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15 July, 2008 / Erik

Insert Indiana Jones Quote Here

Having the last week or so off from assignments, I delved into some video games. Little known fun fact: Future Threat has a Wii and an XBox 360 in its office. These devices don’t get nearly enough use. In fact, I tried turning on the Wii this week to find the batteries had died sometime between now and January. The 360 gets more play because it’s the home of GTA IV and, soon, streaming video from Netflix.

One of the games I rented in the lull between the Dark Knight and Comic-con is Lego Indiana Jones. Besides a few minor AI and Graphics quirks, I have to say it is far more fun than the Complete Lego Star Wars from last fall.

If you’ve played or seen video of Lego Star Wars, you know how this plays out. Play as Lego-ized versions of famous movie characters. Smash stuff in levels based on key scenes from the various films, collect studs to buy extra characters and helpful in-game cheats like the x8 stud multiplier or invincibility. When you’ve collected everything you can, you win.

In the case of Lego Jones, the humorous cut-scenes multiply on the already wacky Jones Trilogy (interestingly, there is nothing of Crystal Skull in the game). They’re light-hearted and silly. The retelling of the “chilled monkey brains” scene from Temple of Doom is standout.

The levels seem much longer, with boss fights often occurring in the middle of levels. Getting through the levels in story mode seemed more challenging while collecting items in Free-Play seemed easier in this as opposed to Lego Star Wars. The game is relatively short, but hits just the right spot for a casual gamer.

Gone is the Super-Story component forcing you to do a third run of the entire game. In its place is a third bonus level modeled after the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenenant. Savy gamers have already figured out how to make that level take about a minute-and-a-half to finish.

On to the bugs. The buddy AI is somewhat more clingly compared to Lego Star Wars. Occasionally the AI cling makes fights hard to finish or impede your vision of a puzzle. It’s fairly minor, but oh so irksome when you have a boozooka. The one graphical bug concerns the long-haired variants of Willie Scott from Temple of Doom. From time to time, her hair disappears only to zoom back onto her, momentarily taking up the entire screen. I have no idea if this bug is across platforms, but it was troublesome enough that I’d avoid using Willie if she appeared in a free-play grouping.

Oddly enough, I never noticed the bug while in story mode.

There’s also a scaling issue causing an odd bar to scale the screen in certain sets. The in-game fix is known to cause the game to freeze.

Despite these quirks, I find Lego Indiana Jones to be the most enjoyable interation of the Lego Branded games. I look foward to seeing further refinement in Lego Batman.

Oh, that other game I tried? Call of Duty 4. I’ll talk about that later.

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