Written by  :  Guy Chapman (2001)
Written on  :  Jan 20, 2005
Rating  :  4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars

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A Decent, If Difficult Transformers Game.

The Good

While not the original Autobot/Decepticon war, this game makes more than enough references to the original series to make it almost a virtual trip down memory lane. FINALLY, players get the chance to take Optimus Prime out for a spin in a world populated by Decepticons and the new Mini-Cons. And what a beautiful world it is.

This is one of the most beautiful games Atari has ever put out, and a PS2 visual feast. The game is stunning to look at in terms of detail, and the cinematics are equally as impressive. The game pulls out all the stops when it comes to special effects, and it shows.

Sound effects are great, especially the familiar transformation noise when going from robot to vehicle. Soundtrack is suitable, but the themes make subtle hints to the original cartoon theme. Lot of explosions and ambient sound effects full out the aural aspects. The voices are also suitable.

As far as bonuses go, the game excels here as well. Toy blueprints, original PSAs from the '80's, music, cinemas, storyboards.... You can find a lot throughout the worlds. And there are equally as many Mini-Cons to find and configure to add strategy to the game. The more you build on yourself, the more you can find in the worlds.

The Bad

H-A-R-D. HARD. This game will beat you within an inch of your life, then laugh as it takes that final inch. Don't be fooled by the "toy" license. This game can be downright ruthless in terms of difficulty, especially when facing bosses like Starscream and Cyclonus. As much as I enjoy the game, I have to set it down and walk away at times due to the frustrating difficulty.

Load times can be a bit long as well. It's not the worst I've experienced, but you can feel them when you are ready to leap back into combat.

The control also takes a bit to get used to, in light of its use of dual-analog, but within a few moments, it becomes more second nature. It becomes frustrating at times when you're being bombarded by missiles from all sides.

My final complaint is a personal one. As close as it is, I wish this game had been based off the Generation One Transformers. Finally, a decent Transformer game is given, and "legends" such as Jazz, Prowl, Hot Rod, or Bumblebee are nowhere to be found. This also goes for the gun version of Megatron. Or Soundwave. One can't help but feel a little left out after waiting all of these years.

The Bottom Line

For years, there has never been a "good" Transformers game, which in itself boggles the mind as the license seems perfect for video gaming. The NES version was ghastly, the PSX version wasn't much better.... Even the Japanese games haven't been entirely up to snuff. But this game? It gets it right... mostly.

But Atari did a fine job overall, though I wish the difficulty had been balanced more, especially against the bosses.

But there are few sights more impressive than some of the bosses that they put in this game. Full credit should be given to the developers for their imaginative use of making some of these characters absolutely HUGE.

Recommended, but just know that you're going to be in for a battle for the long run.