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'[GAME] Transformers Prime (Wii U)'

This thread has been linked to the game 'Transformers Prime'.
Tue 12/03/13 at 10:04:
pb
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,835
So, Transformers, here we are again with yet another version of the franchise, brought up-to-date for the current age. We've had the toys, the cartoon based on the toys, the film based on the cartoon based on the toys and now Transformers Prime; the cartoon based on the film based on the cartoon based on the toys. Oh, and now Activision have brought out this game, based on the cartoon, based on...well, you get the picture.

The game is based on the current Transformers Prime animated series, itself moulded around the feel of the movies, but with more success at a storyline. Some things remain constant; Optimus Prime and Megatron are still at each other's throats, Prime is still upstanding leader of the Autobots, and still, thankfully, a big red truck and Megatron still hell bent on taking over the Earth and generally being as much of a stereotypical bad guy as he can.

In addition, the Autobot team has befriended three human kids who 'help' them in their fight against the Decepticons and generally bring a human element to the heavy metal action. Actually, they seem to spend most of their time getting kidnapped instead.

The 360 and PS3 already have War For Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron from High Moon/Activision, both of which were well received by critics and allowed players to step into the shoes of both Autobots and Decepticons. Transformers Prime focuses solely on the Autobots in their battle to keep Earth safe from the Decepticon menace. It means that you won't get to play as the bad guys and the game is considerably shorter because of this.

The first level acts as an introduction to the mechanics in the game. As well as setting up the story, it puts you in the metal shoes of Optimus Prime, learning the ropes as you battle on a giant asteroid with both melee and long range attacks. It's unremarkable and obviously set up for younger players, but there still something fun about beating up robots.

The second level gives players a bit more leg room to move around with Arcee (who some might remember as the first female transformer from Transformers The Movie and now a regular in the current series).. Thankfully,this section is a good mixture of vehicle based chase sequence and on foot blasting action which sets the scene for future levels, though there's still little room at this stage for transforming at will. From here it's obvious that the developers have managed to create something more than just another lazy licence. Levels are often open enough to involve some free roaming, though certain sections are obviously meant for moving the story forward or giving you a chance to get behind the wheel of the vehicle-based Autobots. Combat, while still remaining fairly basic, is a good mix of long and short range attacks, highlighted by level 3's Starscreem boss battle.

There's even the opportunity to just transform and ram the enemy into a wall, rather than relying on those metal fists. Enemies are fairly varied, though there are a ton of 'goons' ready to head towards your fire before you get to the meat of the Decepticon ranks.

The control scheme on the Wii U Pad helps here, too, with buttons for special attacks on the screen and a clear readout of stats as well as using the superior analogue controls to control the action and the camera. The game can also be played directly on the Gamepad, which could be useful if someone needs to use the TV, but does mean you don't get to press the screen for the special power function, which seems like a bit of an oversight. Second player controls can be chosen from either a second Wii U Pro controller or a Wii remote and Nunchuk, though this is far more fiddly and doesn't give you all the buttons you need.

Between levels, well animated cut scenes keep the story flowing and while it won't win any oscars, it's as good as anything in the animated series and well worth a re-watch in the extras section of the main menu. A gallery and character information can also be found here, unlocked as you progress and also by finding items dotted around each level, leading to a reason to replay levels until everything has been unlocked.

Lastly, there is the multiplayer section, with splitscreen action which involves either a 1 on 1 clash, a bit of a royal rumble with CPU controlled enemies or a 'capture the flag' mode which prevents the holder from being able to transform, giving the advantage to the player not holding the flag. It's a shame, then, that multiplayer levels are so tight and constrained by size after being spoilt by the huge single-player levels. These levels are only available once you've unlocked each one in single player, as well, so expect to play through the story first.

Transformers Prime looks good, but never outstanding. It feels like a Wii port with a bit of extra HD work done to get it ready for Wii U, but it still does the job far better than Nintendo's last console could ever do. There are moments where the higher resolution shines and it is ultimately the best edition of the game, but the general feeling is that the Wii U is certainly capable of more than this. Luckily, the sound is top quality, with plenty of voice work from the cartoon's voiceover artists making it sound pretty authentic.

It may suffer from a fairly short campaign and you could argue that it doesn't use all the power of the console, but Transformers Prime is a fun mix of brawling and driving that will appeal to fans of the show and provides a nice balance for both younger and older players. More than meets the eye? Probably not, but it remains a fun and thoughtfully licenced game.

