One of the greatest movie series of all time has got to be the Indiana
Jones series. Harrison Ford was perfect as Indy, and searching for ancient
artifacts while fighting off Nazis and Thugees makes for some excellent
adventures. Lucasarts did their best to capture the spirit of the Indy
movies in a game, and they came really close.
Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures takes you through all three Indy movies
- Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Many of the heroes and villians from
the films appear in the game - Marion, Toht, the Cairo Swordsman and Belloq
from Raiders; Mola Ram from Temple, and Dr. Henry Jones, Colonel Vogel and
Walter Donovan (well, his skeleton, anyway) from Crusade.
Most of the major scenes from the movies are in the game - the giant
boulder, the shootout with the Cairo Swordsman (duplicated perfectly - one
shot takes him down!), the raft ride down the mountain, the opening of the
lost Ark, the mine cart chase, the fight on the tank and so on. The enemies
are appropriate for each scene (Nazis at the Tanis Digs, Thugees in the
Temple of Doom, and so on).
You go right through all three movies during the course of the game,
starting in Raiders, moving through Temple and finally ending in Crusade.
Every time you complete a set of levels, you get a password (for instance,
complete both Nepal stages to get the password to start in Cairo). You have
ten continues to finish the game with.
Of course, where would Indy be without his weapons? He starts out with only
his fists, but his whip and Webley revolver are close at hand - once you
find them (which isn't too hard). You can also find grenades to use, which
take out everything on the screen and do heavy damage to the bosses. You
find items and weapons in various icons scattered throughout the game (clay
pots, crosses and so on). Once you die, you must find your weapons again
(you always start with one grenade).
IJGA is played from two perspectives - sidescrolling and 3-D. Most of the
game takes place in sidescrolling form, but three stages are in 3-D (thanks
to Mode 7): the raft ride down the mountain and the mine car chase from
Temple, and the biplane fight from Crusade. These stages are short, but
they're a nice change from the sidescrolling boards. Of course, you must do
different things in each one: avoid obstacles on the raft, shoot Thugees
and switches in the mine cars, and shoot down ME - 109 fighters in the
biplane (which seems kind of absurd - one little biplane versus twenty
fighters?). The sidescrolling scenes can be on the tough side, due to the
amount of enemies that attack, but they aren't impossible.
Graphically, the game is beautiful. Indy looks just like Harrison Ford, and
everything else looks like it was pulled right off of the silver screen.
The cinema displays in particular are astounding - they're still shots from
the movies. IJGA uses the game engine from the Super Star Wars series,
which is very good - however, just like the Super Star Wars series, control
brings IJGA down a little. Indy moves well for the most part, but he has to
stop to jump or punch or use his whip. This can leave him wide open for
some cheap hits. The music is kind a letdown - they use a few themes from
Raiders, and they repeat them throughout the game. There could have been
some more variety (I would have loved to hear "Slave Children's Crusade"
from Temple). The sound is good - a few of the stages have wind effects,
and the music and sound is done in Dolby Surround (the wind sounds KILLER
cranked through a stereo). Plus there are some great voice clips (a GREAT
shot of Sean Connery at the Game Over screen is accompanied by a voice clip
- "I've lost him.")
A few of the scenes from the movies were cut, but it doesn't affect the
game (Indy purists, like myself, would have liked to see them, but. . .). A
still shot of the Map Room from Raiders would have been nice (particularly
the shot where the sun hits the Headpiece of the Staff of Ra and the beam
strikes the Map), and Short Round and Willie Scott (from Temple) were
completely cut out of the game, as was the Young Indy segment from Crusade.
The Nazi Flying Wing scene and truck chase from Raiders were also cut.
Overall, Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures is a great game. If you enjoyed
the Indy movies or liked the Super Star Wars series then by all means,
check it out. After all, how often do you get to wear the hat of the
greatest adventure hero of all time?