The Legend of Korra: PS3 Review

     I've been waiting for a decent Legend of Korra game for some time now, and well...  it looks like I'm really going to be waiting much longer, as this is only decent at best.  Platinum Games seems to have put in just enough effort to create a playable, but not really good game.  It's barely tolerable at points but has a lot of faults that take away what actual fun there could've been.

     Most of the game is spent being funneled through corridors towards groups of palette-swapped clones in one long repetitive motion.  I'm not even kidding, even the 3 generic mini-boss benders are all repeated multiple times.  It is a monotonous mess.  Korra gets boring long before you even unlock all 4 of the elements for her to use, which is just about at the 70% completion mark.  You get two attack types, a dodge, and a block/counter and that's about it.  There is nothing to the game.  This game feels empty.  Devoid of people and filler, the world here is as dull as it gets.

     Mechanically speaking, there's a lot of unfair things that happen- poorly handled and highly inconsistent platforming, the Naga running sequences are ultimately a test of frustration in trial-and-error, and the block/counter is the only thing that does damage to some bosses- making them a huge pain waiting for the few counterable moves they do.  I had one mech tank boss go nearly 5 minutes without giving me one creating a distaste for the gameplay.  The block-counters would be less of a problem if they worked consistently, but they don't and that is a problem.  For what could be considered a kids game, this is far too difficult for many kids, and just as annoying for adults.  The difficulty feels too high for a game of this kind.

     The dialogue is horrendous, repeating every minute or so if you don't do exactly what it says.  The story itself boils down to bad guy wants revenge for a previous Avatar's actions...  and that's it.  He somehow gets a whole bunch of followers and some chi blockers to stop Korra's bending.  It's like a poorly written single episode stretched into about a 4 hour game.

     Being a $15 downloadable game allows a measure of forgiveness for the issues this game suffers, but really- when will we get a game that puts to use the extremely wonderful source material?  Where are all the supporting characters?  Where is the drama?  Where is the humor?  Where is the depth of story and emotional impact that encompasses the The Legend of Korra television series itself?

     Perhaps if Platinum had focused on a purely beat-em-up game it might've been better, but they tried to cram in Temple Run copycat levels and some Pro Bending Tournaments which effectively eat up resources from the main draw of the action game.  Don't get me wrong here, the Pro Bending is fun, but should've been left as a side mini-game in the larger scheme of things, but the Naga levels shouldn't have been here at all.

     Since this seems to be purely a bashing review I want to throw in some good comments as well.  I think they've done very well with the cell-shaded art, keeping true to the television show.  The best playing moments were all in fighting horde waves.  They nailed the way the elements differ from each other, despite the lack of combo variance.  Water is weak but works long distance, earth is super slow but super strong, and so on.  The items are primarily useless, with the exception of the life regeneration item that makes the game a little less frustrating and much more tolerable.

     The Pro Bending is pretty fun on its own, and if Platinum would've added multiplayer to it, both team play and competitive, this could've easily become the highlight of the game.  The unused potential here was a great misstep on the creators' part.  This is a massive missed opportunity.
     There are also very short clips of animation that are exactly like the shows' style, but are so quick that I believe just watching the show might be a far better alternative to playing the game.

     Oddly enough my wishes for a good Korra game are the same as another Nickelodeon property, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I want a decent open world game.  Think of Lego Marvel Super Heroes' open New York City area.  Something like that but with multiple cities in large locales with a main story and various sub-missions and mini-games to fill out the world.  The Legend of Korra game we got was a mediocre foundation and mostly a shell of a game.  I sincerely hope that Platinum can really get behind another Korra game and make one worth the time to play it.  The Air Bender universe is ripe with stories to be told, so where are they?

     Being a huge fan of both Avatar: The Last Air Bender and The Legend of Korra can't help my displeasure at how terrible this game is.  It's a sore disappointment when this is so terrible, while their other release, Bayonetta 2, is so great in comparison.
     Dear creators, give us an Avatar game of the Platinum quality we've known so well, and definitely take the time and effort to make a game worthy of the Avatar legacy.

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