I’m amazed that I’ve kept to my resolution of daily blogging because I get so easily distracted, especially by games …
Lego Indiana Jones is not my favourite Lego game by far (in order: Lego Batman, Lego Star Wars, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, then quite a distance to Lego Indiana Jones); it has an odd hub area, game play that isn’t as engaging as the other games and overall not as fun compared with Star Wars or Batman. However, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to play the sequel.
The most important factor was to have a game on the Wii for Christmas – it’s a modern tradition for my girlfriend and me. We’ve had Lego Batman and Super Mario Galaxy to enjoy in recent years, and we particularly love playing co-op games – it makes the experience more fun if you share. So, the Lego Indy sequel was the perfect choice, especially as they promised new levels for the previous three films in addition to the three levels dedicated to the rather silly Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The best thing about the new game is the addition of the split screen when playing co-op: instead of being tied to the same screen, each player can roam wherever they want. The other interesting change is the hub area for each section – they are expansive, encouraging you to wander around to discover bonus levels. The humour is better in this game – you may find a bonus level by digging somewhere and falling down a hole – and the whole package seems more polished, as if they actually took their time to get it right. One of the main problems with the first game was that it felt as if it had been rushed out to coincide with the fourth film. The whole thing seems more fun and detailed: when you fight with swords, there is a nice bit of swordplay action before disarming your opponent; you create super bonus levels from breaking down the chests you win and building the entry to the new level; and you can’t beat being an interdimensional being or flying in his spaceship.
The sequel is not without its problems, however; even though they have taken their time to get it right, it has been very glitchy. Several times the game has frozen in the middle of switching to a new area or just stopped working. In the game itself, there are more driving levels than before and they aren’t as much fun, especially as the cars are overly sensitive, causing you to crash very easily. And don’t get me started on some of the driving games to open bonus levels, which are frustrating when the car pops on its side at the merest hint of a bump on the road and you have to lie there while the clock ticks down … There is also the lack of emotional connection to the Crystal Skull film, which doesn’t have the resonance of the first three films, but you can’t blame the game makers for that.
But perhaps I’m being too harsh – overall, Lego Indy 2 has been a very enjoyable way to spend the Christmas period (and beyond), full of charm, wit, playability and surprises.