Avatar: The Burning Earth continues the epic adventure of Aang and his courageous fight against the evil Fire Nation in order to restore balance in his war-torn world. Based on the second season of the Avatar animated series, players will join Aang and his friends as they master their skills and fight their way to defend the greatest Earth Kingdom city against a deadly Fire Nation invasion.
--From the GBA Avatar The Last Air Bender: The Burning Earth instruction manual.
"Avatar The Last Air Bender: The Burning Earth" is a fantasy action adventure game based on the popular animated series. Admittedly, my expectations are never high when approaching a game based on a movie, or cartoon, but "Avatar The Last Air Bender: The Burning Earth" blew me away. I'm a huge fan of the original "Legend of Zelda" game, and "Avatar The Last Air Bender: The Burning Earth" is very similar in gameplay, appearance, and feel. A special young man on a quest to save his world isn't an original concept for a game, but the story feels full and fleshed out. "Avatar The Last Air Bender: The Burning Earth" uses the buddy system, enabling the player to play as several different characters, as well as being able to utilize two different character's ability without having to switch. Playing as the different character's allows the story to unfold in an organic way, and seems very fluid and unforced. "Avatar The Last Air Bender: The Burning Earth" took time to make the characters distinct in terms of personality, and fighting techniques, making the character switch system one of the most attractive elements of the game. The variety of switching characters, and constantly being introduced to new playable characters, keeps the combat from feeling stale, and actually requires a little bit of strategy as well.
The fun of the combat is also in large part due to the superior graphics and detailed sprites. The enemies, and player characters look amazing, and this game is one of the few where the playable character actually resembles the character of the cartoon (as opposed to just resembling the character in cut scenes). The combat system is unique, the player controls one character, while a second follows closely by, referred to as a supporting character. The player can switch between characters at will, especially helpful because all of the characters have very different attack abilities and magic. Even more impressive though, is that the player is actually able to attack with their supporting character without having to switch to them (by using R). The technique gives the feel of having the player's characters attack in tandem, which is very cool.
"Avatar The Last Air Bender: The Burning Earth" is a beautiful game with exceptionally well crafted backgrounds. The levels require a good amount of interaction, typically hitting crystals that function as door switches, or moving objects onto pressure plates to unlock doors is necessary to progress a stage. Some of the puzzles are not easily solved, and require some playing around with attacks and supporting characters. Most are easy, but not too easy.
"Avatar The Last Air Bender: The Burning Earth" doesn't allow the player to adjust the difficulty, but that's OK because the difficulty is a perfect balance, enabling the player to enjoy without too much anxiety, but it isn't hopelessly unchallenging either. Most bosses required a couple of attempts to learn their patterns and overcome. The characters gain life as they fell enemies, making for more cohesive action (no need to use a med kit or rest). "Avatar The Last Air Bender: The Burning Earth" allows the player to continue after dying, and will begin the player where the character died, preventing a player's death from fracturing the pace of the game. "Avatar The Last Air Bender: The Burning Earth" is a meaty action adventure with tons of variety and original gaming features, and one of my certified hidden gems on the Console Classix site.
"Avatar The Last Air Bender: The Burning Earth" allows the player to control a character, as a support character closely follows. Character's health is displayed by a number in the upper left hand corner of the screen. When characters take damage, the amount of damage will appear over the character's head. The player's two characters both share a mutual health reserve (i.e. switching characters doesn't refill health). Players can refill their character's health by defeating enemies.
There are a number of puzzles that the player must solve to progress through a stage. The puzzles usually involve the character hitting a crystal or moving of an object. Often the object that needs to be interacted with is out of reach, necessitating the use of the support character's charged power (compelling players to have knowledge of the character's attacks). Typically, the characters need to use teamwork to overcome a puzzle and progress.
The player will be given a rating after completing a stage. The player has the ability to replay a stage after completing it. Players can earn bonus points by collecting flasks filled with a green liquid. The liquid will drain slowly, almost like a clock counting down, but can be found scattered throughout the levels, and are very common. The amount of bonus points awarded depend on the quantity of vials left after completing a stage. "Avatar The Last Air Bender: The Burning Earth" uses a password system to keep progress.
|B Button||Secondary Attack|
|R Button||Supporting character attack|
|L Button||Switch character|