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The Last Airbender (DS)
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while this DS version of The Last Airbender has its fair share of fighting, it is far less chaotically violent than the film's Wii game adaptation. It is, in fact, an entirely different game. This one puts a lot of focus on exploration and discovery and has more of a sense of humor. It is more appropriate for the younger fans of the original Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series.
What's it about?
Following the plot from the movie, THE LAST AIRBENDER tells the story of four elemental nations (earth, air, fire, water) that are at war with one another. When the Avatar appears -- a young boy who is prophesied to have the power to control all four elements -- each of the nations seeks to get him under their control. The game's story is told from the dual points of view of Aang, the Avatar, and Zuko, the Fire Nation prince who has been expelled by his people and is out to capture the Avatar for himself. You get to play as Zuko on some levels, and also as Aang, the Avatar. A DSi-exclusive features allows you to take photographs of friends to see them in Last Airbender costumes and learn what elemental nation they would belong to.
Is it any good?
The Wii adaptation of The Last Airbender is a good game; the DS adaptation is a great one. Not only is it more age-appropriate for fans of the Nickelodeon cartoon series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, but it's a more interesting game. It's got far better storytelling, a neat sense of humor that's missing from the console version, and an open-endedness that encourages exploration in between battles. The controls work marvelously, and graphics, while less realistic than those of the Wii game, are brighter and cheerier.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Zuko's conflicted motives. Is he a hero or a villain? How do you feel when you have to play as Zuko, as opposed to when you get to play as the more obviously heroic Aang?
In this game, you get to see a lot of both Aang and Zuko as children. Do those segments help you to better understand why the characters behave the way they do later in life?
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