Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Video Game Review: Beast Wars Transmetals PS1

REVIEW: Transformers: Beast Wars; Transmetals for PlayStation One
by: TriPredRavage
The story goes that in season three of the television show, When Megatron is captured, he sends a message back in time to himself just before the season finale events of season one. As a result, events happen differently with Rhinox, Waspinator, and Airazor all becoming Transmetal, and Terrorsaur also surviving to become Transmetal as well. And with that, the Beast Wars rage on.

This brings us to the game. Once again, the player may choose which faction to play as, and each team once again has their own storyline. Each team has four playable characters for the story mode.

Playable Maximals include: Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Rattrap, and Silverbolt.
Playalbe Predacons include: Megatron, Tarantulus, Rampage, and Quickstrike.

The Maximal storyline begins with the Maximal base being attacked by the Predacons. Optimus decides that this is a good opportunity to reclaim the Golden Disc, and the Maximals then dispatch to fight against the waves of Predacons. Once the Maximals push the Predacons back to their base, a battle against Megatron ensues. Once defeated, Megatron reveals that the Predacons have successfully infiltrated the Maximal base in their absence. Megatron then escapes and the Maximals realize they need to get back to the Axalon.

The Predacon storyline begins with the Predacons discussing their latest plans to conquer the Maximals. After some bickering, they dispatch. Once the Predacons have defeated the waves of Maximals and have successfully defeated the final opponent, Optimus Primal, the Predacons are shown standing around him demanding he surrenders. Rhinox then activates Sentinel’s Auto-Guns and the Predacons flee defeated.

Not exactly ground-breaking storytelling, but enjoyable enough in its own right.

This game seemed to take everything that was wrong with the last one and then decided to do it right. The game featured a majority of the show voice actors to play their characters, with the only voice actors not returning as far as the story was concerned being Rhinox, Quickstrike, and Blackarachnia.

This game featured four secret characters to be unlocked in versus mode.

Secret Maximals include: Non-Transmetal Tigatron and Botcon Exclusive Windrazor
Secret Predacons include: Transmetal II Blackarachnia and Ravage.

While these characters are merely simple clones of Cheetor (Tigatron and Ravage), Silverbolt (Windrazor), and Tarantulus (Blackaracnia), it was still nice to see them join the fray. I would have liked to have seen Rhinox, Waspinator, Terrorsaur, and Airazor in this game, seeing as Tigatron, Silverbolt, Quickstrike, and Windrazor aren’t even Transmetals, but like I said, it was still nice to see their inclusion.

Gameplay-wise, the game is your basic fighter. You have two characters duke it out in a 3D field with certain natural hazards to add a little chaos to the mix. All characters play the same way with the only variations occurring in the characters ultimate techniques. The only other true variety is that Quickstrike and Rattrap have the unique ability to burrow underground.

The game also made interesting use of the “second player” color schemes giving Cheetor his red Fox Kids exclusive figure colors, and Rattrap his blue Wal-Mart exclusive colors that later became known as Transmetal Packrat. Megatron also features a primarily purple second color scheme that seems to be inspired by his non-Transmetal appearance.

The game features a ton of bonus material: from picture and cinematic viewers, to music track players. There are pictures of the cinematic versions of the characters that let you get good looks at all the little details of the characters. There is also a gallery of toy images included that strangely enough includes the Japanese exclusive Transmetal Ravage figure (X-9 Jaguar), which was how I first found out about the figure’s existence.

Like I said, this game seemed to take everything that was wrong with the first Beast Wars game and fix them. It then went ahead and turned the game into a fighter rather than a platformer. While it's certainly not the best game I’ve ever played, I still thoroughly enjoyed this game. If you are considering looking into it on eBay, I’d recommend it as it is just a fun game to play.

If you are looking for a declaration like last time where I admit something about Transformers: Animated’s game being better than this, you’re in the wrong place. Not because it isn’t necessarily true, but because the games are completely different genres, I can’t really say which is better. I could admit TFA’s greatness over the first Beast Wars game because they are both platformers, but in this case, I say they both do their series justice.

1 comment:

Adam said...

I agree with you that the "Transmetals" game did the show justice. But I never got to unlock the bonus characters during the short time I rented it.

I also found out later on that the N64 version had a final boss (a winged Transmetal Megatron, in no way like the Transmetal 2 Megatron), and may have been a bit differant than the PS1 version.