Monday, August 4, 2008

Reveiw: Transformers: Autobots for Nintendo DS

REVIEW: Transformers: Autobots
by: TriPredRavage

Transformers: Autobots for the Nintendo DS starts you off as an unnamed Autobot recruit who lands on Earth to assist Bumblebee. You begin with very basic capabilities, but through a leveling process, you obtain new skills to help you wage the war against the evil Decepticons.

Utilizing the scan ability, you obtain different vehicle forms from the surrounding areas and take to the streets. You can even customize your color and detailing to a degree, making your personal Transformer really feel your own.

The game follows the basic plot of the movie with the exception of the human characters, which have been replaced by your 5-letter-named Autobot.

As the story begins, you rendezvous with Bumblebee who teaches you the finer points of combat. You quickly move on to 'Tranquility' and begin to encounter serious Decepticons, such as Barricade. After this point, you again move onto another area where you meet Ironhide and scan your first aerial vehicle. Thus is how the game progresses, sending you to new areas, giving you new forms to scan, and more movie Decepticons to fight.

Each Autobot has their own unique feel and abilities; while some are fast, others are strong, but you don't truly come to appreciate each character until you reach later portions of the game where you can play the movie Autobots more regularly. By this point, however, you may have become so comfortable with your custom Autobot that the movie Autobots may feel as though they are holding you back.

In the end, your custom Autobot comes to be known as a hero amongst the Autobots whose name is always remembered (but never said). Once the game is finished, you then have freeplay where you can replay missions and freely play as any of the six Aubots present in the game. There is still plenty to see and do, considering that finishing the story mode only completes about 65% of the actual game.

While the graphics are nowhere near par to the household systems, they stand up very well to what the DS has to offer. Each character is clearly who they are meant to be, and they represent their big-screen selves nicely. The game's weakest point is in the leveling system because the only way to gain experience is through missions, replaying missions, and random Decepticon encounters that are all too infrequent. The voice acting in the game is top-notch offering familiar voices such as Steve Blum, Keith David, and G1 reprisals by Peter Cullen and Frank Welker who return to their familiar selves.

The game even has an online mode where you can play daily uploaded missions in attempt to obtain points that further unlock more content. When 2500 points are obtained, or if you managed to take your game to a download station while available, a new vehicle is unlocked: Skydive. Skydive has the best stats of all available vehicles in the Autobots game and makes short work of several missions throughout the story mode.

What is probably most interesting about the game is its story involvement. The characters are all rather well developed and have distinct personalities; even the Decepticons who you only encounter briefly before engaging them in combat. All-in-all, the game does well to translate the movie and provides a fulfilling experience.

Special Note: if you really want to feel the part, you can always take your five available letters and name your recruit something like “Prowl”, “Hound”, or “Swoop” and get your transformation on!

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