Monday, July 27, 2009

Transformers: Beast Wars PS1/PC Review

REVIEW: Transformers: Beast Warsby: TriPredRavage
In what is probably the worst adaptation of a show to videogame conversion I have ever seen, we have Transformers: Beast Wars for the PlayStation and PC. The game starts up with an opening cinematic featuring clips from season one of the Beast Wars TV show which does nothing to outline the events of anything other than “the robots fight.” No back-story, no explanations, nothing.

You begin the game and for what I believe is the first time in Transformers Videogame history, you could choose your faction to play as. Each team starts with four playable characters, with a fifth unlockable as you play through. A sixth character is also available, but only for flight missions to rescue a “captured” character.

Playable Maximals include: Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Rhinox, Dinobot, and Rattrap.
Flight Mission Maximals include: Optimus Primal and Airazor.

Playable Predacons include; Megatron, Scorponok, Tarantulus, Inferno, and Blackarachnia.
Flight Mission Predacons include: Inferno and Terrorsaur.

The story mode consists of several zones with three parts to each zone. The third part features a boss fight against a show character. A chunk of back-story is provided before each zone part and that’s about the most of it. Throughout the individual parts, you fight random creatures (such as slugs, raptors, and monsters), as well as drones deployed by the other faction.

The final zone features a boss fight with the other faction’s team leader and once defeated, the game is completed. Another bout of show clips ensues where the team leader speaks over them, Optimus thanks his crew for assisting him in defeating the Predacons, Megatron talks about how he’s the best thing since sliced bread.

Now that the summary is out of the way, here comes the review.

Controlling the characters is pretty good with some minor flaws. Jumping from platform to platform is tricky and for the most part suicidal, but it has to be done to continue the game. Each character has different stats and it’s easy to find one that adjusts well to your play style. And that’s pretty much all there is good about the game. So here comes the bad…

To start things off, the TV show voice cast has been replaced in this game by some of the worst voice actors I have ever heard. I’d almost be willing to go so far as to bet that the voice actors were actually just people who worked around the office who made the game and decided to do the voices themselves. They did us the courtesy of attempting to imitate how the TV show characters’ voices were performed, but the end result is just painful.

The PlayStation version is incredibly fast paced, and I’m not talking the good kind of fast paced. The game is so fast that you can hear a shot go off and in the same instant you are hit by it. Then you are left scrambling to find what is shooting at you. The game features a lock‑on feature that is touchy to say the least. You must be facing directly at the opponent to be locked‑on; otherwise you are going to be plastered by enemy fire.

Level designs are complicated and confusing. They are also dark and gritty in what appears to be a precursor to videogames of today with everything being brown and grey. It’s easy to get lost amongst the ridiculous level designs.

In order to start a flight mission to rescue a captured character, you have to beat a level after collecting three macguffins. Problem is, you can’t die as you’ll have to start all over again. Also, when a character dies, they become captured as well, so get ready for a long haul.

The game also tried to incorporate the Energon fields of the show, but it did more than create an inconvenience. Refilling the Energon resistance bar is slow going and nearly impossible, so if you don’t just trek the levels in Beast Modes, you are pretty much screwed by the time you get to the boss fights.

The PC version of the game featured online multiplayer play, but I never got to try it as my computer was so slow that taking two steps forward could take the better part of ten minutes.

All in all, it’s a terrible game. My parents got me the PC version when I was about seven and I later purchased my PlayStation version for seven dollars on eBay. If you were considering on picking it up because you missed it, pass. It’s really not worth it unless you are absolutely diehard… like me…

People have been wanting me to admit that Transformers: Animated is better than Beast Wars was for a long time now. And while as far as the shows go, I still think Beast Wars is superior, I will wholeheartedly admit that the Transformers: Animated game for the Nintendo DS is far superior to this Beast Wars game.

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