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Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade Retro Review (Sega Master System)

But it’s not your last crusade Indy is it?

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As well splashing “INDY” in giant letters above the real title, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade for the Sega Master System is actually subtitled “The Action Game” too. This is because U.S. Gold and Lucasfilm also released a point and click adventure (in the vein of other Lucasarts titles such as Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion) based on the same movie as an alternative for home computer owners. It does seem very strange to have carried this title over to the consoles, being that for owners of those machines there was no alternative but there it is. The real question is though is it any good, is a more a case of finding the Lost Ark or being sent to the Temple of Doom? I guess we better don our hat, crack that whip and go find out!

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In Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade your task is to take control of Harrison Ford’s popular on-screen action hero and try to find the legendary Holy Grail. Before this can be done though you must also find the Cross Of Coronado, the Knight of the First Crusade’s Shield and your father’s (A.K.A. Sean Connery) diary that contains clues to the whereabouts of the grail. This all makes for a six level arcade-style adventure that combines climbing, exploration and puzzles in equal measure. Each stage of the game loosely follows a section of the blockbuster movie with you starting off in the mines, then throwing you onto the top of a moving train, followed by the ruins of a temple and then aboard the Nazi airship. The final scene (as they are called here) is location of the Grail itself. Our hero Indy is armed with his trusty whip to fight off the many foes and can also get involved in hand-to-hand combat with his adversaries too. This is all pretty standard stuff and about what you would expect really from this type of game. The changes in location are nice but the actual gameplay changes very little between them.

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Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade was very successful on every system it was released for and there were loads of them, it even came out for stuff like the Japanese MSX computer. I can only assume that this is because of the cost of license attached to it and US Gold wanting to recoup their funds, because in all honesty the actual game isn’t very good. I actually bought the ZX Spectrum version of this as a kid and was so disappointed by it that I actually took it back and swapped it for something else! Playing it as an adult does teach me that it wasn’t quite as bad as I remember it but still far from great. Graphically and sonically Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade is actually very good, so no problems there thankfully. It’s just that the gameplay is just very dull, very annoying and pretty repetitive. It’s nothing more than a frustrating look and find platform adventure with little or no originality and some unfair deaths. Don’t be tempted to buy this on the Indiana Jones name alone as, in summarisation, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade is a real duffer!

Final Verdict: 2/5

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Available on: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, PC, Sega Master Syetem ; Publisher: U.S. Gold ; Developer: Lucasfilm Games ; Players: 1 ; Released: 1990 ; ESRB: N/A ; MSRP: N/A

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