Lukas' Transformers: Convoy no Nazo (Import) Review
If they existed I would put some here
I heard of this game from some Youtube users and they described how HORRIBLE this game is. They are not screwing around, this game is terrible, and I feel like a dummy for playing this, considering at least FOUR PEOPLE gave this game a bad review. But because of my incredibly high curiosity as to how it was bad...well, I downloaded the game (it was only released in Japan apparently so we have to import or download it). After a bit of playing, I realized...they weren't screwing around! People of Neoseeker, I urge you NEVER TO PLAY THIS GAME UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!
Look, there were some pretty bad NES games (Widget, Treasure Master, Deadly Towers to name a few), but at least they looked finished. This game is so badly broken I nearly lost my voice yelling and screaming at the computer screen because of many, many cheap deaths. You will die...a lot! It's not a choice either, you WILL die a lot if you play this game. Even the first level is frustratingly hard...but trust me, that's nothing compared to the rest of the game.
10 Levels to get through...let's do this!
So once you press start at the title screen, SHIELD YOUR EYES at least until you hear a bit of music. Why? They (developers) put in this blinking red/blue/white screen that blinks fast. Know what that gives you? SEIZURES! The first few times I played this and this annoyance showed up, I nearly had a seizure attack. That was a very poor choice and I really do feel bad for whoever died because of this crappy game's POOR CHOICE! And trust me, you'll experience this A LOT, but more on that later.
Okay, so once your eyes get back to normal or you stop having seizure attacks or whatever, the game will begin, and it's your typical run and gun game (much like Contra), only you can transform. Look, I have nothing against these sorts of games. Transforming seems like a cool concept and run and gun games are beyond great (well, most of them anyway). But there's a lot of problems. First off, the controls are either too sensitive or unresponsive to the point where smashing the control will make you move a quarter of an inch...at best. To transform, you hold down for a few seconds to become a truck, and to go back to a mobile suit robot (technically, trucks are robots too), you hold up for a few seconds. Uhh...wouldn't it make much more sense to press Select? Select isn't used for anything except to select 1 or 2 player mode on the title screen. As far as the rest of the controls go, they're typical run and gun controls. A lets you jump, B lets you shoot, and you press left or right on the D-pad to go left or right. What really annoys me, though, is that you can't duck and shoot. The only way you can shoot low is by transforming into a truck. As a truck, A lets you shoot grenades forward and B lets you shoot bullets up. Another flaw: The foward shots go in an arc. They'll miss a target completely if you're too close, so you have to get away. But since the screen won't scroll backwards, if you're cornered, you might as well just sit back and lose that life. So yeah, scrolling and controls are pretty flawed.
Next off, your enemies come at you without warning, and very fast. Sometimes, you wouldn't even see them coming until the very last second...oops, you're DEAD! Another thing, it has that 1 hit you're dead thing going on. Shouldn't robots be strong and resist hits? I can understand if the near-invisible shots were powerful, but not when you collide ever so slightly with these...blue eggs? I don't know, but that's what they look like, and all they do is go up and down. Point is, how can a strong robot like Ultra Magnus (yeah, that's the robot you control, not Optimus Prime) die from touching a stationary object like a blue egg? Just...wow.
So when you die, it doesn't matter where you are in the level, whether you took 1 step or a hundred steps way past the checkpoint almost to the end of the level, and then die, guess what? Beginning of the level! This wouldn't be so bad if the game was a lot fairer! For the love of the god, the levels are lengthy and filled to the brim with enemies who go way too fast with shots near invisible until they hit you. That's just very unfair! Especially further in the game! The levels are very long there, much longer really (well, not Level 7, which is Level 1 only ice themed instead of forest themed). The enemies are also much cheaper, and the levels require more and more memorization as you go through it. And at the end of the day, going through these cheap levels isn't even worth it...especially when you're so close...then just die. Oh, and guess what? Die, and go back to the beginning of the level.
