LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Nintendo DS) - Review by Andrew
Any Star Wars fan will tell you that the majority of games based on the classic space opera are a little on the disappointing side and it wasn't until the Lego version, some years ago, that many gamers felt the trilogy got the type of treatment it deserved. It was no surprise then that Lego Indiana Jones was announced but rather than tie-in with the new movie, Travellers Tales have instead brought the original adventures to life. This has obvious pros and cons although anyone who hasn't seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom and Last Crusade has clearly been living in a cave for the last two decades. We'd still like to see the new movie given the gaming treatment but given that Indiana Jones is what action adventure games was made for we can't wait to get whip cracking, globe trotting with the odd bit of tomb raiding thrown in for good measure.
If you've played any of the Lego Star Wars games on the DS then you'll be familiar with the game's framework and, like the Sci-Fi classic, Indy DS is divided into the different movies and then split into various chapters dealing with plot highlights. The gameplay is also very similar with you playing Indy (or another selected character) and wandering though the levels destroying just about as much as you can. This is because while some objects turn into simple points or collectables others leave parts that can in turn be transformed into useful objects thanks to the magic of Lego. Most of these will be bridges, platforms or switches but there's also the odd surprise in store too. What you will discover, quite early on, is that many of the levels are closed off to your limited character set. This forces you to play though the whole thing again, as a different character, in order to complete the game fully.
In addition to the adventure sections there are some areas where the whole game changes in structure and the first of these is when you are escaping the boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but you'll also have a few driving and flying sections to deal with. These take place over both screens and are generally played against a timer rather than reaching any objective or marker, although it's still important to stay healthy and, obviously, alive. Finally there's the Multiplayer and while it's always fun playing in co-operative mode it does require two copies of the game to enjoy. Personally, I think that with a single player adventure this complete it's difficult on this occasion to imagine just what a two-player option would bring to the experience.
Controlling Indy (or any other character for that matter) is pretty standard stuff and the collision detection is very good indeed. The only real problem is when you are required to jump towards the camera onto a hidden platform only to miss it completely. This can be a little frustrating but given that you restart in exactly the same place, not nearly as much as it could have been.
While this game is based on last year's Star Wars engine the whole thing seems to look even better and the inclusion of the FMV cut screens (regardless of their compression) is just what the game required to complete the package.
Audio wise you get treated to the classic John Williams score although this has been edited and looped in order to fit onto the cart. It still sounds as epic as ever though and, mixed with the excellent sound effects, it makes for a perfect adventure soundtrack.
While there's some unnecessary touch screen interaction for utilizing Indy's whip and digging, there are some excellent themed mini-games including one which involves being dragged behind a truck, which mysteriously didn't make it into the main game. There's also the ability to blow into the microphone to extinguish torches and trigger events but here, far from being a mere gimmick, it's actually central to the games development and often lowers a drawbridge or reveals secret passages.
While the Lego series appears to improve with each outing you do start to wonder how much longer they can keep the momentum going. After all this is simply Lego Star Wars with different characters. Even so, this is a well-crafted and very satisfying little package and the decision to include the FMV cut scenes conveys the slapstick humor of the series far more effectively than simple static screens. It's a pretty lengthy affair too and it will take a considerable amount of time to plough though. You can even revisit each level should you wish to gain a perfect 100% score. Highly recommended and a game which belongs in everyone's collection.
Pro: Great Mini-Games and Loads to Unlock. Original Score Plays Throughout.
Con: Requires Two Copies of the Game for Multiplayer
Final score: 8.2
|Genre:||Action / Adventure|