even on the lowest difficulty setting, there are portions of the game that are too difficult for children. If the game is for the many adult fans of the series, then there should be more to do in the game. Aside from journeying from one locale to the next to fight more look-a-like bad guys, there is only the pro-bending mode – based on a sport from the show, and levels made in the same format as an endless runner. That’s right, multiple portions of this short campaign sets Korra atop her Naga, her beloved pet Polar Bear Dog, and players are forced to duck and dodge obstacles until they reach their destination. This type of gameplay should be reserved for mobile games, not downloadable titles carrying a very popular license.
It is regrettable Platinum Games and Activision did not do more with this game as it seems to exist only to remind us of how bad licensed games can be. There were numerous moments in the campaign that I was reminded of Superman 64 and E.T. for the Atari 2600. That comparison might seem unrealistic for a game developed by such a popular studio, but this game is disappointing. A more recent comparison might be to TMNT: Out of the Shadows, which like Legend of Korra, does a good job of bringing the licensed characters into the game, but does not give players much to do. As stated above, the implementation of Korra’s abilities are fully realized in the game. Utilizing the four elements makes you feel powerful, especially after they are leveled up and combined. There is not much satisfaction to be gained from a game so repetitive.
These flaws could be helped if the story was engaging, regrettably, that is not the case. Early in the game an old man zaps your powers and you attempt to get them back. Unfortunately, you do so with little to no interaction with the television show’s colorful characters. Also, much of the story is just pushed ahead through short cutscenes that do little to make any sense of it all. The awful story is one of the major negatives of the game, which is the easily one of the better parts of the show.
The Legend of Korra attempts to utilize RPG elements by allowing players to purchase abilities and health potions using the game’s spirit based currency. The system for buying these is standard fare, and each item is mapped to a different direction on the control pad. But what is completely strange is that you have to go to another menu to map each of the items you purchased to a direction. Certainly its not difficult to understand, but it feels tedious, and so does the rest of the game.
Platinum Game’s Legend of Korra had the potential to be a solid downloadable beat ‘em up, but like The Last Airbender game that came before it and the M. Night Shyamalan movie, it fails to capture all that the core material has at its disposal, fails to give fans of the title what they deserve, and feels like a quick cash-in on the popularity of the license.
- Impressive art style
- Too difficult for kids
- Weak story
- “Endless runner” stages