Friday, September 18, 2009

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings

Have I've wasted my life?


For the past two decades, I've been subconsciously motivated by an innate desire to mold myself after Indiana Jones.

See the picture on the right? I used to have a poster of that above my bed when I was a little boy. Indy's been with me since I was old enough to watch movies.

That probably explains my joint honors degree in history, my fascination with fedoras and cowboy hats and the fact that I'm rarely seen without a leather jacket.

In fact, it explains this:

My version of Short Round is very, very short.

But I've been an idiot! All this time, I thought to 'be' Indiana Jones, you actually had to emulate him - hence why I wore the hat, studied history and got beaten up by towering Nazi stormtroopers [I think you made that last one up - Editorial Bear.]

The truth is, I didn't need to do any of these things - because the power to 'be' Indiana Jones was already within my grasp, right in the comfort of my own home!

Yesterday, I mentioned how I lost my 'Wii' virginity - and last night, I played 'Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings' for the first time.

Now, I'm not a cynical gaming guru - so what's old rope to those people was new and exciting to me. I got to put on my 'Indy' hat, pick up a Wii controller in each hand and...

...and it was AWESOME.

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings lets you 'be' Indiana Jones. And not in that crappy 'press the A button to punch, use the B button to jump' way. Thanks to the Wii's controllers, when you control Indiana Jones onscreen, you actually have to DO the things he does.

For example, in the opening scene (Sudan, 1939 - the Germans wore grey, you wore blue) Indiana Jones goes up against five Nazi stormtroopers armed with nothing but his fists - and YOU have to punch your way through them.

Crack that whip! In real life, I'd have tangled it round my throat by now...

You thrust the left controller for a left jab. Swing the right one for a mean right hook. Jerk up the left controller again and POW! An uppercut that leaves the Germans seeing stars.

Staff of Kings has a control style that's simultaneously simple, yet complex. It's utterly intuitive.

Within minutes, I was ducking punches, using my whip to sweep Stormtroopers off their feet and thrusting Nazis head-first into brick walls. It took my about ten attempts to polish off the gang of Germans - and by the time I was finished, I was literally dripping in sweat.

With the Wii, you can use your whip, fists, objects and furniture to pummel your foes

There is simply nothing else like it.

The whole appeal of video games is the chance to do exciting, dangerous things you can't do in real life - but I've always found the format kind of flat. I love Grand Theft Auto, for example, but I always thought it kind of ironic that your on-screen avatar ran miles across a busy city while you say on your sofa eating Cheese Puffs.

Staff of Kings, on the other hand, manages to actually let you 'do' what Indy does. It's incredibly visceral to actually throw punches, crack the whip and work up a sweat dodging bad guys. Perhaps I'm biased, having never played on a Wii before, but as far as I was concerned, it was one of the most rewarding gaming experiences I've ever enjoyed.

Yes! Yes it does!

Compared to Playstation 3, the graphics of the Wii (and accordingly, Staff of Kings) are pretty primitive. Likewise, the story is resolutely linear, unlike city-wide 'sandboxes' like the infamous Grand Theft Auto. But despite that, Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings offers something no so-called 'more sophisticated' game can equal.

Last night, I got to beat up Nazis, swing across ravines, explore ancients tombs and rescue a beautiful (digital) girl and I have the sore arms to prove it. There's simply nothing more satisfying than that.

Except for perhaps doing it in real life - and if this candid picture is anything to go by, that's something I've been aspiring to for years now.

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings
is available from Wal-Mart, Amazon and Blockbuster for $19.99.


Occasional Professor Tom said...

Do you have the MotionPlus yet?

I don't mind the graphics on the WII, but I always thought the control schemes left a lot to be desired. Coming from the PS2 with 14 or so buttons and 2 analog sticks, the WII always feels a bit hard to control by me.

I wasn't a huge fan of the gesture controls, as they weren't terribly responsive. You'd have to do big swings to get it to acknowlege what's going on, rather than a simple button press.

The MotionPlus (bundled with Wii Sports Resort) fixes that, as the additional hardware makes it possible for the guy on the screen to totally mimic you, at least for games that support it.

Occasional Professor Tom said...

While Roland wishes to become Indiana Jones, President Obama wishes to be part of a different Lucasfilm franchise.

Joanna Cake said...

LMAO, I assume this means there will be less blogposts than normal from now on! You'll be far too busy :)

Meghan said...

Not a fan of the videogames but think you're giving Harrison Ford a run for his money with those pics!