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Transformers Prime: The Game

Score: 55%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Altron
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Mission-Based Driving

Graphics & Sound:

Transformers Prime is a new (2010) TV series that is currently in its 3rd season. The new Transformers Prime: The Game lets the player experience the TV series for themselves following the TV story. As I have not seen the TV series, I canít tell you how closely it follows.

A lot of games look too compressed on the smaller DS screen, but they did a good job with Transformers Prime: The Game translating it to a smaller screen. There is still a lot of color and the characters look exactly like they do on the series. Given that these characters transform, I was curious to see how they would make that work well on a DS, but they did an excellent job. You can watch the transition from robot to car and back to robot without any hiccups. You can even do it over and over (which you will find is necessary to jump while in car form) without noticing any issues graphically. Each Autobot has a human companion. The humans look just like they do in the show as well. They are obviously computer-generated, but they looks good.

I really like when I play a game where the characters actually speak rather than when I just have to read text on the screen. When you have a game based on a TV show, you really want to hear the original voice actors as we just get used to how our favorite characters sound. Transformers Prime: The Game pleased me by using the original voice actors for the characters.


Gameplay:

As I mentioned before, Transformers Prime: The Game follows the TV series Transformers Prime. There is only one mode of play available, Story Mode. When you start Story Mode, you will only have one level open. You will have to play the levels through to unlock the next one. You can go back and replay any of the previous levels at any time you want. You do need to remember that the game autosaves at the end of each level. If you donít complete all parts of the level and you choose to go back to the Main Menu, or if you choose to Quit after you fail a level, then you will have to go back to the beginning of that level and start all over. Each level features a specific Autobot; you canít choose to use a different one. In this game, you will be playing as Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Arcee, and Bulkhead.

Transformers Prime: The Game is part driving and part fighting, not to mention some fighting while driving. Of course, you are going to take damage as you fight and sometimes as you drive (if you fall off of a cliff, you will lose a percentage of your health). To heal, you can pick up the Energon Shards that are released when you beat enemies. If you can find the full Energon cube, you can get a huge increase in energy. Sometimes you will find that you just need more power to beat some of the enemies. As you kill enemies and find Synergon, your upgrade symbol will fill up. When it is full, you can tap it and upgrade your Autobots for a limited time. Unfortunately, upgrade attacks arenít permanent. Keep on battling to try and defeat all of the Decepticons to save the Earth.


Difficulty:

Transformers Prime: The Game does not provide difficulty levels, so youíll just have to deal with it as is. Personally, I found that the fighting was difficult at some points, but it didnít take long to figure out how to beat the enemies. What did take me a lot longer to get past was some of the jumps and timed levels. Iím embarrassed to say how many tries it took me to get past one of the boards where I had to drive to make the time, but transform in the middle of the jump sequence to get Ratchet to land where I needed him to. I guess maybe Iíve lost some platforming skills over the years since you really donít have to do things like that in many games anymore.

I really would have liked to have an easier and a harder difficulty level. With an easier level, you could have more time to get past the timed levels and a bit easier enemies just so you could get through the game quicker if you just want to see the story unfold. I could definitely see the need for a harder game as well, especially harder enemies. I donít think I ever died fighting. Granted, I came very close on at least one of the boss battles, but overall the enemies just werenít enough of a challenge. Since you have the ability to block, you could definitely add harder enemies.


Game Mechanics:

For the basic stuff, the controls in Transformers Prime: The Game work rather well. It took me a minute to get used to (B) as the jump button. (A) is your melee attack and (Y) shoots, so theyíre both attacking. It would have made more sense to have those next to each other rather than having jump in the middle, but eventually I got used to the controls. (X) makes sense as the transform button. You canít transform if you have a rider though and since you need to transform from car to robot to jump, that means that you cannot jump in car form if you have a rider. Itís just something to note so that you donít end up running into things that you thought you could jump. You cannot change the camera angles by yourself. The game will auto-adjust the camera, but I wish that instead, you could control it yourself. At times, I found that it wasnít adjusting quick enough for me to see what I needed to and I would end up falling off of a cliff or something else detrimental to my success. Granted, all the buttons are already assigned, so thereís really not a way they could change it so that you have granular control of the camera. When you get right down to it, the controls are ok, but I found that I had trouble making them go exactly where I wanted to sometimes. I am sure that they could be improved.

Transformers Prime: The Game is an okay game, but it just didnít manage to hold my attention for long. Maybe it was just the frustration with the camera angles, but itís just not a game that I kept wanting to go back to. The graphics and sound are great, but the overall gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. If youíre a fan of the series, you might want to pick it up just so you can battle, but otherwise I canít see recommending it.


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

Related Links:



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