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Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings

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Game Reviewed: Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings
Publisher: Lucasarts
Developer: A2M
Reviewer: Matthew Scott
Platform: Wii (Also on PS2 and PSP)
Category: Third Person Action
ESRB Rating: T
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Game Description:

Indiana Jones and The Staff of Kings takes place a couple of years after The Last Crusade (The third movie). This time Indy is in search of The Staff of Kings, aka the rod of Moses. The story is very similar to most of the movies in that Indiana will visit different locations around the world in search of an artifact or clue that will eventually lead him to the main artifact he is looking for, in this case being the Staff of Kings. Indy is not alone however, in that the Nazi’s are also looking for the staff and they will do whatever they can to get to it first.

The game reminded me a lot of the first couple of Tomb Raider games back from the original Playstation. Each level is pretty linear with half the level being composed of fighting bad guys and the other half composed of trying to solve some puzzle like how to open a door or lower a bridge so that Indy can progress to the next part of the level. To add a little variety to the game there are also some distractions to break up the gameplay such a short level where Indy flys a plane and another where Indy pilots a raft down some whitewater rapids.

In addition there is also a co-op play where Indiana can go on some short missions with his father. There is also a bonus game, Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis (an older popular PC game), that can be unlocked on the Wii version. Speaking of the Wii version, some of the controllers are done very well and use the Wii-mote in some creative ways such as when Indy swings his whip. Other controls, however, feel a bit repetitive and would have been better used if they had been mapped to a button press instead of a swing of the wrist. Still, if the content meets up to your family’s standards and you are a fan of Indiana Jones, you may at least want to give this game a rental.

Note: This review is based off of the single player campaign only.

What Parents Need to Know

Violence

Indiana Jones is played from the third person perspective. There are some levels where Indiana will have to use his gun to take out the enemies. These levels are played much like an old carnival shooting gallery. There are other times where Indiana will have to fist fight the enemy in which Indiana can either punch them or swing objects at them such as a board or shovel until they are knocked unconscious.

Also, there is no blood or gore in the game. You will not see anyone’s face melt off like in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Language

I only came across two swear words in the whole game. The words bastards and damn were each used once.

Sexual Content

There is no inappropriate sexual content in this game.

Spiritual Content

There are some references to ancient Mayan mythology such as a ball court where Indiana makes some comments about how some twins had to play ball against some demons.

There are also some references to the story of Moses from the Bible. This is because Indiana is in search of the staff of Moses. At one point in the game the staff is used to part a sea and at another part of the game the staff turns into a snake.

In addition, it is possible to unlock the movie trailers from the four Indiana Jones films. In the Temple of Doom trailer there are some clips from the human sacrifice scene.

Reviewer's Thoughts

Indiana Jones and The Staff of Kings had a lot of potential, but in the end it wound up feeling a bit flat. Still, as mentioned before, if you feel the game meets your family’s standards and you are a big fan of the movies, then you will probably want to at least give it a rental. The game is rather short, however, so my recommendation would be to either rent the game or wait to purchase once it is in the dicount bin.



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