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Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings - Nintendo Wii
Platform: Nintendo WiiChange
Price:$19.50+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2009
I had high expectations for this game. I don't know why. The last two Indiana Jones action games (Infernal Machine and Emperor's Tomb) were fun, but not great. That is what this game is: fun, but not great...just good.

The first problem is the story, which moves along without much context, logic, or narrative. Indy just moves from place to place following the mystery. The story is all bones, but no meat, which is disappointing for an Indiana Jones story, as well as one from LucasArts, which used to tell amazing stories through their games.

Another thing that really annoyed me was the controls, specifically, the fighting controls. A quick swing of the remote is a quick jab, that works fine. But a hard swing is a full on left or right hook (depending on which you swing, the nunchuk or the wiimote). This should have been a lot more intuitive, I found myself often swinging really hard with Indy not moving, which resulted in me getting pummeled from the 4 different enemies who were attacking me. This is the same control mechanic that is necessary for swinging one of the many weapons you can have in your hand, which means that swinging the weapon hardly works, and never worked when I wanted it to. I found myself dying during many of these brawls, and heading back to a checkpoint (you regenerate with full health), but there is no way to skip a cut scene (Really? This is game programmer 101!), so you could find yourself watching the same scene over and over if you die often. Also...I would have liked the puzzles to be challenging. They weren't challenging, and to be honest - I never really felt like there were any actual puzzles to solve. This is an action game, pure and simple.

On the plus side, the voice acting is great. The actor who plays Indy really sounds pretty close to Harrison Ford. When saying one-liners he is nearly indistinguishable. No matter what flaws there are in this game, it is still fun, even through the frustration. Oh, did I mention it has Fate of Atlantis, LucasArts' classic adventure game, bundled in? (You don't have to finish the whole game to unlock it - Fate of Atlantis can be unlocked within 30 minutes of Staff of Kings game play).I doubt I'll replay Staff of Kings anytime soon, but I'll spend a lot of time on Fate of Atlantis, which plays beautifully (in all it's talkie glory) with the wiimote.

Threadbare story, unintuitive controls, and a very heavy focus on action over puzzles bring the game down. Good voice acting, pure fun, and one of the greatest adventure games ever made bundled in make the package still worthy of buying. Who am I kidding? LucasArts should have sold this as Fate of Atlantis with Staff of Kings bundled in.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 12, 2009
Indiana Jones is back in a really good way.

The Wii is a natural fit for the adventurer, allowing you not only to crack the whip, but to crack it in interesting ways (grab your enemy by the neck, waist, feet!). Also, the controls for fist fights, while being explained to you in detail during your first fight, still is a natural fit that doesn't bear repeating nor consulting the manual during "pause" to figure out what's what.

I have read some reviews on gaming sites that complain about "autosaves" being few and far between and that the controls didn't always respond as expected. I, for one, can definitively say that I encountered NO SUCH PROBLEMS. My controls work just fine and I have had no mis-cues so far.

If there was ever a complaint that I could have for this game, it would be his facial expressions. They are definitely comical and cartoonish...and not in a good way. That, and the graphics are toned down...which is expected for a Wii game, but after seeing the beautiful colors and sharpness in Super Mario Galaxy, the game developers clearly were not giving the Wii enough credit.

That said, the graphics aren't THAT bad; I'm simply pointing out that they could have done better. Apart from that minor quip, the gameplay more than makes up for it.

There might be other complaints that the game might be too easy. Keep in mind, however, that the game is targeted to a broader age group and therefore is intended to be enjoyable by all ages. I won't say who it's made easier for, but you gamers know who I'm talking about. ;)

It's a fun ride that will get your nunchuck and wiimote moving. The multi-player game mode is also fun.

And, if game reviews are to be believed, the original Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is an unlockable reward for this game...2 for the price of 1!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2009
I have to start off by saying that I'm an Indiana Jones fanboy. `Raiders of the Lost Ark' is one of my "Five Desert Island Movies". That along with the idea of using the Wii-mote as the whip and being able to pummel Nazis using the Wii sensor controls was too good to pass up. There was no way I was not going to pick this game up the day it came out.

I can't say this game surpassed any expectations I had but I will say that I was not disappointed. The graphics don't set any new standards but are good for the Wii. The sound is pretty good and the soundtrack is dominated by well placed cues from the legendary scores of all four films. Some new music is thrown in as well but the newer cuts are few and far between. The voice acting is as good as one could hope for without having any of the original cast. Indy is well done as is Henry Sr. in the multiplayer co-op mode. The dialog has the tendency to be drowned out on occasion by music or other sound effects but no key plot points are missed. Also, a staple of the Indy film series, the "Wilhelm Scream" is featured a couple of times, for those who know what I'm talking about.

