LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures PSP Review

Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures chronicles the events that unfolded in the first three films: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It's slightly disappointing that no action-packed events from Indy's latest flick, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, were included, but look on the bright side. That also means there isn't any sign of a Lego-ized Shia LeBeouf.

From the opening stage where Indy seeks out a legendary golden idol to the rip-roaring finale of Last Crusade where he snags the Holy Grail, Lego Indiana Jones covers every step of the three films. Each stage is packed with a smart hybrid of puzzles to solve and enemies to beat up. Some of the fisticuff action gets a little bland, but you have more moves available, including the ability to crack a whip and throw enemies around with melee attacks. Other characters are playable throughout the game, and you'll need them to crawl through small spaces, dig up treasures and activate otherwise unreachable switches. It's this kind of teamwork play that makes Lego Indiana Jones just as much fun as Lego Star Wars.

What makes Lego Indiana Jones work is its universally acceptable gameplay. Anyone from can pick it up and automatically "get it". The controls are simple and fun, as you punch objects to collect coins and take on enemies. On occasion, you'll run into an annoyance, such as trying to repair a plane while enemies shoot projectiles. It's stupid how the artificial intelligence doesn't react to those threats and cover your back.

Even worse, you have to control the characters individually. Unlike the console versions of Lego Indiana Jones, the PSP edition doesn't feature multiplayer support. It's a slight bummer, but you'll still have a fun time with the game on those long car trips or in the dentist's office.

The presentation is mostly good. Lego Indy and the rest of his team look the part, with lots of facial expressions and cute animations. The game also has a swell sense of humor, with everything from Lego Star Wars character cameos to inspired moments of bad-guy shooting lunacy. Even the boulder that rolls after Indy in the original movie made it in here, although it's blockier than you might expect. Level design is excellent, representing the movie's scenarios almost to the letter. The audio consists of snippets from the trilogy's soundtrack, along with excellent sound effects and humorous little grunts. It comes together quite well, although load times are somewhat longer than they should be. The game takes at least a minute to load up initially.

Overall, if you like the Indiana Jones flicks or have a flavor for something Lego (and can't wait for Lego Batman), this trilogy will hit the spot. It's fun for all ages, even if it doesn't do anything incredibly different over the Star Wars games.

What's Hot: Classic gameplay that anyone can get into, great graphics, soundtrack comes straight from the movies, there's a terrific school hub where extras can be unlocked.

What's Not: No multiplayer, loading times take way too long, no sign of any events from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

4/5