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Having watched the movie Avatar fairly recently at the cinema and though considering the hype it did just about live up to that thanks to some spectacular special effects, I thought I'd go and get the game for my Nintendo Wii to see if that was any good too. I've got a few games now on my Wii and have to say that this one is quite entertaining.
In my opinion this is a great game to play for action as long as you are not too worried about the storyline as it doesn't really mind about that unlike the movie. So the action was solid and fun to play.
You actually play the story through the eyes of one of the Na'vi which are the aliens that live and breed on the Planet known as Pandora. Humans have since invaded this planet for profit and the resources it contains.
Basically the idea of the game is to break into various human outposts and retrieve certain artifacts. The game itself is divided into missions and each of these missions you have to achieve your goals set out for you. For every one you complete successfully that bit closer you are to collecting all the artifacts on offer. I found it rather confusing at times to find my away the terrain as they are vast very open meaning you have to try and work out which way to go, but to be honest with you it's fun and adds to the challenge. If you die you don't have to go all the way back to the start but can start again at the last checkpoint with your health restored.
To knock out any humans that you come into contact with and attack you - you have to swing the remote up, down, left or right for different attacks with the weapon you are carrying at the time. I did find that wildly swinging didn't help too much as you need to be a bit more controlled with your movements to gain success in the fights. A nice feature of the game I thought was that alot of your time you have to use stealth so it's not all about action. The reason there is alot of sneaking around seems to be because although you know your own planet these big blue creatures don't have the firepower to stand up to the humans in that way as they have all the superior weapons at their disposal.
As well as the story which leaves a lot to be desired, the graphics are not the best either which is a shame. However, for me the gameplay does make up for that to be honest. Overall, I would recommend getting this as it's pretty decent and fun
Last weekend saw me at the shops having to get some things for my daughter for a trip she was taking. Having purchased all the things she needed I felt that I could not go home without a present for my son and since I had spent quite a bit on her I felt that I should treat him to something he would think was special. Looking for inspiration I found myself in Game, it is not a shop I frequent as I tend to buy all our games online but needs must so I looked at all the Wii titles. I ended up choosing Avatar: The game (rating 12) as he had just seen the film and I thought he would be excited by it and it was one of the few games that didn't seem too childish but also didn't have a 15 or 18 rating. At £34 I felt it was very expensive but I was in a generous mood. It is certainly available much cheaper online.
I am probably the only person on the planet who has neither seen Avatar: The Movie nor has any interest in seeing it. However, as a mother, I do tend to try and play all the games we purchase as I like to check their suitability as I feel there are a lot of games around that are just too unpleasant for children to play. Therefore I found myself tackling the sort of game that I am notoriously useless at.
The basis of the game is that you are a member of the indigenous Na'vi and you will be using your skills as a hunter to win the battle against the Humans who are encroaching on your native planet, Pandora. I have been informed by my son that the game doesn't follow the film storyline at all but is just set in the same place.
---Playing The Game---
On starting the game you have the opportunity to open one of four profiles. I always prefer games where you can have multiple profiles running as it saves arguments about who is playing. You are then shown Pandora and you begin your game, once you have completed a level you are able to return to any completed level from this screen should you wish to play it again. Before you play the level you can select the difficulty level as Easy, Normal or Hard. I must admit I have only played it on Easy.
You are playing as Rai'uk of the Anurai. I would prefer it if you were able to select your character as the primary character is male but if anyone joins you in the game they are Kyuna who is female; it would be nice if you could select which you preferred.
You immediately find yourself on the beautiful, lush world of Pandora. The only weapon you have at the beginning is your staff. You are guided through the basic moves of the game in this first level which acts partly as a tutorial. I found it remarkably easy to control my character, movement is controlled with the nunchuck and jumping, rolling and attacking is controlled with the remote. The controls felt quite instinctive and were not too complicated. It seemed very straightforward to work out which way you had to go but if you got stuck then you press the C button and you can use your Na'vi Sense to be shown how to proceed.
It is very easy to become absorbed into the surroundings as you play and the game does feel quite exciting. The graphics are very good and really added to the game, the music was also very atmospheric. As you only have a staff in the first level you have to use an ambush technique to overcome your enemies, this is achieved with a rapid downswing of the remote. This seemed quite aggressive to me but unlike many games there is no blood or gore, as soon as you defeat your enemy they just disappear. When you come across your enemy they have an icon above their head which changes colour to indicate how aware they are of your presence.
Finishing the first level leads you to finding a bow which then becomes available as your weapon as well as the staff for the rest of the game.
As you start each level you are given a rundown of what there is to find and the quantity:
Relics- these increase the length of your life bar
Totems- these boost you Way of the Hunter points which give you extra moves and power
Eywa Spirit -these enable you to buy weapon upgrades.
As you move through the game it is easy to see the Eywa Spirits as they are sparkling areas of white/blue but I did find it harder to see the totems and the relics. If you are injured by enemy attack then there are plants around you that release pollen that help you recover, if you lose all of your life then you have to start the section again.
---And Then It Got Tough!---
Progressing further into the game produces enemies that are more difficult to overcome. To help you tackle the metal birds (some sort of helicopter thing!) you are able to ride on the back of a banshee. You can use the balance board here to control the banshee whilst using your remote to attack. I could not do this at all and neither could my son, we both managed better with using the nunchuck. This maybe something that would come easier with practise, we just couldn't make the sharp turns. It was also at this point in the game that I realised how useful it is that another player can "jump in" to help. The other person just presses A on a remote and they immediately appear by your side to help you, their instructions appear on the screen in orange whereas the primary players instructions are in blue. Once they have had enough of playing it is easy for them to "jump out" too.
It was at about this point in the game when I reached my limit of ability. I just could never defeat anyone without getting cross as I am really useless and I was also officially bored. However I had decided that it was ok for my son to play so the rest of the information I have has come from him.
Altogether the game has 13 levels. Some of the later levels are much trickier and are quite hard to get past without the use of two players. However my son is not used to playing games of this type so an experienced gamer may well find that they are not too difficult. Playing on Easy it took my son about 18 hours to finish the game, there did not seem to be a major end-point, the game just sort of ended. I used to like playing Tombraider and I always liked the big enemy at the end so I was surprised at this ending. (When I say I liked playing them, I liked telling my husband how to play them so that probably isn't the same thing, I can never control anything!). He did not collect everything so he is now going back and playing the levels on Normal and trying to find all the objects. He has shown me that his bow has been upgraded a lot and that he has new abilities now so should be able to tackle the levels better.
The main disadvantage to this game is the lack of ability to save a game. The game is saved at various points in a level but you are not informed where and then again at the end. As a parent this drives me mad as there is always a cry of "I just need to finish this level!" whenever you suggest turning the game off. I tend to be mean and turn it off anyway but it can be frustrating. The other disadvantage is that this is still a battle game but at least there is not excessive violence compared to other games I have seen.
---Was It A Worth Buying?---
Trying to find games that I think are suitable for my son to play and that he doesn't think look too childish can be tricky. He will happily play Lego Star Wars by himself but it is not a game he wants to play with his friends as it wouldn't be cool. They all play Call of Duty but I really don't think that is appropriate so we seem to have hit a reasonable happy middle ground with this one. My son has thoroughly enjoyed it and has enjoyed showing it to his friends. He has had far more time on the Wii during this holiday than he normally would as I have not been well so have had to cancel other activities so I have been thankful that I had bought him something that has kept him happy! I don't think an adult who games a lot will find this very satisfying as I imagine it would be too easy but it is ideal for a younger teen who is not used to action games.