Transformers Review

Developer: Melbourne House Publisher: Atari
Release Date: May 11, 2004 Also On: None

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Transformers brand. Transformer toys have sold over $3 billion since its debut, making it one of the top selling toy brands on the market. To mark the extended stay in the market, Atari has released a video game based on the popular mech franchise.

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Transformers puts you in the shoes of three robots: Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, and Red Alert. Your Transformer can be upgraded when a Mini-Con is retrieved. Mini-Cons have the ability to give your characters gliding wings and other power-ups.

Transformers has three difficulty settings. At any given time, you will control a single Autobot. They can be controlled with the left analog stick and the camera is moved with the right analog stick. Shooting and melee attacks are done with R1, while jumping is done with L1. Reconnaissance of an area can be done with circle. This zooms the view into a first-person view. Further zoom-ins are available by clicking R3.

The game takes place in a 3rd person perspective, with optional 1st person targeting (recon mode). The health bar is located at the bottom left hand of the screen, while weapons are displayed on the upper left and right hands of the screen. Your weapons’ ammo depletes and is slowly restored.

It is possible to get lost in this game. No map is provided, so follow on-screen directions and paths and you should be alright. Levels are indeed quite large and open, but the objectives must be addressed in order, so the game is more linear than it first appears.

The Transformers name would be a gimmick had it not been for the vehicle mode. With the press of one button (triangle), you switch from your walking mech to a driving vehicle. While in this mode, steer with the left analog stick, accelerate with R1 or X, and brake with L1 or square.

Locations in Transformers include: the Amazon, Antarctica, the Mid-Atlantic, and more. There are actually two Amazon levels, one of which has more of the jungle and the second which will take place partly inside of a ruined temple. The Mid-Atlantic level will take place on an atoll and an off-shore base. Overall, I was impressed with the level design and variety.

Transformers is one of the few mech games that I like. I’m not sure if this is the PS2 answer to Mech-Assault (which I didn’t particularly care for), but it is hopefully the first in a line of future mech games from Atari. The game’s length and lack of multi-player game modes can only award it with a rental.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 4
Final: 7.1
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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