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Transformers for Sony PlayStation 2

In May 2004, just in time for the 20th anniversary of Transformers, Atari and Melbourne House releases a Transformers game for PlayStation 2.

The game is based on the Transformers: Armada series, and you can choose to play as one of three different Autobots: Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, and Red Alert. Throughout the game you collect various Mini-Cons which provide you with special abilities that help you defeat the Decepticons. You are of course also able to transform to vehicle mode, to traverse long distances faster (and in some situations, run over your enemies).

The Autobots
As mentioned above, at the start of each level you can choose to play as one of Optimus Prime, Red Alert, and Hot Shot. Each character has different characteristics: Optimus Prime is strong and tough, but slow; Hot Shot is fast and agile, but not so strong or durable; Red Alert's strength and speed is average, but as an off-road vehicle he has better handling in vehicle mode than the other two. All three transform at the touch of a button.

The Mini-Cons
Just like in the TV series, finding Mini-Cons to boost your power is a very important part of the game. When the game starts each Autobot is only equipped with a simple blaster, and the abilities to transform and to jump, but as you explore the levels in the game you will find more than 40 Mini-Cons that give you new weapons and abilities. Some Mini-Cons increase your Autobot's speed or firepower, while others provide you with missile launchers, an energy field, energon vision, invisibility, the ability to glide through the air, and so on.

The Mini-Cons are grouped into four categories, and you can have up to four Mini-Cons attached to your Autobot at the same time - one from each category, each one bound to one of the shoulder buttons on your controller.
By using a combination of Mini-Cons of the same colour you get additional benefits, as colour-matched Mini-Cons work together to improve your energy levels. Two matching Mini-Cons boost your energon levels, three matching Mini-Cons reduce the drain that's caused by powerlinking with your designated Mini-Con partner, and four Mini-Cons help recharge you faster.

You can change your selection of Mini-Cons when you warp back to Autobot Headquarters (there are numerous warp gates in each level).

The locations
There are eight different locations in the game, like the Amazon jungles, Alaska, the Pacific Islands, a starship, and Cybertron. The locations are very detailed, and some of them span across immense distances, so it helps being able to transform to vehicle mode to cross the distances faster.

Each location is full with the latest addition to the Decepticon army - drones called Decepticlones - and at the end of each level you face a boss, more specifically one of the main Decepticons (Cyclonus, Starscream, Megatron, Tidal Wave, etc.).
Tidal Wave is actually one of the hugest video game bosses ever, with a height of about 300 meters (Optimus Prime is only 7 meters tall, and Red Alert and Hot Shot are even shorter). A large part of one level takes place inside Tidal Wave while in carrier mode. Eventually he transforms, and at that point you have to fight him from the outside.

There are numerous Mini-Cons to discover in each level, but some of them won't be accessible without the help of other Mini-Cons which you don't get until later in the game, so some of the previous levels will eventually have to be revisited.

Sound
Some of the voices will sound familiar to everyone who's following the Armada and Energon shows, as Gary Chalk and David Kaye have lent their voices to Optimus Prime and Megatron once again. Many other sounds have been lifted straight from the cartoons, like the laser blasts and the transforming sound. There are also other sounds like running water and walking Decepticlones to help enhancing the playing experience.
The music in the game adapts to the situation, and when the situation becomes serious, the music becomes louder and more intensive.

Extras
In addition to the Mini-Cons, there are also more than 60 Data-Cons to collect in the game. The Data-Cons don't provide any help in the game, but unlocks bonus material that can be accessed while in Autobot headquarters, like photographs of toy designs, gameplay sketches and storyboards, mini-comics, music clips, and short video clips (public service announcements) that were produced for the original cartoon but never used.


This page was created by Lars Eriksson, groundsplitter@ntfa.net.
The last revision was made on Thursday, May 13, 2004

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