Crack the whip - Indy is back!
The Lego format first started to really take off with Lego Star Wars although other Lego games preceded it dating back to the N64 & Playstation days. The developer Traveller’s Tales had it pretty easy with Lego Indy this time around combining the winning Lego formula with Indiana Jones. Both Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones are action-platformers with puzzle elements. Both amazed gamers and provided them with a much needed trip down memory lane. You not only get the chance to play as everybody’s favorite archeologist, but a variety of characters from all three of the original trilogy films. A 2 Lego Indiana Jones game was also released in 2009.
Combining action, platforming and puzzle elements while making it kid friendly and mother approved is exactly what the developers did. The nostalgic bits will get the older gamers involved as well as a great co-operative mode that many games sadly still lack in this generation. You start out the game as Indy on his first mission trying to recover a valuable idol from a tomb in South America just like in the first film; Raiders of the Lost Ark. After the first mission you head to Barnett College the same college Jones teaches at. The college serves as a hub for all the missions throughout the game. The player can wonder throughout the college exploring various rooms and extras. Although at first the college seems large it is pretty small in size so you won’t be getting lost in it. Various rooms in the main hall provide places to enter cheats, unlock characters and extras. Overall it provides a nice atmosphere but for obsessive collectors it is a lot of running back and forth that adds much time to the clock.
Once you start a level you can play the story mode filled with brilliant and hilarious pantomimed cut scenes from the three original films or you can play free-play which allows you to skip the story and get right into the game. You can play free-play once you have beaten that mission in story mode. Also in free play you can pick what character you want to play as and it auto fills the rest of the cast for that stage. This is where buying the right characters will help you out. In this game each character has one unique ability, however will need to use different characters together if you want to unlock all of the museum pieces. Each stage has 10 item parts that need to be found along with getting the true adventurer achievement by collecting a certain number of Lego pieces. The payoff to getting all of the museum pieces might not be the greatest but for all those O.C.D. gamers this one will easily give you 30-40 hours of game play.
There is a winning formula in this game that if used correctly could shave valuable hours off your experience for the better. Getting more pieces lets you unlock more characters, weapons, multipliers for points and fun gag cheats. It is all about collecting as many pieces as you can during each stage. Having a friend help you collect the points is certainly a benefit. There are many great cheats in this game as well that will shave much time off collecting every single item. The game can best be played however with a close friend. Adventuring together through some of the most famous scenes in film history certainly takes the cake. The 2 player can drop in and out at any time and overall the game works great if you have a buddy on the couch next to you. The only problem you might have is who gets to play Indy first.
Playing as the man himself, Indiana Jones, allows one to use the whip to swing over gaps, pull levers and even grab women in the game for a surprise kiss. The women can jump extra high and small characters such as, Short Round, can go through small holes in the floor to hit hidden switches. There are characters that dig objects up, repair items, access enemy locations and even some rocket launcher character for good measure. It is a real blast to play as your favorite characters from the series and you are not locked down to just one character version either there are plenty of other choices in the game with over 80 characters to play. You can even create your own character in the game. You can pick from various different body parts and weapons, and create some awesome characters to help you collect all the museum pieces.
The game in total has 18 stages from the first three films. The levels in fact are quite huge in size and will take at the shortest around 5 minutes to some that are in the 20 minute range. It is definitely a nice feeling that you can explore the levels somewhat. For the most part you will be moving from left to right and the path is clearly laid out on where to go next. Many puzzles that make use of the side characters at your disposal will be necessary to complete each stage. You will often see items that you can’t get until you come back and play through it again on free play; a nice but frustrating way to increase the game length.
The game play is pretty basic and setup for a younger crowd. You will not be mentally challenged and in fact the developers made it impossible to die. If you happen to fall to your death because you saw a snake don’t worry you will just lose some of your Lego pieces and you can continue right where you fell. There are no wild combos or magic powers in this game. It’s about as simple as an action game can be. For the most part you only use two buttons for an attack and action. You can also switch back and forth between characters using the shoulder buttons. Each character has their unique way of walking, standing and fighting that is fun to explore.
John Williams is one of the most celebrated composers in film’s short history. He has written many of the great scores for the likes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. His music lives on in these games and hearing that classic fanfare raises hairs on your neck you thought you shaved off. The audio and sound effects all work together to create a fun exciting atmosphere that begs you to re-visit the films. The graphics also complement the movie’s serial style with bright and colorful characters. Watching the expressions on the faces of the characters is truly a magical experience.
There is no mention of the Nazi party is in this game although the characters often are very similar to those in the films. It’s kind of shame to not represent the film in the originally manner. If you think about it the people who are buying this game have seen the movies and know what they are all about. The movies are not rated R either so it is a strange choice by the developer to take a big part of the movies out of the game that it is based on. Even without complete authenticity Lego Indiana Jones is a fantastic game and a real winner if you are a fan of the source material. Playing the game makes you want to grab a whip and steal some treasure. Grab a friend and some popcorn because you will be on the couch a lot with this game.