Thursday, 30 April 2009

The iconic hero Indiana Jones makes a return to video games as he tries to track down religious artefact the Staff Of Kings in LucasArts and Activision Blizzard’s upcoming adventure title…

Dr Henry Jones Jr. has had a surprisingly erratic history with video games. Despite arguably being a key source of inspiration for the likes of Tomb Raider and Uncharted, Indiana has yet to see releases as regular as more contemporary heroes, such as James Bond and Harry Potter.

However, the archaeologist’s return to the silver screen in last year’s Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull has renewed the public’s interest in his adventures, prompting the release of Lego: Indiana Jones, a family-orientated romp through the first three films. The game was so successful it managed to knock GTA IV, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Wii Fit from the top spot in the UK charts – proving that demand for Indiana’s whip-cracking antics is high.

Responding to such demand, Activision Blizzard is readying an all-new adventure for everyone’s favourite Fedora-wearing professor, in the form of Indiana Jones And The Staff Of Kings. Set a year after The Last Crusade, this title brings classic Indy escapades to console and handheld owners everywhere.

“Indiana Jones has a loyal fanbase and we’re excited to bring a whole new story to these fans,” says Activision’s senior brand manager Aruna Sinha. “The Nintendo Wii and Indiana Jones’ whip is a natural fit, so we expect players to instantly jump in and feel like Indy for the first time.

“Indiana Jones And The Staff Of Kings is also a great game for parents to play along with their kids, opening up the franchise to a whole new audience and introducing Indy to the younger generation.”

Set in 1939, Staff Of Kings pits Indiana Jones against his latest nemesis Magnus Völler – not to mention the Nazis – as he races around the world to secure a biblical relic before it falls into the wrong hands: the Staff of Moses.

Indy’s journey for the Red Sea-splitter will take him to a variety of exotic locales, from San Fransisco’s Chinatown and the jungles of Panama to the Himalayan mountains and the Egyptian desert. There, players will explore crumbling temples, military encampments and gangster bars in search of the next clue to the Staff’s location.

The emphasis has been placed on the Wii version, which showcases a range of gesture-based controls designed to make the player truly feel like Indiana Jones. Whether throwing punches with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in a bar room brawl, or whipping the Remote forward to swing over a chasm, gamers will be able to do everything Indy can.

“Players will face signature run-for-your-life moments, like a daring escape from a collapsing temple, flying a biplane in a canyon trench, taking the reigns of a wild elephant and navigating a raft down a raging river, all by matching fast-paced onscreen gesture prompts,” says Sinha

The handheld versions have also been optimised for their respective formats. The DS version will see players using the stylus as their whip to swing over pits, while the PSP edition offers its own exclusive take on the new adventure.


Since Lego: Indiana Jones thrived on being family orientated, LucasArts has made Staff Of Kings more than just a solitary experience. A full co-operative mode is present, allowing friends or children with parents to work their way through an entirely new quest, with the second player filling the shoes of a familiar character yet to be playable in an Indy game.

Progressing through the single-player adventure also unlocks a four-player versus mode, in which friends can battle it out in biplanes and tanks, bringing good old-fashioned deathmatches to the Indiana Jones franchise for the first time.

Perhaps the most enticing unlockable extra is Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis. Widely considered to be the best Indiana Jones game of all time, this classic title not only adds yet more value for money to Staff Of Kings, it will also boost the game’s appeal to older Indy fans.

Given the pedigree of the licence and the wealth of enticing content, Activision is confident that Staff Of Kings will be successful at retail.

Not only are the loyal Indy fans longing for a brand new adventure, LucasArts’ focus on opening the game to family audiences means that this title could follow the success of Lego: Indiana Jones.

“Our trade partners are providing some good feedback on this title and as a result we’re building some exciting plans to support the launch,” says Sinha.

“We believe this will be a successful launch for both us and our partners.”


Activision has prepared a three-pronged marketing campaign to promote the game’s arrival and reignite the public love for Indy that saw a boost with last year’s cinematic release.

- A six-month PR campaign has been targeted to cover the main Nintendo and multi-format publications. Ads will also appear in key lifestyle magazines.

- For online marketing, the publisher has targeted big brand environments, with homepage takeovers arranged for leading men’s lifestyles, film sites and broader gaming and entertainment sites.

