Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen for the Nintendo Wii is a slightly different endeavor than its console counterparts. Being a huge fan of the Transformers franchise in general I was a bit disappointed with the first outing of games for the original theatrical release. This time around though both the next-gen and handheld versions of the game have been rather enjoyable in their efforts. The Wii version takes an entirely different approach by not following the plotline of the movie, hardly at all. Instead you will find yourself interacting with all the characters, but none of it really bears resemblance to its celluloid equivalent.
The game marches you through the motions of a side-scrolling action game. You control your robot in disguise with the analog stick and fire your weapons by aiming the Wii remote at the screen and pressing a button. As with most games that use an onscreen reticule, I found myself constantly having to re-adjust after letting my arm rest and the cursor leaving the screen. You can also perform melee attacks by flicking the remote, but oftentimes they are unresponsive, and most of the time absolutely useless.
Sadly the main game is less than five hours long, and each level is a huge exercise in frustration and repetition. Instead of allowing you to play through two separate campaigns, this version switches you back and forth between Autobots and Decepticons at its own discretion. It is also worth noting that you cannot transform at will, which just defeats the purpose of calling the game Transformers. It would be more suited if you called it “giant fighting robots”, but that simply would not tie in well with the movie. The action is linear to say the least, and the game forces you down a set path of one robot fight after another. The game is almost akin to a classic beat ’em up title, but without the certain knack for fun.
The core game might not have been so bad if you could play co-op, oh wait you actually can. The problem therein lies that the second player gets to play as a floating drone that does nothing more than shoot enemies alongside you. This becomes cumbersome and annoying quickly as your partner hinders the experience more than they assist. There is also a Horde style mode where you and a buddy can fight off endless waves of enemies, but after trudging through the campaign I had little desire to repeat the same tired combat.
The game does mix it up at times with some epic boss battles, but these too can be frustrating. Instead of being a mixture of rinse and repeat, these are more inclined to learning the boss patterns just like an old school title. There are exceptions though, such as the annoying final boss. There is a pattern, and only one pattern, but it involves testing your patience longer than even the final boss in Conan. This is what creates the five hour playtime, as you will likely repeat this boss fight over and over again ad nausea.
I know this is a Wii title, and for that I expect casual difficulty, but this game really pushes it. Checkpoints are so forgiving that you quickly learn that dying carries no consequences with it. Not only that, but once you return all the enemies you managed to take down are still gone, no respawning, not regenerating health. This completely removes a sense of challenge. The only time this is not the case is during the boss fights. But once you figure out the pattern it is only a matter of patience before you succeed. If this were an Xbox 360 game, it would be right up there with Avatar for must play for easy and quick Achievements.
Visually the game offers a mixed bag. The character models look fantastic, even better than the other versions in some respects. The environments however, do not share the same good looks. Muddy textures and uninspired level design. The game just does nothing that stands out, and running in low resolution doesn’t help the fact that the game is just an eyesore at times. I really cannot stress how good the models look though, which almost make up for a lack in all other areas.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen for the Wii is a noble effort to give that audience something different that plays to the system’s strengths. The end result however, is plagued with repetition and just poor presentation. Including unlockable episodes is definitely a bonus, but when you don’t take the time to label them so that users know what they are watching beforehand is just plain lazy. It feels like a quick and dirty job, which is made more disappointing by the fact the other versions have excelled so much. If you only own a Wii, this game is not more than meets the eye. I suggest avoiding if possible, but if you must a rental is definitely recommended.