Transformers Prime Review

I normally start my reviews with some kind of cutesy opener; a story about myself, a look at the history of a whatever game I'm reviewing, whatever. Not this time. No, in this review for Transformers Prime: The Video Game, the first game I've reviewed for Nintendo's newest console, all I'm going to say is this: Off-screen play on the Wii U is the best thing to happen to console gaming in a decade. Even this game, as middle of the road as it is, seemed infinitely better because I could play it - a full-sized home console game - while watching Intervention on A&E. I don't think I'll ever buy another multiplatform game for a system that isn't the Wii U, simply because of this completely earth-shattering new way to play. Ok, let's talk Transformers now.everything is a gross overstatement.

Transformers Prime: The Video Game is based on the almost always-excellent Transformers Prime animated reboot. It loosely follows the plot of the show's first season, which had Optimus Prime and the Autobots squaring off against not just their sworn enemies the Decepticons, but also the evil Unicron-created Thunderwing. The plot was, on television anyway, a nice twist on the tried-and-true Transformers formula and was exciting for new and old fans pretty equally. The game, however, doesn't have the kind of time it needs to get everything explained, so unless you are familiar with the plot already, you probably won't get quite as much out of this one. You won't be as lost as, say, a non-fan playing a Naruto or Dragonball Z title, but to say you'll grasp

Not that it really matters, though; Transformers Prime: The Video Game only contains around 14 total missions, the last 3-4 or which are simple, one note boss fights. The whole experience clocks in at between 3-6 hours total, with more padded in for the uninspiring multiplayer or finding stuff/unlocking chores. Not cool for a full priced retail game. Worse yet, you only get to play through in control of the Autobots, and only as about five of them. Each level must be tackled with a pre-determined hero - Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Arcee (yay!), Bumblebee or Bulkhead - and I guarantee you'll be left wanting to play more with some while forgetting others completely. Sounds pretty bad, right?

Not so fast. Even when you take all those negatives into account, Transformers Prime: The Video Game is actually fun to play. The seamless vehicle-to-robot transformations are easy to master and useful in exploration and combat, something that couldn't be said about most other past (non-Cybertron series) Transformers games, and certainly not the ones that appeared on Nintendo's consoles and handhelds. The shooting and melee combat also flow well into one another, and the experience and coolness of the Transformers universe is laid on thick enough to mask, if not erase, some of the game's bigger missteps. Much like the games based on the first two Transformers theatrical films, Transformers Prime: The Video Game makes a bunch of mistakes, yet it be manages to remain fun and engaging in the face of the instinct that tells us there are better games out there.

Transformers Prime screenshot 7

If you are a new Wii U owner, make sure you play New Super Mario Bros. U, Skylanders: Giants or any of the other big name games hitting this holiday season. But once those have come and gone, keep your eyes open and trained on the bargain bin. If you see Transformers Prime: The Video Game in there, it's one afternoon of fun might just be worth it as you wait for the next big release. And if you can play off-screen and catch up on some TV time, well, that's just another reason this shallow but unquestionably fun game might be worth it.

Final Rating: 65%. It's good for one long afternoon of fun.


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