7/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Tue 12/03/13 at 10:04:
pb
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,835
So, Transformers, here we are again with yet another version of the franchise, brought up-to-date for the current age. We've had the toys, the cartoon based on the toys, the film based on the cartoon based on the toys and now Transformers Prime; the cartoon based on the film based on the cartoon based on the toys. Oh, and now Activision have brought out this game, based on the cartoon, based on...well, you get the picture.

The game is based on the current Transformers Prime animated series, itself moulded around the feel of the movies, but with more success at a storyline. Some things remain constant; Optimus Prime and Megatron are still at each other's throats, Prime is still upstanding leader of the Autobots, and still, thankfully, a big red truck and Megatron still hell bent on taking over the Earth and generally being as much of a stereotypical bad guy as he can.

In addition, the Autobot team has befriended three human kids who 'help' them in their fight against the Decepticons and generally bring a human element to the heavy metal action. Actually, they seem to spend most of their time getting kidnapped instead.

The 360 and PS3 already have War For Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron from High Moon/Activision, both of which were well received by critics and allowed players to step into the shoes of both Autobots and Decepticons. Transformers Prime focuses solely on the Autobots in their battle to keep Earth safe from the Decepticon menace. It means that you won't get to play as the bad guys and the game is considerably shorter because of this.

The first level acts as an introduction to the mechanics in the game. As well as setting up the story, it puts you in the metal shoes of Optimus Prime, learning the ropes as you battle on a giant asteroid with both melee and long range attacks. It's unremarkable and obviously set up for younger players, but there still something fun about beating up robots.

The second level gives players a bit more leg room to move around with Arcee (who some might remember as the first female transformer from Transformers The Movie and now a regular in the current series).. Thankfully,this section is a good mixture of vehicle based chase sequence and on foot blasting action which sets the scene for future levels, though there's still little room at this stage for transforming at will. From here it's obvious that the developers have managed to create something more than just another lazy licence. Levels are often open enough to involve some free roaming, though certain sections are obviously meant for moving the story forward or giving you a chance to get behind the wheel of the vehicle-based Autobots. Combat, while still remaining fairly basic, is a good mix of long and short range attacks, highlighted by level 3's Starscreem boss battle.

There's even the opportunity to just transform and ram the enemy into a wall, rather than relying on those metal fists. Enemies are fairly varied, though there are a ton of 'goons' ready to head towards your fire before you get to the meat of the Decepticon ranks.

The control scheme on the Wii U Pad helps here, too, with buttons for special attacks on the screen and a clear readout of stats as well as using the superior analogue controls to control the action and the camera. The game can also be played directly on the Gamepad, which could be useful if someone needs to use the TV, but does mean you don't get to press the screen for the special power function, which seems like a bit of an oversight. Second player controls can be chosen from either a second Wii U Pro controller or a Wii remote and Nunchuk, though this is far more fiddly and doesn't give you all the buttons you need.

Between levels, well animated cut scenes keep the story flowing and while it won't win any oscars, it's as good as anything in the animated series and well worth a re-watch in the extras section of the main menu. A gallery and character information can also be found here, unlocked as you progress and also by finding items dotted around each level, leading to a reason to replay levels until everything has been unlocked.

Lastly, there is the multiplayer section, with splitscreen action which involves either a 1 on 1 clash, a bit of a royal rumble with CPU controlled enemies or a 'capture the flag' mode which prevents the holder from being able to transform, giving the advantage to the player not holding the flag. It's a shame, then, that multiplayer levels are so tight and constrained by size after being spoilt by the huge single-player levels. These levels are only available once you've unlocked each one in single player, as well, so expect to play through the story first.

Transformers Prime looks good, but never outstanding. It feels like a Wii port with a bit of extra HD work done to get it ready for Wii U, but it still does the job far better than Nintendo's last console could ever do. There are moments where the higher resolution shines and it is ultimately the best edition of the game, but the general feeling is that the Wii U is certainly capable of more than this. Luckily, the sound is top quality, with plenty of voice work from the cartoon's voiceover artists making it sound pretty authentic.

It may suffer from a fairly short campaign and you could argue that it doesn't use all the power of the console, but Transformers Prime is a fun mix of brawling and driving that will appeal to fans of the show and provides a nice balance for both younger and older players. More than meets the eye? Probably not, but it remains a fun and thoughtfully licenced game.

7/10

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