I would like to begin this post with an apology. The reason I haven't been making content for this blog is because I was busy moving into my new house. So it took me a while to squeeze a blog post into such stressful times. But now that my room is set up and ready to go I can finally review a game I have been playing and enjoying for quite a while.
So what is Transformers Devastation? Basically, it's the ultimate love letter to classic 80's era Transformers. So we a Bumblebee that talks, Optimus Prime fights with an battle-ax instead of a sword, Megatron has a arm cannon, and for once I can tell who's who! Ah, the 80's. How we missed you so!
In case you could not tell I really REALLY like the original G-1 Transformers a lot. Now I notice a lot of long time Transformers fans hating on the Micheal Bay movies, but in my personal opinion they weren't THAT bad. I personally wish some things were different (like, oh I don't know, bringing back all 16 of the original Transformers, or having the Dinobots play a bigger role, or not killing off Jazz, Ratchet, Bulkhead, or any Autobots for that matter. This is my dream Transformers movie by the way. MAKE IT HAPPEN HOLLYWOOD!!!!) but overall, I enjoyed the Transformers movies. *realizes what he just said and locks himself in Transformers fanbase-proof shelter*
Soundwave Superior! Autobots Inferior!
Anyway, back on the topic at hand. I don't REALLY(?) feel a spoiler warning is in order because if you watched an episode from the original show like me you pretty much know the entire story. Which can be summarized as "Megatron and other bad guys find ancient Cybertronian spaceship called the Proudstar, Megatron tries to use Proudstar to destroy Earth, Optimus Prime and friends have to stop him from destroying Earth." There you go! No spoiler warning needed! :^) Although if you HAVEN'T watched 80's Transformers, then feel no shame. If you saw an episode of Transformers and think that "Bay-formers" (the term the Transformers fan community uses to refer to the Micheal Bay movies) is better, well... I hope you have a Transformers fanbase-proof shelter.
I also like how humans don't appear directly in the game at all (They are mentioned a grand total of three times). The only characters are the Transformers themselves. It's like "Right. This is a Transformers game. Not a "Human-formers game. No more Witwicky malarkey. The Transformers need to be the star of the show."
So enough about the story, what about gameplay? Well Transformers Devastation is a beat-em-up action game and on that front it's handled VERY well. Granted, this game was made by the legendary Platinum Games. Never Heard of them? They made every good action game. Wonderful 101, Okami, and a certain gun-slinging witch who somehow made it into Smash Bros (more on that in the next blog post).
There are five playable characters, each with different fighting styles (if you don't like how a particular character plays you can customize what weapon they have, changing the kind of attacks that character can use. Convenient!). Furthermore, all five characters can extend their combos by attacking in vehicle mode. Yes. Platinum Games somehow managed to make the Autobots bust some Decepti-chops by attacking in Vehicle mode. I never seen any Transformers game ever do that. For some unknown reason EVERY Transformers video game ALWAYS reserves Vehicle mode for chase scenes and transport but rarely do you have to transform to attack directly. On another note all five characters have a counter called Focus Time (a shout-out to a certain gun-slinging witch that was also made by Platinum Games) that lets an Autobot briefly slow down time if that dodge an attack RIGHT BEFORE it connects.
Optimus Prime is a bit of a jack of all trades that is good at everything across the board. He is the only character that can equip EVERY weapon type in the game. His Finisher also not only looks awesome but it has a ludicrously large hit-box (it covers the entire screen!)
Bumblebee is faster than all the other characters combined and comes with absurdly long combos perfect for juggling. The downside is the admittedly pathetic damage per hit but like I said, his combos make up for it. Also, Bumblebee is the only character who can use Vehicular attacks twice in a row.
"Me Grimlock no bozo, Me KING!!!" And Grimlock does not lie. The game literally admits that Grimlock has the highest attack stat, defense stat, and health pool in the WHOLE GAME. The downside? He is a bit on the slow side (you literally have to spam the circle button, or the equivalent of it, to keep up a consistent speed in his Dinosaur mode), and his power diminishes if you give him a hand held weapon. Also you have to manually aim his Finisher (where he spits out a massive inferno).
Wheeljack, for lack of better words, is the living embodiment of STUPIDLY OVERPOWERED!!! He has a shield that makes him invincible!!! His finisher has him building a bomb that inflicts a random damage type! ALL of his vehicle attacks has him launching explosives. It's no wonder he's off limits till after beating Chapter 1(? I don't remember which chapter it is) You can see why they changed him from the nerdy scientist we all know and love to the kick-butt *katana-swinging mercenary in Transformers Prime.
Sideswipe is a glass cannon. Least amount of health in the game, but has arguably the highest damage output. The easiest way to think of Sideswipe is Bumblebee's speed mixed with Grimlock's strength. He has a dash ability which could be useful but his Finisher requires you to manually aim that rocket launcher on his shoulder. Unlike Grimlock's Finisher however, Sideswipe's Finisher has a much smaller hit box. At least he fires several rockets in a row.
And that covers all of the playable characters. In case you are wondering why only five Autobots are playable it's because Platinum Games brought back ONLY the Transformers whose real life voice actors are still alive. So No Prowl for you and no Jazz for me. Jazz is my favorite by the way**.
Some bosses are so massive they make the Autobots
look like ants.
Anyway, something I found interesting is that this game has a LOT of collectibles. These include audio logs that reveal more about the lore of the Transformers universe, Kremzeeks that unlock concept art, And Decepticon flags you can shoot down (this is the hardest one because they hide them expertly.
I really like this game. It's a love letter to the original 80's era show in almost every way, and that is a good thing. I also like the music. It's energetic and in-your-face, perfect for a game with non-stop action. I have seen some people complain about the bosses being absurdly difficult, but I never had a problem with any of the bosses except the second Sentry-Bot boss (those dang sinking platforms!) The graphics are amazing as well. It's kind of cell-shaded but looks amazing (especially on PS4!)
The only thing I don't like about the game is Challenge mode. Challenge mode is a collection of mini-games that range from simple boss rushes, to more elaborate things like protecting a fellow Autobot for five minutes. My complaint about it? They DON'T BOTHER EXPLAINING HOW TO ACTUALLY DO THE MINI-GAMES. All you get is a vague objective like "Race to the Finish" or "Punt the Decepticons". The only thing I would change is a quick mini-tutorial on how some of the mini-games work. But other than that, I love this game. Overall I would give this a 9/10.
*-Katana (pronounced cat-Ana). A long, single-edged sword often used by Japanese Samurai Warriors. The more you know! ;)
**-I just now realized I said I didn't think the Bay-formers movies were THAT bad when they killed off my favorite Autobot in the very first movie LOL.