- A strong three-week TV launch campaign will be run on satellite and terrestrial channels, targeted at a core gaming audience and children.

Release Date May 12th 2009
Format Wii, DS, PS2, PSP
Publisher LucasArts
Developer A2M/Amaze
Distributor Activision Blizzard
Price £29.99-£39.99
Contact 020 3060 1000

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Came across this news report on the Star Wars Musical Journey at the O2 Arena and the various film props that were on show

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Here are some clips from the actual show in London. The show looked amazing. I got goose bumps! I will say that there are some subtle differences in the original John Williams composition and this one.


Vader's Theme

Duel Of The Fates

Across The Stars

Imperial March

Luke's Theme and Cantina Band


Its not unreasonable to say that John Williams is a musical genius.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

A regular feature on The Bearded Trio will feature some of John Willams greatest music.

Lets start with a track from Jaws 2
The Catamaran Race
A fantastic piece of music that starts with excitement and is very uplifting. One of my favourites from Jaws 2.

A rare soundtrack but you can purchase it from Amazon and the Catamaran Race is track 6. I actually think the soundtrack for Jaws 2 is in many ways better that than the first one. Where the first one has a lot of mood this soundtrack has a good mixture of mood, suspense, action and uplifting music. Unlike the first Jaws soundtrack each track sounds different. My only gripe is the soundtrack is so rare now that its not widely available.

1. Finding the "Orca" (Main Title)
2. Menu
3. Ballet for Divers
4. Water Kite Sequence
5. Brody Misunderstood
6. Catamaran Race (click to listen)
7. Toward Cable Junction
8. Attack on the Helicopter
9. Open Sea Listen
10. Fire Aboard and Eddie's Death
11. Sean's Rescue
12. Attack on the Water Skier
13. Big Jolt!
14. End Title, End Cast

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Just received my Empire Magazinge. This month they celebrate 20 years. Their guest editor is none other than Steven Spielberg! I can tell you the magazine is definetly worth purchasing.

Steven Spielbergs Guest Editor-In-Chief's Letter

Dear Empire reader,

When Empire magazine first approached me to become Guest Editor-In-Chief of their 20th birthday issue, I immediately said, "Show me the money!" When they explained to me that it was going to be a labor of love, I realized that I had been an ardent admirer and avid reader of Empire magazine for the past 20 years. I said yes.

What you hold in your hands is the product of seven months of meetings, phone calls and emails with the Empire team. My role has included suggesting and selecting feature ideas (I’ve even picked this month’s spine line), approving layouts, choosing photographs and signing off finished proofs. All in all, the experience has been unprecedented and rewarding.

While moonlighting as Empire Editor-In-Chief, my day job was directing The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn. Just as I have never edited a magazine before, Tintin marks the first time I have ventured into the brave new world of motion-capture 3-D. Having just wrapped principal photography, I can honestly say I have found motion-capture to be liberating, daunting and breathtaking. I was blessed to have such a patient, talented mentor as Peter Jackson in my corner as co-producer and creative partner. While the fruits of our labor won’t reach the screen until 2011, I am proud to give you the world’s first look at Tintin today. You might just recognize the two newbie actors dressed up as Thomson and Thompson.

CLick here to go to Empire's website and read the rest of the letter!

Go to Empires website now for more news!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Received my Indiana Jones: The Soundtrack Collection box set on Saturday and is it worth it? Well short answer is "Yes!" Long answer is "Definitely Yes!"
Soundtrack collectors have been crying out for years for a complete soundtrack release of the Indiana Jones films and this is as close as they are going to get for some time.
It comes in a nice looking box

Each CD comes with a booklet with photos from each film, track listings and behind the scenes.

Also included is a separate booklet that has some extremely nice photos from all the movies and an introduction from Laurent Bouzereau (Soundtrack Reissue Producer.) He also hosts the interviews with John Williams, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg on the fifth extras disc.

For those who already have the soundtrack on CD and are thinking of getting this box set then just a word of warning. You may want to hold on to your original as this version of Raiders Of The Lost Ark does not have the full version of "The Desert Chase." Also the track "The Well of the Souls" has additional material on the fifth disc but is missing about 30 seconds from the LP original version. However, this is a fantastic soundtrack release and I cannot recommend it enough. The fifteen minute interviews with John Williams, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are excellent and informative. I can see this box set being a sort after item in years to come.
If you are in the UK, Amazon have this on offer for £17.99. A real bargain.