The story is okay. There's no scene that really sets up plot and tells you what the ultimate artifact is that you are after. It could have been developed better but I honestly didn't buy an Indiana Jones game for the Wii to experience and award winning story. There's an artifact the Nazi's are out to get, you need to get it first. Save the better developed stories for the movies.

The controls are good but may take a bit of time to get used to. Using your six-shooter takes some practice but taking out the bad guys is easy once you get it down. Sometimes the only way to defeat an enemy is to shoot objects around where they are taking cover. Throwing punches and using your whip to swing across pits is easy enough but things can get a bit more difficult when you are facing multiple enemies. There is a simple strategy that I employ when I find myself outnumbered; stay near a wall, grapple your enemy, ram them into the wall. This will either kill them or take away 90% of their health. If there are no walls nearby then stay on the move, whip a baddie around the neck, reel him in and deliver a knee to the face. The brutes are easy; just wait until they rear back to throw a punch and simply dodge.

One difficult spot I ran into was in the Istanbul level. There comes a part when you need to throw a skull into a gear to jam it so Indy can move on without being flattened. I must have thrown hundreds of skulls and was almost ready to throw my Wii-mote through the wall but I found out the solution was amazingly simple. When you come to this part just pick up a skull, go to the gear, and make a throwing motion. Don't push the `A' button.

The levels are well designed and definitely add to the "Indy" feel of the game. The first level is pretty much just a tutorial on how to use the controls. It's capped off by Indy having to make his escape by flying a German plane through a narrow canyon. My favorite level has to be the one in Panama, especially when Indy gets to the temple. That entire part of the level completely captures the spirit and inventiveness of the opening temple scene of `Raiders'.

I have completed the game on both the Wii and PS2 and the versions are nearly identical. Pretty much the only difference is that the combat tutorials on the Wii are narrated by Indy and therefore take a bit longer. The Wii also serves up slightly better graphics. Shooting is obviously easier on the Wii but controlling vehicles and other modes of transport is easier on the PS2. Taking on multiple bad guys is also a bit easier on the PS2 but once you get your strategy down on the Wii, it's nearly as simple.

I have to say I prefer the Wii version for the fact that it serves up a more authentic Indy experience with the use of the motion controls. Also, having the ability to unlock 1992's `Fate of Atlantis' is a huge selling point. It is presented exclusively on the Wii platform in all of its talkie glory which makes for a great trip down memory lane. The co-op levels on the Wii are neat if for no other reason than it features Indy and Henry Sr. on an adventure together. I've actually been able to complete the first two co-op levels on my own, with a controller in each hand, and they were pretty fun.

In all honesty, this is a pretty short game but I, and I imagine most other Indiana Jones fans, will find reason to go back for more. Hardcore and more experienced gamers may not find it all that challenging. It's a great introduction to the Wii for Indiana Jones and hopefully just the first of more adventures to come.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2009
This game is so much fun! It is so much more interactive with the wii remote and nunchuck. You get to punch, grapple, whip, shoot (and reload your gun manually), and even fly planes! It's so much more satisfying to be able to feel like you are punching the enemy, and not just pushing a little button. I think I've played pretty much every Indiana Jones game ever made (all the way back to Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures), and this one does not disappoint. It also has some great nostalgia value by including Fate of Atlantis as a bonus game. I can't comment on the multi-player mode, since I haven't tried it yet. It might be helpful to have an extra helping hand when you have three goons coming after you and trying to beat you up! I think the graphics are really nice, but then again, I'm not a major gamer, and I don't have any other system than my Wii, so I don't have much to compare it to. The average game player will have a lot of fun!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This games is great. Who cares that it is not as visually stunning as it would be on PS3 or 360. You can not sacrifice graphics for gameplay. The added bonus of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis from the early 90's PC days is outstanding! This is a game that any fan of Indiana Jones must buy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2009
I am a big Indiana Jones fan and after playing this game I think it is probably important that you are a fan before trying it. If the main protagonist of this game was some unknown video game character it would probably be a lot harder to be engrossed. However, since it's Indy you already know his backstory and therefore there is a resonance to the action and much of the humor.

First off, the story is pretty good. Certainly a worthy Maguffin in the Staff of Kings. While there isn't a whole lot of clear reasoning behind the places Indy travels, each individual locale has a lot of interesting action to say the least. Generally you travel to a country, explore, and then uncover the clue you were looking for. There is a bunch of fighting in between. Really, the biggest gripe with the game is in the controls. They are fairly responsive, but I spent most of my time just waggling away without any regard to whether I was upper cutting or jabbing. And you know what, it worked. That's a problem with this, and many, Wii games. The place where it was most frustrating, however, was controlling the flying craft. These segments were almost unbearable most of the time. Thankfully, there are only a couple. It is a great concept to have so many interactive items in the game, but truth be told, you won't use them much. You'll find a strategy and repeat it over and over. Mine was whip, pull, punch.

