On a bender.
Upon first glance, The Legend of Korra seems like a surefire hit. It looks almost identical to the anime, the cut scenes are well-produced, and it is an action game made by Platinum. What could possibly go wrong? Sadly there are a lot of issues with this licensed downloadable title, which keep it from being the sleeper hit it could have been.
The Legend of Korra is an action game based on Nickelodeon’s popular animated series. Platinum has done a great job of capturing the look and feel of the show, including animated cut scenes that take place in the same continuity of the series. The visuals pop off the screen with bright colors, and that stylistic anime look.
Platforms: PC, XB1, PS4, 360, PS3
Price I’d Pay: $5.99
I know nothing about the series, but I could see why it is popular. Characters are interesting and written well, and the story for the game is just interesting enough to serve as a catalyst for the fighting.
Speaking of combat, this is a Platinum joint, meaning combat should be simple on the surface, with a hidden layer of depth begging to be studied and mastered. Well if Platinum’s A-team created Bayonetta 2, then Korra feels like it was a second thought. I am sure time and budget factored heavily into things, but this game feels stiff when compared to the developers other titles.
Locking onto enemies becomes a chore, and moves simply don’t flow into each other like they should. It feels rudimentary considering the pedigree involved. The combat gets better as the game progresses, especially once the bending powers are introduced. Mixing elements into combos can be satisfying, and certain areas are locked behind these powers, meaning going back to previous levels is required.
No worries though, going back is almost imminent simply because this is an extremely challenging game. I died, a lot, and often. Dying also comes with heavy penalties. Any items or potions used before death are still gone upon returning. Grinding currency is the only way to buy them, and if I died enough times, I simply ran out. Meaning it was try to fight without any aid, or go back and grind some more.
This wouldn’t be so bad if the earlier levels weren’t so drab and boring. Grinding in this game is not enjoyable, and having to essentially rely on it is just bad design. There are some mini-games sprinkled throughout the campaign as well, which are on the same level as the combat. Which is to say, not very good. I really wanted to love Korra, but in the end it just comes up short in every aspect.
The Legend of Korra should have been great. A $15 title crafted by the team at Platinum with a solid art style, and built on a solid foundation. It is none of these things. In fact all I wanted to do while playing through it was go back to Bayonetta 2. There simply isn’t anything here to interest fans of the show, fans of good combat games, or even budget gamers looking for a solid downloadable title for their new consoles.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.