Developer: BeastWars Team
Publisher: Hasbro Interactive
System: PSX , (PC)
Released: June 1998
Review Date: 3/27/03
Ok, quick and to the point. During my childhood, along with thousands of other kids, I watched "The Transformers". It was an action show, based off a line of toys. These toys made LOTS and LOTS of money for its creator, Hasbro. Hasbro likes money. So once they stopped making money off it, they created another line of Transformer toys called Beast Wars. This too was made into a show, and also turned out to be very successful. Around the end of the second season, Hasbro decided to release a game based on the license. A game of which, I just happen to be reviewing.
The version I reviewed was the PC version (much cheaper, and I never cared for the Playstation). It begins with a 3d animated logo... And a choice of language! Why the hell would I want to do that? Well, you soon find out in the form of a FMV movie. This movie was made from splicing various scenes from the first season of the show. The music was definitely in character with the show... But the voices? Wait a second, those aren't the talented, experienced voice actors I'm used to hearing! AAUUUUUUUGGG!!! They're sound alikes! Even for sound alikes, these guys suck! It's horrendous! Dammit! Ok, then the menu boots up. It's the BeastWars logo with a flame of suck... er... A flame in the background... Ah, this is an ominous sign.
Well, looking back at when they were released... I guess they aren't that bad, except they're really dark colors in the game. Yeah, and the textures are... Ok, let me explain it this way. There's a sun glare effect in the first level. While it looks cool and everything, there is an outline around the square of the texture. Cheap and poorly produced I would say. Some of the lighting effects are rather nice, but the crappy draw distance makes up for anything representing good. Nothing impressive, nothing bad.
I guess the sound in this game is... uhh... in character with the show. I mean, if you're into that Dragon Ball Z Bruce Faulconer stuff, you'll probably get a real kick out of this music. Normal people, on the other hand, won't see anything resembling interesting or inspiring about the music. It's rock music. It just sorta plays. The sound effects aren't that bad either, I mean... Lasers sound like lasers. But then... There are the voices. I might've given the music a 6, for being enjoyable if you like the Bruce Faulconer stuff. But the voices, so pathetic and uttered EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU TRANSFORM exude suckiness. Bad Transformer! Bad!
This is quite possibly the best example of what an amateur game would end up like. I'm referring to those thousands of kiddies with no lives, who post on message boards whining "I could program a better game than that!". The game is a combination of many, sometimes intriguing ideas, but they lack good execution. Making a game all about transforming characters is tricky; you have to be able to create multiple forms of gameplay to accommodate each form. Hasbro's idea was to assume that the beast form of each character was more agile and faster (when you think about that, neither are true). Then, they assumed that the robot form would be used for combot. Thus, the game is a very odd mix of 3rd person shooter and platformer. The problem is, the two don't mix very well. Once you're in beast form, you have no weapon of self-defense, and most often you're forced into this form to shield yourself from the energon radiation on the planet. "A shooting game that punishes you for shooting" is what one reviewer called this combination. It just doesn't work at all, unless you're a real fan of the show.
For this game, you're given the option of using a gamepad, keyboard, or joystick. The keyboard controls are out of the question, this game was meant to be played on a gamepad. But even then, the controls are without a question clunky. This shows through on the lackluster platforming sections, in which the slightest twitch sends you plummeting to your death. Also, the strafing is really really slow.
Hey, this is my first crap game I've had the privilege of reviewing. Most of the time, I make good purchasing decisions. Take my advice, stay away from this game. Even the creators have disowned it by now (the Hasbro Interactive site has long since been shut down, and Inforgrames pretends it doesn't have the license to the game). Poor controls, lackluster gameplay, dated / lifeless graphics do not make a pleasant combination
Beautifully dated. Suckiness can be seen in every detail
American DBZ style "crap rock" and bad voices
Poor mix of platforming and shooting
Overall (not an average): 4/10
It's not good enough for even the most obsessive Trans-fans