Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Transformers Prime: The Game

Review: Transformers Prime: The Game

5:00 PM on 12.04.2012 // Jim Sterling

Sloptimus Slime

I'll admit, I've struggled to keep up with the Transformers brand since Generation One. I've played the High Moon Studios games, and loved them, but the TV shows have been something of a blur to me -- be it Armada, Animated, or Prime, I'm yet to get into any of the modern incarnations. 

I wondered if maybe playing Transformers Prime: The Game would get me interested in the show. That's a lie. I knew it wouldn't, and fully expected it to be awful. 

You're reading this right now, fully expecting it to be awful, and for a pointless, albeit satisfyingly critical, review of a game you do not intend to play. 

Let me confirm right now that this review isn't going to surprise you in the least. Transformers Prime is everything you expect it to be, and nothing good. 

Transformers Prime: The Game (Wii, Wii U [reviewed])
Developer: Nowpro
Publisher: Activision
Release: October 4 (Wii), October 18 (Wii U)
MSRP: $39.99 (Wii) $49.99 (Wii U)

Transformers Prime is about as basic as a game can get. Its levels typically run between two and four minutes, consisting either of remedial brawling or on-rails vehicular sections. Usually you get about forty to sixty seconds of gameplay buffered by brief and pointless cutscenes, themselves lasting seconds long. The lengthiest stage clocked in at around seven minutes, and only because the final boss' health meter took a long time to drain. The battle itself was as good as won several minutes before then -- watching the health bar reduce was little more than busywork. 

Easy, lasting maybe two hours long, Transformers Prime's campaign almost goes out of its way to look, sound, and play like the cheap, disposable cash-in it is. It exists for the sole purpose of making money from fans, and does nothing to hide its intentions. At only a mere 120 minutes, Prime is too long, for as repetitive and slow as it is, a running time of thirty minutes could only improve one's sentiments toward it. 

Starring one of several predetermined Autobots, each level consists mostly of simplistic button-mashing combat across a series of tiny, unfurnished arenas. Characters perform uncomplicated attacks consisting of pressing either the A or Y button up to three times in various combinations, and can lock to fire a barrage of weak gunfire with the shoulder buttons, or double tap to charge a slightly stronger blast. An obligatory power meter fills with each attack, allowing a temporary "upgrade" mode which delivers more powerful blows. Due to the lousy targeting, attacks frequently miss, or pass harmlessly through opponents. This doesn't matter, because the game is so easy you'll barely feel pressure to keep up the attack. In fact, some fights can be won simply by locking on and holding the fire button until everything's dead. 

Every so often, you'll encounter a boss battle against one of the Decepticons, who try to scupper your progress with predictable and repeated attack patterns, or shields that are broken by transforming into a vehicle before performing a melee attack to turn into robot form with a powerful smash. There are also linear vehicular chases which require the GamePad to be tilted left and right in order to avoid sparse obstacles. The motion control is as responsive as the vehicles are fast -- not very. There are many mobile racing games with tighter controls and better paced action, available at a fraction of the price. 

Is Transformers Prime for children? Probably. Is it unnecessarily cruel to review it? Perhaps. It did, however, arrive unbidden at my doorstep and so I'm duty bound to do something with it. I don't want to write this review. Do you even want to read it? Like the aforementioned final boss of this game, this review was over as soon as it began, and the droning, monotonous attack simply keeps occurring as a matter of formality. With each word, Transformers Prime's health bar drains, our own remains so full of life that we could only fail if we chose to consciously do so. It's at this point the metaphor falls apart. 

There is a multiplayer mode, but before you ask who would waste their time going online with it, don't bother -- not even Activision bothered. The multiplayer mode is local only, pitting two players against each other in mindless brawling battles. A range of both Autobots and Decepticons can be chosen, though their attacks are all randomly imbalanced and the vehicle modes of flying transformers are useless, given how it's impossible to target opponents as a jet. Balance, of course, was not the goal here -- like the game itself, this mode exists for no reason other than its own sake. 

