Review by Axar1045

"Indy is off on another of his adventures... This time, DON'T tag along."

OVERVIEW

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings was originally announced back in 2005 for the PS3 and the Xbox360. E3 2006 had LucasArts promoting the game very much. It was scheduled to be released in 2007, but that didn't happen. It was continued to be delayed and in an interview in 2008, LucasArts stated that the so called PS3/X360 game will look beautiful. But on early 2009, an official trailer put out by LucasArts stated that the game would soon arrive for the PS2, PSP, Wii and DS platforms. There wasn't any actual stated reason on why they scraped the PS3/X360 project, but what they did, didn't work out well.

STORY - 5/10

The main plot of the game is about Indy's search on the Staff of Moses, or better known as the Staff of kings. But at the first few stages of the game, the story isn't even connected to it. The Game occurs in the year 1939, approximately 18 years before the events of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There is also a few sub-plots in the game concerning mobsters and other thugs, before you actually start on the main story. Throughout the game, the story takes you to different places, from Istanbul to San Fransisco high up the mountains in Nepal. Its quite late in the game where the actual plot is centered. The story doesn't prove to be very entertaining or very surprising. It's just a plot with a few twists here and there which I will not mention in this review due to spoilers.

GAMEPLAY - 4/10

This part didn't appeal to me at all, no sir, not one bit. The gameplay is so flawed that, it is very boring and repetitive to play on after a few levels. Where are the flawed points?? I'll tell you!, first of all, Indy can't jump, yeah, the whole point of adventuring is spoiled with the fact that you can't leap to evade, jump over to another platform at free will. Sure you can hit the /\ button when prompted to interact with the environment or an object, but it ruins the fun outta an Action Adventure/Platformer. Another lousy flaw in the game is the camera angle. The camera can be controlled by using the D-Pad above the analog stick. But the problem is that you can't use it everywhere. The basic need for a camera is to look around the surrounding to observe for any clues or important items at free will, but the camera in this game, will only turn if there the room or area is big enough. Some levels which occur in a small area cannot be aided with the camera. You will just have to rely on the game's automatic camera movement to the end.

Let me now explain your weapon arsenal in this game. Your most basic offense tool, is your bare fists. Using them, you can unleash combos on enemies. But the problem is, there are not many of them, and there isn't even a list where you can view them all. Its like, you tap some buttons, you unknowingly do a combo, yippie!!! That's how flawed the gameplay is. Aside form your fists, you also have a traditional Indy whip, which you use to trip enemies down. Indy is also equipped with a Revolver which kills an enemy with a single shot. That would be nice, if the gameplay wouldn't be so flawed to give just 6 bullets for each stage. First I thought, that's ok, considering each stage doesn't take too much time to complete, but the problem was with some stages which have a lot of enemies spawning. Once your bullets are over, its just the same X [] X [], with the occasional whip shots. But once thing that is not flawed with the gameplay is that, you can use any object lying in the surroundings against your enemy, i.e, if you see a wine bottle lying near you, you can pick it up and use it to beat up an enemy and that is one of the finer factors in this game.

Each level in the game is divided into many stages which are actually different areas. For example one of the levels which takes place in San Fransisco, is split into different stages which are different parts of San Fransisco, eg, Alleys, Lounge, Rooftop etc.Some levels have Bosses which take more hits to defeat than the regular enemies. Speaking about regular enemies,, in most levels, you will face a lot of enemies, most of them which you will have to kill in order to proceed with the game, all of them are easy and don't take many hits to die. You can lock on to any single enemy using the L button, this also shows the remaining health the enemy currently has left. The Wii and PS2 also features a few more additional levels that aren't present in the PSP version, and the DS has another level that isn't present too.

Another important (or useless) part of the gameplay is the fortune and glory. Basically, if you find the hidden artifacts or complete any optional mission during a stage, you will earn fortune and glory points. There points are actually actually for upgrading any skills/health/attack power and unlocking new concept arts. There are also cheats to unlock after you have beaten the game once, there are four cheats and and even one of the four will make you cross the game in a flash, one gives you invincibility, another infinite ammunition. There are three difficulty settings to choose from, and the changes between the three of them are only the toughness of the enemies and bosses, also the amount of health lost when hurt by the environment. Platforming areas are exactly the same.

All in all, he worst thing about the gameplay of Staff of Kings is that, you keep doing the same stuff over and over again. You defeat about 25 enemies on one level, the same is repeated in another, but in a different environment. I was very disappointed with The Staff of Kings, which highly added to the fact that I was kinda an Indian Jones fan, I now new only the movies rocks. Atleast, The Emperor's Tomb wasn't that bad, this one is horrible, they could have just released it for PS3 and X360, that would have been so much better.

GRAPHICS - 7/10

I'll have to admit that the Graphics in this game was one of the few fine points, compered to the many flaws. The character models look brilliant and the expressions put out by them is quite decent too. The environments are actually quite good, but at the same time, aren't that distracting. Some levels which are filled with fire or smoke will make it harder to look, but as far as I can see, here isn't any lag in all the stages, apart from very slight drops at the mountains and areas which are larger than the many small ones. The PSP version of the game, is almost an exact look alike to the Wii and PS2 version, and the DS version will seem quite different from the others. But as far as this review goes, I have no other choice to say that the graphics in this game, stops me from giving it an even lower score.

SOUND - 6/10

Well, nothing special here, and at the same time, it isn't that bad either. Voice acting is used throughout the game, they voice actors do their job well, but could have done it a bit better, but its fine nevertheless. For most of the time, you won't actually notice the background music, but when you do, you will find that it is just average, not mind blowing or anything. It just keeps the game alive. The sound effects are actually quite good, seeing any bullet shot, glass break etc, is heard instantly, also, there weren't any sound bugs on my first playthrough of the game, overall, you can just say that the sound is..'okay'.

CONCLUSION - 5.2/10

Overall, I'd give this game a 5.2/10, round it up to 5. The Replay value of the game isn't much at all. sure there are three difficulties, but you will probably not want to play it again twice, seeing the many flaws and the fact that it is simply boring. Te entire game's storyline will take about 5 hours on the first difficulty, maybe one more on the next two, but since there is no multiplayer content(although the Wii version does have a 2-Player Coop mode), just some lousy upgrades, cheats and special concept arts, you will will probably be done with the game soon, actually sooner than you think, and if you are like me, will be glad its over.

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings, is not recommended to anyone, unless you are die-hard fans of the franchise, but even then, you will probably hate this game. The many flaws, short and repetitive gameplay start to will piss you off. Rent it if you want to, but you'll regret it. I hope this review helped you.

The Good -
**Controls work out fairly well.
**Graphics aren't bad as I thought it would be.
**The Sound Design is also quite good.
**Objects lying around can be used as weapons.
**No Lag during gameplay.

The Bad-
**Camera is bad
**Repetitive Gameplay
**Uninteresting Story
**CAN'T JUMP
**Just 6 bullets per stage.
**No point in unlocking Fortune and Glory.
**Lame and simple combos.
**Levels are designed very badly indeed, except for the odd one or two.
**Badly designed cheats codes.
**The Game is quite short and very little replay value is present.
**Its just plain stupid and won't appeal to anyone at all, unless you are like some kind of Indiana Jones maniac, who would probably won't see the flaws.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 07/06/09

Game Release: Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings (US, 06/09/09)


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