The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
I have many childhood memories of playing with Transformers toys. They may not have had motion controls, professional voice work, or onscreen reticles, but in my imagination they fought colossal battles. Somehow this game has reached through time, stole all those memories, and poured a tank full of Bumblebee's bladder oil all over them. If this is what it's like to play with Transformers nowadays, I want no part of it.
If I hadn't already seen the film, I might assume that it consists of the Transformers spending two hours running past the same five set pieces while Bumblebee delivers line after line of terrible dialogue. Yeah, Bumblebee talks, and that's not the only inconsistency between the game and the film. But you won't really care, since you're too busy shaking your head at the waves of cookie cutter enemies and the game's tiring action. You might want to wear a wrist guard, because Transformers' motion combat is so unresponsive you end up shaking the remote hard enough to give you tendonitis.
For consistency's sake, the rest of the game's mechanics don't work either. Your aiming reticle for long-range attacks is overlaid atop the screen like in an FPS rail shooter. The problem is that this is a third-person action game, so sometimes the Wii can't tell whether or not you want to shoot the enemy in front of you or behind you. However, the Transformers' worst sin is that you can't transform into vehicle form during the action. Isn't that the point of Transformers? They transform! Maybe this game should be called Giant Robot Forms.
Marginally entertaining rail sequences help change things up, but they are brief levels, and the game's two-player co-op does the minimal amount of effort meet the definition of the term – the second player is a sprite with limited attack options. In short, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a gameplay disaster filled with one-dimensional characters that lacks many of the impressive ILM effects from the film. Yet somehow its story is still better than the movie's.
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While it is by no means a visual feast, the Wii version of Transformers manages some decent controls and straightforward arcade action. The game even features a good variety of characters, settings, and gameplay styles throughout the short levels through which you smash. Make no mistake, smashing is as high an ambition for which the title strives. Combat is shallow, the levels are linear, and the technology behind the whole affair looks like something from a generation ago, with the possible exception of the motion controls. Little additions like the limited co-op play and extensive unlockable extras are certainly welcome, but don't go in with any delusions; this is among the most simplistic of movie license games, albeit one that basically works the way it is supposed to.