Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings Single Player Review (Wii)
Last night I beat the single player story of Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings on ‘Normal’ mode. I thought I’d give my thoughts on the game.
In short, the game is buggy and sometimes frustrating, but I really had a fun time playing it.There is a lot right and a lot wrong with the game in the technical sense. If I were to review the game solely based of the game engine and implementation, it would not be pretty. That’s not to say it is all bad. There is a lot of good in there too. For example, the combat and gun play work well. The gun fights are the simplest. Poke your head up and point and shoot at the bad guys and duck before they shoot you back. These work very well and are fun. Sometimes you can take out bad guys by using the environment and in a few fights you must. The environment plays a big role in brawls too. You can grab rafters and kick, shove Nazis into fish tanks, and pick up a pipe wrench and smash someone across the face with it. I did have some trouble getting that action, swinging an object, to work at times. While not super picky, sometimes it wouldn’t swing right. I think any attack motion should have swung the object. Combat works by swinging the remote or nunchuck, for left or right armed hits, in three different ways to perform three different punches. This is really nice and they make sense, like you swing up for an uppercut. You duck and dodge by hitting the A and B buttons simultaneously. Grappling is simple as is grabbings items and throwing throwing them. It’s a workout though, so you might be able to count it as working out on your Wii Fit. The whip works really well in combat and out, and adds depth to the game. Sometimes the whip motion icon would appear and not work and I had to move to the right spot, but this tended to be a nuisance, but didn’t break anything. Some issues I did have were in the non-combat areas. Walking on ledges can be a bit tricky around edges. You can only move along the edge by pressing the control stick in one direction, normally in the direction of the bulk of the ledge, so if the ledge goes left, but there’s a little bit at the beginning that does towards the player, you must press left the whole way. It’s a little confusing, but you can get used to it. Other times I’d fall when hanging on ledges due to this issue. Another problem was things didn’t always work the same. In some scenes you’d shake the remotes to run and dodge falling things (normally the whole temple, of course), but a few times you’d just run like normal. I’d expect the shaking and get squished. Other times an A icon shows up and you must press it to survive a fall or dodge, but once or twice I didn’t get a lot of warning. The checkpoint system is a good plus to this game. Normally I hate checkpoints systems, but in this case, it’s not bad. A few times I felt they took me back too far, but catching back up was always fairly quick. The game is really a set of scenes as opposed to a free form map. It didn’t feel constricting though, because it told a linear story and each scene takes the story further. The story itself isn’t either a high or a low point. It’s not terrible, but it’s not fantastic. It’s contrived, and predictable, but it feels like a classic Indiana Jones story, something like the first three films. At two points guns stop working for nor apparent reason, and in one case works just fine a few minutes later (never mind I can’t pull a gun in the brawl scenes, but, hey, most gun fights and brawling is fun, so I wont pick at that). The characters all make sense and all add to the plot of the story. Sufficed to say, I liked it more than the fourth movie, but I’ll need a separate post to get into that. Many of the little things added to the Indy feel of the movie. The character looks like Indy (as best as the Wii can manage at least), and sounds like him, even thought Harrison Ford doesn’t do the voice acting. I really wasn’t sure if he had or not until the credits rolled at the end. The motion of the character was correct too. When running fast and stopping suddenly, I can’t exactly explain it, but every time I thought it looked right out of one of the movies. Even the combat felt correct, shoving enemies into tables, snagging them with the whip and beating them senseless. There are of course some car chase scenes with gun fights too. There were a few bugs I ran across. Once I defeated everyone in a gun fight, the game didn’t move to the next scene, and a few times I ‘fell to my death’ when there was no reason whatsoever that I shouldn’t have grabbed on to the ledge. This happened once when I started to move a big object, but decided to check out somewhere else first, and the camera didn’t properly swap to normal and got all skewed to bad angles. The camera normally worked good, but I had a few times I got totally blocked from seeing a fight. I figured that should not happen any more, but, it did. Another thing that shouldn’t exist in video games this century is the inability to skip cut scenes and training bits (at least on first play through). The first training section was actually kind of annoying. I looked at the moves on the in game tutorial (which is really only a list of the moves to use), so I felt ready to play. I started and walked around a bit, solved a puzzle, and when that first Nazi showed up, I was ready to fight! But I couldn’t, because I had to listen to Indy explain how to fight. I wish that was in a real tutorial separate from the game. It’s well done, but I didn’t like where they put it. I hope I can skip it next time I play. But, you may ask, there are so many problems, you’ll play it again? I will! There are many things to unlock, different game play modes, a Han Solo skin, but above all that, I want to try on Hard mode, and above that even, I really had fun playing, despite all the problems. I’m also looking forward to the co-op story mode. Apparently it has a separate story from the single player mode. Overall, I enjoyed this game. If you like Indiana Jones and can be forgiving of a not quite ready game (normally I’m not, not this much at least), I recommend you get this game.
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