I picked this up for the boys on Thursday and gave it to them on Friday. I then played it most of Saturday morning and Sunday morning with the LittleBigOgre.
I have several complaints.
Much like Lego Batman there are points where aspects of the game stop responding like they should. In Lego Batman this happened with the mission selectors and the computers for buying upgrades and extras. In Lego Indiana Jones 2 this seems to happen in the menu from the Start button. I’ve also seen it lock up at certain points and required restarting the PS3, which only happened in Lego Batman the one time.
They added in a new feature of allowing the screen to split so your two players aren’t stuck being in the same area. This has good intentions but it fails in their implementation. You see, if you’re close but just far enough off screen, it cuts the screen but doesn’t center the cut part on your player so you could end up not being able to see your character much. It will also spin around on a central axis if you find yourself below the player that was below you, swinging the split point around. Same deal if it’s side by side. This makes it a pain to track what’s going on in your panel because your panel is moving.
While I’m on the subject of blocked view, this game is bad for that. There are points in the game were you might have your entire view blocked by something like a palm tree, which is frustrating.
Another issue I ran into was on one of the replay levels (these are different, but I’ll get to that) where you have to bounce from trampoline to trampoline. This type of gameplay is painful and one of the main reasons I avoid console games. I would bounce along and get to the third to last trampoline where I discover the area for the ‘super bounce’ appeared to be smaller. You see, to make the jumps you have to bounce on the trampoline and time double pressing the jump. Each of the trampolines got slightly farther apart meaning it got harder to jump to the next one without jumping from the very edge of the trampoline. Anyway, the third from last trampoline had a ‘non-bounce’ area there. I could only get the double jump from the very middle of that trampoline and I’d always fall short.
I know, I’m an idiot, I should just use a female character because they jump really well in Lego Indiana Jones, right? Wrong. Well, they do jump well but they’re not available for the replay.
That gets me to the replay mode of the levels. Every level plays in story mode and in replay mode. This is standard for the Lego series of games. What isn’t standard is that when you’re playing Story Mode you have access to everything you need, there is no need to come back through as a different character to get all the secrets and extras.
But what about Replay Mode?!
Replay Mode is a shortened version of the level where you need two specific character types to beat the level. It’ll tell you when you pop into the level which ones you need. In the case of the trampoline level, the characters you needed were both men. Oh, and you cannot cycle between people, what you go in with is what you have access to. The sole purpose of Replay Mode is to jump through the hoops needed to get the Treasure Chest (or Artifact as it was called in Lego Indiana Jones).
Indiana Jones 2 deviates from the typical Lego games you might have seen. You have more hubs centered around the movies except the Crystal Skull which appears to have about three (it might be four) parts which means it has three or four hubs. You have to play around in these hubs to unlock some of the levels, the characters and the extras. When you beat a level, you get access to a character – usually an enemy – but only after you beat them up several times in the hub area and after you buy them. If you don’t buy them or can’t afford them, they remain hostile. You unlock extras and non-hostile characters buy finding red, green and blue bricks scattered about. You also unlock characters by succeeding at some timed vehicle courses – these are annoying at best. There are also bonus levels which reward you with treasure chests (you also get treasure chests as the reward for the Replay Mode of the Story levels).
I can’t help but feel there was some failure in planning because collecting all the treasure chests in some hubs are harder simply because of the cost involved with the characters required. Raiders of the Lost Ark hub, for example, requires you spend 500,000 Lego bits for Belloc with the Staff of Ra (silly part is you can get Indy who had a Staff of Ra on the level but doesn’t have one while in the hub) while other hubs don’t have that hefty price to complete them.
I suppose I should expand on the fact that you play through Raiders of the Lost Ark again. It’s not the same as the previous one, instead it’s different parts of the movie and I can’t help but feel like each level is much shorter than what they were in the first Lego Indiana Jones.
They also adding in a targeting mechanism, but like you have with Lego Batman’s Batarang. I don’t mind this addition, it makes sense and they made good use of it so far.
Another addition is vehicle levels where the sole purpose is to drive around in a vehicle and destroy enemy vehicles by colliding with them. There are powerups for speed, jumping and shooting (in some levels). You need to be certain vehicles to beat other vehicles. The controls are somewhat iffy and this is one of the areas you really feel the pain of the split screen and have your view point blocked a lot. These can be fun, though they’re really repetitive and there have been occasions where my vehicle blew up and it didn’t respawn anywhere nearby. In fact, I spent one level running around on foot looking for a vehicle. Some you can hop into and boot the bad guy out, others are parked out of the way. It’s an interesting gameplay mode, but I prefer the longer levels you found in previous Lego games over zipping around the same map over and over. (Think Empire Strikes back level where you have to destroy eight probes, then six walkers and four probes, etc. now imagine having two of those levels per ‘hub’… I might be exaggerating but it felt like there was way too many of those types of levels.)
All in all, it’s a little frustrating and annoying as well with scattered moments of amusement but it also feels way too short. Bottom line is that I am not too pleased with this game.