Naruto

Avatar The Last Airbender Needs Another Game, And Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Developer CyberConnect2 Fits The Bill

Avatar the last airbender aang
Written by publishing team

I was a bit late to the Avatar fandom. As someone who didn’t even begin The Last Airbender until they reached adulthood, I had plenty to dig into from the beginning but quickly realized the series – in many of its forms – was plagued by obstacles and letdowns that cut both animated shows short. In my brief few years as a fan, I’ve grown deeply attached to both Aang and Korra’s adventures, constantly seeking more ways to enjoy them and going as far as to play a Wii game that’s well over a decade old. That old THQ game was charming, and Platinum’s Korra game – now removed from digital storefronts – didn’t leave me quite as upset as most. And now, as we see Avatar make its long-deserved comeback, I’m crossing my fingers for a new video game exploring the airbending universe with one developer in mind – CyberConnect2.

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The Legend of Korra’s critically panned PlatinumGames fiasco is hard to defend, but the studio choice still seems like it should’ve been a safe one. PlatinumGames’ track record is a strange mishmash of bangers like Nier Automata, Bayonetta, and Metal Gear Rising mixed with middling headscratchers like Korra, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Fox Zero. PG remains one of my favorite studios, but when I think of action at its best, I think of CyberConnect 2. It’s games like the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series and Asura’s Wrath that still stand out as genre greats, and it’s why a marriage between the studio known for its anime-based hits and Avatar should be an obvious next step.


Legend of Korra

Typically, I find the transition from animated series to game to be a letdown more often than not, but CyberConnect2 has nailed the formula. After years of trying Dragon Ball Z games that ended in disappointment, CyberConnect2 was the first studio that captured all of the series’ charm, condensing hundreds of episodes into one satisfying action RPG. In both Shounen hits, the studio seems to focus on a few key elements that really make the games feel the way the anime looks. In Naruto, its iconic ninja run is too important to fall back on more typical sprints, while DBZ’s flight needs to feel urgent, bursty, and smooth. The latter has spent years suffering under other studios with clunky cameras and sluggish motions.

It’s CyberConnect2, though, that nails those key elements. In Avatar, there’s no room for error when it comes to the fluidity of bending, and both DBZ Kakarot and Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm share move kits that are similar enough. Combat is more than swift punches and kicks, and bending feels like it could be a distant cousin of some of Naruto’s jutsu. Both are far too core to the heart of what makes these experiences feel the same way they look – the Ultimate Ninja Storm developer gets that.

It’s not just in play, but in looks, too. Avatar’s art stylings in both Aang and Korra’s adventures make them standouts in a sea of ​​early ’00s cartoons. I’d argue that both of CyberConnect2’s shounen adaptations are master class in terms of their shared cel-shaded aesthetic. It’s a consistent design choice in their series of anime-based games, including the upcoming Demon Slayer title, that make the jump from watching to doing easy to believe and maintain the same charm.

The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra belong in the studio’s hands. Cookie-cutter action games are a tell me a dozen, and it’s a bit of a bummer when a beloved animated series joins a sea of ​​monotonous iterations on the same few ideas. I think CyberConnect2 gets that, and knows there’s a bit of a secret sauce that goes into perfecting just a handful of core ideas to make your time feel special. Avatar video games may not be on Nickelodeon’s radar right now, but as we see the company scramble to cash in on its Netflix popularity, I hope it’ll pick the right team when the time comes.


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