Sunday, April 12, 2009

Transformers: Animated; The Game Review

REVIEW: Transformers: Animated; The Gameby: TriPredRavage
The story begins with our heroes looking for Allspark fragments throughout Sumdac Factories. They soon catch a Decepticon signal drone, through which they discover Megatron has constructed a Spacebridge with the intent of beaming to Cybertron and taking over. The Autobots then re-release the drone in order to follow it back to the Decepticons’ base where a battle ensues between the three Autobots and the big bad Megatron himself.
Megatron escapes through the Spacebridge to Cybertron and Optimus and Bulkhead follow behind him. Bumblebee doesn’t make it through, so he returns to the factory in order to retrieve more Allspark fragments. After doing so, he encounters Lockdown on the highway in which a bumper-battle ensues. Prowl takes over and takes Lockdown out of commission. Bumblebee passes through the Spacebridge and joins back with Prime and Bulkhead on Cybertron. Here the Autobots pursue Megatron into the final confrontation. The Autobots then return back to Earth and enjoy some R&R.
Transformers: Animated; The Game for the Nintendo DS let’s you play as four of the original five Autobots from the television series. Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Bulkhead are the three main characters in this game as you trounce through one of the Sumdac factories in search of Allspark fragments, all the while smashing out‑of‑control factory bots. Prowl is playable twice, both times are in highway gameplay.
Each character has their own specific abilities and attributes. Bumblebee is fast and agile, so he is the only Autobot with the ability to jump during regular gameplay. Prowl can jump as well, but it’s only to jump over other cars on the highway. Bumblebee can also power generators with his electrical Stingers to activate certain machines. Bulkhead is heavy and strong, so he can break specific walls and stand on specific buttons in order to make pieces of machinery work. He can also move other heavy objects onto these same buttons to keep the machinery working, while not taking him out of the game. Optimus’ greatest skill is his axe. You can draw a path along the touch screen and Prime will throw the axe, which will then proceed to follow the drawn path.
The gameplay is broken into two types of play: puzzle platforming and highway ‘get‑to‑the‑finish’ play. In the regular levels, you will have to navigate one of three sceneries: Sumdac Factory, Decepticon Mine Base, and Cybertron. Utilizing each of the three Autobots’ unique abilities in order to progress to the next level.
Highway patrol also only sees three characters: Optimus, Bumblebee, and Prowl. Each character is featured twice, as there is far less highway gameplay than there is puzzle platforming. Only Prowl and Optimus can transform in this mode in which they can then throw their projectiles at oncoming drones to destroy them, all the while avoiding civilian cars on the road. Bumblebee’s gameplay is very straightforward with him simply avoiding other cars while he boosts away with his Turbo-Boosters at Sari’s beck and call.
My only complaint with the game is that there isn’t enough Decepticons. The only two you see are Megatron and Lockdown. There are purple tanks that bare a striking resemblance to Shockwave, but he himself is a character never encountered. Nearly every character makes an appearance in the cut scenes, but again only the six aforementioned characters are actually used in some form of gameplay.
All and all, the game is fun and a good play; easy enough for younger generations to jump in and play, all the while being challenging enough for older fans to have a good time. Sadly, however, the game can’t possibly be in continuity with the show.

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