When Tformers.com was invited to a sneak peek of War For Cybertron over a month ago, we were able to sample offerings for the X-Box 360, PlayStation 3 and even the Nintendo DS. However, at the time there was no news on the Wii version of the game. The representatives there seemed tight lipped about the Wii version. We left imagining that the Wii version would take full advantage of the console's so far unique IR technology. We recently received a copy of Cybertron Adventures and we put it through the ringer.
Cybertron Adventures is a completely different style of game from War On Cybertron. For one, you do not choose which characters you play. You do, however, get to choose which faction you fight for. Each faction has it's own slant on the storyline, although the stories do tie in. For each level you play, you are assigned a character. Playable characters (in order of playable appearance) for the Autobots include:Sideswipe
For the Decepticons, you get to play the following characters:Megatron
The level normally starts with a driving session. You do not get to transform at will in this game. In fact, you don't even get to explore Cybertron as a whole, as the game play is linear. The level will alternate between either a "Race And Shoot" while in Alt mode (or a 3rd person forward shooter in jet mode) or a 3rd person rail shooter while in robot mode. There are several checkpoints along the way, which are usually signified by when you change into different modes. Once you have finished the level, you will be graded on accuracy, enemies killed and time to finish. These will count towards a ranking. There are 5 ranks in all: Scout, Sargent, Cavalier, Lieutenant and Commander. Each rank gives you benefits, such as additional firepower capacity.
For this game, you'll need the Wand and Nunchuck. For the alt mode sessions, controls are as follows:
Nunchuck WandAnalog: Steer left or right Cursor: Crosshair C: Not Used A: Fire cannon Z: Accelerate B(Held down): Lock onto target B(Released): Fire missiles
Note that you can't fire your cannon and fire your missiles at the same time. For the rail shooter mode, controls are as follows:
Nunchuck WandAnalog: Select weapon Cursor: Crosshair C: Not Used A: Cover mode Z: Zoom on Target B(Most weapons): Fire B(Held down, for missile launcher): Lock onto target B(Released, for missile launcher): Fire missiles
Controls can be glitchy. If you get your character caught up in a sprite during the alt mode campaign, if could have fatal results. Also, the crosshair is too loosely calibrated in the rail shooter mode, so you'll have to fine tune your aim while shooting a gun.Score: 6 - Controls can be a bit clumsy. Aiming can be frustrating.
Gameplay in either mode is laughably simple. For the alt mode campaign, simply steer left or right while using your cannon to clear debris or land based enemies. Also, be sure to use the light blue arrows on the pavement for a speed boost. At certain points, you will also have jumps to perform. Straying off the intended path will end up making you fail the mission, which then you will have to restart from the last checkpoint. You can also take damage while in the alt mode campaign, whether it's from running through debris or taking fire. Your health will recover slowly, though. This is especially important to remember while playing a jet based character, as they have slightly more freedom in movement (and slightly harder campaigns).
When switching between modes, or when moving to the next objective, there will be some FMV to view. You will recognize some of the voice overs, including Scott O'Neil and, of course, Peter Cullen. The dialog is pretty witty, and could be considered one of the better aspects of the game. During gameplay, there's also a lot of one-liners uttered.
In the rail shooter mode, your nunchuck will let you choose between 4 weapons:Gatling Gun (Press right):Fires a repeated round of high speed rounds. Perhaps the most useful weapon of the game. Gun will require "reload" after roughly 10sec.
The rail shooter mode is a breeze. To recover energy, simply go into cover mode. You never have to reload a weapon, though you will have to give 3sec to cool down your gatling gun and 1sec intervals between firing other weapons. The hardest parts of the game are the timed objectives, and that's only because the aiming calibration is so shoddy. There is also a bit of science as to how to best complete the timed objectives, which may require a learning curve.
In either mode, you have a multiplier. The more you actively mow down enemies, the higher your multiplier climbs, up to a 5x chain. Staying in cover or not having any targets will wear the multipler back down to 1x. This is important to know because at each checkpoint you will earn 1000pts. This can be up to 5000pts if you have a full 5x multiplier. And those points count towards earning your rank.
As for enemies, you mostly fight drones of various classes. The drones are vanilla for the most part, rarely indistinguishable. Occasionally, you will fight a main character, in which a health meter will be displayed for them. Their health will not rejuvenate, but you will have to fight them over several sequences of the objective. Also, you never actually destroy a main character. They normally get to run off or are otherwise captured.Score: 2 - The only challenge is the timed mode, and that's not so much a challenge as it is agonizing.
Playing Cybertron Adventures is like taking a trip back to 2004. While it's well known that the Wii isn't the best graphics based machine, you still feel like it could be better. Don't get me wrong, the main characters are done up very well. However, the backgrounds are mundane and the ancillary drones are droll. You'll also occasionally get caught up in a pixel trap while in the race and shoot mode. It happened to me twice, once while landing from a jump and once after the auto-transform to alt mode.Score: 4 - Past the main characters, graphics are archaic in nature
The sound effects is perhaps the highlight of the game. The witty banter between characters will invoke a chuckle once in awhile. There's plenty of one liners and zingers to keep things from being completely dull. Sound effects are also decent. The background music is loud enough to be heard subconsciously while being soft enough as to not drown anything out. All in all, the only refreshing balance in the game.Score: 8 - SFX could be sharper, but voices are spot on.
Sometimes, the ending to a game can be the difference. Sorry to report, the endings are just as vanilla as the game itself. You might actually feel disappointed once you reach the end, feeling like you got the equivalent of a empty Cracker Jack prize bag. As for unlockables? Don't count on new characters. All you get are galleries, which don't really contain anything awe inspiring. As you finish each level, you can also play a Challenge mode where you can up the difficulty. However, it really doesn't change the dynamics of the level any besides more enemies throwing more firepower at you. Yawn.Score: 1 - If you like easter eggs, this isn't your game.
It's not very often I give a product a scalding review. I have to make an exception here. This game is nowhere near worth the $50 MSRP put upon it. It would be difficult to even recommend this game if it were clearanced to $19.99. Why? Simply for the fact that the replay value is non-existent. You'll play through it once, wonder how to get 5hrs of your life back, then let it sit with your other "perhaps not so good" titles.Score: 1 - If you spent $50 for this game already, you have my condolences.
I dunno why the Nintendo Wii gets watered down ports from other machines. I know the processor is inferior to that of Sony's or Microsoft's consoles, but there's no reason to take a perfectly good title and soften it to the likes of a marshmellow when porting it to the Wii. Then again, most 3rd party titles for the Wii take this approach. Cybertron Adventures is no exception. If you absolutely must try this game, do yourself a huge favor. Find it at a rental store or site. I guarantee that if you actually purchase it... you'll be sorry.Console:Nintendo Wii
|Date||July 17th 2010|
|Score||(2 out of 10)|