LEGO My Indy
It seems odd that there is a new LEGO Indy game. While the first made complete sense, having players make their way through LEGO-ized scenes from the beloved classic Indiana Jones trilogy, what is left for this sequel? The answer, at least in the case of the PSP version of the game, is not a whole lot. Whereas the previous LEGO games based on movies have given players at least three films worth of gameplay, or six in LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, to play through, LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues sees fit to have you only playing through the most recent Indiana Jones film. Considering that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is arguably the weakest of the Indiana Jones films, for its events to carry an entire game is a seemingly impossible order.
The game starts off with Indy and just about every known character from the old films somehow riding in the same airplane. As the fighting inevitably ensues, everyone is sucked out of the plane, landing on a tropical island below. This island and its many parts serve as the hub world for Indy’s adventure. On the island, Indy will find plenty of puzzles to solve, friends to rescue, enemies to fight, and mini-games to participate in. The reward for the successful completion of most of these is acquiring missing pages from Indy’s journal, which directly translate to unlocking challenge levels.
Along with this hub island, the challenge levels that you unlock are your only non-Crystal Skull activities in the game. Challenges are broken up by movie, with each of the four Indiana Jones films getting four challenge levels apiece. These challenges are very brief and rarely all that entertaining, but at least they do attempt to capture some iconic moments from the previous films. For example, in one challenge you’ll need to make your way from the front of a train to the back in order to escape through the floor in a trick box within a time limit, while in another you’ll be tasked with collecting studs and avoiding missing chunks of track by leaning a speeding mine cart onto two wheels.
These challenges mostly seem like they were just tacked on so the game could claim that you could play through all of the Indiana Jones films. In another bit of ad trickery, don’t come into the PSP version of this title hoping to create your own levels. Sure, the commercials make it sound like it’s in there, and there’s even a build your own adventure mode thrown in to confuse consumers, but you in no way are able to create your own levels to play. Instead, this mode simply allows you to stack up to ten of these challenge modes in the order of your choosing such that you can play through them without going back out to the hub island. That’s it. There’s no creatively placing studs, trees, traps, vehicles, and debris to destroy in different iconic Indy environments or anything of that sort; just lining up short challenges in a specific order.
While exploring the hub island you’ll also need to be on the lookout for another staple in LEGO games. Of course, I’m referring to the red power bricks. Each of these power bricks, once discovered, make a power-up available for purchase at the island store. These power-ups are pretty standard if you’ve played any of the previous LEGO titles, ranging from stud multipliers to invincibility. This is definitely an interesting set-up, as hidden power bricks are normally located within the game’s levels, but it isn’t exactly an improvement, as there are only nine; whereas if they were in the levels themselves, there would have been twelve.
Past this hub island and the challenges, all you’re left with is the game’s story mode. As I stated, this mode is made up entirely of Crystal Skull events, with absolutely none of it coming from any of the previous films. This is one of this game’s biggest problems. Can anyone pick out twelve moments from Crystal Skull that they’d want to play through? I know I can’t, although I might be able to muster up five to seven if I was forced to. Although, this game does provide an appropriate answer to a question that I thought would remain unanswered. What could be worse than the nuking the fridge scene from Crystal Skull? The answer is, having to destroy random objects in order to get the pieces necessary to build the fridge in which to get nuked, all within a time limit.
The gameplay found in the story mode is exactly what you’d expect from a LEGO game. You’re given a few characters with differing attacks and abilities with which to make it through various levels. Along the way you’ll need to solve numerous puzzles using these different abilities, all while fighting off enemies and destroying random objects to collect studs (LEGO currency). Some examples of abilities are Indy’s whip which is used to swing from place to place and pull down bridges, Mutt’s ability to climb certain types of walls, and Oxley’s crystal skull (which functions similarly to the force powers from LEGO Star Wars).
The combat, as with most LEGO titles, can get pretty boring after awhile since it is basically boils down to just mashing the attack button again and again until all your enemies have burst into a shower of studs. Exploring levels and traversing them is usually quite fun, but made less so in the PSP version of this game due to some issues. Depth perception is a constant problem, making it difficult to tell whether you’re jumping in the appropriate direction or not. The game tries to compensate for this by having little arrows on the ground that can be used to line up jumps, but it ultimately fails due to the completely unforgiving ropes and vines in the game. In order to grab hold of these ropes/vines you have to hit them exactly; if you are just a sliver in front of or behind them, you’ll plummet to your doom. While the LEGO games have always been good about not penalizing you when you die, this doesn’t help when playing a very vertical level and falling back to the bottom level, surviving the tumble, and then being forced to climb the whole way back up just to miss the same jump again because you can’t tell if you’re lined up properly or not.
LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues is very much a missed opportunity. The PSP version doesn’t include anything from the original three films except for the characters (available in free play) and a few tiny challenges, there’s no ability to make your own levels, and jumping onto vines/ropes is one of the most frustrating experiences you’ll ever have in a game. There’s actually very little going for this title other than that the LEGO gameplay formula is still moderately enjoyable at times, although just about everything here has been done much better in several other LEGO titles. So unless you have already played them all, you’re probably better off with one of the other various LEGO games already available on the PSP or other consoles.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.2 Graphics
LEGO Indy 2 looks decent, although you’ll notice some background and object flickering in some levels. 2.2 Control
Hit detection in combat can be iffy, steering vehicles is sloppy at best, and trying to jump onto vines and/or ropes accurately is just about impossible. 3.2 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Iconic Indy music is always welcome 2.8 Play Value
With only twelve levels in the story mode and sixteen tiny challenges to be had, this one won’t keep you busy as long as most LEGO titles do. 2.7 Overall Rating – Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.