As with many television shows, it is usually inevitable that there will be a video game developed for a videogame console based on said show; usually this also means that the game will be of dubious quality, meant only for the purpose of being a cash grab and nothing more. This game is not much different. But it is not quite the garbage pile one would expect.
Transformers: Prime, developed by Now Productions(NowPro), is a game based on the TV show of the same name, seems to take place in the thick of the show’s canon, and place itself somewhere in-between the first and second seasons. So the game does assume that you at least know a bit of its subject matter. Thankfully, the game’s plot isn’t so complex that you would not be able to get lost and be unable to follow it. Megatron is harvesting Dark Energon and also recovering a meteor that contains A servant of Unicorn the Destroyer, Thunderwing, and the Autobots need to stop him before the world is destroyed. Simple stuff.
Game-play consists of mainly melee-based combat with secondary firearms options, which have an automatic firing and charge function for stronger attacks. Melee attacks come in either strong or weak attacks, with the stronger attacks being used to take down shields, which the enemy as well your character can use. In addition there is a meter that when filled, can be used to activate a super form of your character, temporarily increasing their strength and combo strings. Your character can also transform into their vehicle form to make quick getaways or reach a target quicker. Enemies can also be locked onto for more accurate attacks. There are five Autobots to play as and despite the same control scheme, they all move or attack differently.
Outside of combat, your character goes through most levels with limited platforming sections, as well as occasional driving sections. These driving sections are annoying since this game has only three control options including the WiiU gamepad, the WiiU Classic Pad Pro, and the Wii Nunchuk and Wii Motionplus Remotes, and of the three, you have to use tilt controls for the steering. This does not work very well at all, but thankfully there are only three mandatory driving sections in the game. Issues with the game’s controls game stem from a bad camera that wants to always turn in the exact direction your character is facing and stay there. This makes doing some of the platforming more difficult than it needs to be. Also, sometimes the enemy can stun lock you, making recovery from knockdowns harder if you don’t remember to quickly hit the recovery button before landing. Other Issues come from the game’s inability to allow you to swap a control scheme on the fly, even though the gamepad is the best way to play the game outside of the Classic Pad pro. Strangely, the Wii Classic Controller/Pro cannot be used.
One notable annoyance that exists are a complete lack of subtitles, which forgoes also being accessible to deaf players or foreign players, as said lack of subtitles means no language options. There is no difficulty select, although not a big issue as it’s a title for children, but its omission is noted. Also, game-play is very uninspired and not very well executed, likely being boring and lacking for older players. On the positive side there is a built in achievement system, as well as a multi-player mode, although it’s local only. The game is also fairly easy as well as short, only 13 levels long, some levels which are strictly boss fights. The Graphics looks passable considering the art design, but the game looks more like an up-scaled port of the Wii games, likely to do the same engine. Load times are also very quick. The Gamepad’s screen is also used to so you how long you played in a level, how many collectibles you picked up in a level, and how much damage you’ve taken. This determines your rank, which influences achievements. The collectibles themselves also unlock movies and character bios and artwork. So there a tiny bit of re-playability there.
So in closing Transformers: Prime for the Wii U is ultimately at the end of the day just a typical cash in game that while not being glitch heavily and is relatively unoffensive. It should serve as nothing more than a rental for the kids, although they could be better served playing something else.