Transformers: The Game
|Transformers: The Game|
John Zuur Platten
Transformers: The Game is the name of multiple versions of a video game based on the 2007 live action film Transformers, all of which were released in North America in June 2007. Home console and PC versions were developed by Traveller's Tales for the PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3 and PC. A different PlayStation Portable version was developed by Savage Entertainment.
Transformers Autobots and Transformers Decepticons are the Nintendo DS versions of Transfomers: The Game. Vicarious Visions, who was tasked with bringing the adaptation to the Nintendo DS, chose to adapt the DS version into two separate games. Autobots follows the heroes' perspective while Decepticons follows the villains'. Unlike games with multiple SKUs such as Pokémon which feature only minor differences between versions, these are two separate games, sharing some basic similarities, but with unique characters, missions and locations.
The game (in all its versions) is mainly a third-person action-shooter. All the robots have at least five attack types: a light weapon, a heavy weapon, a melee attack, and the ability to throw objects such as cars, lamp posts, trees, etc., and using a long object like a lamp post as a sword. As its title and characters imply, a robot can transform into a vehicle and vice versa, this gives the game some racing elements, as the player must, in some missions, race to certain point within a time limit or before a character of the opposing faction does. Each area is an open world environment, and there are also side-missions, Energon cubes and Autobot/Decepticon emblems scattered through the city, if accomplished successfully/collected the player can unlock trailers, production photos and unlock color schemes for certain characters.
Consoles and PC
The PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC and the Wii versions all have the same features. By completing certain objectives throughout the game G1 versions Optimus Prime and Megatron become available, as well as G1 color schemes for Jazz, Starscream, and Optimus Prime (labeled Robovision Optimus Prime). These options are turned on or off once obtained through the bonus menu, and only appear while playing as the specified character. On January 9, 2008, downloadable content entitled Transformers Unlockables was made available for the Xbox 360 on the Xbox Live Marketplace. It unlocks all bonus characters/skins, items, upgrades, and other unlockable content. The PlayStation 2 version of Transformers: The Game has the same gameplay and features like all the other console versions, with graphic quality being reduced.
The Wii is unlike the other consoles, utilizing a different control scheme for movement and attacks that take advantage of its motion sensing controls. With a controller in the left and right hand the player can swipe to imitate attacks or throwing objects and point the Wii Remote at the screen to aim and shoot the gun. The Wii graphics are at a lower resolution than the PC, Xbox 360, though more detailed than the PlayStation 2 version.
Transformers: The Game for the PSP is very different from its console counterparts, whereas the console versions allow the player to choose which side's storyline they wish to play, the PSP version has only one storyline which alternates between the two different sides. Also, the player is able to play a total of 23 characters, including characters from previous generations. Overall the game for PSP has the most playable characters out of all of the console games. It also has a non-related story than the other games.
The Autobot storyline begins with Bumblebee landing on Earth and taking on the form of a Camaro. He then defeats a group of Decepticon drones. After learning Sam Witwicky is going to buy a used car, Bumblebee goes to Bobby Bolivia's Used Carlot and is bought by Sam. Later, Sam and his girlfriend, Mikaela Banes, are attacked by a Decepticon, Barricade, but Bumblebee saves them. Bumblebee fights Barricade, while Sam and Mikaela escape. After defeating the Decepticon, Bumblebee finds Sam and Mikaela, who thank him for saving them. Optimus contacts Bumblebee, telling him that Sam has the artifact that contains the location of the AllSpark, and Bumblebee must protect Sam at all costs.
Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Ratchet, and Jazz land on Earth, assume alternate forms (a Peterbilt 379, a GMC Topkick, a Hummer H2 Search and Rescue vehicle, and a Pontiac Solstice) and meet with Bumblebee, Sam and Mikaela. Sam gives them the artifact, which turns out to be his grandfather's glasses, to Optimus, who explains to Sam and Mikaela the mission of the Autobots in Earth: they are in the search of the All Spark, a powerful artifact which is the source of life of all Transformers, so they can use it to revitalize Cybertron, the homeworld of the Transformers. Ratchet reveals Sam's grandfather discovered their enemy, the Decepticon leader Megatron, trapped in the Arctic. Megatron burned the information of the All Spark's location in Sam's grandfather's glasses so the Decepticons could find the All Spark. Afterwards, Mikaela sarcastically states that she is struggling with why Bumblebee disguised himself as such a "beater", and in response, Bumblebee scans a new and improved yellow Camaro as his new alt-mode.
