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I have the control now & the game's handling MUCH better. It was rather difficult to set up, I needed a specific program, I needed to watch tutorials on how to get it to work, moral of the story, if you're not comfortable using game controls on your computer, don't get the game for the computer. Should you consider getting the game for a console? Well, that's what I hope my journey will help you find out. Oh yeah, if it matters, I'm playing 600x800 resolution. I PROBABLY COULD raise it, but I fear that some of the slower moves will be compromised if I do, so I'm not going to.
This one is GOING to be long. I've trimmed it down as much as I can, but I'm summarizing 3 chapters of the game plus bonus material (albeit no plot spoilers). If you don't want to read it all, just pay attention to the stuff in bold.
If you want to read the last one--though it's basically just "hang on until I get a good control"--you can find it here.
Time: ~8:20-9:40 PM, 10:20-10:58 PM
Introducing: Stages 1, 2, 3; Spirit Shop; Pro-Bending; Naga Runner
So this is basically a do-over, because I decided to restart my game from the beginning for a good comparison, & as I said, it handles MUCH better. This was good, because for some reason, you have to get a knock-out to clear the arbitrary plot point Probending match. But it was fun. When they say that they faithfully reproduced the rules, they really mean it. My favorite part was when I hit 1 guy into another & knocked them both out of the ring. Although, I eventually found out that this game has chapter select (nice plus), so I didn't have to do this.
Then it came time to enter the game proper. If you like Republic City or Air Temple Island, navigating the first couple of areas is really fun. They're also not completely linear, which is good or bad, depending on your preference. Another very nice touch here is the MUSIC. I almost don't mind losing, because you get treated to "Lost My Heart in Republic City." When Chi Blockers attack you, "Chi Blocking Brawl" plays. You get the point, it uses the music from the series VERY well.
And then I destroyed a truck with my bare hands, which was kind of funny, but the novelty of this wore thin REALLY quickly. You know how they say that Korra solves all of her problems by hitting? This game takes that LITERALLY. Treasure chests open by hitting them, & rare treasure chests employ what I hesitate to call a "minigame" where you're supposed to wail on them as fast as possible to increase the quality of the item inside. Obstacles are destructible, but anything bigger than a pot is going to take many hits to destroy. And, of course, there are friggin' SWARMS of enemies.
So why even bother breaking everyone's property? Well, as it turns out, this is how you get Spirit Energy for the Spirit Shop, which gives you helpful items. And the items are bloody expensive. Functions of items include healing, giving you new Bending abilities, increasing your damage, & so on.
While I understand why they strip you of Bending from a gameplay training standpoint, it takes an unreasonably long time to get it back. After an hour & 20 minutes of gameplay, I finally regained Waterbending & paused to take a break & write this. And the reason WHY it took so long is because they make you play a whole stage with no Bending & then there's a "find 4 items" quest that takes up about half of the NEXT stage before you get your 1st element back.
Another problem I'm noticing is that the game pauses for absurdly long times to point out an objective to you. When you play an action game, to draw your attention to a boss or a goal point, the game often takes control of your camera to point to it for a few seconds, right? Well, this game will do it for like half a minute.
It was certainly tedious, but one saving grace is that the enemies have managed to keep things interesting so far. Chi Blockers have smoke bombs, electrified whips, they can throw bolas at you, point is, they have a few different attacks, & they actually do different things--the smoke bomb obscures the screen, the bola restrains your arms, etc. I'm still learning the controls, so I can't speak much to that, but one thing I can say is that this game needs a smarter targeting system--if you're going to get swarmed by enemies, Korra should really automatically attack the enemies closest to her, not the 1 enemy I have locked on to or, failing that, some random direction. So far I've learned that Firebending is really fast, Waterbending is great for when enemies surround you & to hit far off targets, & Airbending is great for clearing away enemies, except when it's sealed, then it's just a light version of Firebending. It is cool to do the moves from the show, though.
Summary: Great use of music, chapter select, handles well when you have the right controls, nice nods to the show, & Pro-Bending & fighting are pretty fun. So far, it's a bit button-mashy, but it looks like they're introducing some kind of boxing system to counter that. As an interesting choice, you're never locked off from earning Spirit Energy, buying, or equipping items, so if you get stuck, you should be able to grind your way to victory. On the downside, the targeting system isn't very good, neither is the pacing, & I'm already tired of hitting stuff. In a Beat 'Em Up. Yeah.
This is something else that I got to do for the first time today, which I think deserves its own section. It does not handle at all like I thought it was going to. I thought it would be sort of like Mario Kart or another prototypical racing game where you have fluid motion with the analog stick, & can swerve around obstacles. Instead, it turns out that Naga has to stick to certain lanes, & the analog stick/d-pad only changes between those lanes. At first I thought this was cheap, but once I got used to the controls, I actually thought it was really fun, & just because you can't move as freely, that doesn't mean they go easy on you--it's probably the most challenging mode so far, but in a good way. Just make sure that you DO have the controls down. I ate it on the same wall about 5 times in a row before I finally realized that I wasn't using the slide button. Also, the game helpfully informs you of ways that you can use Bending in this minigame, once you've actually unlocked it.
Summary: "A nice surprise" is the best summary here. I can't really think of anything "wrong" with this minigame. It's just really fun.
Next Time: I tackle Chapter 4, & maybe some others. Also, if you know how I am with games, which you really don't, you'll know that my first impression is usually pretty critical, but within a few areas, I'll probably know my opinion of this game. After all, right now, the game's going easy on me, so some of my complaints might just be that. If you actually read all of this, or even if you just skimmed (sort of why I put the information in bold, I know you don't all have time to read my every rambling), thanks, & I hope you'll stick with me until then.
Miscellaneous: I unlocked the Spirit Korra & Chi Blocker Korra outfits, but when I tried to change Korra to a Chi Blocker, it didn't take. Odd. I'm GUESSING you can only do this when replaying stages, for some reason? We'll find out.