Sorry about the lack of updates for the past few days. We're moving X-E to a new server...a huge server. I'm talking more gigs that you could imagine. Meaning? What we're going to be able to host here on X-E in the coming weeks is a lot more than I ever expected. So stay tuned for that. I just 'hired' someone to handle a lot of the multimedia side of things. Meanwhile, what you guys can do to help is simply trying to persuade some of your buds to come visit us here. Believe me, if every one of you out there just got one new person to check out the site, it'd help a great deal.
Now, onto the article...
Transformers fans have always had their fair share of stuff to 'get involved' with their worship of the robots in disguise - cartoons, movies, toys, comics, t-shirts, even air fresheners. But the one genre that has always seemed to elude us is pretty surprising: video games.
The only game I ever knew existed for the Transformers was that sorry fucking Beast Wars game for the Sony Playstation. You really want to avoid this. Anyone who willfully plays it can only be described as a masochist.
Then I started searching around, and found out that yes, there was another game. It took us back in time to the Nintendo Entertainment System...or more specifically, the Japanese version of the NES...they made a Transformers game...but after playing it, I soon realized that they probably shouldn't have.
With that, I present to you...
To describe the game, I'm going to give you an analogy. It's Christmas morning. You see this giant, wonderfully wrapped box with your name on it. You're all excited. Unfortunately, the only thing inside it is 4 giant bags of horse shit.
Point? It was awesome to find this game, but once I played it, I realized the anticipation far outweighed the utter pile of crap the game actually was. I had a long history with the NES for buying the most boring, horrible games ever, but this one takes the cake. And I own Elevator Action, so that's saying something. This game isn't just bad, it's bad to the point where it's surreal.
You play as Ultra Magnus, Autobot commander. On the show, Ultra Magnus' only true redeeming quality was that he was big enough to make most people not realize that he was a big pussy of a robot. In the game, it's no different. But Ultra Magnus has to be a pussy. If he didn't just run away from the enemies, he'd be dead within a microsecond, because the controls fucking suck. I don't know what genius thought it'd be a good idea to make Magnus' speed about 1/15th of the speed of the enemies, but all I know is that it took me 14 tries with this thing just to get past the first stupid enemy shuttle.
And just who are these enemies? They're supposed to be Decepticons. But a more on-the-mark description would be 'pixels that vaguely resemble something that could possibly construed as mechanical'. I know that this is an old 8-bit game, but half the time it appeared as though I was getting shot at by a bird's nest.
See that window next to you? Well, take this game's strategy and throw it out of it. There's no strategy here. You're just dodging bullets from Lazerbeak clones and doing the same thing over and over again, fighting bosses that look exactly the same aside from their slightly changed color schemes. In fact, let's take a look at those bosses...
Ultra Magnus vs. Menasor: Doesn't look too bad, right? The representations aren't too far off. You've got three platforms to go between to hopefully take down the Decepticon baddy. Sound cool?
Ultra Magnus vs. Piranacon: Well, it shouldn't sound cool, because you'll be doing the exact same thing at the end of every level of the game. Same thing, same stupid three platforms, same everything. This may as well be Menasor in his eveningwear, because Piranacon hasn't learned from his comrade's past mistakes and updated his strategy any.
Ultra Magnus vs. Decepticon Ship: Sensing that you'd be getting bored facing the same guy over and over again in a different color, the gamemakers decided that one of the bosses should be a Decepticon Ship. They obviously thought this was some major change, because they saw no need to update the triple platform or the fact that the ship has the exact same fucking moves as Menasor and Piranacon.
Ultra Magnus vs. Giant, Amazing Decepticon Head: Whooo! Big time! You know Ultra Magnus is in for a challenge when he faces the Decepticon Head of Doom! This boss stage was the answer to the eternal question: 'could this game get any worse?' Obviously, it can.
Aside from the worst gameplay in history and graphics that make Frogger look like a new Star Wars movie, this old game has plenty of other flaws. Namely, the fact that it's impossible. You know it's bad when dodging the bullet from the first stupid enemy takes you about an hour to accomplish. Add that in with the fact that one shot will kill you, and it'll take you about five years to actually complete this game. And judging from what I've seen, the best ending you'll receive for completing your mission is maybe seeing a horribly rendered Autobot logo with an incorrectly spelled 'congrats' running under it.
I'm sure some of you are curious about the game, so I've upload the ROM as a .zip file. Yes, you can play it! I don't reccomend it, but then again, it is Transformers, so you fans out there may want to check it out. Follow the directions carefully...and make sure you have Winzip...
First, you'll need Nesticle, the Nintendo emulator. To download that, click HERE.
Then, download the game by clicking HERE.
1.- Extract the game to your C: drive.
And then you're off! Here's the controls:
CTRL - Jump
Try not to have too much fun.
Anyways, we can only hope that somehow, in the future, a video game is made that pays the Transformers the respect it so richly deserves. I've got a few more even stranger 'homemade' TF games we'll be taking a look at later, but until such time...till all are one.