The game is broken down into several different stages, and you'll have to complete many tasks before moving to the next area. Aang's primary quest is to save the world, but this doesn't mean he gets to just run off and fight the Fire Nation--he'll help many other people along the way. If you just stick to the main story, you can probably get through the game in about six hours. Should you try to help everyone out and find all of the hidden items, the game could easily last upward of 10 hours. Helping people is where the game gets boring. You're constantly beseeched to find toys, help fishermen, track down a lost person, or gather up random materials so someone can make something. You can skip the side quests, but because some of the main quest goals are tasks as mundane as finding lip balm, you're going to be doing plenty of menial tasks either way. When you're given a quest, its direction is shown on the small overhead map/radar in the corner of the screen. There's a larger map that can be viewed in the pause menu, but it just shows a large view of the area--there's no indication of your destination. You can also check your quests by looking in your journal. Where the whole process gets annoying is when you make the mistake of talking to someone that wants you to do something else while you're already on a quest. This resets the quest marker to the new quest, and while you can still complete the old task, you'll have to do it without the help of a marker. This makes for lots of roaming around, hoping you find your objective. If you really feel the need to wander around even more, there are hidden treasure chests scattered about, as well as items in each level that only Momo can find. One way to break up the monotony is to play Four Nations, which is a simple yet enjoyable tile game. Your goal is to either play all of your tiles or play a tile that your opponent can't play. If you win, you earn new items. Four Nations isn't something you're going to boot up the game just to play, but it's a pleasant diversion.
Avatar's visuals are simple, yet appealing. The characters are all cel-shaded and look just as they do in the cartoon. Animation for both the main characters and the enemies is rather repetitive, which is disappointing given the fact that the game is based on an animated series. Rather than being hand drawn, the cutscenes are all rendered. This fits in with the overall look of the game but may be disappointing for anyone hoping for the game to play and look more like an episode of the show. The game's environments aren't terribly complex, but that doesn't mean they look bad. Each area is brightly colored and has a cartoonish look to it. There are plenty of effects like rain and snow, too.
As mentioned earlier, the main characters are voiced by the actors from the show, and other than being hampered by a less-than-stellar script, the performances are fine. NPC characters don't fare as well. You'll hear the same canned phrases throughout the game, and to make matters worse, you'll hear them regardless of what's happening onscreen. Other than a cool theme that plays when you're controlling Momo, the music is forgettable.
If you're trying to decide which version of the game to get, it looks and plays identical on the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube. The Wii version is the most expensive, it doesn't look any better than the others, it has the most unfriendly control scheme, and the motion-sensing elements add nothing to the game. The Wii version is also the only one where you can't lock on to enemies. The controls are unresponsive on the Wii, too. You'll frequently need to press a button several times before it registers, and it's basically a crapshoot as to whether or not a special move will work. Even the game's menus are made a chore to navigate because of the controls. And to add insult to injury, the Wii version has been known to freeze up on occasion.
Avatar: The Last Airbender isn't so much a bad game as it is one that's disappointing because it fails to capitalize on its many interesting concepts. Even though it's geared toward kids, the game is so watered down that even they won't find it challenging. The RPG elements are underdeveloped and the fighting quickly becomes tedious due to its simplicity. The failure to include co-op multiplayer support of any kind doesn't help either. Just being able to play with one friend, much less three, would have made the whole experience more fun. Toss in some unfriendly design choices and lots of backtracking, and you're left with a game that's just not that much fun to play.