Archive for July, 2007

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Transformers: The Game

July 3, 2007

Another movie, another video game based on the movie. We’ve all seen them, from the craptacular “Enter the Matrix” to the stellar Spiderman 2, if a buck can be made on a movie tie-in, chances are someone will do it and Transformers is no exception. Has quality been ignored in favor of shelling out the game fast enough? I don’t think so.

For starters, Peter Cullen does the voice for Optimus, so there is some justice in the world. A brief dialogue gives you the synopsis for the movie and the game: Find the Allspark! The graphics are decent enough to be worth looking at and the cutscenes are long enough and good looking to make it worthwhile, but short enough to not make it a chore to watch them.

The gameplay itself is decent. Once again you are pit in a sandbox environment that is yours for the exploring. The environment is destructable, which can make for a good time if you are feeling in a “giant rampaging robot” kind of mood. As a icon of your childhood, you have the ability to transform at will, which is a fun feature and helps you get from point to point faster. The missions naturally help progress the story with the option of the revisiting old missions. There are a few side missions that can be done for fun, but don’t offer anything in the way of plot advancement.

The nice thing about the game is that you can play as both the Autobots and Decepticons.  While the basic controls are the same, the gameplay differs slightly depending on the side you choose. The Autobots are looking to preserve the world so the game wants you to play as such, avoiding going on a rampage as your team struggles to survive and avoid the local authorities… At least you look awesome as you run away from peashooters and not destroy houses. The Decepticons revel in their violence and the game rewards you appropriately. From the very first mission you are set with the task of destroying the structures these bags of meat hide in. Explosions abound make the Decepticons my current favorites to play.

Replay value is given in the form of extras. In each level are tons of energon cubes, the side missions, tasks, and icons to find. Each one helps to unlock some extras in the bonus section, such as movie stills, comic book covers, and movies. Finding all of these help to add to the fun, but the railroading of missions helps to progress the story, but not add much replay unless you enjoy being a large, rampaging robot.

 The one big fault of the game is the camera. The Wii likes to use the pointer to show where you are looking at. You also shake the wiimote to attack,which can present a conflict of interests if you are trying to look at your enemy. You’ll find yourself going one way while the enemy goes the other. The targeting is a little shaky as well, but steady once you lock onto something. Fortunately, the minus button acts as a centering tool and plenty of life replenishment help while you adjust to the learning curve.

 All in all, Transformers: The Game is a solid movie platformer as far as that genre goes. Some of the controls take getting used to and the in-play graphics are not state of the art, but it is still a fun game to play. Some extras give it replay value, but may not draw everyone back to play through more. The ability to play both sides is a great touch and helps add to replay where the lure of extras may not. All in all, I’d give it a 7/10. There’s better stuff out there, but if you are a fan of the franchise this is a fun game to make the choice: Save the world, or awesomely blow it up.

 ~Jon  

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