The Legend of Korra videogame is a reality check. In 2014 we’ve been spoiled by terrific licensed games such as: South Park: The Stick of Truth, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and Alien: Isolation, but remember these titles are the exceptions that prove the rule. Whether you haven’t been into a brick and mortar store in ages, or you’ve learned not to buy licensed games without reading a review, don’t forget that movies and TV show tie-in games get pumped out fast and furious — and yes, they are still awful.
Discussing The Legend of Korra video game in the context of a review is a fruitless endeavor because it’s an incredibly mundane and altogether boring character action game that will almost perfectly serve anyone who had the interest to check it out in the first place. It’s not in the same league as the list of licensed games I listed at the start of this review, and Platinum games does not leverage the Avatar universe into interesting gameplay mechanics. It’s a fifteen-dollar downloadable game that for four short hours lets you pretend you’re a character from one of the coolest Saturday morning cartoon universes in ages. It’s among the pantheon of iPhone games whose slogans read: “Hey did you just walk out of the cinema? Do you wanna be Spider-man for 2 minutes? That’ll be $1 please.” And that’s it. There’s nothing to chew on nothing, nothing to think about, it’s a cash-in.
Let’s just say —hypothetically— that you’re a lunatic. Imagine (remember this is make-believe) that you were the kind of kid who desperately wanted the Animaniacs game for Christmas even though you couldn’t play the second level because you were too afraid of the shark in it. Or say you were an adolescent who finished the 24 videogame … just because Pretend —just pretend— you were a full-grown man who liked to play Dragon Ball games in character because it was hilarious and awesome, but also just way more fun that way. Make as if you were me, set all your expectations aside, and you just might be able to have some fun playing as the Avatar Korra.
It’s never a good game, but it does have a solid virtual representation of Avatar Korra, it does let you use bending to take-out evildoers, and it does have a sprinkling of animated cut-scenes. That’s about it. The enemies aren’t even especially interesting to beat up, but once I got past the idea that my goal was to do well (and try to kill them efficiently) I just had a lot of fun seeing all of Korra’s different attack animations. Again, I’m not saying the game is good, but it was sufficiently ‘Avatar’ for me to gleeful mash buttons yelling, “Fire! Earth! Air! Water!”
Guilty pleasure doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings on The Legend of Korra game. The fun I had assuming the role of Avatar Korra wasn’t born of any design decisions, just my love for the character and the desire to run around as her in a videogame. It’s not the game the series deserves, but it’s better than a McDonalds toy — so there’s that.
- It has an original story, but that story is terrible. An old man shows up and then, like, brings back the conflict from season 1.
- I got all sorts of warm fuzzies from playing Legend of Korra because it’s been so many years since I was forced to play a licensed game like this one.
- There’s a whole ‘Pro Bending’ side-mode, but it somehow requires less finesse than the main game.
- First half of the game is character action like Bayonetta (2009), and the second half is more like Dynasty Warriors.
- The Naga chase sections (i.e. Temple Run (2011) are so shockingly bad that I loved them. God it’s hilarious that they included them.
- I assume The Legend of Korra series isn’t popular enough to justify making an Arkham-style game around, but gosh I’d love to explore an interesting game world in the Avatar universe.