The Kickstarter for IDW Games Pro Bending Arena
is still in progress with 5 more days left to get in on this initial Kickstarter release of the game. We have 4 more days of reveals to come, but 2 of them are more cards and tokens, 1 is clearly Kuvira and most predict the final day reveal is Unalaq.
But the most interesting thing about the reveals so far have been the extra Pro Bending Teams added to the game. In the last post the only team revealed at the time were the Red Sands Rabaroos. We already knew the names of all 3 members of that team. But we knew there were 3 more teams to be revealed and we only knew 1 other named, active pro bender. So I will cover the key reveals here.
The second extra team revealed were The Black Quarry Boar-Q-Pines. We knew a bit about this team with Toza being a former captain and his replacement Chang being the current Earthbender and captain, but we never knew the name of the fire and water bender for the team.
Note that on the teams team board "Black Sands" is a mistake, it should be Black Quarry. They are aware of this issue and it will be fixed for the release in February.
We now know that the Boar-Q-Pines Waterbender is Shui and their Firebender is Xin.
The team reveals also give a brief description of the team which adds some flavour
The self-proclaimed “Bullies of Black Quarry,” the Boar-Q-Pines specialize in relentless pressure. Many a team of Pro-benders have withered under the attacks of the rough-and-tumble Boar-Q-Pines. Chang, Xin, and Shui may be a little prickly, but they should never be underestimated!
I was disappointed to see no mention of this team being former champions, no mention of Toza being a previous member. As one of the few teams we have some extra info on I was shocked to see them not use it to hype up this new team in the game.
The third team revealed were the Golden Temple Tigerdillos
Previously we had no names for this team, only what we saw when they faced the Fire Ferrets in the show. Now we know the team is made up of Waterbender Kano, Earthbender Haka and Firebender Josei.
Their description is
The pride of the Golden Temple, Haka, Josei, and Kano come to Pro Bending with years of experience under their belts. As they’re not spring chickenpigs anymore, the Tigerdillos rely less on their athleticism and more on their wisdom as veterans of the sport. They know when it’s best to fight and when it’s best to regroup and refocus.
The last team added to the game are the Bau Ling Buzzard Wasps
Again a team we had no names for despite them fighting the Fire Ferrets in 2 semi-finals. We now know the team is made up of Waterbender Loong (Anyone know how to pronounce this one?), Earthbender Shan and Firebender Ko.
Their description is this
The Buzzardwasps have mastered the art of attacking pressure points at a distance, making precise strikes against opponents instead of using brute force. Their infamous “Sting” technique can make even the most iron willed Pro-bender lose focus. Shan, Ko, and Loong are aiming to take the championship trophy back to Bau Ling!
I love that the makers of this game went to the effort of getting the names of the previously unnamed team members, it makes Pro Bending feel a little more complete now that we have names for the members of the key teams. I think the only problem is that even with names I feel a lot of people even hardcore fans, just don't know all that much about these other teams. The only teams we have any connection to are the Fire Ferrets, the WolfBats and perhaps the Boar-Q-Pines since they get some focus in Republic City Hustle. The other 3 teams end up feeling underdeveloped in that their descriptions have to highlight very basic things to make each team unique. The Rabaroos are an all female team with great movement, the Tigerdillos are veterans with good experience and the Buzzard Wasps are precise over being powerful.
Something simple like IDW Games along with the names presenting a little bit more background to each team would have been great. Take the Team Names for example, explain the teams location or sponsor. The Rabaroos are the Red Sands Rabaroos, in this case we have had a mention of Red Sands Island in Korra and we more or less know it is on of the fire islands closest to Republic City. This clearly suggests that Adi, the teams firebender is the captain and perhaps the person who really brought the team together, but I would have loved a brief background about how the team came together, how the 3 of them met etc.
With the Boar-Q-Pines you already have some backstory with Toza being a former member and Chang being his replacement on the team, they are previous champions. They didn't even mention this at all. Why not expand things and address what Black Quarry is, it it a place or the name of a mining company. I assume it is a place and the obvious connection of quarry to both team captains being Earthbenders stands out.
With the Tigerdillos the obvious thing to expand upon is what the "Golden Temple" is. Again is it a place, an organisation, a restaurant or just a unique way of referring to the Pro Bending Arena itself? It seems very unique as a place, but where is it, who is the team captain etc. They are stated to be veterans, how long have they been around, have they ever won the tournament and if they haven't who has always bested them? The issue I find with the Tigerdillos is that very little distinguishes them from the Pinnacle Palace Platypus Bears. Who were my other prediction as a team if they didn't use the Tigerdillos.
Last is the Bau Ling Buzzard Wasps. Again we don't know Bau Ling, it clearly is a place name, but where is it? Who is the team Captain. The only unique thing stated about this team in the show is that their team had a very similar makeup to the Fire Ferrets in terms of age, size and strength. Set up something like, ok the Wolf Bats are the champions the last few years, the Buzzard Wasps must have been the team they defeated on a couple of those occasions. This also applies to the other teams, but some sort of explanation for the animal choice in the team name. The Fire Ferrets have Pabu on the team explaining that, the Wolf Bats potentially just saw the entrance potential. Why Buzzard Wasps? Beyond their style in ring being precise like a sting.
Give a reason for people to want these extra teams in the game beyond the unique game mechanic you have applied to each team.
The other big reveal since the start of the campaign was the day 8 reveal which as suspected was an expansion for the game, unfortunately most did not expect it to be a paid add-on, especially a 30 dollar paid add on. As you can see it is the Amon, Equalist Expansion.
The expansion is 5 mini figures a dual sided Equalist Team Board and Avatar Team Board and the usual cards. I think the price is a bit much and especially after them really hyping up the lack of stretch goals and the all-in-one nature of the initial deluxe edition as the only pledge option this was a poorly done decision from my perspective. The campaign run is already very short at only about 2 weeks, but you add on 30 dollars with just a week to go and have the system for adding in the expansion not have any confirmation of you getting the expansion (You literally change your pledge from 65 to 95 and confirm it, no acknowledgement that you are now locked in for the Amon expansion). They should have launched with this as an option at the start, you can pay 65 for the game or 95 for the game and expansion. While this made for a cool reveal, the practicality of the campaign suffered for it.
I do appreciate how they are adding on to this game with the altered rule sets for these extra special teams. In this case the equalists, the Avatar as a one person team and also P'Li who was also announced as a one person team. Kuvira and Unalaq are expected as the final 2 big reveals.
So overall with just a few days left of this campaign it has been a huge success with the target being met nearly 6 times over. I feel there have been a few issues along the way keeping it from being a perfect campaign, but for a first Korra game this was very well done. I just wish they had got more information about each team.
What are your thoughts?