reviews\ Oct 23, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Avatar - The Last Airbender: Into the Inferno - WII - Review

Considering that the demographic of the Nickelodeon show Avatar: The Last Airbender is in the 6-11 year-old range, the developers of the game didn’t do a very good job of keeping this in mind while making Avatar: The Last Airbender - Into the Inferno. Sure, there are plenty of adults who watched the show during its three-year span, but the game will end up being equally as frustrating for them, too. About the only thing that this game has going for it is its subtitle – Into the Inferno.

The gameplay in Avatar is just awful and fails to put the Wii controls to good usage since everything seems way too complicated. Players use the Nunchuk to move the characters around, and the Wii-mote to attack enemies. Both controllers will be used while attempting to bend elements, but the concept of having to shake stuff like water to turn it into ice or air to turn it into wind is where there real problems begin. Oftentimes, you’ll find that, while trying to use the Nunchuk or Wii-mote to shake elements, your character will turn around with the element leading you to start all over again.  

And this can get very annoying when you’re just trying to get past an obstacle such as steam or fire. The whole concept of using the elements should have been made a lot easier than it is and it’s almost like the developers were just trying to make this aspect of the game harder to mask the weak fighting gameplay. The fighting presents the extreme opposite to bending elements as it only involves repeatedly mashing buttons to defeat groups of enemies that crowd around your character. It would definitely be preferable to have things the opposite way where the fighting was more difficult and the element bending was made easier (once again). The only redeeming quality of the gameplay is that it’s very easy to switch between any of the five playable characters (you only have to push right on the directional pad) in Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph, and Zuko.

Moving from a total negative to a semi-positive, the graphics do a solid job of representing the cartoon. The characters look decent and the backgrounds aren’t too bad either. However, not everything is quite so rosy here either since it’s hard to tell what some of the stuff you’ll be interacting with is at times. For instance, some of the buckets containing water will look like meaningless, empty boats which can be a pain when trying to find water to extinguish a fire. Other than that, there’s really nothing else too negative about the graphics.

The sound aspect of Avatar: The Last Airbender -- Into the Inferno isn’t going to blow anybody away since the music isn’t too impressive and the sound effects are pretty run-of-the-mill. The one good thing about the sound setup is that the character voiceovers are done pretty well which will help you to avoid going crazy while trying to figure out the controls and gameplay. 

But when average sound quality and decent graphics are your only saving graces, you’re not looking at a very good game here. Avatar is a game that is way too difficult for its own good and it seems that THQ might’ve forgotten that it’s based on a children’s cartoon. If you’re a huge fan of the Avatar: The Last Airbender series then you might possibly be able to stomach this game; otherwise, it might not be the best game to try.

Review Scoring Details for Avatar - The Last Airbender: Into the Inferno

Gameplay: 1.8
The gameplay for Avatar: The Last Airbender -- Into the Inferno makes the game unbearable to play.

Graphics: 7.1
The graphics don’t stray far from the cartoon and they look pretty solid for a Wii title. Some objects can be difficult to distinguish though.

Sound: 5.6
The voiceovers are pretty good in the game but the music and sound effects are nothing special.

Difficulty: Medium
The interesting, and annoying, mix between easy fighting and overly difficult element bending don’t make for a good combination.

Concept: 3.7
This is not a very good outing for the cartoon classic.

Overall: 3.8
Hardcore fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender may almost enjoy playing this but that’s pretty much it.


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