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June 3, 2010

The Comics Console: Beast Wars: Transformers

Some quick updates: The first trailer for Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Video Game is up! Nintendo Wii and DS owners can start kicking some super villain butt classic 2D style this September. Watch it here!

Sony Online Entertainment has officially announced DC Universe Online will be available this November. DCUO will be hitting the Playstation 3 and PC.

High Moon Studios has released a new trailer for Transformers: War for Cybertron, taking a look at some of the different multiplayer modes. It looks amazing! See it here!

All throughout June on The Comics Console we’re counting down to the release of Transformers: War for Cybertron! And to celebrate, all month long we’re playing some of Transformers’ greatest and not so great games.

In the mid 90s, Hasbro took a radical step in reinventing their Transformers brand for a new generation. Ditching the traditional vehicles and weapons the inhabitants of Cybertron have been known for, these new Transformers would take on the guise of Earth’s wildlife in addition to their robot forms. Goodbye Autobots and Decepticons, hello Maximals and Predacons. This is Beast Wars!

Unlike most Transformers fans, the Beast Wars are the Robots in Disguise I grew up with, and I’m a HUGE fan of the toys and cartoon show. So when IDW released a four issue mini-series written by Simon Furman and drawn by Don Figueroa featuring MY childhood Transformers titled Beast Wars: The Gathering, I couldn’t have been more stoked.

Toys, television, and yes, video games have all felt the touch of Beast Wars, and in 1997 the first Transformers video game in over a decade was released.

Beast Wars: Transformers

Publisher: Hasbro Interactive
Developer: SCE Cambridge
Platforms: Playstation, PC
Released: Dec. 5, 1997
ESRB: Teen

Beast Wars is a pretty simple over-the-shoulder third person shooter. Though based off the first season of the TV show, the main story of the game is never clear, other than your objective being to just destroy the enemy. Each level is a mission with a basic task of getting from point A to point B and destroying X. There are a pretty good amount of playable characters here. You’ll start out by choosing either the Maximal side or the Predacon side and play as either Optimus Primal, Megatron, or Dinobot, with more characters unlockable later on.

In your HUD you’ll find a health meter, map, and Energon meter. In a raging fit of irony, Energon, the main power source for Cybertronians, is found in its rawest form on Earth, and emits such great radiation, it acts as a kind of kryptonite to the Maximals and Predacons while in Robot Mode. Your Energon meter will begin to deplete while exposed to it in Robot Mode, and eventually you’ll begin to take damage, so expect to spend a lot of time in Beast Mode in the game. This also gets very dull as you have no access to weaponry or anything fun in Beast Mode, and taking so much collateral damage while trying to eliminate nearby enemies in Robot Mode can get old very quickly.

However, when you do get to unload your guns and missiles onto enemies, it’s pretty fun, except for the erratic targeting system. The game will automatically target enemies, but it often targets the wrong one, or just strays off, not targeting anything. You can turn this off, but your chances of hitting anything at all with no help is very slim. The targeting system is at its worst with enemies firing from above. You’ll have a brief window of opportunity to lock onto and take out bad guys in the sky, but if you miss that window, you’re basically SOL, and better off not even trying.

One of the game’s unexpected highlights for me personally was the absolutely terrible voice acting. I mean, it’s just so bad it’s funny. How Hasbro Interactive thought the voice work was acceptable in any way is amazing. Other than that, the sound and music are pretty cool.

Graphics aren’t the sharpest you’ll find from a game in the late 90s, but they’re still pretty good. Level designs are neat, and everything looks interesting. Enemies are a little bland though, and even the Transformers themselves could be polished a bit more, but they’re passable.

The PC version of the game has a pretty cool multiplayer feature allowing players to play together on a LAN, but sadly, it was removed for the Playstation version.

Giant 3D sandbox games were in the experimental phase at this point in the evolution of video games, but for an early attempt, Hasbro Interactive pulls it off nicely. Most likely you’ll probably have to be a big Beast Wars fan like me to really care for this game, and while Transformers fans are in abundance, Beast Wars fans are few and far between. Regardless, it’s not a bad game.

Beast Wars: Transformers gets a 3/5.

As of this posting, we are 19 days away from the release of Transformers: War for Cybertron, but if that’s way too long a wait for some Robots in Disguise madness, Beast Wars is definitely worth a try.

Our countdown to War for Cybertron continues on next week when we play 2004’s Transformers!

Andrew Hurst



  1. For some reason Beast Wars never caught on with me. I watched a few episodes and they were okay but aside from that I pretty much avoided it.

  2. I LOVED Beast Wars. Beast Wars and Beast Machines were the only Transformers I could get into.

    Dinobot was the man, and Cheetor was cool too (especially in Beast Machines)!!

  3. DecapitatedDan

    I agree with Speech, I watched it but I don’t recall liking it a whole lot. I just don’t like Gorilla’s 🙂

    I did always want to play that damn game though. Just never got a chance to.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Mulder, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: This one's for the BEAST WARS fans!! https://comicattack.net/2010/06/tcc-6-3-10/ #comics #transformers #BeastWars […]

  5. Billy

    Batman B&B looks cool.

  6. […] some of Transformers’ best games to get pumped for War for Cybertron. Last week we played Beast Wars, the Transformers’ radical 1990s reinvention. Though Beast Wars was a great breath of fresh […]

  7. […] Cybertron! To celebrate, all month long we’ve been playing previous Transformers games like Beast Wars and 2004’s Transformers! This week we’re playing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, […]

  8. […] finally here! Transformers: War for Cybertron! All this month we’ve been playing previous Transformers games, counting down to War for Cybertron. But the wait is over! So transform and roll […]

  9. Stephen N.

    I LOVE Beast Wars. One of the best shows from my childhood. Right alongside So Weird, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and Beetleborgs.

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