Taken from a comment posted by g_squidman on AV Club: Games. His words are exactly what I have been trying to say for a long while:
I keep seeing reviews like these and I am honestly surprised. As a big time gamer and a huge Avatar: The Legend of Korra fan, I truly love this game. I think it’s great, it was a job well done. I don’t see where it gets all the criticism, it does so many things so very well.
Please remember that the Avatar series and especially this game is directed at a younger audience. A lot of people are wishing this game had some kind of online multiplayer option, which would be cool as heck, but not for 10 year olds.
The game has great replayability. For a single player game like this there’s enough of an unlock system, always better ratings to achieve, a hardcore mode, plus the mini games to master. It gets flak for being a “4-5 hour game” but I’ve got about 8 hours now and I haven’t even finished the main story mode yet.
The combat and gameplay IS great, it’s some of the best I’ve seen out of games like these. The different bending styles are so iconic and different from each other that there’s great pleasure in mastering each one (as opposed to flying through the game with my favorite style, like I expected to do).
The fights and the enemies, while at first glance seem like the same grunts thrown at you over and over, actually progress very well. As soon as you get the hang of beating the tar out of chi blockers they introduce the bola weilding ones and make you learn to block and counter. After proving your countering skills against a (rather difficult to defeat) Sato mech, you start to think all you need to do to beat the game is press LT. That’s when they introduce the unblockable lighting strikes. All the while you’re learning the best bending style for each situation.
As a last side note, it is disappointing that there aren’t more characters featured in the game. I did notice that the one scene that did have Mako and Bolin, Bolin did NOT sound like Bolin at all. So I wonder if they had some kind of trouble getting the voice actors in or something. Even with these few downsides I believe the game deserves better than the awful reviews it’s gotten. Hey, it could be Naruto. Those games always suck!
I really do not understand the negative reviews that Legend of Korra is receiving. Some sites like GameSpot (I will not provide the link to the article to feed clickbait trash) even gave it 1.5 out of 5 stars, which is a rating usually reserved for buggy games that are horribly designed. Korra is neither of these. People need to remember that it is a _budget_ title, equivalent perhaps to a top-drawer indie production. You cannot expect a full-fledged The Last Airbender videogame with open worlds and meaningful character interactions in the short amount of time that Platinum Games were given to produce the game.
This is one of the most upsetting things about games journalism: the spiral of silence. Or in this case, the spiral of negativity. Once one site has posted the first bad review (I believe it was IGN), everyone else will follow suit just for the sake of conforming, in order to ensure that their viewpoint aligns with the general consensus. It is the same thing that happened with Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens: Colonial Marines, although I have never played the latter.
I can tell that none of these reviewers even bothered to try Extreme difficulty, which is where the game’s true meat lies after you have spent the 3-5 hours completing Normal mode. I have no idea what people are referring to when they say the game “is lacking in depth”.
I greatly enjoyed Legend of Korra as an action brawler, it has allowed me to experience roughly what it would be like to fight in the world of The Last Airbender, which is a cartoon that is predominantly focused on themes of fighting and martial arts in the first place. I practice tai chi casually as a hobby, and I appreciate the effort put in by the game’s animators to make Korra’s stances and forms look as legitimate as possible (pay attention to the animated cutscenes that play each time she reacquires one of her bending elements).
Don’t always believe every review you read. I’m glad that I took the plunge to support Platinum Games with my Day 1 purchase as a Korra fan, because I wouldn’t have played it otherwise if I had trusted these “reviews”.