|System: PSP, X360, PS2, PS3, Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Traveller's Tales||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: LucasArts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 3, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The puzzle element is definitely the main focus in this platform game, as you travel across multi-leveled environments designed to look reminiscent of the original films. For those familiar with this type of problem solving game, you'll know exactly what to expect, especially if you've played any of the LEGO Star Wars titles. There are many things to destroy, and you will have to keep shattering as many objects as possible as you travel along. Each piece is worth points, and sometimes breaking things apart, such as fences and boxes, is required to build other parts of bridges to make your way across levels. The tasks are simple in The Original Adventures - once you figure out how to do them. I spent much of my time wandering back and forth through levels trying to figure out exactly what I was supposed to be doing. Because it's not always clear what you have to do in order to complete some puzzles or make it to the next round, it can get a tad confusing to even a seasoned platform gamer, let alone a ten year-old.
It becomes tedious when you're spending more time than you care to, to figure out a simple task, and even if it may have been something as simple as retrieving a hidden key to open a door, it definitely becomes discouraging. There is never any clear list of tasks given in the pause menus, so it can be hard to know what you're actually supposed to be doing or finding. While some things could be made much clearer in LEGO Indiana Jones, it does add a level of longevity to the game, as it takes time to figure things out and solve problems. It does, however, work well on a handheld console, as children occupy themselves in the backseat rather than at home. I could see children, and anyone else for that matter, getting bored with this game at home.
Though the graphics in LEGO games are typically simplistic, the environments in Indiana Jones are quite vibrant and bright. From the Lost Temple's beautiful jungle setting to the dark and dingy sewer system in The Last Crusade's Hunt for Sir Richard and the reflective tile floors in Barnett College, there is a wonderful cartoon-like feel to this game. The detail in the environments is a nice contrast to the simplicity of the LEGO character designs, and from a visual standpoint, The Original Adventures is a real looker on the PSP. The soundtrack is taken straight from the films and often reflects the action going on in the game. For example, the sudden sounding of up-tempo music when enemies approach or that skin-crawling music whenever snakes or insects are near add to the level of suspense in some tasks.
Barnett College acts as your home base. There you can roam around the hallways amongst students and venture into various rooms. It is in Barnett College where you can view your collection of artifacts, create new characters, unlock bonus levels, and jump into different parts of the Story Mode or Free Play Mode. There is also a screening room in which you can watch all the game's cutscenes after you've unlocked them. It's a nice touch and you may actually want to watch some of the humorous cutscenes over and over again. In a way, the game almost parodies the original films with bits of humor added to the storyline such as Indy pulling out a C3P0 head instead of the Lost Temple relic to fool rival archaeologist Rene Belloc. Though there is no speech in this game whatsoever, all characters grunt and groan and use exaggerated motion to get the point across.
With so many tasks to complete in Story Mode and things to do while free roaming in Barnett College, the game has plenty of replay value. As you complete each portion of all three maps representing the three films, there are a number of bonuses you can unlock by going back into Free Play Mode. For Indiana Jones fans of any age or platform and problem-solving lovers, this is an excellent game. For those skeptical of Indy in the world of LEGO, this game definitely doesn't take itself too seriously, as it offers a completely reinvented take on the genre. With a nice mix of adventure and problem solving, LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is a fun addition to the PSP catalog.
CCC Freelance Writer