Developed apart from the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 edition of game, Next Level Games puts their own spin on war for Cybertron in 'Cybertron Adventures.'
Starting on a high point, 'Transformers: Cybertron Adventures' greets you with a fantastic opening cinematic featuring the Autobots and Decepticons at war! Unfortunately, this opening cut-scene is a good as it gets, because once the game starts, so does the pain. This cinematic is the same one you will find on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 edition, and if you already own either of those, there is nothing to see here. Move along, no need for torture... and yes, it is that bad.
Huh, So What's Going On... Exactly?
Uncharacteristically, 'Transformers: Cybertron Adventures' is not a port. It's a brand new spin off from the story in 'War for Cybertron.' Developed as a standalone title, 'Cybertron Adventures' can be a little confusing if you haven't played its next-gen counterpart. The story mode kicks you right into the action with little reasoning behind the maliciously combative conflict. All you know is that hell has broke loose and the Autobots and Decepticons are at war. In basics, which isn't explained in any detail, but we know from playing the other version. The megalomaniac Megatron is back at it again, looking to dominate the planet Cybertron, and the Autobots are there to stop him. So like, what else is new?
Slimmed Down Version, Understatement of the Year
Canadian developer 'Next Level Games' helms the development behind our disappointment, which is a little surprising since the studio has done some excellent work in the past on the Wii platform. Transformers for the Wii is more than a slimed down version, it's a mockery of franchise exploited for the quick sale.
Aside from the casting, the only feature that is noteworthy is the ability to play on either side of the war. After being welcomed by one of the ugliest menu screens I've seen in game, you select a side and begin. The Decepticons start you out with their leader, 'Megatron'... while the Autobots put you in a search and rescue mission featuring 'Sideswipe.' Strange enough, the Decepticons tale leads you into the Autobots tale, so if you are starting as the good guys, good luck figuring it all out.
Since I started with the Decepticon campaign in the "other" version, I kept this trend flowing with the Wii. This quickly transported me into the middle of the conflict with Megatron driving in vehicle form down a highway littered with falling rocks. This was my first instance with the game, and from that moment, it was obvious, this "adventure" was going to be different... :/
The vehicle segments fumble around like a cheap version of F-Zero on the SNES-- no joke. Now that could be a good thing... if this was an estranged racing styled Transformers game, but its not. 'Transformers: Cybertron Adventures' is one half on-the-rails shooter and the other a F-Zero racer. You might think this is an exaggeration, but sadly it's closer to the truth then you would believe. We even have everything from the simplistic "laser beam" sound effects to the blue arrows that boost your ride when you race over them.
Transforming into a Crisis
When the driving chunks are over you will transform back into your humanoid form. However, the expereience is far short of you'd expect. Once you transform you immediately loose control of your characters movement. Say what? On foot, 'Cybertron Adventures' starts up the on-rails aspect of pretending to be a shooter. Not to frown upon on-rails shooters, our 2009 Wii GOTY was one (Dead Space: Extraction), but this one isn't even close to being in the same league.
The shooting segments are simplified to a duck-and-cover mechanic with the character only having the ability to side-step. Think, PS1 edition of 'Time Crisis.' You move section-to-section shooting down your enemies like bottles placed on a fence post. There is no challenge, and with unlimited ammo and health regenerating quickly, this game is too easy, even for young gamers. Putting this in perspective makes this even more disappointing because it is the main course for the game. Truly, it's disheartening as much as it is disappointing.
'Cybertron Adventures' keeps the game moving forward by alternating between forced driving segments and on foot action, which brings forward one main problem within the game, the lack of freedom to transform. You know, the best features about being a Transformer is taken away. Not cool, and by taking that away all we are left is a game that could have been filled with any type of giant-robot.
Starscream, the Star?
Things get a little better when you start flying around as Starscream; however, you are very limited in your movements, much like the rest of the game. Thankfully for us, Starscream's sarcastic wit does a good job keeping you motivated as he constantly rambles on about Megatron. At least the characterization, and script is right on the money, and full voice over support is very welcomed. Actually, if 'Cybertron Adventures' didn't have support from the voice cast this game would have been absolutely unbearable.
Also helping the cause is the broken up mission structure, which is probably the second most redeeming quality in 'Cybertron Adventures.' Slipping each chapter into individual missions featuring a specific transformer was a smart idea. By featuring solo missions, the game feels a lot more in touch with each personalities. It also gives us a chance to focus on some of the Transformers we wished had more face time in the "other" game. If anything 'Cybertron Adventures' lets us in a little more then 'War for Cybertron.' It's just sad the rest of the game can deliever.
Lastly, you can replay the game in the 'Challenge Mode' which breaks down each mission into challenges to go for a high score. Again, online leaderboards would have been a nice incentive, unfortunately that is not the case, so don't expect to spend much time in here after you finished the game-- which can be done in a few hours.
'Transformers: Cybertron Adventure' is one adventure you will want avoid, even if you are a die-hard Transformers fan. The adventure here is nothing but a sham that takes away the most redeeming characteristic about the Transformers, the ability to transform. Not to mention the second rate game mechanics, dulled to death graphics and utter lack of innovation. It's too bad the Wii has been short-changed again.
Gameplay:3.0, Graphics:4.0, Sound:6.0, Innovation:0, Mojo:3.0 Final: 3.2 / 10