Puzzles Plus Platforming Equals Lots of Indy Fun!
Tt Games has done it again, this time with LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures. This title, the fourth in their LEGO line of family-friendly licensed games, is by far the best entry yet! The combination of humor, puzzles, excellent co-op play, platforming, collectibles, major replayability, and a high degree of polish make this game one everyone will enjoy! Combat is still very repetitive, but a few new elements and moves such as weapon pick-ups and brutal “noogies” and drop kicks do mix things up a bit. This is essential gaming for anyone who enjoys Indiana Jones, the LEGO series, or is just looking for a great co-op title to play with friends and family on the couch.
In LEGO Indy, players will be treated to a humorous romp through the original trilogy. The storylines parallel all three films, but the level design is unique while still feeling authentic. This makes the plot feel fresh despite the fact you know exactly what’s going to happen. Add to this a ton of amusing situations, tongue-in-cheek satire, and a host of references to the cannon of George Lucas, and you’ve got a game that will have you giggling and smiling from start to finish! My personal favorite was a trapped Luke Skywalker helplessly hanging upside down in a Himalayan ice cave. These little tidbits are strewn throughout the game and provide for a lot of hilarious moments and worthy unlockables.
Through the main Story mode, you will play as Indy and one other character essential to that segment of the story. That means you’ll be controlling the likes of Marion, Short Round, Willie, Jock, and Henry Jones Sr. to name a few. Switching between the characters is effortless, and everyone is very useful. Each character has unique abilities that will help you get through the labyrinthine levels and secure special treasure. For example, Marion Ravenwood from Raiders can jump higher than Indy, while Willie Scott from Temple of Doom can unleash a high-pitched, wall-shattering scream. As such, using the abilities of the two characters will allow you to get through the myriad puzzles that await you. Along those lines, the friendly A.I. is decent, but sometimes it won’t protect your selected character sufficiently or will get in the way while you’re platforming. Thankfully, this can all be avoided by having a friend “Insert Controller” in order to hop into the mix. As good as the game is to play by yourself, it’s far superior with a friend laughing at your side. This is undoubtedly one of the best cooperative experiences of the year.
The sheer amount of clever puzzles that will slow your advance help make gameplay rich. Unfortunately, combat is a bit cumbersome and repetitive. Thankfully, your enemies will come in waves. Once you repel the onslaught, you will be able to take your time to figure out the puzzles, uncover the game’s vast amount of secret content, and collect the all-important LEGO gems that serve as currency for purchasing unlockables. Moreover, the puzzles serve as brain fodder for adults and children alike. Puzzles are challenging, but they never get so difficult you get stuck. Occasionally, there are secret elements you’ll find that you won’t be able to complete the first time through (more on that later), and I often found myself wasting time trying to open up the secrets with the wrong characters. Otherwise, the game is fast-paced, allowing you to progress through each segment and level rapidly.
In addition to the heady puzzles, the platforming elements are both challenging and loads of fun. Controlling your characters is very easy and satisfying. The game employs simple elements such as jumping across ravines with Indy’s bullwhip, climbing up ropes, constructing structures from LEGO pieces, avoiding traps, and using tools and weapons. All of this is done very well, but the analog stick on the Nunchuk doesn’t seem to be as accurate as it is on the 360 or PS3. The motion controls are only used as an alternative to the Z button. That means if you want a bit more action, you can always crack the whip with the Wii remote. The platforming elements provide players with a series of simple, classic challenges. If platforming’s not your thing, you’ll be happy to know that even if you fall to your doom you’ll never have to start the whole level over again. In fact, you’ll be dropped right before the hazard, as if you were a golf ball. This may seem too easy and unrewarding for platforming veterans, but each failure will have you losing valuable LEGO gems that you’ll have to scramble to recover. I found this threat to be sufficient to keep me concentrated on the task at hand but was relieved and reassured that if I fell it wasn’t that big of a deal.