The Legend of Korra
For those of you that aren't too familiar with the origins of [The Legend of Korra](movie:1028685), let me briefly explain to you why this show is not just an experience for kids who watch Nickelodeon, but a series that can be highly enjoyable for older generations too. If you're not familiar with the story, then I recommend you check out this rather intriguing trailer for the show, which shows of its depth, beauty and great voice-acting!
The series is the successor to the Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series (not the horrendous M. Night Shyamalan abomination) which aired from 2005 to 2008. The series' directors Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, are also the brains behind The Legend of Korra, which has been a sensation for fans and critics alike. The Legend of Korra introduces Korra as a new Bender, one who possess the ability to manipulate elements. The Avatar is the only one who can manipulate all of these elements and Korra is the successor to Aang in this universe.
The series has even drawn similarities with the HBO series [Game of Thrones](movie:817617) and has been highly regarded for its inclusion of stark sociopolitical issues such as political unrest and terrorism. The animation style is akin to that of Hayao Miyazaki and his company, Studio Ghibli, therefore it has drawn a lot of praise with regards to its beautiful character and world design.
All of this success has led to the wonderful Platinum Games, the creators of Vanquish, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Bayonetta and the recently critically acclaimed Bayonetta 2, being offered the opportunity to create The Legend of Korra video game. With a developing history as great as this company's, you can imagine what's in store with their latest hack-and-slash delight.
Gameplay in The Legend of Korra
Platinum Games became interested in the TV series after they were mentioned as one of the potential candidates for creating The Legend of Korra.. The action and the storyline really impressed them, thus when offered to take on the project they were more than excited to lead the creation of this little game. Therefore, they maintained cooperation with the creators of the show in order for [The Legend of Korra](movie:1028685) to be as true to the series as possible.
A lot of Platinum's games feature a large amount of blood and adult themes, so how have they transferred over their skills from other games into this child-friendly adventure? Have they succeeded in their efforts?
In terms of gameplay, the moment you start hacking away at your enemies, you know that this is a Platinum game. The same manic button-mashing experience of Bayonetta is in the palm of your hands, except in this case the screen is saturated with beautiful and colourful animated designs. In terms of difficulty, there are two initial options.
One would be for fans of the series who aren't interested in gaming platforms and can glide through the story on easy. Those looking for a bit more of a challenge will select the normal difficulty, which still throws a few difficulties your way. Upon finishing the game Extreme Mode is unleashed, which I must say is pretty punishing. That distinct Platinum feeling of bashing your head against the wall was a constant sensation.
As you progress through the game you will be granted the ability to use all four elements: fire, water, wind and earth. Each element is allocated to different buttons, allowing you to fluidly mix up your combat decisions in the middle of a fight. Holding down certain buttons or using various combos is highly rewarding as the screen is filled with various colours, projectiles and flaming punches in an attempt to take down hoards of enemies.
The game doesn't only force you to fight. It balances the experience with a series of great mini games and essentially on-rails running sequences upon the backs of different creatures. All in all I was never really bored with the combat, as the constant need for changing up your attacks and the rewarding flurry on screen was great delight. Though certain sequences became quite tedious.
Storyline in The Legend of Korra
The lead creative writer for the series, Tim Hedrick wrote the storyline for The Legend of Korra, which takes place between Book 2 and Book 3 of the TV series. Fans of the series are certain to relish in the experience to interact with so many characters from the show they love, whereas gamers who aren't familiar with it are certain to never be lost in this universe.
The events of the game occur in the three weeks between what happened in the second and third seasons of the series, which aired in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Korra is opposed by a "chi-blocker" who, at the start of the game, strips Korra of her bending abilities, which she has to regain in the course of the game. The game's main villain is Hundun, an ancient, evil being previously trapped in the Spirit World, he was released into the real world by Korra's opening of the spirit portals at the end of the second season. The game sees him sow chaos in the world and pursue his grudge against the Avatar.
Believe me, you won't get lost in this story and it's certainly in the traditional style of Platinum Games, in that it is an over-the-top delight. Simultaneously, they really have balanced the game in terms of respecting its source material and I'm sure that all ages of fans will enjoy how it ties in with The Legend of Korra TV show.
Verdict on The Legend of Korra
The Legend of Korra is a beautifully presented game. The animation style and combat are thrills to watch, particularly on the PS4 and Xbox One, where the character and level design really shine. Though I've seen the game run on Xbox 360 and PS3 and it seems to be an experience of lesser, albeit great beauty.
After a while, you may find certain battles tedious and certain story sections to seem a little superfluous or distracting, but ultimately you're going to have a lot of fun in The Legend of Korra. The storyline is a well wrapped and faithful addition to the series and extremely well voice-acted. If you're looking for your next hack-and-slash experience, or a fan of either Platinum Games or The Legend of Korra, then you're sure to have a great time in this game for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 or PC.