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Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings Video Game Review

Updated on September 13, 2009

The first thing I will have to say about Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings is that it is much better than Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. As far as I know, there isn’t a console game available based on that lame fourth Indiana Jones movie, but I would have to say that even if they made Staff of Kings into a movie, it would not have restored the glory of the original franchise.

Well, the glory of Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, at least. Yeah, that Temple of Doom was a real dip in the middle of two good adventure films, but that tends to happen with most trilogies.

But we’d better get to the review. The Staff of Kings definitely sets Indy up for lots of adventure, but sadly, the storyline lacks originality. The villain of the adventure is a man named Magnus Voller, a man who used to be a colleague of Indy’s until he switched sides and went with the Germans. He is reminiscent of Belloq, the arch-enemy from Raiders.

Of course, there is a girl involved. Here name is Maggie O’Malley, a feisty photographer who follows Indy around like Willie Scott from Temple. At least she isn’t a helpless, whiny female.

Indy has to travel the globe in order to find the Staff of Kings, which is actually the staff of Moses. Indy has to go through many danger-infested dungeons on his quest, and some of the clues are in a hard bound notebook that is similar to the Grail diary of The Last Crusade.

Yes, the Staff of Kings storyline follows a lot of Indiana Jones conventions, and the gameplay itself is not really unique, either. It could easily be compared to the Tomb Raider series, which is just, considering that the original conception of the Tomb Raider protagonist was a male Indy-like character. This concept was so similar to Indy, that the Tomb Raider creator conceived the idea of Lara Croft. It turned out to be a smart move, for the rest is history.

It is almost too easy to compare Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings to Tomb Raider Underworld. Both of these long-awaited games were released with a lot of hype, but failed to live up to fans’ expectations. Still, there are some things that Staff of Kings does well.

The gameplay is very active for the Wii version. When Indy punches, the user is using his or her Wiimote and Nunchuk like real fists. It really brings the game to life. The player has fun beating up bad guys, and it is still challenging.

Even with the motion-controls, the creators of Staff of Kings did not over-complicate things. The first thing I did when I started playing the game was hitting the buttons and was surprised that they did nothing. Yet Indy does just about everything in the game including bashing in doors, climbing walls, and many awesome fights with the trademark whip.

Unfortunately, there is one part of the game that I believe is a product of some defect. In the game, there are some slamming crushing walls that you simply can’t get past by running fast. No, you have to jam the mechanism with a skull, but it isn’t as easy as the game makes it sound. These gears have a cage around them that makes the skull hard to get in to, and it didn’t work every time. It’s sort of sad, really.

The only reason why I bought it is because I saw it on sale at Fred Meyer for just $20.00. I figured it was worth the risk. Even though I won’t give the game a high recommendation, I definitely think it was worth trying simply because Indiana Jones is such an iconic figure and it is fun walking in his boots.

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