Wednesday, June 09, 2010
This is NOT your father's Autobot LCD game(unless I'm your daddy)OR:G2 is the new G1, the new me is the old me...and other ways I know it's still 1985
I got really lucky back in April when I was at the mall and found the Transformers Revenge of the Fallen game for PS3 on clearance for 15 bucks. I was really excited because on the package (and in the trailer and on just about every video game review for it) there's these awesome depictions of an Optimus Prime vs. Devastator fight. They could put that image on tampons and I would buy them. All I wanted to do was be Optimus Prime and get up in Devastator's business and try to rip off his head, denying him and other sentient beings of their rights to freedom and a face. But then when I got home and popped the game in I was stuck in some lame training mission where I was Bumblebee learning to drive and then suddenly I became some jet guy learning to fly and when all that was over I was in some sort of complicated mission control room trying to learn what I should do next. I tried to play a mission and there were all these objectives and complicated multi-button controls that changed depending on which mode you're in and whose side you're on. So I said screw this! I'm 36 and based on average life expectancy that's a little over half dead and I just don't have the time or the patience anymore to play a game where the first hour feels like I'm testing for my Cybertronian driver's license.
IF THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL IS NOT IN CARTOONS THEN WHATEVER YOU'RE TRYING TO DO IS TOO COMPLICATED
So I figured maybe I'm missing something and I looked for the instruction manual trying to figure out which was the button I needed to press to immediately start the epic Optimus Prime vs. Devastator face off. And then I find out the instruction manual is eight pages long! This might not seem like a lot to the kids nowadays but when I grew up my first video game console was an Atari 2600 and the only revenge we had was Yar's Revenge. If my instruction book back then was eight pages that's because seven pages of it was a comic book featuring fantastic stories of Yars revenging each other. It turned out shooting Devastator in the balls like I wanted was going to be a lot more complicated than I thought.
LCD IS MY NEW HDTV
That's when I remembered that a couple Botcons ago I bought the Tiger handheld Transformers Generation 2 game! If I remembered correctly it had an Optimus vs. Devastator fight in it, with the added advantage of being simple to play due to having about twenty thousand less buttons on the controller. Plus it was from the G2 era which meant it had the same old Transformers I grew up with, just they were pretending it wasn't 1985. So I opened it up and to my delight I found the manual was a fold out pamphlet and best of all, the instructions were written in comic book!
You always play as Optimus Prime! Thank you, thank you! This is why this game is infinitely better than the PS3 version. I don't waste time being anyone else. And the objective is clearly defined-beat up the Decepticons. Unlike the PS3 version that took eight pages and still didn't tell me what the heck was going on, I know right from the start who I am and what I'm supposed to do. All you can do in this game is drive down the road as Optimus Prime and kill every robot in your way. Some people might call this restrictive and redundant gameplay. I call it the greatest scene in Transformers:The Movie.
I love this game! It's Optimus Prime versus the Constructicons the whole way through! In another part of the manual their names are given as Scavenger, Mixmaster, Bulldozer, Longhaul, Scrapper and Hook. I guess Bonecrusher was sick that day or something. (In a crazy twist, Devastator's legs also attacked me during the game. Scrapper and Mixmaster in their leg modes would pop up randomly.) Devastator is described as the leader of the Constructicons, who is the most powerful Constructicon but not the most powerful Decepticon in the game. What's fantastic is that once you beat Devastator in level 2, he keeps popping up later on in the game. It's constant Optimus vs. Devastator action!
Another great feature is the ability to call up another Autobot to fight alongside you. The assisting character changes depending on the level but it means Inferno, Jazz, Sideswipe and Grimlock get to make cameos. They only have one hit point so depending on their position in the screen (they're each stuck in one place and can't move) they either die really quick or not at all. I love how Jazz, Sideswipe and Inferno are their G2 box arts rendered in LCD drawings. It's Transformers:Battle of the Promotional Line Art. It's really cool if you like seeing old newspaper ads fighting each other (and you know I'm all about that).
I haven't beaten the game yet but I have seen level four, the final level of the game where the last boss is Starscream. I'm glad they didn't make Devastator the final boss because getting to kill him repeatedly is a lot of fun. This is really what the PS3 game should have been. I may be getting old but I'll take a game where I immediately start as Optimus Prime and three minutes later I'm fighting Devastator. Heck, in an ideal world three minutes is about how long anyone should have to wait for anything. Once I get good enough to beat the game I want to do a YouTube of it so everyone can see its greatness. But that's gonna take a little while. Heck, I may never progress and just be totally content with fighting G2 Devastator over and over. PS3 DEVASTATOR YOUR BALLS ARE SAFE FOR NOW.