Transformers: Cybertron Adventures Review
Transformers: Cybertron Adventures box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Next Level Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Activision 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 22, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

As a child growing up in the 80’s, I was obviously a huge Transformers fan. The very idea that everyday objects around me could possibly be two-story tall robots in disguise fascinated me to no end. As such, I’m usually quite happy to check out anything having to do with the Transformers, as long as it doesn’t involve Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf that is. So when I was tasked with reviewing Transformers: Cybertron Adventures, I was actually pretty excited about the prospect of seeing how the Wii version of the Transformers: War for Cybertron game turned out. Unfortunately, after playing the game it seems like the robots aren’t the only things in disguise.

Transformers: Cybertron Adventures screenshot

Whereas Transformers: War for Cybertron for the HD consoles gives players the chance to take part in some Gears of War styled third-person shooting and transform at any time, Transformers: Cybertron Adventures takes most of this out of the player’s hands. The game still uses a third-person perspective, but instead of maneuvering about, transforming, and grabbing cover wherever you can find it, you’re simply just waiting for your robot to stop moving, shooting a handful of enemies, and then waiting for your robot to move on. This is because instead of just downgrading the visuals, adding motion controls to War for Cybertron, and then putting it out on the Wii, Cybertron Adventures took the on-rails shooter or “guided experience” route.

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While there have been plenty of good on-rails shooters for the Wii (Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, The House of the Dead: Overkill, and Dead Space: Extraction just to name a few), Cybertron Adventures simply isn’t one of them. To begin with, this game looks incredibly rough, even for a Wii title. Heck, the game even looks awful for a GameCube title. The main Transformers in the game are made up almost entirely of dreary, muddy looking textures and lack the kind of detail you’d expect. Sadly, the overly reused enemies fair even worse, appearing as though they were given just enough distinguishing features to be recognizable as Transformers. Mixing those with the almost completely textureless, boring, and baron environments in the game creates a title you’ll swear looks like it was made for a console no newer than the Dreamcast.

Transformers: Cybertron Adventures screenshot

Visual failings aside, this game is just completely uninteresting to play. The story behind Cybertron Adventures differs from that found in War for Cybertron. Perhaps the story was meant to fill in story elements found in War for Cybertron, but as someone who has played only a limited amount of the HD counterparts, Cybertron Adventures seems almost entirely incoherent. As I proceeded from one mission to the next, I rarely had any clue as to how the two may have been interrelated, making the game feel like a bunch of one-off missions that were haphazardly thrown together for seemingly no reason.

Unfortunately, the gameplay is so repetitive and lifeless it does very little to distract you from the other shortcomings of the game. As I mentioned before, Cybertron Adventures is a guided experience, which means you have no direct control over your character’s movements. Your on-screen Transformer will maneuver about each level, going from cover to cover, and then pausing whenever there are enemies about. It is then that you are finally able to actually have some control over their actions. From here, you can aim your Wii Remote and fire at enemies, hit a button to take cover and regain health, or switch between your four allotted weapons.

Transformers: Cybertron Adventures screenshot

Every Transformer in the game has the same four basic weapons including a sniper rifle, rocket launcher, machine gun, and a blaster. The blaster is almost completely useless, as it deals very little damage and needs reloaded almost constantly, while the other weapons can serve a purpose depending on the situation. The sniper rifle is good for taking out distant enemies that are difficult to target, or even see, using the other weapons and the machine gun comes in handy when being attacked by hordes of tiny robots. However, there is rarely a need to switch to any weapon besides the rocket launcher during the entirety of the game. Using this weapon is similar to the mechanic found in Panzer Dragoon where you simply hold down the fire button, run your aiming reticule over a group of enemies, and then release the button to fire. While targeting your enemies can often be painful due to bad detection issues, this is the most effective way to progress through the game.

Screenshots / Images
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