Review of Avatar: The Last Airbender video game at Comic-Con 2006
Review of Avatar: The Last Airbender video game at Comic-Con 2006
Posted by Unbridled Joy of Flight on August 8th, 2006 @ 8:23 PM EST (322)

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AvatarSpirit Technical Consultant ixnay recently had an opportunity to get a hands-on preview of the Avatar video game (for current-gen consoles) at San Diego Comic-Con. Here are his impressions after spending some time with the game:

THQ had the game running on the Xbox, Playstation 2, and GameCube so I was able to get a good look at all of them. Of these systems, the graphics are definitely comparable on all of them, but the Xbox framerate seemed to be the smoothest.

At first glance, the game plays like a standard beat-em-up. The demo started off with Aang running around on a frozen landscape near a Water Tribe village, fighting off wolves. There is a single button to attack, and another to block. By correctly timing the presses of the attack button you can pull off combos where time slows down and the camera zooms in to give you a good look at the move.

You've got a small map in the corner that points the way to any goals and shows any nearby enemies. Eventually you make it into the village and can talk to people. Some of them give you quests and goals (such as "Investigate the nearby cave to find out what happened to the hunter" or "Help the fisherman cast out his nets"). Several paths lead out of the village and you can pause the game to look at a larger map that has landmarks and features marked.

What sets this apart from standard action games? Several elements from role-playing games have made their way into the Avatar game. As you defeat enemies you gain experience and eventually level up; this lets you learn new powerful special moves. You also have stats (attack, defense, etc.) that can be modified by equipping different armors and items. Defeating enemies can also give you copper pieces, which are the currency used to buy items from the shopkeeper in the village.

While the demo starts you off playing simply as Aang, you can hit a button combination to go into "Momo mode" where you take control of Momo and run around, finding items in hard-to-reach places. Later in the game the Fire Nation attacks and you are fighting off firebenders with the help of a computer-controlled Sokka.

Overall this looks like it is shaping up to be a great game based on the series that fans should enjoy. Watch for the game to be released in mid-October.

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