Transformers - Armada - PS2 Game

This is my review for Transformers Armada for the PS2 which came out recently. If you are not sure wheter to by this game, this review should help you out.

General info:

The game is a 3D action shooter which means you run around while blasting stuff. Your goal is to get trough each level while collecting Mini-Cons and Data-Cons. One can take control of Optimus Prime, Red Alert or Hot Shot.

Intro and selection screen:

The intro movie looks great and even has some memorable one-liners from Transformers The Movie. The menu screens look cool as well. Selecting and Autobot or Mini-Con load is very easy.

Sadly the Autobots do not vary that much from eachother. Hot Shot is a lot weaker and only has speed to compensate for it. However he cannot handle jumps that Optimus could so speed is not a bonus in that respect. And the fact that Optimus can carry a higher Mini-Con load makes him the obvious choice.

The Mini-Cons:

This is of the area's where the game shines. In the show Mini-Cons were a story gimmick and in the toys a toy gimmick but here they truly serve a purpose. There are 40 Mini-Cons (if I recall correctly) divided over 5 colors. Equipping Mini-Cons of the same color will give you a bonus.

One can equip 4 Mini-Cons at the same time, one of which is connected to your regular weapon. I had 4 green ones attached but it did not do much. 2 yellow and 2 purple ones did give me a considerable health bonus.

Each Mini-Con (all of which are specfically created for the game)has their own name many of which are alterations of known Mini-Cons. Such as Sparkjump (Sparkplug) and Knockdown (Knockout). One Mini-Con is named after a G1 Transformer but I am keeping that name a secret.

Most Mini-Cons are weapoms but some give armor protection or allow you to return once if you died. One of the most important Mini-Cons allows you to glide, allowing you to reach new heights. Another favorite of mine is Hawkeye which enhances your vision enabling you to see trough nearby walls and detect enemies, Mini-Cons and Data-Cons.

Another Mini-Com attaches a mine to your enemy and this is funny too because once they are mined most run around waving their arms like idiots waiting untill they are blown up.

Each Mini-Con requires power to run and your Transformer has only so much power. So equipping only high power Mini-Cons may cause an overload.

Mini-Cons also use energy in the field. It does recharge (faster if you equip more Mini-Cons of the same color)but that takes time. Having the right Mini-Con is vital, in a level with lots of flyers you need a flak Mini-Con and not a sniper one.

I really like this part of the game since it makes the game exciting because you never know what Mini-Con you are going to get.


Data-Cons are hidden in every level and open up extra's in the main menu. Ranging from movie clips to G1 Public Service Announcements these can be pretty cool.


The game controls pretty good. Transforming is swift and driving around is cool. Steering could have been a little better. Sadly the game does not have an auto aim function so aiming can be tricky. Often enough I just Transform and ram my opponents which (when playing as Optimus) works pretty good.


Graphically the game is a dream. Everything looks great and when walking trough grass you even see each blade of grass. The Transformers look awesome and the effects are cool too. I love it when I blow up an opponent and there are parts flying everywhere. That is one of my favorite parts too.

Sadly the levels are not that diverse (they are huge though). 2 take place in the Amazon and Alaska and Antartica are both pretty much snow. But that is just a minor thing.


The sound is pretty cool. When walking in the show you can hear the snow crack. Exposions and such are pretty neat too. The voices are spot on, at least for Optimus and Megatron, the rest does not sound like they do in the show. Sadly the only time you hear your Transformer talk is during movies or briefings. So no humerous one liners while you blow up an opponent.

The bad news:

Sadly there is also some bad news. The game is tough, really tough (or it could just be me and for other people it is a walk in the park). Optimus for instance can take only a few blows before going into statis lock. Even the smallest Decepticlones will soon carry grenades which give Optimus the ability to fly but not voluntarily.

Most levels are packed with enemies so while you try to eliminate one, the others gang up on you. I have found myself in a level and I saw an opponent so I walked up to him so I could blast him. Suddenly a laser locked in on me and before I knew it was flying trough the air again.

If you first visit a level you can destroy a few Decepticlones (which is the bulk of Megatron's army) and save the game. When going back the destroyed enemies stay gone. If you need to return later in the game this is not the case so that makes the game even tougher.

I got trough the spaceship level using this technique. It is a little like cheating but if you have at least 10 Decepticlones firing at you, that is the only option. I was able to get trough that one but I am stuck in the next. Anyone got any hints or cheats?

Ok, people should not have to use then and for some games I do not want to since I really want to finish them in a fair way. But this game is so tough that there may not be a different option. I think a cheat would make the game enoyable because then you could blow up opponents all the time which is a lot fun.

The Bosses:

Most games have bosses and this one is no exception. It is also when you meet the Deceptions. As expected the bosses are tough as hell. One important hint, look for the right battle spot. It will not guarantuee victory but it will help a lot.

My favorite battle is the one with Tidal Wave. You really need to hit and run on that one. Make sure you have enough space because he launches his missiles at the place you are now so you want to be far away from that. Tidal Wave is HUGE though and looks awesome.

Closing comments:

I guess I have pretty much covered it. Let me know if I have forgotten anything. In short the game is a must have for every Transformers fan. I just wish it was not so darn difficult.

DateMay 8th 2004  
Score 8 stars (8 out of 10)  

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