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Wii Game Review

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings


Format: Wii
RRP: £39.99
0 023272 007843
Age Restrictions: 16+
Available 12 June 2009

Step into the shoes of the legendary hero, Indiana Jones, in an all new epic adventure. From San Francisco's Chinatown to the lush jungles of Panama, Indy must use his whip, fists and wits to fight through ruthless opposition as he spars with his nemesis, Magnus Völler, in a race for a relic of biblical proportions - the Staff of Moses...

Set in the year 1939, Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings follows the rogue archaeologist on an all-new globe-trotting quest. The game allows players to use Indy's trusty bullwhip and pistol, as well as engaging in fist fights in order to take out the bad guys.

As well as being released on the Wii, Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings is also released on the PS2 - but not the PS3 or Xbox 360. This should give you some idea of what to expect, as basically your getting a game designed for an older console that has been customised to run on the interactive control system of the Wii. To be honest though, the Wii is more in keeping with the older consoles than the newer ones - I've lost track of how many games I've been disappointed by on the Wii, when the PS3 or Xbox 360 versions were fine.

Staff of Kings is interesting in as much as the fight sequences are pretty enjoyable. The game uses the Wii remote system pretty well. You can jab, punch or perform an uppercut with both hands (courtesy of the Wii remote for your right hand and the nunchuk for your left hand); pick up items and hit your enemies with them; use your bullwhip to grab the baddies by the neck, waist or feet; and you can even whip out your pistol and have a shoot out (although these segments are of the old school variety where you see Indy from behind and he can move left and right taking cover behind objects.

The game features interactive environments, in which players can pick up items and use them as weapons, or use your bullwhip to grab onto things like bookcases and pull them down on your enemies.

I'm seriously wondering whether this was properly tested to iron out the many annoying bugs. To start with, I'm one of those annoying people who likes to switch the up and down function on the camera options. No problem, you can do this, but the left/right and up/down options are (like many other games) simply labelled as X and Y axis. Now, I've never been able to remember which is which and so I managed to swap the wrong axis. This made the game unplayable for me, so I thought I'd better change this... however I couldn't get back to the options screen and had to restart the Wii just to go back to the options screen.

This then brought up the second issue. The fact that you can't skip the videos for each company involved with the creation of this game when you boot up the disc. I know they don't last long, but when added together, with the unskippable intro of the game, it seems to take an age just to get to the menu section. And the cut sequences in the game occasionally don't makes sense - seeming to stop mid action.

You might as well skip the tutorial on the main page and just jump straight into the game, as you get an in game tutorial as you go along.

Okay, next moan... When you die you go back to an earlier point in the game - having to kill enemies that you've defeated once all ready. While that's understandable, what I didn't get was why if you get killed after you've completed a tutorial segment (and been told that you've got the hang of everything) then you have to run through the tutorial once again. You can't even skip the dull introduction segments.

The point where it all go too much for me, and I threw in the towel, was the sequence that shows you how to use your pistol. I completed the tutorial, but was killed pretty quickly before I realised that I shouldn't actually shoot at the enemy firing at me - instead I should have fired at the boxes of fireworks. So, I died once and to my surprise had to go through the tutorial once again. Then I died by falling off a platform and again had to go back to the tutorial. By that point I was so frustrated that I decided to stop playing - as I would if I'd bought it.

Sadly, this meant that I only got to experience one of the vehicle levels - the biplane, but that was a little short and not the easiest thing in the world to control. Apparently you can also take the reigns of a wild elephant through the streets of Istanbul and navigate a raft down a raging river.

You can also unlock four-player versus mode where you and your friends go head-to-head in a biplane combat or take on three of your friends in a free for all tank battle. There are other interesting unlockables and a bonus is the fact that you can play the classic Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis game. This is pretty dated, but still good fun.

Released a few years ago when the PS2 was the height of gaming, then Staff of Kings might have faired a little better. As it stands, this is a very disappointing game.


Darren Rea

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