Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings
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|Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings|
|Developer(s)||Artificial Mind and Movement, Amaze (PSP)|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, multiplayer cooperative|
|Distribution||DVD, UMD, Nintendo DS Game Card|
Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings is a historical fantasy video game published by LucasArts for the Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable. The game is the third in the series of original 3D Indiana Jones games, preceded by Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, and Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine. The Wii version also includes Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis video game as an unlockable.
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The Wii version of the game includes an exclusive co-op story mode (with Indy and Henry Jones Sr.) and unlockable version of the classic point and click adventure Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (also set in 1939). On the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions Big Head mode, Henry Jones Sr., Tuxedo Indy, and Han Solo are unlockable.
The story begins with Indiana Jones hunting for an ancient ram's head idol in Sudan in 1939. Indy traverses a canyon and enters the temple of the idol. After a few narrow escapes, including a swarm of spiders and collapsing statues, Indy finds the idol and is about to exit, when he encounters a group of Nazis. Indy is confronted by their leader, Magnus Voller, and a Nazi aide bearing a pistol. Indy is forced to give up the Idol, but makes an escape when he distracts Voller. Indy then makes his way outside, and fights off some Nazi soldiers. He gets in a truck and chases after a plane that is taking off down the runway. After catching up to the plane, he disposes of the pilot and takes off. He is briefly pursued by some Nazi fighters, but escapes and heads back to the United States.
Back in America, Indiana receives a letter from an old friend, Archie Tan. He explains that he has information about the disappearance of Indy's former college professor, Charles Kingston. Indy heads to San Francisco to talk to Archie, only to find that he and his granddaughter Suzie have been kidnapped. Indy tracks down Suzie, and learns from her the location of her grandfather's office. He also learns of an ancient artifact that Archie was guarding, the Jade Sphere. Indy heads to the office and finds a secret passageway, leading to some waiting thugs. He defeats the thugs and rides a rickety chair lift down into a subterranean chamber filled with old ships. The chairlift gets hit by a thug with a pistol but Indy manages to survive the ride down. He also survives when a mast falls down. He meets more thugs down below, but dispatches them. He then finds the Jade Sphere in a pile of cannonballs. A day later, Indy is standing outside a San Francisco office, when he spots Archie across the street being held by Magnus Voller and a Nazi agent. Voller orders Indy to hand over the Sphere, lest Professor Tan die. Indy appears to throw the Sphere to Voller before he and Archie flee, but when Magnus opens the packaging he discovers it is a worthless statue. Indy and Archie are chased by cars with machine gunners inside. Indy uses his pistol to shoot out the tires or engines of the cars (in the Xbox 360 version, this is replaced by a brawl on top of the cable car), and the trolley is stopped by Archie. After Archie tells Indy about the events that transpired, Indiana decides to head for Central America, where Kingston found the Sphere years ago.
At the dock to his destination, Indy gets into a minor argument with an Irish photographer named Maggie O'Mally, who decides to escort him on the way there. However, their campsite and the surrounding forest are attacked by native mercenaries in Magnus's employment. Indy manages to fend off the attackers. He saves a village of Indians in the Wii and PS2 version, who give him the key to a pyramid. Indy travels through the ruined pyramid, which is based on the Mayan underworld, which leads to a diary of Kingston's revealing details of the Staff of Kings, the artifact that Moses used to part the Red Sea. After obtaining further clues on the staff's location in Istanbul, Indy locates Kingston in Nepal. Unfortunately, the Nazis have followed Indiana to the Staff's resting place and kidnap Kingston and Maggie(who is actually an MI6 agent). Indy then sneaks onto the Nazis' zeppelin, the Odin, and rescues Maggie, but is unable to prevent Magnus from fatally shooting Kingston and using the Staff to clear a path through the Red Sea. In response, Indy and Maggie chase Magnus on a motorcycle with a sidecar and defeat him with a rocket launcher. Magnus then attempts to escape, but Indy sucker-punches him into the wall of water. Upon reaching dry land, the staff unleashes a blast that causes the water to sink the zeppelin. It then turns into a snake, and Indy laments "Ugh.. It can take care of itself...".
The game was announced in 2005 for release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. During E3 2006, LucasArts heavily promoted the game by citing its use of the new simulation technology developed by NaturalMotion called Euphoria, which generates "on-the-fly" animations for 3D characters thus eliminating the need for canned animations and preventing repetition of animations. At the time that game was scheduled for a release sometime in 2007, but this did not occur. Later, when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was finally green lit and entered production, many assumed that LucasArts would be timing the release of the game with the new film in the summer of 2008 (such was the case with Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures), but this did not happen either. These delays in development were caused by LucasArts prioritizing Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which uses the same technology that was originally associated with the Indiana Jones game during 2006.
A trailer released at E3 2006 showcased the games' use of the Euphoria animation engine, created by NaturalMotion. Further explanation comes from David Collins, sound designer and voice director of the project. He explains that by using Euphoria no two reactions will ever be alike, objects will have their own unique textures, and enemies will be thinking on their own.
In a July 2008 interview with DailyGame, a LucasArts representative dismissed rumours of the game's cancellation, stating that the Indiana Jones PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games were "very deep into development." The team was "working very actively" to bring the game up to form for public/media consumption, and said that "the game looks great." John Armstrong provided the voice of Indiana Jones.
GameTrailers hosts a publicity trailer for the game, featuring concept art of a train station and an African Queen-style river boat. It has also been revealed that Indy will recover many "ancient artifacts from around the globe", and the artifact central to the game's plot will become a major part of the gameplay after being recovered, also the locations will include San Francisco's Chinatown and "the most sacred ground in the world." His name being featured in the tech demo videos for the game have led some to speculate that Lao Che may be a villain, though his name is only seen he has no part in the game.
On January 23, 2009 an official trailer revealed that the game would come out in the Spring of 2009 for the Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable gaming platforms. It was eventually revealed that the original, internally developed PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions had been canceled after constant delays. The Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable versions had been concurrently developed by Artificial Mind and Movement (the exception being the PSP version, which was instead developed by Amaze Entertainment) and had not faced the same delays.
The game's story was inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark and is a collaborative effort of the design and management teams at LucasArts, with one of the writers being Peter Hirschmann. It was created a few years before the release and received some input from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
A novel, also titled Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings, was written by novelist Rob MacGregor, who has written previous Indiana Jones novels. The novel was finished several months before the game's release and was accepted for publication. The novel was going to be released as a tie in for the video game, but was never published due to miscommunication between Bantam Books and LucasFilm. As of 2013, Bantam Books does not believe there is enough public interest in publishing the novel.
Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings has received mixed to average reviews from the critics, holding a 55% average on Metacritic.
Some critics of the Wii version believed that the motion controls were not implemented well. Nintendo Power gave it a 7.5/10 praising the variety in gameplay and voice-acting. It received a 69% from NGamer, criticizing its "frequent remote-waggling quick-time events" and being "sometimes frustrating and dull". IGN gave it a 5.0/10 praising its interface, graphic effects, amount of extras, interactive levels, and varied gameplay, but criticizing its "stupidly implemented motion controls". The Onion (A.V. Club) gave it an F (a 0 on the Metacritic scale) calling the motion controls "inexcusable" and stating the game's best aspect was the inclusion of the point-and-click adventure Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, further adding it surpasses Staff of Kings in everything, but the "GameCube-like" graphics. GameSpot gave it a 3.5/10, criticizing its "terribly laid-out checkpoints", "out-of-date" visuals, and "atrocious, annoying motion controls". Game Chronicles praised the "solid" Wii controls adding "never once did the game feel gimmicky or the actions forced." and that "On any other system this game would be just another average adventure but the Wii adds so much with intuitive and responsive controls." It gave the game a score of 7.8/10.
- "Indiana Jones – Staff of Kings". Lucasarts. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
- "LucasArts.com game homepage". Retrieved 2009-03-08.
- "Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings includes unlockable Fate of Atlantis (update)". Joystiq. 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
- "LucasArts: E3 2005 Announcements". lucasarts.com. 2005-05-15. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
- "LucasArts: Indiana Jones "Very Much" In Development". dailygame.net. 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
- Wesley Yin-Poole (6 May 2009). "Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings Interview". VideoGamer.com. Pro-G Media Ltd. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- "Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings Q&A". GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc. 3 April 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- "The Lost-and-Found Novel". www.Synchrosecrets.com. April 24, 2013. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
- Bramble, Simon (2009-06-12). "Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings Review". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
- Orry, Tom (2009-06-16). "Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings Review". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- Gamechronicles review