Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Burning Earth Q&A
If you watch the tube you know about the Avatar TV show, starring Aang the 111 year-old 11 year-old with his flying bison Appa. He and his friends Katara and Sokka travel the world so Aang can learn all the Bending powers (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) to truly master his skills as the legendary Avatar. Book 2 wrapped up but there's a video game on the way that lets you play through the entire season with your fave cartoon characters! Gary headed over to the THQ head office and, after he'd camped out in their lunch room for a week, they agreed to talk to him about the game! Here's what they had to say.
Gary: What kind of game is it? Gimme the lowdown on what you can do and why everybody should be playing with Aang and crew!
Scott: Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Burning Earth is an action adventure game. This game is packed with more Bending, puzzles, new combats and each character has numerous unique skills. And this year it has two-player Co-Op play, which is really cool and will allow players to team up with a friend and take on the Fire Nation.
The story follows Book 2, with Aang and friends helping to defend Ba Sing Se from the Fire Nation invasion. However, we didn't just copy everything from the show. You'll find stuff in the game that Nickelodeon didn't explore in the TV series.
Gary: In Book 2: Earth, Zuko is getting less evil and has his own adventures - can you play as the scarred bad-boy in this game?
Scott: Oh yeah, you get to play as Zuko alright. There's a section in the game where he and Uncle Iroh are teamed up - lots of explosive fun when that pair are together!
Gary: Aang, Katara, Sokka and Toph - you get to play as all of them right?
Scott: Yes, and they all have new moves too. Toph is brand new to the game and is a great Earthbender.
Gary: How about Momo? He gets lost and has an adventure of his own with a pack of cats, does that, or something like it, show up in the video game?
Scott: Actually, because the game is Co-Op, we didn't include the cat adventure. Instead, Momo will team up with one of the kids in the game and will become critical in solving several puzzles that the player encounters during the game.
Gary: Appa! Same deal for the big bison - he has to get all stompy on a pack of hungry swampbenders, do you get to control him during that battle?
Scott: For sure! You get to fly Appa a couple times in the game, and if you're playing it on the Wii, you'll use the Wii-Remote and Nunchuk as the reins. It's cool to fly through the swamp dodging obstacles, throwing fruit at enemies and then later on in the desert... well I'll let you find out who you encounter.
Gary: Are there any other characters you get to control? Maybe Jet, or even Azula in a how-evil-can-you-be level!
Scott: Yes, you can play as Jet and you will meet Azula and her allies. You will even end up battling her.
Gary: Ok, Aang's an AIR-Bender, air, up, flying, whee-ooo on his ball of air and all that. Can he actually jump and/or fly in this game or have his feet been nailed to the ground again?
Scott: That's funny. The game is much more of a platformer this time, so there's plenty of jumping. In fact the combat's been expanded to include jumping attacks too.
Gary: How many levels are there? How about bonus levels you have to find or unlock?
Scott: There are seven levels total, and within those levels there are two Appa Flying Sections. Are there secrets? That would be telling, but if you've played the first game, we snuck something in there just for you.
In addition to the regular levels, the game also includes a Combat Arena where the eight playable characters can go head to head in 1 or 2 player modes.
Gary: How about more boss battles? Are there any others that are gonna kick butt?
Scott: Other "kick butt" boss battles include the Fire Nation Governor of Omashu, the Swamp Monster, Xin Fu and Wan Shi Tong, the Knowledge Spirit. There are seven boss battles in total, along with several mini-boss battles during the game that feature even more characters from the show.
Gary: Do the voice actors from the anime do the voices in the game?
Scott: Yes, we use the same voice actors from the show. Daniel Dae Kim, who plays Jin on LOST, went into the studio while in Hawaii to record General Fong. The voice actors are usually excited to be in a video game.
Gary: Book 2 ends with a heaping helping of "ZOMG!" can you play past that in the game and get a peek at Book 3?
Scott: I wish we could have snuck some of that in, but we couldn't.
Gary: Power-Ups! What can you grab to boost your skills, moves, attacks and all that - dish it up!
Scott: You get "power" as you solve puzzles, complete quests and defeat enemies. When you gain enough power, you "power up" and get new, more powerful moves. There are also super power-up tokens that can be found throughout the game. These give players a one-off super-attack that comes in handy when fighting some of the bosses. And I'm sure you know what the Avatar state is - well, it plays a part in the game too.
Gary: What's your favorite part of this game? A level, character, move, villain or something else? Let's have the details.
Scott: My personal favorite is Katara's Ice Freeze attack. It's a lot of fun being able to freeze one of your enemies in order to leave you time to deal with another.
Gary: We're almost done, what final words do you have for the folks here at Kidzworld?
Scott: You're going to have a blast with this game! Playing Co-Op with a friend is heaps of fun, the combats are all new, there are new Bending moves, new Co-Op moves, flying Appa, kicking butt Momo, new locations, and new enemies. We've tried to get in as much of what players love about Avatar into the game!