The Last Airbender
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Game Reviewed: The Last Airbender
ESRB Rating: T
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The Last Airbender is a game derived from the recent movie of the same name. Unlike the movie, the story in the game is actually told from the perspective of one of the antagonists, a young prince named Zuko. An exiled prince of the Fire Nation, Zuko is on a quest to capture the Avatar, a young boy named Aang. The Avatar is the one person in the world able to control, or “bend,” all four of the major elements (fire, water, earth and air). He is also the one major threat that stands in the way of the Fire Nation as they seek to take over the world and destroy all of the other nations. Zuko wishes to restore his honor by capturing the Avatar and bringing him back to the Fire Nation.
In the game, you will play as three different characters as the story unveils. You initially play as Zuko, the exiled prince who is a skilled firebender. You will also take on the role of Aang, the young Avatar and last airbender. The third character is The Blue Spirit which is actually also Zuko hiding his identity and masquerading as a swordsman. Gameplay is essentially hack-and-slash with some platforming elements thrown in. The objective of the game is to defeat anything that gets in your way, occasionally having to activate bridges or jump around to find an exit. Occasionally you can complete special moves or do scripted actions by moving the Wii remote in the direction indicated on the screen. Portions of the game involve Zuko shooting fireballs at enemies in shooting gallery fashion. There is also a very basic, no-frills multiplayer arena for up to three players that is basically a steady procession of enemies you must fight until time runs out.
What Parents Need to Know
It comes as no surprise that The Last Airbender features plenty of martial arts violence. You pummel your enemies into submission with plenty of punches and kicks. Aang uses a staff to whack on his foes, and the Blue Spirit uses a pair of swords. When you play as Aang or Zuko, you also have the ability to use air and fire based attacks. Aang can catch his enemies in a whirlwind and toss them into walls. Zuko can shoot fireballs. There is no blood in the game, and enemies vanish after being defeated.
There is no bad language in this game.
There is no sexual content in the game.
The actual movie of The Last Airbender has several overt references to Eastern mysticism and Buddhism. The storyline of The Last Airbender game, however, is much more condensed and focuses mainly on the plot. There are still references in the game to veneration of spirits, meditation and being in a trance. Several characters in the game remark that Aang, the avatar, will be reincarnated if he is killed.
Unfortunately, The Last Airbender is typical “video game based off a movie” fare. The gameplay is repetitive and simple. The multiplayer arena feels like a cheap afterthought. The visuals are unremarkable. At one point, I even walked through a wall into a never-ending freefall that required a reset of the game to correct. My only recommendation to parents (aside that there are more fun games to play) is to consider the martial arts elements and Eastern spiritual influences when deciding if The Last Airbender fits with your families guidelines for entertainment.