LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures

Play as Indiana Jones through Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade in one of the most fun ways possible, with LEGO! Build, destroy and whip your way through the scenes from the movies and have a good laugh at the funny LEGO antics.

Pros

Most of the iconic scenes from the movies are in the game. They have been modified to make the game fun to play and funnier, but they are still easily recognisable.

Hear the music from the movies! The quality is not as good as the movies, but good enough for LEGO Indiana Jones to run around. I am not sure whether all the music is taken from the movies or whether there are some original compositions as well. It does not matter though, as all of it sounds great.

There is a lot of different things you can do. There is the usual LEGO building and destroying as well as collecting studs to unlock stuff. Then there is the fighting, digging, driving, fixing, screaming, blowing up stuff, solving simple puzzles, throwing all sorts of objects and of course using Indy’s famous whip. Everything you would expect from Indy and company.

For the intrepid explorer, there are plenty of hidden areas, artefacts to find and more things to unlock.

It is not Monkey Island, but LEGO Indy makes me laugh every time I play, even when I know what is going to happen.

Feeling stuck? Vent your frustration by breaking everything. More often than not, this will reveal the solution to progress the game. Satisfaction and progression at the same time.

Cons

The cutscenes cannot be skipped. Even though they are entertaining, I have had to repeat levels a few times and watching the same cutscene over and over is just a waste of time. Cutscenes only play in story mode, so repeating a level in free roam mode is not an issue.

Sometimes the camera angle makes it difficult to judge how to jump or get over certain obstacles. Or maybe it is just me since I am bad at platformers.

The Last Crusade starts off in Venice where Indy searches for the tomb of Sir Richard. I am disappointed that the scene where young Indy goes after the Cross of Coronado is not present. I hope it is a secret level that needs to be unlocked, but in the meantime, this is a con point.

I encountered one progress killing bug in the last level of Temple of Doom. On the bridge fighting Mr Heart-Extractor, some guards are supposed to appear with swords for you to take to chop the ropes. I played for 30 minutes and quit because no swords appeared. A quick search revealed that this is indeed a bug and one way to work around it is to change the game’s screen resolution to 800×600. A big thank you to BrickRaiders for the solution. Note that I would not consider my machine as a “less powerful PC”, but I still encountered this bug.

Other Points

The game is very simple to pick up and play. The difficulty is also quite easy, probably helped by the fact that you cannot die as such. Overall, this makes for an easy platformer that even I can reach the end. After that, there is still quite a challenge for those that seek to find and unlock all the secrets.

Biases

A decade ago, I played LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy alongside LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures on the PlayStation 2. Both games were fun, but I enjoyed LEGO Indy just a bit more.

I have completed the story mode for all three movies. Time to find all the secrets.

I never got to try out the drop in/out co-op mode.

I like all the Indiana Jones movies.

I enjoy platformers but I am not good at them.

My Win10 PC

Windows 10 Home 64-bit

8GB RAM

Intel Core i7-6700HQ @ 2.6GHz

Intel HD Graphics 530 / nVidia GeForce GTX 960M 2GB VRAM

Conexant SmartAudio HD / Logitech G35

This is my current PC.  Just need a post where all the info is in one place for other articles to refer to.  I wonder how many times I will say “this is my current PC” as time passes.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

Lifted from the pages of an ancient tome penned by the heroes Jackson and Livingstone, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is a role-playing reading journey of monsters, magic and traps. Choose your hero, enter the mountain and may your stamina never fail.

Pros

Where the book only has dice rolling combat, this game adds an extra layer of strategy with a grid and turn-based combat system. The battleground varies depending on location and the character you have chosen determines how you can attack on the grid. Different opponents have different attack types as well, so you must figure out the best way to attack. The enemy AI is not the best, but the fights are difficult enough.

For those that love the fights, there is gauntlet mode where the reading text is reduced to allow the player to focus on fighting. The characters allowed in gauntlet mode are not the same as story mode so that takes a bit of fun and variety out of it.

The game looks very nice. It does not have state of the art graphics, but the whole figurine hopping around a toylike play area looks very nice to me.

The music is good. Nothing spectacular, but does add nicely to the game’s atmosphere and it sounds better than the music of Fighting Fantasy Legends.

Despite the short main quest, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain has different characters to choose from. Each character has different statistics, skills and sub-quests. All this combined with the multiple pathways through the mountain gives the game a good amount of variety.

Cons

Only ONE game can be played at ONE time. I hated this in Fighting Fantasy Legends and I hate this now in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Why must they prevent players from playing multiple games simultaneously?

There are not enough shortcut keys! Sometimes the space bar can be used to continue, but that is it. Everything else must be clicked on with the mouse.

There are a few bugs in the game that rears their ugly heads randomly. In the eleven hours I have played so far, I have encountered one blank screen that required the task manager to kill the process and two instances of no options appearing to progress the game. When the options failed to appear, the only thing I could do was start a new game. Quitting and resuming the game would just continue the game at the point of having no options.

Other Points

There is a lot of reading, much like reading a book which is not surprising. There is a lot more reading in this than in Fighting Fantasy Legends.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain has some plot points which are identical to the Firetop section of Fighting Fantasy Legends. The rest of the game, I can only guess, are greater details taken directly from the book.

The game has four starting characters to choose from. As you win battles in the game, souls are gained to be used to unlock other playable characters. At the time of writing, there is a total of fifteen characters in the main game and another three in a DLC.