However, the game does have a certain charm. The characters are strong, voice acting good, and of course you have the most famous movie score of them all. And the graphics? Well, they are solid. You probably won't be blown away, but there aren't any moments when the graphics cause you to shake your head.

All in all, I had a lot of fun with this game. If you are an Indiana Jones fan, chances are you will too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2011
Mild spoilers ahead.

Some people don't get motion controls. If you don't like motion control you won't like this game.
But the truth is that the motion controls work really well in the game except for one scene: The Piano Scene. That scene is hell. A big mistake. That's the reason the game got dropped a star. But other than that it works really well. Perhaps they overused it at some points, but the basic mechanics of the whip, the punches and the planes and there's even an elephant that works well.

Really, there's a whole lot of variety and gameplay here. They took the time to spice everything up and the final result is a very enjoyable 3D platformer with so much stuff to do.

PROS:

Great, and I mean truly satisfying, Story.
Nice graphics
Tight controls for the most part
Excellent bonus co-op levels
Cool unlockables
Fate of Atlantis included and playable as a simple unlockable, and it's an amazing classical game (that alone is worth the entire purchase of this game and almost brings the game back to 5 stars)
Spot on dialogue/voice acting

CONS:
Terrible Piano Scene
Unskippable cutscenes - but there's just one place where it's actually annoying (the first gun shooting scene)

I recommend this game wholeheartedly, just be patient with the Piano Scene and perhaps the motorcycle scene at the end too. A truly great Indiana Jones game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2009
There are many people out there who won't like this game. Like so many media tie-ins, if you don't like the source material, why would you like the game? Well, this is Indiana Jones and so it's definitely "old school." To me, that is a great thing. Story is always key to me and this one doesn't disappoint. It isn't that hard for me to stress content over glossy graphics, etc. So the Wii doesn't rattle my cage there. I might as well get it over with and bash the one thing that does tick me off. In the combat sequences - actually beating guys up with the wiimote and nunchuck?!?! how cool is that?!?! - the poor system just can't keep up. In one of the Glory goals in Panama, you have to kill 10 guys with items lying around. Well, the only surefire way to beat goons in this game is the whip and maybe an action button press here and there. Motion gestures just don't work. They get frantic and are incredibly hit or miss. Very frustrating.
Having said that, the rest of the game is terrific. There is a great mix of adventure/exploration, fisticuffs, wonderfully realized shooting sequences and some special levels involving among other things, planes, an elephant chase and yes, a piano. The piano level really frustrated me but I have to give them points on the brilliant concept. I particularly liked the sequence in Nepal where you had to keep from freezing to death. I can't see many games pulling this off or even trying it. And huge kudos to the voice actor who played Indy. He was top notch. I actually found all the secrets (Fortune) and have two Glory assignments to finish - both in Panama. Oh and that was the other thing. I LOVED the ball court segment. Easy to do but damn near impossible to do without a big, frickin' ball rolling over you. Haven't tried co-op yet but The Fate of Atlantis is included from 1992, I think. What a great extra. If LucasArts could put one of these out every year, I'd be a happy camper.
Bottom line - if you like Indy, odds are good you'll like this game. I sure did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Like A lot of people waiting for the new Indy game to come out I bought this the day it was released thinking how great and how fun it would be, sadly while it's entertaining it was also somewhat of a letdown as well. Like some reviewers have said the major problem was the controls when you try to throw a punch or fling the whip, it doesn't do what you always want it to do or it doesn't react at all allowing the enemy you're fighting to get in a few more hits. Also the video is somewhat problematic as well seeing some color distortions in some scenes and color dots in some cut scenes throughout the game. The audio also leaves a lot to be desired as it's to low no matter the volume setting on the games option screen and you have to adjust the volume on your t.v. really high to just hear the voices or effects or when the characters talk either they repeat or it's cut off during their speeches sometimes. I think the reason why is if anyone remembers that the game was supposedly to come out for the PS3 and Xbox 360 but since that fell through they must of thought they had to rush it for the Nintendo Wii system at least, and that looks like a sad choice. The game is fun though with the fight scenes and the exploring through jungles an such so while there are some glitches in the game there's some entertainment for you as well so at most it evens out for play ability fun. So if you're a hardcore Indiana Jones fan who can't wait for the next game here's a decent game for you, but if you can wait I'd say at least wait for the price to go down a little for this entertaining but glitchy game...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Indiana Jones swings onto the Wii with his trusty whip and a bunch of motion controls. The latest adventure of everyone's favorite fedora sporting archeologist takes him on a quest for the Staff of Moses as he races against his rival Magnus Voller and the band of Nazis intent on getting the artifact for their own vile superior race driven agenda. Just right off the bat I have to say that I think the game is fun. Does it have problems? Yes, it kind of does. Some of the things people don't like about the game really don't bother me, but I do think there is good and bad to it.

