June 26, 2008

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LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures(PC/PS2/PS3/Wii/360)
Traveller’s Tales,Rated E10+
By Glenn "WE ARE GOING TO DIE" Given production@hippopress.com

Indy cover your heart!!!!!

God, I do so love Short Round. If only every movie had a wisecracking Shanghai cabbie tween who would sock possesed Hindus in the mug. And luckily LEGO Indiana Jones delivers on such wishful thinking. Taking you, virtually, sometimes laboriously, sequence by sequence through the initial three Indiana Jones films in LEGO form is a stupidly distracting task. Traveller’s Tales hit the right formula, which is to cutesy up (but not sickeningly so) a pop franchise (like Star Wars or the forthcoming Batman), take out the pesky acting and pile on the puns, sight gags and LEGO-on-LEGO slapstick. It works.

Players swap in tons of Indy characters (though no Nazis are to be found, all the Third Reich baddies have switched from leather and iron eagles to a somehow less- threatening beige and khaki ensemble) as they skip through caves, sewers, tombs of biblical kings and the like using broadly distributed skills to pass obstacles and find treasure. The obsessive collection fetish of the LEGO games fits nicely with Jones’ treasure-hunting theme and the various high- jumping, hieroglyphic-translating and general whip-cracking skills of Team Indy will navigate your yellow plastic Fords, Connerys and that-dude-from-Sliders toward piles of glittering gold arcanum “that belongs in a museum.” (Ha! That was a clever quote, kids!)

If you like Indy you’ll be warmly joyed by the fun-loving interpretation of every single notable scene and look past the wonky isometric camera angles that screw up my depth perception and dash poor Indy over and over into a pit of spikes. If you are a fan of previous LEGO outings you know the highs and lows: light-hearted play with tons of doodads to hunt for, interlaced with sweet and charming humor coupled with some clever level design and merely acceptable controls. But don’t get too harsh on the technicalities; LEGO Indy is best enjoyed with a young’n, most of whom will not have seen any Indy films and will therefore care very little for this otherwise enjoyable platformer. B+Glenn Given