It is here, and it is based on a license, but don't worry just yet...
It is an action game based on the Transformers Armada license! Yes, Transformers, a franchise that almost everyone who grew up in the 1980's or '90s would know, unless they have been living under a rock or just did not have a TV. This game is based on the latest version of the age old war between the Decepticons and Autobots. This time they are using smaller robots called 'Mini-Cons' to tip the scale in battle; using these Mini-Cons Melbourne House have added a bit of extra depth to what could have ended up just another action game.
This game is an action game with some minor RPG aspects like modifying your Autobot using the Mini-Cons which can be collected in the various missions making some exploration to find the Mini-Cons important. The Mini-Cons give your Autobot more attacks or defensive capabilities. They come in a few different colours this is important because matching up 4 Mini-Cons of the same colour on your Autobot makes him a lot more powerful.
If you don't know it already, the story goes like this.
One million years ago the Autobots and Decepticons were waging a war on their home planet named Cybertron. Using these little robots called Mini-Cons to enhance their attacks, defenses, or just building bigger guns to toast the enemy with. Now, the Autobots had a great idea to send the Mini-Cons into space to stop the Decepticons from using them for evil. That brings us to the current situation; you see the Decepticons have decided it would be a good idea to send a small team after the Mini-Cons and said Mini-Cons are now scattered around earth. The Decepticon leader Megatron has brought along some of his 'best' soldiers. Star Scream who turns into a Jet and Cyclonus who can turn into an attack helicopter to name a couple.
More than meets the eye!
Once you start the game you will get to choose between three Autobots on hand is Optimus Prime, Red Alert, and my personal favorite Hot Shot Each Autobot changes into a different vehicle: Optimus Prime turns into a Semi truck which goes pretty good on any kind of terrain, Red Alert turns into a Emergency SUV which favours off road, and Hot Shot turns into a Sports Car which is fast on dirt tracks or roads. Transforming helps when it comes to exploring the massive environments for example traversing land by car is much faster than walking.
When it comes to saving games you use 'Warp gates' that are scattered around the environments. If you just want to save your game you can walk past and press X when you're close enough to them or if you want to change Autobots or switch Mini-Cons you can wait for the warp gate to open and go through it the only down side is that once you?ve changed Autobots all of the Decepticlones will be back when you reload your save game, but you can choose which warp gate you go back into the game world from.
Welcome to the Jungle
The first mission takes place in the Amazon jungle and it is perfect for getting into it the game; it has dirt roads, a few big jumps, and a lot of trees to hide behind for taking on the harder Decepticlones like the Heavy Unit and, at first, this one is a pretty hard robot to defeat it sports a Rocket launcher that can fire two rockets at once and can jump over canyons. Don?t worry there are much tougher boss fights later but I won?t ruin the surprises for you.
The controls are pretty simple for example Triangle transforms in and out of robot mode, R1 shoots, L1 Jumps while R2 and L2 for using Mini-Cons that are assigned to them.
You will need to get a good handle on these controls for the boss fights against the Decepticons such as Star Scream, who attacks from the air. When it comes to gliding which is a Mini-Con induced ability, it?s rather hard to pick up at first and you will find yourself landing the hard way at first, but once you get a handle on it you can collect some really sweet Mini-Cons.
The Graphics in Transformers are by far some of the best seen on the PS2; you can really tell that Melbourne House has really pushed the PS2 hardware; for example in the Antarctica level you can see a cool snow effect on the ground where it looks like it?s got snow being blown along the ground and slow flacks pouring down around you, and when you transform you also see snow getting disturbed when you land.
By far the best thing about the graphics is the draw distance they have managed to squeeze out of the PS2 hardware and this is an important factor in the Gameplay too; you can go into first person mode and zoom in on an enemy for some really sweet sniper action.
The primary view point is third person and it?s very good for driving but can pose a problem in the Amazon Level when trees can and probably will get between the camera and the Autobot causing you to lose sight of the in-game action.
They have got some really good voice acting in this game too; all of the Autobots have voice-overs from the Voice actors who did the voices in the English dub of the anime. The music in this game is also pretty good too with nice background music that seems to suit every environment.