Let's look at what most everyone considers bad first off. The motion controls. This game relies HEAVILY on motion controls. Whether you're slinging Indy's iconic whip or using his fist to knock the teeth out of a Nazi, you'll be putting your body into it. This aspect, I really didn't have a problem with. I like the feel of wielding the whip. Of feeling like I'm in a fist fight pummeling a Nazi within an inch of his life. If you don't mind that kind of thing, the game probably won't bother you as much as it does some people. However, the sensitivity of the motion can sometimes be a problem. Especially in the fist fights. You swing the Wii remote, Indy doesn't swing. BAM, a cheap shot to the face by a lucky Nazi. That gets annoying. Especially when you have a room full of brawlers coming at you. The cool thing is, you can use your whip to pull these guys to you and head butt them into submission and it feels great. The bad news is, sometimes you pick up a shovel, take a swing and the game doesn't read your motion and suddenly you have a bunch of dudes the size of the Airplane Bruiser from Raiders of the Lost Ark dogpiling you out of commission. All in all, though, I can forgive the game for that, because when it does work, it does feel rather satisfying.

The negative thing that drives me the most crazy is unskippable tutorials. Yes, these things will make you want to brain yourself with the nearest convenient concrete block. Say Indy gives you a run down on how to use your gun to take out bad guys who are hiding in a balcony. You take them out, walk off and a Cheap Death awaits with a bad step off a ledge or something of the sort. That's right, Indy gets to take another five or so minutes to show you how to take out balcony hiding bad guys with your sidearm once again with no way to skip through it. Uggh.

One other thing that might rankle is the running length of the game. It's pretty short. Less than ten hours, probably take you about 6 or so if you're not trying to get everything. This is okay with me as I only get to do my gaming in 20 minute spurts most of the time and with a good amount of checkpoints to save your progress, it can stretch the game out over a good couple of weeks or more for me. Then again, those who have hours to spare at a time will zoom right through this without breaking too much of a sweat.

That aside, I do think the game is fun. It feels like you're controlling Indy through a decent Indiana Jones movie. The locations feel like something you'd find in the movies and there's a decent variety to them. You start off in the Sudan and find yourself going through places like ruins in the jungle, the streets of San Francisco, a wrecked ship found underground, and the icy tundra of Nepal. You'll find a lot of brawling and a bit of puzzle solving along the way. Nothing that'll make your brain explode, but still fun to figure out and satisfying when you see the results. Once again, it's a decent job of making you feel like a participant in a Jones flick.

You can find a lot of "artifacts" hidden along the way and get enough of them, you can unlock movie trailers for the Indy series or new skins for the character to wear. There are a few cool moves you can do (such as killing a certain amount of bad guys by knocking a shelf on them) and unlock Glory Moves, which unlock other things. Most noticeably, the classic Point and Click adventure The Fate of Atlantis. In a way, you're getting two games for one in that regard.

Another thing about the game I found enjoyable is that amongst a lot of the levels, we find some arcade type action. A lot of time, you'll have the gun and you'll be a part of an on-rails shooter where you have to figure out the best way to dispatch bad guys. You'll find yourself on a runaway trolley shooting at car after car trying to gun you down. There's a pretty cool plane sequence where you have to navigate your way through a canyon-like area and take out enemy planes as you do it while holding the Wiimote like a joystick. This was frustrating to me at first, but once I got the hang of it, I found it quite fun. Also some water rafting and things of that nature. I found it a nice little way to break up the traditional bad guy fighting, puzzle solving play of the rest of the game.

I'd want to give this game four stars for how fun it is as an Indy game, but the buggy controls have to knock it down a notch. For those who love them some Indiana Jones (what sane person doesn't), I think you can find this game cheap enough nowadays to warrant a buy. I don't feel it's good enough to justify paying the full price when it came out, but after the price drop; sure. If not a fan of the whip master, a rent would suffice. You just have to know going in how much you can tolerate the heavy use of motion controls and if that's worth trudging through. For me, it was. But, as they say, your mileage may vary.
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