Friday, November 13, 2015
The Legend Of Korra is a blotch on Platinum's reputation
In the video game world the first Avatar game is remembered for being the quickest and easiest way to boost Gamerscore, offering up a cool 1000 points for just two minutes of franticly mashing on the attack button.
Why can't anyone get it right? We just want others to see the brilliance in it; the gripping powder keg political landscape where some nations battle against extinction, while others scheme for domination; the profound exploration of the struggle to find your identity and your place in the world; the awe-inspiring martial arts choreography and the stunning animation. Get Unlimited FREE Gold, ISO-8 and other resources with Marvel Champions Hack tool. Trusted and Proven 100% Working For Android and iOS Device.
Imagine, then, the hope fans were given when it was announced that a game based on The Legend of Korra was to be developed by Platinum Games, masters of the third-person action genre and a studio with a near impeccable track record. As far as dream pairings go, it doesn't get better than matching Avatar with the team behind Bayonetta, Vanquish and Metal Gear Rising. It could not be in safer hands.
The expectation that Platinum would do it justice makes the sting of disappointment all the more pronounced. Unfortunately, The Legend of Korra is exactly what you've come to expect from a tie-in game: a short, poorly designed, frustrating experience that squanders the potential of its source material.
It's a game that feels like it was developed under strict time constraints, and we imagine this was the case given that the TV series is in its final season and the window to capitalise on its popularity closing. The game's core mechanics are functional but either underdeveloped or unrefined.
Like in the series, players are able to channel the elements through Korra's body, whipping streams of water across the screen, summoning pillars of earth from the ground, kicking up whirlwind gusts and erupting flames from her fists.
Once all four elements are unlocked, players can cycle through them during battle, but the transition between them never feels rewarding and, likewise, their physical impact on enemies is never satisfying.
Although enemies usually have one specific elemental alignment, the game doesn't capitalise on this by encouraging the use of Korra's multiple styles to exploit weaknesses. There's no real advantage to employing fire against water or air against earth. In fact, sticking to water and using long range attacks is the most effective way of playing the game since it controls crowds, interrupts enemies with trapping attacks and also deals decent damage.
The game also features a counter mechanic where enemies flash red briefly before they attack. Pressing the counter button leads into a short quick-time event where the player must push the analogue sticks in a certain direction or mash buttons to do a special attack.
The problem here is that a successful counter usually launches the enemy out of the arena, or sweeps up a group of enemies and kills them. As a result, there's not much point in putting in the time and effort to slowly chip away at health when instead you can wait for the right moment and deliver a one-hit kill.
Additionally, the window of time given to hit the counter button is very brief, which can be a problem when dealing with enemies launching attacks from outside the area where the camera is focused.
Structurally, The Legend of Korra is very similar to Bayonetta, with players running in between combat arenas while doing some light platforming. In Bayonetta, these luls are a welcome change of pace after the intensity of its combat and players wander through environments that are rich in colour and interesting in design.
In Korra however, every area is painfully bland and simple, to the point where some look unfinished. Given that the world laid out in The Legend of Korra's animated series includes a dense futuristic steampunk city and a lush, trippy spirit world - to name just two - this is baffling. There's so much material that has just been wasted. For updated daily visit the website http://marvelchampionshack.com to Get Unlimited Gold, ISO-8 and other resources FOR FREE. 100% Working For Android and iOS Device.
During these platforming segments, enemies will occasionally spring up to impede Korra's progress, but the player can choose to ignore them completely and carry on pushing ahead to the next proper combat arena without taking any damage.
Another pillar of its gameplay is sections where players ride Naga, Korra's pet polar bear dog. These play just like the numerous Temple Run inspired games running rampant on iOS and Android. Again, functional but hardly fun or unique.
Controlling Naga feels like what we'd imagine riding an actual giant polar bear running on ice would be like, you never feel quite in control. Every now and then structures will obfuscate upcoming obstacles and Korra will get a face full of wall or tree and have to start over.
Players can buy items and techniques from Uncle Iroh, a wise old sage character from the series that is loved for his warm wit and charm, reduced in the game to a disembodied voice muttering the same tired few lines over and over. Buying items from him costs currency earned through beating enemies, finding treasure and destroying the odd box. However, potions used and money spent do not carry over if Korra dies, which makes an already difficult game even more frustrating.
The game is filled with annoying enemies that constantly run away from you, massive mobs put together purely to overwhelm the player instead of to challenge proficiency with the game's combat mechanics, mech bosses that have too much health and deal too much damage and numerous instant fail state scenarios. From top to bottom, there's very little to like about The Legend of Korra.
For fans, the worst of it will be how little regard is given for what makes the series special. The majority of the supporting cast from the series don't make an appearance, and the characters that do are sans their personality. Korra spends most of the game spouting inane smack talk during combat or shouting out what she needs to do. There's a story chaining together the eight chapters, but it's so vague and uninteresting that you'll forget it as it's happening.
The one thing The Legend of Korra does have going for it is that most of the attack animations are well done and look cool(ish). That's about it.
The world of Avatar is so rich and interesting, which makes the thought that somewhere out there someone may try this game as an entry point into the series actually distressing. If you're reading this we just want you to know that this game does not represent what Avatar is, watch the first series of The Last Airbender, for the love of Aang. And to the rest of you: do not buy or play this.