Transformers: War for Cybertron Autobots and Decepticons are the two Nintendo DS video games for the latest release of the popular Transformers universe that are better than average but not much more.
Graphics & Audio: 16/25,
I really do not know why companies try so hard to come out with third person or even first person shooters for the handhelds, they are just too small in so many ways to make things work well. Small screens and small cartridge size for the Nintendo DS limit not only graphics and program size but the enjoyment level of these kinds of games.
Small screen size limits what can be done on the game screen as well as limits what you can see so the game starts off with some disadvantages it has to struggle to overcome and just does not make it. Transformers: War for Cybertron takes a new track with the release of the 2010 series of games on the PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and the Nintendo DS.
The two Nintendo versions are developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision with the standpoint and labeled as the two sides of the conflict: Autobots and Decepticons. The major difference in the two games is the available robots you play and the main storyline of good versus evil you are playing behind.
As you can imagine from previous games and movies of Transformers the two games vary only from whose vantage point your looking from and not much in graphics or any other technical portion. The Autobots campaign has you playing the good guys starting with Bumble Bee and Optimus as your starting characters while the Decepticons have you as StarScream and Megatron.
When the war for power on Cybertron is going bad the leader, not Optimus, sends a distress call and puts Optimus in charge of the rally for the final battle. Optimus and Bumble Bee start to gather forces to defeat the bad guys in the Decepticons and you go from level to level defeating foes in your way and gathering your forces.
You start each level choosing two characters to play as and you can switch between these two at any time during gameplay for a real choice of combatants and fighting styles. Having the choice often means the best available skills from your choice of robots to create a veritable army of two.
You can change robots in the middle of gaming but you will also have no choice if one dies on you during play and things get tough so choose wisely during the start of each level. Transforming works well and having the abilities of the other forms of each robot really adds to your arsenal but a few times this does not work well.
I found, and others noted this as well, that if you transform and you’re on a smaller platform or near an edge you can find yourself falling to your death because your transformation placed you over the edge. This was one issue that was annoying, to reach that platform using the awkward handheld controls and finally make progress only to be defeated by a control or gameplay issue is frustrating.
Another frustrating issue that occurs throughout the entire game on both games is the lack of full field of view when playing, the screen is only so big and the small size means you see less of the combat area. Often attackers can remain off screen and still shoot at you so time and again you have to press forward, or in whatever direction the fire is coming from, to defeat all opponents quickly enough.
You also have level save locations but often placed after boss fights which means restarting an area or level to just reach that boss again. These types of sloppy level design make for frustrating gameplay when you’re trying your best just to get to the next save point in your game.
These issues where the main ones I noticed and the smaller issue of the controls and how awkward shooting without much actual aiming means a few issues that add up to come close to ruining a fun game. While The Nintendo DS versions of The War for Cybertron are fun it just misses the mark for a must have game that you can play over and over again.
Both games are almost identical in graphics and audio which are pretty good aside from the lack of seeing all that you can on the screen, a first person shooter would have made the games much better so you could see more. You do get both sides of the same story but without giving anything away in either you do have to play both games to get the full story of what is going on.
Basically they did a great job of splitting the storyline in half and really do only give you the side your playing on as the story so you get a certain distinct impression from only the game you’re playing. If you do buy one you will not be dissatisfied but it does make it more fun to play both and get the full effect of the story.
Transformers: The War for Cybertron Autobots and Decepticons make for an interesting and pretty decent game for the handheld system but this would be a solid rental in my opinion and not a purchase unless you’re a true Transformers fan.