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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Traveller's Tales

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

June 19, 2007

 

 

- Good variety of missions, as either Autobots or Decepticons

- Plenty of unlockable content

- Short bursts of fun

 

 

- A little on the short side

- Cut scenes have major quality issues

- Animations and gameplay often feel “last gen”

 

 

Preview: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (360, PS3, PC)

Review: Transformers: The Game (360)

Review: Spider-Man 3 (Wii)

Review: Shrek the Third (Wii)

 

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Transformers: The Game

Score: 6.0 / 10

 

I was one of those skeptical first generation Transformers fans that approached the new movie cautiously. I was almost waiting for them to screw it up.  Although not all the decisions were ones that I would have made, overall I enjoyed the new imagining of the franchise and wondered how the movie tie-in games were going to fare.

 

transformers the game          transformers the game

 

Traveller’s Tales have been making good games for years – but they’ve also had some stinkers and unfortunately, this one lies somewhere in the middle. While it’s not a bad game, there are too many shortcomings that keep it from greatness.

 

I first want to say that I have not seen or played the other versions of the game, so I was not tainted by a pre-conceived notion of how this should look on the Wii.

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Although the in-game graphics are decent and I can’t complain, I know the Wii can do better.  The worst offender, however, are the cut scenes. They look like they are carefully created – scripted and voiced to the highest quality. So what happened to the actual video? I am positive that the Wii can play back full motion video at DVD quality, so I am not sure if it’s the encoding or 

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what but I had to look for a moment to make sure that my Playstation 1 wasn’t running behind the scenes. I am running component video on a high-definition television, so I decided to actually shut game down and booted “Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz” up to make sure my setup wasn’t compromised. That game looked great, so I can only conclude it’s the Transformers.

 

When you get into the actual game play, things do get better. The models were constructed from actual ones from the movie and although they would have been reduced to work on the Wii’s hardware, they look and feel good on screen. There are a number of different missions with varied game play. You can drive (or fly) and transform with a button pree, and all of that works pretty well. There is also a ton of unlockable content and at the beginning of the game you can decide if you will be an Autobot or a Decepticon.  These are all the good things, but then there are just some very annoying points that keep this game back from greatness.

 

transformers the game          transformers the game

 

The game is short, perhaps holding your attention for 5-8 hours. The lock-on feature leaves a lot to be desired and was both surprised and disappointed that during combat – once you start a move, you must finish it. This is a “last gen” issue that really should be resolved in games coming out for newer platforms, so I’m surprised to still see it here. The combat often requires a lot of close hand to hand maneuvers. Shaking the Wiimote or Nunchuk left and right certainly isn’t the most intuitive for a melee attack, and a friend of mine that tried it missed it completely during the on screen instructions. I had to look it up in the instruction book.  Typically, I find if you need to look something up in the instructions, it’s not all that natural.

 

The game does have many moments of fun, and some of the material actually fills in gaps left by the motion picture. It’s great to have the original voice actors here (including Peter “Optimus Prime” Cullen) Overall though, it just Transforms itself into an average movie licensed game.

 

- Syd Bolton

(August 21, 2007)

 

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