Monday, January 10, 2011

Steam: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (You chose... wisely)

or Indiana Jones and the Unnecessary Facelift

One - I remembered much too much about this game. Let me rephrase that, I remembered everything about this game and destroyed its face. Boosh.

Two - This game has the worst dialog ever. I don't say that lightly, either. It uses some parts of the movie (not even key parts), forgets other parts existed, and then fills in the gaps with the hackiest writing ever.
Example, see image below.

Three - The version given by steam has had an unnecessary and crappy facelift. They made the graphics really smoothed out and almost cartoony and, *gasp*, changed the font! Some things you just can't do in a touch-up, especially changing the font of a game I love. Especially when you use that font for every other adventure game ever, Lucasarts! Come on!

I still enjoyed this game, but the dialog and writing/story direction really killed some parts of the game for me. Others were made into gems by just how bad they were (see above and below).

FUN: 2.5/5 - This game has never been all that fun, actually. It was more or less cool because of how starved I was in the 90s for anything Indiana Jones.

DIFFICULTY: 4/5 - The puzzles, especially those at the end, do not lend themselves to easy solving. In fact, they do not lend themselves to intuitive solving. I think many of them are the result of poor design, and others are just so bad so that Lucasarts would have people buy their hint book. Which they indeed offer at the save menu. Just dial 1-800-STAR-WARS.

PLAYABILITY: 2/5 - Not just the graphics feel awkward, but the controls are really awkward. I'm not sure if it's just that I'm running it through steam under Windows 7 or what, but the controls feel really wonky. You have to click everything two or three time and hope that it works. If I didn't already know what to do, it would have been way more annoying.

FRUSTRATION FACTOR: 5/5 - The puzzles are annoying, but the fighting game takes the cake in the "Pisses You Off the Most" category. The controls to fighting are simple enough, but the problem is the speed. It's difficult to get a block in, but against some opponents you can just jab until the cows come home and they'll never swing back, making blocking irrelevant. Against others, they'll hit you at the same time you hit them. Oh yeah, and swinging a punch actually hurts you. And Nazis hit harder than Indiana Jones. It's a really crappy system.
(I know I mentioned the end of the game puzzles earlier, but they are really, really frustrating first time around. I remember raging about them when I beat it years ago, and even knowing what to do this time they were still annoying.)

BEST TAKEAWAY MOMENT - If you've seen the movie, you can figure out what is happening in this picture. This is my favorite example of storyline changing/bad writing all in one.

OVERALL ASSESSMENT: 2.5/5 - This game holds a special place in my heart, but the years and the touchups were not kind to it. I wouldn't recommend anybody play it if they want to play a game they can figure out without consulting some kind of walkthrough. If you decide to play this game without heeding my warning, then I would have to say you chose... poorly (see below).

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