For people that want to cheat there is a free read mode. This mode allows you to automatically win battles, choose options that are usually locked for your given situation and resurrect unlimited times. The downside of free read mode is souls are not gained from winning battles.

This may or may not be considered to be cheating, but during dice rolling it is possible to press ‘space’ to shake the dice some more.  There is a time limit of about one second before the dice stops where you cannot shake them, so it is a bit tricky to try and rig the numbers.

There are artworks that look like they were taken directly from the pages of the book The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. They can be clicked on to display between full colour and outline versions.

Biases

I have read one Fighting Fantasy book many years ago. Cannot remember which one or even what the story was about. I do remember losing every try and eventually just skipped the dice rolling and read through to the end. It was clear I could not finish it properly before requiring to return the book. The journey was enjoyable, despite the losing.

Eleven hours of game time and out of the four characters I have tried, I have only managed to complete the main quest with one character. The game is hard, like a certain book I read many years ago.

I like Fighting Fantasy Legends and have completed it on the easiest difficulty. I have not completed all the side quests though.

10% Humble Store Discount

Here is a link for 10% Humble Store discount.  I don’t know the specific conditions, but the words from Humble are “enjoy 10% off for 30 days” and “One giftee per month”.   So, first in, best dressed and I hope someone finds this useful.

If anyone would like to be generous and wants to subscribe to the Humble Monthly, following this referral link will put $8 in my Humble wallet. Thank you.

Game Rankings Return

The game rankings is alive again.  With that comes the game comparer as well.   They are ugly and not the simplest to use, but all the functionality is there.

All my old game reviews must be restored before the thumbnails and links can work.  Then I have to figure out how to integrate it with WordPress properly and make it easier to use.

Fighting Fantasy Legends

Fighting Fantasy is a series of single-player role-playing gamebooks created by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. The first volume in the series was published in paperback by Puffin in 1982.

The series distinguished itself by mixing Choose Your Own Adventure-style storytelling with a dice-based role-playing element included within the books themselves, the caption on many of the covers claiming each title was an adventure “in which YOU are the hero!”

Wikipedia

Fighting Fantasy Legends is a role-playing game based on three books from the Fighting Fantasy series, namely The Warlock of Firetop Mountain,  City of Thieves and Citadel of Chaos.

Pros

Being based on books, it is not surprising that the story is pretty good. Each book has its own area, but the game has modified the story to force you to explore other areas in order to complete any one area. Although good, it is still not as good as the likes of Baldur’s Gate.

The music is good.  There are only a handful of tracks,  so they repeat a lot, but it never got annoying for me.

The game feels more like an RPG than the books by allowing you to gain experience and level up. There are no complex statistics or skills to manage. The only things you can upgrade are skill dice and luck dice. Even your stamina (health) does not increase with levels. Upgrading your dice means adding an extra symbol to one of your dice, up to the maximum of three per die. It may not look like much but it does make a noticeable difference when you throw those dice.  This simple dice upgrade system actually gives a good sense of progression.

Cons

The game is very short. It only took me eight hours to complete the three main quests on the easiest difficulty level of adventurer and this was playing with hardcore hero mode(ie permadeath). I died and restarted twice and still finished the game in this short time. The higher difficulty levels must be unlocked by completing the easier difficulty levels, so you cannot even prolong the game by starting on higher difficulty levels.

Progress is automatically saved and there is only one game that can be saved. Every time you start a new game, your previous progress is deleted.

I wish there were more shortcut keys. Except for the space bar to “OK” some of the text and roll dice, all other options must be clicked on with the mouse. It would quicker to have 1,2,3 placed next to the options for selection or something similar.

There is not much in the way of replay value.  Yes, the higher difficulty levels are more challenging and you can configure your character differently to try out different strategies. Unfortunately, the story remains the same and the random events feel the same as well.

Combat involves rolling dice, but other than the first round, there is nothing to do except continually click OK to roll the dice until the fight has finished. There should be an auto fight option to speed things up.

Other Points

The combat in the game is different from the books. The game has swapped the six-sided dice for a whole bunch of custom dice with symbols on them. At the start, every dice only has one symbol on one side and rolling the symbol means you get one point for that roll.

The whole top-down view and animations remind me of the old action game Gauntlet. I don’t know why. Fighting Fantasy Legends moves quite slow whereas Gauntlet is a fast action game.

For a game that is based on books, there is not as much reading as I expected.

Fighting Fantasy Legends is an RPG, but movement is restricted to choices provided by the narrative. This is one aspect where the game is just like the books. More often than not, you will move forward and cannot move back. Having said that, when you reach the “end” of an area, you will have to start that area again to explore previously missed opportunities.

There are three characters to choose from, but it does not make much difference to the game. The most noticeable difference is just having a different character image. Other than that I have only seen one location where the event slightly changed based on your character.

Biases

I have only read one Fighting Fantasy book and that was in the 90s.  I cannot remember the story or even the title of the book.  I do remember not being able to level up in the book, but it was still good fun, even with the constant dying and restarting.

I have completed the game on the easiest difficulty of Adventurer, but I have not completed all the side quests.

Rolling Back Rolling Reviews

Rolling reviews are not working.  Each thought can be added to an overall review quickly, but sometimes there are multiple points that must go together. Unfortunately, these points can be thought up at different times and this simply disrupts the flow of already posted thoughts.  After two games, it is back to the normal review process.