Video Game Review

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  • Platform: Playstation 2
  • ESRB: Teen
  • Players: 1
  • Genre: Action
  • Publisher: Publisher
  • Developer: Melbourne House
  • Suggested Retail: $49.99
  • Graphics: A-
  • Sound: B
  • Gameplay: A
  • Replay: B+
  • Fun Factor: A
  • Reviewer’s Wild Card: A+


This game is more than meets the eye

By Troy Roberts     June 09, 2004

© Atari Games

While it has taken nearly 20 years, gamers and fans of the series alike have finally been blessed with a game based on the popular TRANSFORMERS series. True, it may not be of the series that most 20-something year olds recognize, but it is a TRANSFORMERS game nonetheless. Thankfully, this series isn't based on the crummy BEAST WARS series from a few years back, but instead on the newest incarnation of the series, ARMADA (or ENERGON...or whatever). While some fans may not recognize a lot of the old favorites, the ability to transform at the push of the button will likely draw many people in.

The storyline for TRANSFORMERS can pretty much be summed up in the way every incarnation of it can be: it's the Autobots versus the Decepticons. Sure, they make look a little different (why they refuse to make Megatron a gun once again is beyond me), but the core characters are still around. Basically, the warring factions both discover that this secret race of Transformer, the Mini-Cons, is on Earth after vanishing a million years before. Since these miniature things are considered to be very strong, whoever controls the Mini-Cons controls the galaxy, so both sides rush to recover them.

Basically, TRANSFORMERS is a third-person action shooter. There are three different Autobots to select from: Optimus Prime (obviously), Hot Shot and Red Alert. Of course, Prime is the most well-balanced of the three and most gamers will probably take him for a spin before the other two. For the most part, you'll just run around every level laying waste to every Decepticlone that you encounter along the way. And no, that wasn't a type, and I did say "Decepticlone". Decepticlones are basically mindless drones that fill up a lot of space in the game, considering there are only like 10 Decepticons in the new series anyway. The game would be fairly simple without all of these troops. The Decepticons themselves are normally boss battles, and one in particular is fairly memorable. Tidal Wave is one guy you won't forget anytime soon, who transforms from a battleship. Oh yeah, and for fans of the old series, Unicron is back.

The Mini-Cons


play a fairly important part in the game as well. Each Mini-Con that you find gives your Autobot different powers, and each can be equipped on the shoulder buttons on your controller. One will give you rockets to fire, and if you combine a certain type together, it will give you health boosts and other helpful items.

Oh yeah, you can transform at will as well. By pressing the triangle button, you can go from robot mode to vehicle mode in the blink of an eye. While at first this may be just a novelty that gets you from point A to point B a little quicker, you soon realize that you can do a few things in car mode, jumping gaps or just running over your enemies instead of shooting them.

Graphically, TRANSFORMERS looks pretty nice, with the characters modeled pretty closely to their television and toy counterparts. The framerate holds up pretty admirably most of the time, although you will get a bit of a slowdown with a lot of enemies onscreen. On the sound side of things, the music is nowhere near as good as what was in the original series (or the movie in particular, the soundtrack to which I own) and the voice-acting can't really compare either.

Overall, TRANSFORMERS is a game that fans of the series have waited on for years now. Whether or not you enjoy the new series, it doesn't really matter; fans of TRANSFORMERS will love this.


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