Growing up as a kid of the 80s, I had a lot of obsessions. Looking back, I think that the three biggest were video games, Star Wars, and Transformers. I can remember the day that I received Starscream as my first Transformer toy, and almost breaking him during the first time I transformed him. A few years later, I sat in a movie theater watching Optimus Prime die as a tear or two ran down my face.
Beyond the first-gen stuff, I was less obsessive about Transformers, and many of the future shows would become a huge turn off for me. However, recently I’ve been getting back into the awesome world of Cybertronian warriors with Transformers Prime. Now, for the aging Nintendo Wii, we have an original game that takes place in this neat universe.
Transformers Prime is a prime example of the effort of a dying gaming console. I knew that this wasn’t going to be the most premium of games when the opening CGI was just the opening for the TV show itself. I watched the in-game cut-scenes with feelings ranging from humor to disgust. However, I started to play and discovered that the gameplay was kind of solid. I guess there is more to this game then meets the eye.
The main story mode of the game is played single player, with the story unfolding in missions that focus on one Autobot at a time. Prime is played in a third-person view, and has decent camera controls, despite it being on a d-pad. As you play each Autobot, you will discover that they all play basically the same way, with the differences ranging from speed capability and power. The game is played with the Wiimote and nunchuk. Sadly, the classic controller isn’t supported. Depending on the stage, you will take control of an Autobot in either robot mode or vehicle form. This sets up the theme for each level.
Sometimes you may be fighting the Decepticons in a quasi-linear environmental stage, or you could be in vehicle mode racing against the clock. During the on-foot levels (during which you can easily turn into vehicle mode), you can easily lock-on to enemies and fire on them with your projectile weapons. However, when you want to lay the smackdown on the bad-guys you must shake the Wii remote up and down. Did I mention that there is no classic controller support?
As all Transformer fans know, most stories revolve around the quest to obtain Energon, and this game is no different. The game opens up with the Decepticon’s base fortress flying though space with a giant meteor attached to it. The meteor is mostly made up of Dark Energon, and as fans of the show know, that is not good. The format for Transformers Prime is that of a really long episode, or perhaps a movie, and most of the voice actors are the same ones as the show, which is awesome.
Overall, Transformers Prime is decent game for a system in its twilight years. My two biggest gripes for this title are the lack of graphical fidelity, which could not be helped, and not allowing the player to use a classic controller. A multiplayer mode is also available, but it just feels like a tacked-on bonus for two players. However, if you can look past those things, Transformers Prime offers a solid gameplay experience. Nintendo Wii owners can finally have a decent game worthy of the Transformers name.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.