Rated 3 out of
Avatar the Last Airbender: Burning Earth (DS)
+ Multi Player Action - Play alone or with a friend as Aang, Katara, Sokka, and for the first time Toph or Jet, as you battle enemies, solve puzzles or go on adventures to defeat the evil Fire Nation.
There is no multi-player in this game and the closest thing you get to puzzle solving is a few simple jump puzzles. You also never have control over Jet either.
+ Firebending - Experience the brand-new firebending moves while playing as Prince Zuko and Uncle Iroh.
- You never play as Zuko or Iroh during this game outside of a single mini game that can be beaten in under a minute if you are any good at it. So, it's hardly anything worth bragging about and the only firebeneding you do in that mini-game is against cacti and trees.
+ Flying Levels - Control Momo and Appa in dramatic air battles
- You never have direct control over Appa or Momo in this version of the game. You do ride on Appa during one of the mini-games but you are using Aang to knock away buzzard wasps using airbending.
The story of this game largely follows the events of Book 2, but it does a take a few creative liberties to condense down the plot. Most of these changes aren't that big of a deal, but the amount of material skipped over is rather depressing since it could have added to the length of the game. The overall length of the game is probably around six hours assuming that you take your time exploring the various levels and do some level grinding along the way.
Gameplay wise the game is a rather simple beat-em up with the thin veneer of RPG elements on top. Albeit the only RPG element within the game is the fact that your characters can gain levels and grow stronger from fights. Outside of combat you will have to deal with several mini-games that are tied into the plot rather well for the most part, but I find the mini-game involving Zuko rather intrusive since it comes out of left-field.
I also have a few issues with the combat system. Many of the moves take a little time to activate so even if you are at point-blank range when you activate an attack you may still miss your target since they'll be out of your reach by the time the attack goes off. I also take issue with the fact that many of your enemies are invulnerable to attack when activating their special attacks, but your special attacks can be easily interrupted. Another slight change for the worse in my opinion is that you can pull up your inventory from combat to heal your characters instead of drawing from a limited supply of healing items on hand when you engage in combat.
Graphically speaking the game is decent. The character models are a bit spotty around the faces since they lack a lot of detail. A good example of this is Aang's face which only has eyebrows and two beady little eyes without pupils. The other characters models aren't much better to be honest when it comes to facial features, but it isn't a major issue in my opinion.
Sound wise the game is rather good with a decent soundtrack that is nice to listen to if a bit forgettable. The game also features some voice work that was probably taken directly from the show to be honest.
There isn't anything to really offer here to be honest. You can travel around with Appa after you finish chapter six to try and collect any cabbages that you missed in order to unlock your final attacks, but you can get through the game without them and you'll probably find all of the cabbages on your own if you thoroughly search all of the levels. They only tip that I would offer is that you can break the vines in the swamp level using Sokka's boomerang. You can also go to locations to replay the various mini-games you encountered during your adventure, but most of them aren't that enjoyable.
Lasting Appeal: 2
Date published: 2013-07-05