The developers at Melbourne House must have been under no
pressure to create a decent “Transformers” videogame. Quality is of
little importance when a young tyke is pestering his parents for a
game featuring his favorite Robots In Disguise and the parents are
only trying to buy a week of peace and quiet.

So imagine this skeptic’s surprise when “Transformers” turned
out to be a remarkable videogame. Optimus Prime and the gang’s
latest adventure is a must have for gamers of all ages, even if the
term “Decepticon” only rings vaguely familiar.

Part of the game’s initial appeal is just how pretty it is,
running smoothly despite being packed with detailed characters and
environments that span as far as the eye can see. When gamers
venture through a forest, it really feels like a dense forest, and
the tree lines that loom far in the distance are actually part of
the reachable domain.

The sheer size of each level deserves praise: To travel
unhindered from one end of a map to the other could take up to 10
minutes on foot. Luckily, it is a “Transformers” game, and each of
the three selectable characters can transform into some type of
automobile. Driving, while not crucial to success, plays a large
role in covering old ground and circumnavigating hordes of enemy
“Decepticlones.”

The goal of “Transformers” is to rescue helper-bots known as
“Mini-Cons.” Never mind the plot, it’s not very good. The only
crucial information is that these “Mini-Cons” act as rocket
launchers, deflector shields, hang gliders and all sorts of other
power-ups. Players can also collect “Data-Cons,” discs that contain
extra features including concept art, soundtracks, and even public
service announcements from the original TV series (“Knowing is half
the battle!”).

Admittedly, the action itself is at times repetitive, often
requiring long-distance attacks followed by retreats to safer
ground. Still, there is satisfaction in picking off an army of
fifty robots and driving around the territory that they once
occupied. The music sets the mood for these battles, providing good
ambiance during exploration and intensifying as action draws near.
The heavy clunking sound of each step and punchy laser noises are
right on the mark as well.

“Transformers” is an impressive game. Fans must check it out and
hard-core gamers definitely need to witness the huge environments.
Parents, consider that $50 well spent.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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