Ironhide detects Sector 7 helicopters and Prime orders Jazz to create a diversion so that the Autobots, Sam and Mikaela can escape. In doing so, Jazz is cornered by Sector 7 agents. Ironhide rescues Jazz from Sector 7, and manages to defeat several drones on the way. After defeating the drones, Ironhide discovers that Sector 7 is trying to capture Bumblebee. Prime tries to rescue Bumblebee but he fails to save his comrade as he is taken away by Sector 7, partially because of Shockwave. Optimus defeats Shockwave and decodes his transmissions, discovering Starscream, Megatron's second-in-command, also knows of the AllSpark and Megatron's-whereabouts. With their mission clear, the Autobots decide to rescue Bumblebee, Sam and Mikaela from Sector 7. Bumblebee, Sam and Mikaela are captured inside Hoover Dam. A power outage allows Bumblebee to escape. While exploring Bumblebee finds the frozen Megatron and the All Spark. Bumblebee recovers the AllSpark and rescues Sam and Mikaela, and then flee when Megatron awakens. Starscream and Blackout, fly through the dam and cause several generations which allow Megatron to escape.
Bumblebee, Sam and Mikaela travel to Mission City with the All Spark. The All Spark's power surges transform human machines into feral drones which attack Bumblebee. However, Ironhide rescues Bumblebee and defeats the drones. Meanwhile, Jazz encounters and fights Starscream and Blackout. Jazz manages to defeat the Decepticon duo, but Brawl appears behind him and extinguishes his spark in front of Ironhide. The Autobot then defeats Brawl in a "slow death", avenging his fallen brother. Bumblebee, however, fights Barricade, who is trying to take the All Spark. Bumblebee defeats the Decepticon and meets with Sam and Mikaela but Megatron appears behind him and quickly defeats Bumblebee, forcing Sam and Mikaela to run away. Megatron is about to kill Sam and Mikaela, but Optimus knocks Megatron aside, challenging him to a final battle. Optimus defeats Megatron, however, just as Sam is about to give Optimus the AllSpark, Megatron jumps up and tries to kill Prime in one last attempt using his flail. However, Optimus catches Megatron's flail and pulls him in closer while crushing the AllSpark in his other hand, and plunging it straight into Megatron's chest, presumably uniting with his Spark, killing him instantly. The story ends with Optimus and the Autobots choosing to remain on Earth.
The Decepticons storyline begins with a MH-53 Pave Low helicopter falling out of the sky, with severe tail rotor damage, presumably caused by Blackout, one of the Decepticons arriving on Earth, who then takes the form of the downed craft by scanning it. He uses the craft in order to enter and destroy SOCCENT Air Base in Qatar, and ejects his companion Scorponok to chase after the survivors who attempt to call for help using mobile communication vehicles, while Blackout searches for top secret data about the All Spark from the remains of SOCCENT through computer terminals kept inside Software towers, then Blackout accidentally sent a Morse Code signal inviting Stealth Bombers and F-22s over to stop him. After destroying the air force Blackout discovers Data about an Artifact that will lead the Decepticons to the All Spark.
Meanwhile, Frenzy is in the captivity of Sector 7. Barricade, scanning a Police cruiser and becoming it as his alternate form, recovers Frenzy and they go to hunt down the human called Sam Witwicky who has the glasses with the AllSpark's location burned into them. Barricade finds Sam and his girlfriend Mikaela Banes, and he chases after them, only to be confronted by Bumblebee. Barricade eventually defeats Bumblebee, and Sam gives up the glasses. Barricade contacts Decepticon subcommander Starscream, that they will soon be heading to Mission City with the All Spark, so Starscream decides to round up the other Decepticons, Brawl and Bonecrusher, and send them to Mission City. However, he is delayed at the airbase, but takes the opportunity to make a 'smoking ruin' of it.
Later, Starscream and Blackout arrive at Hoover Dam, then help Megatron to escape, destroying a group of Autobot drones in the process, and then the three transform and fly to Mission City. In the city, the rest of the Autobots have arrived and Jazz drops off Sam and Mikaela, and tells them to run and hide, while Barricade orders him to step aside so he can claim the All Spark for Megatron. Jazz then confronts Barricade, who eventually kills him and leaves his body at the foot of a monument in the Central Park. Barricade then contacts Blackout, when he arrives with Starscream and Megatron, to eject Scorponok, to destroy Energon drones that have spawned from the All Spark. Scorponok destroys them, but has to run away when Ironhide kicks him away just as Sam was preparing to give up the All Spark. Blackout then arrives, killing Ironhide who is being helped by numerous Autobot drones.
