Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings

  • Couch Co-Op: 2 Players
  • + Co-Op Modes
Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings Co-Op Review
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Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings Co-Op Review

Staff of Kings' highest value comes in the form of its sound design. The soundtrack is appropriate and dynamic, the voice actors are pretty much spot-on, and the sound of Indy's meaty fist smacking into a bad guy's jaw is satisfying. Close behind the sound department comes art: while the characters themselves leave much to be desired (mostly due to close-ups and lip syncing required in cutscenes), the backdrops and set pieces are quite detailed and stylish. Areas can be pretty cramped and very linear, but personally I see this as a good thing for this game; Staff of Kings was not meant to be a crawling epic...just a fun romp.

I will say this for Artificial Mind and Movement (A2M), the studio that developed Staff of Kings: they sure know how to find creative ways to use the motion controls! You'll use your Wiimote as a flightstick while navigating canyons; you'll swipe off a swarm of spiders, drive a tank, shoot your way through a burning warehouse, and more. The trademark bullwhip is always handy, as are Indy's naildriver knuckles. Combat is intuitive and fairly complex, and reminded me of a dirty street brawling version of Fight Night's various punch styles and counter-attacks...unfortunately, you tend to get ganged up on, and usually the results of your wild swinging leave you wide open. The best way to endure a one-on-four fight is to find ways to use the environment against your adversaries; this can be pulling furniture down on top of them, grabbing a nearby shovel with which to bludgeon them, or even yanking out scaffold that they are perched upon. Most of these functions work pretty well, thanks partly to the control design, and thanks mostly to slow AI enemies.

As usual, the whip is more than just a gimmick.

Unlike the near-obscene length of the PSP version of Staff of Kings, the Wii version lasts only six segments, each of which is spaced by cutscenes that mark save points. Even with the cutscenes, each chapter doesn't last but about 30-40 minutes. Offsetting this is the co-op mode, in which you and a partner can strap on the Wiimote and nunchuk attachment and work through Indy's adventure with a special playable character: Henry Jones, Sr.