|System: DS, X360, PS3, PC, Wii, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Traveller's Tales||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: LucasArts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov.17, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Tony Capri
Aptly named, LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues brings more LEGO-stud collecting to Nintendo DS. Does LucasArts give fans another worthwhile adventure to bring with them on the go, or is Indy getting whipped?
The LEGO titles have carved out a solid niche of gameplay over the years, offering players a healthy mix of action, simple puzzle solving, and fan service, not to mention loads and loads of LEGO studs to collect. LEGO Indy 2 on DS focuses on The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and the story is told by way of comic-book-style still images. The cutscenes are a nice fit for the dual screen, and the presentation is quaint and enjoyable, if not completely unnecessary.
The game starts out with a bit of instruction on the basic mechanics. You move your selected character with the D-pad, jump with the B button, and attack with the Y button. Special actions are mapped to stylus control, though you can opt to use the A button instead, and in most cases, it's preferable.
LEGO Indy 2 on DS is broken up into three acts, with a handful of chapters per act. Each chapter is bite-sized, which is nice, since you won't be able to save mid-level. You'll be in control of Indy, of course, most of the time, but you'll need to switch between him and various other characters in order to solve puzzles and progress through a level. It's a tried-and-true formula that seems to have an even greater level of polish in this latest LEGO adventure. Most of the series mainstays are back, but many of the puzzles feel fresh, and surprisingly enough, the game manages to be thoroughly enjoyable in spite of resting firmly on the foundation of games past.
One thing we especially appreciate about this latest installment is the constant focus on puzzle solving. There's still a fair amount of fisticuffs tossed into the mix, but beat'em-up combat takes a backseat to true adventure gameplay, offering just the right balance of action to keep things interesting.
If you've played any LEGO game before, you know the drill. Break everything and anything within the environment in order to reveal a box, device, or set of LEGOs which can then be used to construct some other means of moving on to the next area of a level. LEGO Indy 2 has tighter, more interesting puzzles and contraptions than the previous game, and even if you've played just about every other title in the LEGO series, there's still plenty of enjoyment to be had here.
The controls and mechanics in LEGO games have always been somewhat loose, yet it's a design that works well for the type of gameplay on offer. Though the level design and adventure elements are generally more enjoyable and engaging than Indy's last romp on DS, many of the same issues have carried over to this latest outing. Collision detection is a problem that crops up from time to time, causing you to fall from ladders or miss simple jumps. Cooperative A.I. is still as dumb as ever, though you won't need to worry about breaking your LEGO buddy should you attack them unwittingly.
Unfortunately, a collection of weird bugs and glitches also make a return in The Adventure Continues. Items needed to complete a given area of a level will sometimes disappear, forcing you to redo entire chapters. There are also a handful of fairly cryptic puzzles that don't quite fit in with the more casual-friendly scope the LEGO games are now well known for.