Well I just finished reading Rogue Leaders: The Story of Lucasarts. The book looks amazing with a holographic moving front cover that changes between all the great lucasarts characters such as Guybrush Threepwood, Vader, Evil Tentacle, Lego Indiana Jones. It oozes quality from the outside and I couldn't wait to start reading about the greats such as Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle.

Although a thorough book I couldn't help think that it was being thorough in all the wrong places. Not enough was mentioned about the greats. Monkey Island two gets no more than three pages dedicated to its 256 colourful pages. Never the less its worth the buy and will keep you entertained throughout.

From the point and click days to Star Wars licenced overload. From the book you will learn how Lucasarts admitted they were churning out too much mediocre games and have aimed to go back to basics. It will also make you realise how Lucasarts is now not a patch on its greatness of the 80s and 90s. A good read that will keep you enthralled throughout, just a little disappointed on the attention given to some of the classics. Never the less a worthy addition to your collection.

This is must CD if you can get your hands on it. It has some fantastic soundtracks including some rare ones such as The Young Indiana Jones title and the complete previously unreleased eighteen minute Goonies suite from Dave Grusin. This eighteen minute rendition is worth the asking price alone and is one of the only places you can get this suite.

It boasts impresssive artwork on the cover which would make a great poster. It comes on two cds and tracks are performed by The City Of Prague Philharmonic and The Budapest Studio Orchestra. A great addition to a soundtrack collectors collection. Only problem is that it is quite a rare CD. Going for about $70 on amazon and about $40 on ebay.
Also see my review of the Indiana Jones Soundtrack Collection
Track listing

Disc/Cassette 1

1. Cliffhanger: Main Title (03:33)
Trevor Jones
2. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Main Title (01:35)
Laurence Rosenthal
3. Jaws: Suite (06:47)
John Williams
4. Camel Advertisement: Search For The Golden Warrior (01:40)
John Scott
5. Last Of The Mohicans: Main Title Theme (02:46)
Trevor Jones
6. Flight Of The Intruder: Finale Scene (Intruder March) (02:07)
Basil Poledouris
7. Rambo II: Main Theme (02:34)
Jerry Goldsmith
8. King Solomon's Mines: No Diamonds (04:10)
Jerry Goldsmith
9. Marco Polo: Main Theme (02:34)
Ennio Morricone
10. Empire Of The Sun: Jim's Activities (02:47)
John Williams
11. The Duellist: Main Theme (05:05)
Howard Blake
12. Farewell To The King: Main Title (01:53)
Basil Poledouris
13. The Mission: On Earth As It Is In Heaven (03:48)
Ennio Morricone
14. The Goonies: Suite (18:44)
Dave Grusin
15. The Power And The Glory: Suite (06:27)
Laurence Rosenthal
16. Casulties Of War: Elegy For Brown (03:45)
Ennio Morricone
17. 1942 - Conquest Of Paradise: Main Theme (04:49)

Disc/Cassette 2

1. Jurassic Park: Main Theme (03:27)
John Williams
2. Camel Advertisement: Phantom Of The Sun (01:55)
John Scott
3. Jaws - The Revenge: Suite (11:03)
Michael Small, John Williams
4. Highroad To China: Main Theme (02:42)
John Barry
5. Shoot To Kill: Suite (06:32)
John Scott
6. Riddle Of The Sands: Main Title (04:28)
Howard Blake
7. Remo: Suite (07:50)
Craig Safan
8. Raiders Of The Lost Ark: Raiders' March (05:12)
John Williams
9. Bear Island: Main Title (03:41)
Robert Farnon
10. Savage Island: End Credits (04:59)
Trevor Jones
11. Arachnophobia: End Credits (04:53)
Trevor Jones
12. Fandango: Go On! (04:50)
Alan Silvestri
13. Fandango: If You Don't Come With Me (05:17)
Alan Silvestri
14. Fandango: Water Skiing (02:51)
Alan Silvestri
15. Fandango: Good-Bye Friend (02:22)
Alan Silvestri
16. Fandango: Out You Go (02:27)
Alan Silvestri

Total Duration: 02:29:33

Here is a sample of the Goonies suite. obviously not as good as the full eighteen minute suite.

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