About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of Avatar (the mobile game)

Avatar (2009 film)Image via Wikipedia
Gameloft turned Avatar game into a mobile game. Unfortunately, what this really is is Super Mario with a few bits of 1942 thrown in. It's really not that interesting, and the gimmicks isn't that involving. All in all, it's not that good.

In Avatar (mobile), you play the game two ways: a regular 2D side-on platformer (i.e. Super Mario) where you control JakeSulley, the Na'vi avatar, and in a few levels, you control a banshee and the game turns into a top-down 1942-like game where you dodge islands and enemy fire as you shoot back against enemy gunships.

In the platformer, you jump, run, slide, climb, and so on among the various levels. Instead of collecting coins, you collect "wood sprites", which you can later trade for additional levels which will give you special attacks or skills in any of the six areas, such as staff, bow, life, and so on. Every 100 points you collect is worth one level in one of the skills. You need to dodge natural enemies such as panthers, sticky-tongue beasts (like the barnacle in Half-Life!) and jump properly and don't fall to your death. You have limited in the number of "continues". Later, you get the bow, which allows you to shoot enemies from longer distances.

And in the top-down-shooter section, you drive the banshee as if it's an aircraft shooting at gunships and turrets, and avoid crashing into islands. It's nothing like the movie, where you dodge among the trees and whatnot. It is just like 1942, if your memory of arcade games goes back that far.

After each level "ends" you get to spend your "bonus points" you earned by collecting wood sprites and other stuff, subtract penalties like number of retries you need to use, and apply the points to any of the six areas of your avatar, which would improve your skills by a level for every 100 points you apply... per level (2nd level costs 200 pts, and so on). However, the differences seem to be rather subtle.

There are quite a few cutscenes, where you get a bit of exposition. There is also a bit of background info thrown into the "level loading..." screens. So the plot is fine, as it is based on the movie. But that doesn't help the fact that the game doesn't really do anything "special". At least the graphics are pretty decent, the sprites relatively large, and pretty well animated.

What's worse, some enemies respawn, forcing you to move along. That is just boring. And the flying sequences are somehow MUCH MUCH harder than the platform sequences, because the flying sequences somehow feels much faster, and shots much much weaker, and you can only take THREE hits, instead of 6 (or more) in the platform sequence.

All in all, Avatar feels like an also-ran, a game that offers nothing special. While the movie is great, the game isn't quite so.

Overall rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: some decent platform action, decent cutscenes
Cons: nothing new here, some sequences much harder than expected
Verdict: this tie-in ain't worth the money, unless you're a diehard fan

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