Toonzone Transformers Week – Transformers Dark of the Moon Stealth Force Edition Review!
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Stealth Force Edition (Wii)
hours and twenty-three minutes. That is the duration of my playtime
on Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Stealth Force Edition according to my Nintendo Wii. Within that period, I completed 100%
of what the game had to offer. No concept art, no unique multiplayer
modes, no new levels, weapons or characters were ever unlocked. All
I saw was a save file with that numbered percentage detailing my
To say that I was
disillusioned with finding that out is an understatement.
by Behaviour Interactive, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Stealth Force Edition is a
clunky, unpolished, vehicle combat game that offers nothing of
lasting value. It is a brief affair punctuated by frustrating game
design, haphazard storytelling, and mundane aesthetics to the point
that the more I thought about it the short length felt like a
merciful gesture. It is a cash-in game through and through, which is
unsurprising. What IS surprising is how all these parts came
together in the most half-baked way possible.
1 to 2 players.
Wiimote and Nunchuk support.
18 level story mode.
OPTIONS!! (Voice, Music, SFX Control, and Subtitles! YEAH!)
Drive as four unique Autobots or Decepticons.
the globe from Sahara, Detroit, and Siberia, Optimus Prime, Mirage,
Ironhide, and Bumblebee attempt to foil the likes of Megatron,
Soundwave, Lockdown, and Crowbar as they attempt to resurrect the
Decepticon known as Shockwave.
lives up to this statement branded on the cover art: “Vehicle
Combat Game”. Utilizing one of many Transformers and a peculiar
weapon mode known as “Stealth Force”, you are thrust onto a set
locale and must follow a variety of objectives to complete the stage.
It is an arcade game at its most base, with the missions boiling
down to shooting other enemies, defending certain items from said
enemies, and driving to a highlighted spot before time runs out. It
is easy fare, especially with the dumb and unassuming AI spamming
everything it has ad nauseam with nary a thought of strategy.
Such ease however is made more frustrating thanks to “Stealth
Force”. Aside from being patently absurd, because how can a car be
stealthy if it has turrets protruding out of every orifice, the way
it is implemented bogs the game down to a halt. Stealth Force is a
secondary mode which allows your Transformers (with the car form as
its primary mode), to engage in vehicle combat. Your machine then
becomes a poorly controlled tank with an absurd controller scheme
that includes poor strafing functions and a lackluster arsenal of
only a machine gun and a unique missile mode for each character.
the real kick to the exhaust pipe is how it siphons energy like
crazy. In order to keep using Stealth Force, you must acquire
Energon cubes scattered throughout the level or from defeated
enemies. This at times culminates into an abrupt retreat to find the
nearest fix, an occurrence which will happen often. This poorly made
decision seems like an attempt to boost the difficulty on what is
already an easy game. The irony is that the game is still easy, just
more frustrating. Such vexation is short-lived thanks to a very
brisk single-player campaign with missions lasting between two to
fifteen minutes. Once you beat the final stage, a cutscene detailing
an ominous threat is shown, then it cuts to credits and ends back at
the main menu. To reiterate, all you have to show for it is a “100%”
completion rating and the ability to replay all single-player
missions individually. But why would playing it again be of interest
when there is nothing new to explore?
As a result, discussing co-operative play is negligible. You and
another friend can play together on certain missions from the
single-player campaign, select your own Transformer while doing so,
and nothing more. There are no levels designed exclusively for co-op
gaming, and the blurb on the back of the case saying “Wage War With
Friends In Split-Screen Multiplayer” is woefully inaccurate given
the game only supports two instead of the standard four players for
such modes. With twice the players, it sadly just doubles the
overall mediocrity of the game.
One final thing to get off my chest: Why call it a Transformers game
when there is no Transforming to be had in the actual game!? The
only time the titular robots are ever IN robot mode are in very
pedestrian cutscenes bereft of actual movement and an animated
transformation sequence after a level is completed. I would have
written off the game solely based on that insulting facet alone, but
it would not make for a good review.
The visuals do not even try to take advantage of the Wii’s graphical
capabilities. Environments are of an average, drab quality, where
the detail of levels are fairly established, functional, and nothing
more. Primary character models look well enough for them to be
differentiated from one another, but like the unvaried, generic enemy
models, they remain highly unimpressive. The only credit I can give
is that it runs at a rather brisk framerate of around 30 fps or so.
It never made the game too choppy and unplayable, and was quite
surprising to find in a product so mundane-looking as this one.
anything this is the part of the game with the highest quality, if
only for Peter Cullen. His Optimus Prime brings a blustering,
battle-hardened bravado to the experience, and gives it a nice
authentic touch. Voices of the other characters, with the likes of
Jess Harnell (Ironhide from the movies), Fred Tatasciore (Megatron
from the War for Cybertron game), and Steve Blum (Starscream from
Prime) bring serviceable, if not spectacular, performances. They
complement Cullen’s Optimus exceptionally well and makes the weak
narrative a bit stronger.
and sound effects are just as serviceable. The music takes most of
its inspiration from the overbearing movie scores, and does a
competent if unmemorable job. Sound effects are basic and
unremarkable when it comes to explosions and weapon fire, and while
the presence of the classic Transformation noise is welcome, it is a
paltry amusement since well… you can’t transform.
game requires both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk to play. Motion
controls are non-existent, withmovement relegated to the Nunchuk’s
control stick. It is a simple venture where pushing the stick
forward accelerates, pulling it backward reverses, and moving it left
and right steers in regular vehicle mode. Awkwardness abounds though
since such maneuvers are relegated to the one control stick, making
the driving unintuitive. You will find yourself barreling through a
multitude of enemies only to end up on a tight corner or turn,
struggling to readjust your position. There is an instant 180 degree
turn with the press of an A button, but it is so finicky and
aesthetically goofy (seriously just watch how it happens) that using it is not recommended.
do not get any better in Stealth Force mode, which has you struggling
between moving with the control stick while engaging in strafing
maneuvers with the D-Pad. Fortunately combat is simple, as it
involves just pressing the B and Z button until the enemy decides it
had enough gunfire and dies. Unfortunately when they are all used in
tandem, it just becomes highly uncomfortable. That previous
adjective pretty much sums up the play control in a nutshell.
Overall: Transformers: Dark of
the Moon Stealth Edition truly is bonafide scrap. The time spent playing it is brisk but
painful, the graphics do not provide much to savor, the sound does
its job and nothing more, and it moves like a clunky jalopy. It is
not worth your time and money, and if you ever find yourself with a
copy, I would suggest taking the Bumblebee car it was packaged with
and toss the game into the nearest receptacle. Lord knows you will
have much more fun with the car.
you want a shorter reason why you should avoid this game, I have
this: The game doesn’t let your Transform into robot mode. If a
Transformers game does not let you do that, then don’t bother.
2.9 (of 10)