The quintessential adventure film saga has produced great games. And these are some of the best. “You call this archeology ?!”, Henry Jones senior
Although it is the most criticized of the 4 -and with good reason Mister Lucas, the one about the monkeys …-, in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull there is a scene in its prodigious beginning that continues to be the quintessence of the character: some soldiers take out someone from a car, they throw a hat on the ground, they throw a man too, who gets up, takes the Fedora and, reflected in the shadow, the most iconic silhouette that exists in adventure cinema appears, while John Williams only needs a minimal orchestration of the musical theme to put a smile on our lips.
The whip, the Fedora, the Adventure
It is Indiana Jones, who, although he entered the Adventure genre in the 80s, picking up the baton from others such as the Stewart Granger from The Mines of King Solomon, forever became the paradigm of adventurers: exotic scenarios, X’s that mark always the place, the divine / messianic supernatural touch of the relics of Christianity, the pure evil of the Indian divinities, or the Sci Fi touch of the ancient aliens.
This week, Bethesda gave us a brutal blowjob with a teaser for a new Indiana Jones game, so cold. A renowned publisher, with a signature Triple Aces development studio such as the recent Wolfenstein, and all under the new Lucasfilm Games label. The powerful commercial machinery is put into operation now that Indiana Jones 5, Harrison Ford’s farewell, is a year and a half away from being released – July 2022 and not Spielberg, but James Mangold, author of excellent films like the remake of The Train 3:10 to Yuma or Logan, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Goodbye.
The Indiana Jones of Bethesda
In this new game, whose teaser has opted to play the visual icons -the Fedora, the whip-, Indy starts his adventure in the Vatican, so the McGuffin of the plot may be the Spear of Longinus -for many years the basis of the Indy 5 script. Be that as it may, a game for the new consoles and with a good budget behind us has already fallen in love with many of us around here. In fact, it will be the character’s first game in many years since the failed PS3 – 360 project that looked so good.
And since the Atari 2600 Indy games there have been, not many, but a few. And among them a handful with some that can boast of being a masterpiece of its kind – and it just so happens that the signer of this began to replay it a day before the announcement of the Bethesda game. Are you coming to review a Top 6 with what we consider the best of the Indiana Jones games?
Indiana Jones Greatest Adventures
Super Nintendo – 1994
Although when it came out, the adventurer saga had already a dozen video games since the Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1982 for the Atari 2600, all based on his three films and the Young Indiana Jones series, truly this Super Nintendo title became the second best IP based game to date. Because Indiana Jones’s Greatest Adventures for Super Nintendo set the bar for Indy’s adventures in the stratosphere.
In the golden age of the 4th Generation, and just the same year as Super Return of the Jedi, the Super Nes received the other great Lucasfilm license. An exclusive JVC bet for the brain of the Beast that followed the same steps of the sacred Super Star Wars trilogy -Top 3 of the best Star Wars games without a doubt-, although putting all three films in a single cartridge and not matching per film.
In fact, in a funny wink, the character had a rolling motion on the ground making the ‘croquette’, exactly the same way of rolling that Han Solo’s character had in JVC and Sculptured Software’s Super Star Wars – the other characters were sliding straight.
Crafted by the long-awaited wizards of Factor 5, Greatest Adventures was the demonstration of the quality that could be achieved by adapting a license well. The game, true to the canons of the time, was a 2D platformer with combat, shooting and lots of jumps. But it also had elements of puzzles – the labyrinth in the Temple of Doom level – and even vehicle phases, such as the descent of the mountain by boat to the beginning of the Doomed Temple, or the part of the plane behind the airship in The Last Crusade, all solved with the portentous Super Nes Mode-7 as well as the vehicle phases of the Super Star Wars trilogy. And of course: the swinging with the whip, which was a joyous fanservice.
Difficult, quite difficult at the time, today it is directly
screwed up as to the amount of things that appear on stage and take your life, killing the bar in a jiffy. In fact there are frustrating parts, hitting with the punch requires perfect ‘timing’, and the password system was appreciated, but it was also the time when we were given at most 2-3 games a year, so it was built to last.
He took some leave or other – the fight with the skeleton of Marcus Donovan – but his best asset was his incredible fidelity to the films. That and the ‘cutscenes’ that digitized -to the resolution of the time- key moments of the films. A game that some / as was very engraved at the time.