Graphically, things look terrible, and I suspect Prime's little more than a sloppily upscaled version of the Wii alternative. It certainly looks like it, with its lack of textures, threadbare environments, and unimpressive animation. Not only is this game a cheap licensed brawler, it's a cheap HD port of a cheap licensed brawler. Now that's some serious respect for the Wii U. 

The highest praise one can afford this game is that it's playable. It's not broken, nor is it really that offensive. It's just a condensed exercise in bromidic game design, a brief waste of time squirted out of some mercenary developer's squalid hole. It's not terrible enough to be memorable, not good enough to justify your attention, it's just sat there, a stale dumpling on a dirty plate. I would hope even children are more discerning in their tastes than this, but we cannot know that for sure.

All I know is, if your idea of a brilliant joke is hearing a robot say "scrap" instead of "crap" every few minutes, Transformers Prime is for you. Not only does it perform that exact joke with that same regularity, your laughing at it qualifies you as stupid enough to think Prime is worth money. 



Transformers Prime: The Game - Reviewed by Jim Sterling
Disappointing - I feel sorry for this one. It came close to being passable, but dropped the ball too many times to prevent itself from being an embarrassment.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Transformers Prime: The Game

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Some more of not much tbh.

On The Fence

Five wrestling games in which kayfabe is REAL

Persona Still Reigns Perfection

Cblogs of 11/30/2015 + Saudi Arabian Ban Hammer

Eleven indie games that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE in 2016

Should 'Mercy Spoilers' be a thing?

Thankful It's Over: Assassin's Creed 2

Virtua Memories: Virtua Fighter/Remix (Virtua Fighter Month)

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Project M is gone. One less Smash game to suck at!
Torchman avatarTorchman
RIP Project M.
JayfromtheSun avatarJayfromtheSun
Have a [url=]Harvest Moon 64 Review [/url].
Parismio avatarParismio
I thought it my PS Plus would end at November 30th, but it turns out it ends at the last day of December... Well alright then.
Alright guys, check this out; I'm going to write a paragraph, double space it, enlarge the font, then put a cover letter page over it and hand it in to the professor. What do you guys think?! I am best riter. #iwantareallife
TheCrazyEven avatarTheCrazyEven
Valve has lost almost all my respect: [youtube][/youtube]
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I wish more cartoony games would come out. Nintendo makes plenty but there should be more high quality games with whimsy. Where's Jak IV? A proper Crash? Anything that doesn't just involve mashing one button? Realism is fine, but there's a LOT already.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Okay, that's Fallout: New Vegas done. Can't wait for the next one to come out.
techsupport avatartechsupport
I'm new to Ultra Street Fighter IV and I suck and I still dig it a lot
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
R steepled her fingers and smiled as she looked over at S and Z. "We have stopped two shipments of breasts from making it to America as well as Europe, meaning those will be added to our boob coffer. In time, all the breasts shall be mi... I mean, ours.."
siddartha85 avatarsiddartha85
I finally backed Indivisible. After hearing about Red from Transistor, I played the demo again. That platforming is solid and I'm used to the combat now.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Man, I completely forgot how awesome Pokemon Black and White's soundtrack is. The Vs. Trainers theme is probably one of the best I ever heard, if not the best in the entire series: [youtube][/youtube]
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Indivisible's campaign is over $1.4 million! just a little more!
Dum, dum, dum! Another blog bites the dust! And another done, and another done! Another blog bites the dust! #RIPtumblrbecausefuckit
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Ugh, I've been sick for what feels like 3 weeks. If I die I leave all my games casket because they're mine. Stay away! *hiss, hiss*
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
Apparently the upcoming Tri-Force heroes update makes the local-play only items possible to get for everyone. That's pretty great!
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What youtubers y'all watch? I need more.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Playing For Glory earlier today, some guy beat me and changed his name to "ifukdu_up". I won next round and he changed it to "ILETUWIN". I then 2-0ed the little sucker, and he left the lobby. I took great pride from this incident.
Dalek Sex avatarDalek Sex
Henshin into a person with a larger disposable income.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Why the hell are we suddenly accepting micro transactions in fully priced games? It used to be only acceptable in free-to-play games but its sickening that even AAA developers like microsoft are on the bandwagon.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -