With prestigious titles like Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising and Vanquish under developer Platinum Games’ belt we were excited to hear that they were working on the Legend of Korra game. The cartoon is well overdue a game and with a great game developer on board what could possibly go wrong?
Licensed games are always fraught with limitations that stop developers from stepping outside of the characters’ abilities and the creators intellectual properties. So, even though the IP will attract people to the game, the fact that the developer is tied down to certain things can prevent a good game becoming something great. Unfortunately this is the case with The Legend of Korra.
Anime art style has been done well for a console generation now, with the Naruto games and 2008’s Prince of Persia. Legend of Korra is no different, it captures the look of the TV show with great accuracy. All the characters and locations have been meticulously recreated in three dimensions and animated spectacularly. Fans will be pleased to hear that there are also animated cutscenes at the beginning and end of almost every chapter.
You only have the option to play the “Story Mode” at the outset, with the ability to unlock the “Pro-Bending Mode” after completing the story mode. The premise of the story is based around a strange old man who has some history with the Avatar and is bent on trying to destroy the current Avatar. He begins by blocking your “Bending” and you have to play through the game and slowly unlock them once again. There are a handful of locations throughout the game and all are recognisable to series fans. Expect to see the Air Temple and a lot of Republic City, however, this is one of the places where the Legend of Korra fails, as there really isn’t enough location variety, with a lot of the locations, especially the city locations, looking very flat and box shaped.
Possibly the strongest point of this game is the combat, and it is exactly what you’d expect from the makers of Bayonetta, however it appears to be marred in some ways. There aren’t very many combos and no weapons to speak of. The crux of the combat is based around the block and dodge buttons. You dodge with the R2 button and block with the L2 button, pressing L2 just before an attack will initiate a counter attack which is cool, but after the first few chapters it becomes very repetitive as the same two animations are used over and over again on the main enemies. The combat is fun, but is lacking the joyous nature of Bayonetta or Vanquish, we believe the IP may have something to do with this, as you can tell the developer had to restrain themselves.
The majority of the game is based on moving from battle to battle. Luckily the combat is just about fun enough to keep you interested, throwing in a variety of large robot enemies amongst the humans. But this is where the difficulty can spike, you will play the first few chapters with no problems, but then hit a section which you will retry dozens of times. The action is broken up at times with some Pro-Bending matches and an endless runner section with Naga, Korra’s polar bear dog. These help break up the gameplay a little but seem a bit odd.
The game is short, it took a little over six hours to complete on normal mode and I died dozens of times. Replayability isn’t great. Upon completion you will unlock the “Extreme” difficulty setting and also the Pro-Bending mode. This contains 3 difficulty setting and each one is simply a 5 round tournament that can be completed in under 15 minutes on the casual setting. Only the extreme difficulty poses any amount of challenge. Legend of Korra fans will find some enjoyment from this game, however the value for money factor and the lack of variety stop this game from being something really special.
- Replay Value