Megatron goes looking for Optimus Prime by destroying the city, instead finding Sam and Mikeala hiding. Optimus appears and intervenes before Megatron can kill them, to have the last battle. Eventually, Megatron injures Optimus badly, and as he reaches for the All Spark, Megatron stands in the way. He lowers his flail, and can tell Optimus what happens now. He raises the flail, swings it around his head once, then swings it into Prime. Prime's optical display flickers for seconds, showing all of his past recordings before, flickering out, along with his Spark. With Optimus dead, Sam and the other humans remain unharmed, as Megatron is seen activating the All Spark, then releases a massive shockwave, presumably converting all the electronics in the world into Decepticons, and uses the new army to take over Earth. The story ends sometime later, with Megatron ordering all Decepticons to kill the last of Mankind from his "throne" before they leave Earth.
Peter Cullen, voice of Optimus Prime in the original 1984 TV series as well as in the 1986 and 2007 films, reprises the role. Mark Ryan, voice of Bumblebee in the 2007 film, voices Ironhide (He also voices Hoist in the PSP version). Andrew Kishino (Everquest II) voices Jazz as well as providing additional voice recording. Fred Tatasciore (Star Wars: Clone Wars) voices Ratchet as well as providing sounds for the Autobot drones (He also voices Sideswipe in the PSP version). Seth Bleiler provided sounds for the Autobot drones as well as providing some additional voice recording. Erik Passoja (The Beach Boys: An American Family) also provided sounds for the Autobot drones as well as providing some additional voice recording. Frank Welker, voice of Megatron in the original 1984 TV series as well as in the 1986 movie, reprises the role. Actor Keith David (The Pirates of Penzance) voices Barricade. Transformers fan Daniel Ross (Smithee's Lecture) voices Starscream. Noah Nelson (Gideon's Crossing) voices Blackout as well as providing sounds for the Decepticon drones and some additional voice recording. David Sobolov, who voiced Depthcharge in Beast Wars: Transformers, voices Brawl as well as providing some additional voice recording. Daniel Riordan, who voiced Omega Prime in Transformers: Robots in Disguise, voices Bonecrusher as well as providing sounds for the Decepticon drones. Keith Szarabajka (Star Wars: Force Commander) provided sounds for the Decepticon drones as well as providing additional voice recording. Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, Sam Witwicky and Mikaela in the live-action film, reprise their respective roles. Thom Kikot (Diagnosis: Unknown), Yuri Lowenthal (Here is Greenwood) and Kari Wahlgren (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith videogame) also provided additional voice recordings. Stephen Apostolina (The Adventures of Manxmouse), Ranjani Brow, David Cowgill (Gypsy Angels), Jackie Gonneau, Donald Fullilove (Jackson 5ive), Jacqueline Pinol (Noir), Jessica Pennington (CBS Library), Pepper Sweeney (Heat Wave), Claudette Wells (Square Pegs) and W.K. Stratton (Search for Tomorrow) provided walla sounds. Carl Weathers (Rocky) and Keythe Farley were the voice directors for the game.
GameStop/EB Games sell Transformers: The Game Cybertron Edition for the Xbox 360. This collector's edition contains exclusive material; codes that unlock the Cybertron level, a making of the game DVD, a Transformers comic book by Simon Furman, and Cybertron Edition box art.
Transformers: The Game received mixed to negative reviews upon release. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 57.69% and 55 out of 100 for the PC version; 57.44% and 56 out of 100 for the PlayStation 2 version; 54.38% and 53 out of 100 for the Wii version; 53.49% and 54 out of 100 for the PlayStation 3 version; 52.42% and 52 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 version; and 46.89% and 47 out of 100 for the PSP version.
In most reviews, graphics and sound effects were praised, IGN's review named the graphics of the Wii version in the time of its release as the best on the system while Peter Cullen's voice acting as Optimus Prime, alongside Frank Welker (Megatron's original voice in the 1984 cartoon) were considered strong points also. GameSpot also commended the responsive motion-controls on the Wii.
However, the various reviewers noted multiple flaws, such as a troublesome camera that tumbled (intended to give an effect of the walking of the Transformers themselves), repetitive missions, and clunky driving in the vehicle modes. They also commented that the game was too short and it had an unbalanced difficulty, older gamers finding it too easy, while younger players finding extremely hard to pass certain missions. Furthermore, although there were few complaints about it, the main console versions of the game lack multiplayer modes (though there is multiplayer on the DS and PSP versions). Hyper's Maurice Branscombe commended the game for looking good and comments that "exploration and destruction is fun". However, he criticised the game for its "mission objectives that are repetitive and boring". He also criticised the combat as poor.
A sequel for the game has been subsequently released based on the film's sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Vicarious Visions returned to develop the two DS games, and Savage Entertainment again developed the PSP version. Luxoflux developed the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version, which was ported to PC by Beenox. The PlayStation 2 and Wii versions were developed by Krome Studios. A second sequel, Transformers: Dark of the Moon was released in June 2011.
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