STAFF REVIEW of LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Xbox 360)

Monday, June 9, 2008.
by Rick Wallace

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Box art Traveller?s Tales brings us another installment of the beloved LEGO series only this time its themed using the Indiana Jones Trilogy. Once again the geniuses writing the storyline do an outstanding job of not only capturing the main plot of the film and famous scenes, but manage to include their own humor intertwined. The game looks fabulous and every Indy detail you would expect can be found in this game. And how can you not get excited as soon as you hear the famous Indiana Jones theme song trumpeting in the background as soon as you hit the start screen. Some of my favorite scenes from the movies have been recreated in LEGO fashion and done with class, humor and professionalism that is unmatched. Tt Games should be proud of what they have put together with all of the LEGO themed games thus far.

The game includes over 60 playable characters, including everyone favorite :ShortRound. Holding true to past LEGO iterations you?ll be able to go in and replay levels in Free Play as anyone of these characters. Once again as with the Star Wars series, some characters must be used on or to complete levels in free play mode. As you progress through the story mode you?ll unlock new characters, as well as gain the ability to purchase unlocked characters in the ?store?. You?ll gather LEGO studs as you have in the past from destroying objects throughout each level and use these to make your purchases.

You?ll begin your journey with the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Along with a crew of explorers and guides; you make your way through the forest looking for a hidden temple that is home to the treasure you are seeking. Along with the help of your guide, you?ll make your way through the jungle and into the temple where your treasure resides. You will encounter booby traps, jungle natives, giant spiders and even an occasional alligator. The game itself really focuses on using both characters throughout the level. At some points you will use both characters to solve puzzles, and you cannot solve the puzzle without doing so. Also you now have the ability to carry tools and extra weapons with you. The tools such as a wrench or a shovel need to be sued to uncover objects or fix broken machinery. You will have to switch to the character that has the tool in which you need to complete your task. If you require a tool but do not have one, there will always be one hidden in the vicinity of your location. Do a little searching and breaking things and you will find it. From time to time, you?ll have to backtrack in a level a little with items you find in order to complete tasks you ran across earlier.

One thing you will notice is that the storyline or level design does not always hold true to the movies. For instance, your backstabbing guide in the first scenes of the movie actually does not make it back out of the temple. In the game, he?ll be alive and well at the end of the level. Well for obvious reasons not only pertaining to gameplay, they can?t be killing off characters in the game. As for the level design, its full of puzzles and redesigned to make the game enjoyable. You all remember the room that holds the treasure in the original movie. A bit boring actually for a video game level if you ask me. The developers spruced up the room with moving platforms, alligators and water to make things more interesting. If it weren?t for the developers own vision, the level would probably be a bit boring. The same can be said about every level. There are similarities to the storyline, but in essence its transformed into what would make a good game and make the scene fun un a video game

Once you have completed the first level, including running from the natives to get into the awaiting plane on the river, you?ll be whisked away to Barnett College. Barnett is basically your home base where you?ll be able to spend your hard earned LEGO studs, select levels and lots of other stuff. At this point in the game you will now have unlocked the other 2 movies in the trilogy and you can play them whenever you like. You do not have to play the movies in the order they appeared. Jump around from movie to movie if you like. Be sure to explore Barnett College as you?ll find lots of goodies scattered throughout the level. You?ll find an area where you can piece together your own LEGO characters, basically known as the art room. Or you can go check out the artifact pieces you have collected throughout each mission. Whatever the case, there is plenty to do in Barnett College alone.

LEGO Indiana Jones is great for all ages. Some of the puzzles are a little more complicated and will require some thought, while others are pretty much no brainers from the start. As I suggested earlier in the review, you?ll be required to work hand in hand with your partner in the game to complete some puzzles. At some points, you will take control of character ?A? and move into a certain position. Then by pressing the ?Y? button, you?ll switch to character ?B? and complete the task at hand while the other character waits in position for you. This will involve stepping on buttons to allow the other to cross a certain area, or having your partner push a moving platform or item into place so you are in position to get to a higher normally unreachable point.

Indy comes equipped with his famous whip which allows you to swing across ravines, trips up enemies and destroy anything and everything in site. There is even a romantic side to Indy with his whip. Try snapping your whip at one of your female companions when you have a chance and you?ll see what I mean. Indy, you dog! You'll be able to fit yourself with new weapons, tools or hats that help you complete certain tasks at hand. The bazooka is a pretty fun weapon to mess around with. The game also features many vehicles and animals at your disposal including motorcycles, trucks, cars, bikes, elephants and horses. And man those horses can throw you pretty good. Hold onto those reigns!

Honestly, there is really only one downside to the entire game. That would be the exclusion of online co-op. For some reason that option was left out of the Indy game, yet it was present in the Star Wars: Complete Saga game and will be present in LEGO Batman at the end of the summer. Not sure what the thinking was in this maneuver, but it?s a bit inexcusable. This game would have been all but perfect had you been able to team up with a buddy on Xbox Live and run through the levels. The game does allow you to play with 2 players locally on the 360, but that?s it. This is definitely a disappointment. The game does have the Free Play mode which allows you to select a group of characters and go back into a level to complete tasks that you were unable to perform in story mode. You?ll be placed into the level with 8 characters at your disposal dependant upon your initial selection, each of which has certain abilities that allow you to complete objectives and reach places you couldn?t before.

Overall, LEGO Indiana Jones is a must have for any fan of the LEGO genre or of the Indiana Jones movies. It holds true to the trilogy storyline and includes quite a few characters, secrets, and goodies to keep you entertained for quite a long time. They have captured the film character personalities perfectly and you?ll come to love the game characters just as you did in the movies. Indy has the same sly ladies man demeanor in the game that he carried in the film. And Willie is just as annoying in the game as she was on screen at times, especially with her scream ability that can break glass!

As stated earlier folks of all ages will find something enjoyable in this title which seems to be the trend with every LEGO themed game coming along. The folks at Traveler?s Tales are really onto something with the LEGO series and I honestly hope to see it continue for quite some time. Can you imagine a LEGO Master Chief????

For the life of me, I cannot understand why online co-op was not included in this game. In today's video game world, that is almost a must and its in the Star Wars game as well as the upcoming Batman. The ball was dropped here for sure. I'd also love to see online adversarial play in the LEGO world. Can you just see Team Deathmatch in LEGO style??? That would be too awesome!

Overall: 8.6 / 10
Gameplay: 8.3 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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