It gets worse...much worse. 1 continue is all you get. Lose all your lives, you go straight back to the title screen. There is a trick you can do to get another continue...at the game over screen, hold A and B and press Start, you'll be able to start that level again. Don't thank me for the trick, thank this one guy on Youtube that told everyone about it in his review of this game. If you don't know or do the trick, you'll be pretty annoyed since you start from the beginning again if you lose all your continues. Say if you lost your last life on the last level...don't think you'll be able to repeat the level again. No siree, you're starting at THE FIRST LEVEL! That's right, FIRST LEVEL! ALL THAT TIME AND EFFORT AND HARD WORK, WASTED!
Look, this wouldn't annoy me if the levels weren't so big, or if there were mid-level checkpoints, or if the enemies weren't so fast and unpredictable and generally annoying, or if Ultra Magnus had a health bar. Anything that gives him a sporting chance. Of course, in games like this, everything is against you, but come on! You literally have no chance unless you have a turbo controller, play through each level hundreds of times so you can know what's coming or cheat. That's just unfair.
To combat this, there are upgrades, like in every other run and gun game, and to be fair, this is something they didn't screw up. There are about 7 to be precise. There's P for power up which lets you shoot 2 bullets. There's F which lets you fly until you touch the ground. There's B which makes you temporarily invincible until you get hit 4 times. There's D which downgrades your upgrade so don't get it. There's 1 which gives you a free life. There's a blank one which just gives you points. Then there's the powerups which will spell out RODIMUS which you must find in the levels to unlock a different sprite to play as if you finish the game (and that's a huge if since this is nearly impossible to finish anyway). All in all, I advise getting these (outside of D) if you plan on living, since a certain amount of points will get you an extra life, and you need these to beat the game quicker (or if you don't know the trick).
Okay, so you just went through a level, and got to the boss. Honestly, these bosses are jokes! All they do is just stand there, maybe move up and down on occasion, and shoot you. All you need to do is shoot the weak point loads whilst avoiding the shots. This might sound hard, but it's not. Not even close. This is kind of undetstandable against the first few bosses, but honestly...MEGATRON!? Megatron fights EXACTLY like the first boss? Just move up and down while shooting? WHAT IS THIS!? Same for this dinosaur robot named Trypticon, except his shots are bigger and only slightly harder to avoid. But really, they're a joke, all the bosses are jokes. Way too easy. Thankfully, when you die to them, you just have to go back to fighting them with their full HP unless you lose all your lives and don't do the continue trick.
This game does terribly in the gameplay department, but does it do well in everything else? Absolutely not! Here, I'll show you...through a breakdown!
As said, the levels are frustratingly hard, the bosses are pitifully easy and you die way too often. Worse, you only had one continue, blah blah blah. Just horrible. Basically, it rips off Contra and Metroid, takes everything that made them fun right out of the game, changes the sprites and calls itself a game. Pathetic.
These will at least respond at times, although since they are very sensitive at times, this will result in many easy deaths. Tap A, you'll jump fairly high. Smash A, you'll probably jump at the same height. Also, select does nothing, but I felt it could be the transform button. Transforming is very annoying since its very lengthy. Hold down or up for a couple of seconds, wait another couple of seconds to actually transform...oops, dead.
Non existent. Best left ignored.
Need to say something about this. The graphics may technically look alright for its time, a little outdated (by a year), but not bad. Though the reason I gave this a 2 and not a 4, is because the graphics are the reason you die a lot! The bullets are nearly invisible and there are parts where enemies blend in oh so well with the surroundings that you'll die and only know what hit Ultra Magnus right after dying. This is just stupid. The graphics lead to some of the cheap deaths for some levels, especially Level 7. Not much else you can say here...the graphics feel quite Atari-2600'ish and a bit outdated, and while technically amazing, it also leads to dying a lot because the enemies blend in well with the backgrounds.
I have to say, these sounds aren't too bad, but the musicks loop. Not that it's bad or anything...if only the musicks were actually good. The music in the game will drive you insane, and since the music is played in EVERY level, you will have this annoying music stuck in your head. To have the music changed in levels, get the B powerup. It not only makes you invincible until you're hit 4 times, it'll also change the music to something more tolerable. The boss music is only slightly better than the regular level music. It also drives you insane, but not nearly as much as the other music does, and it at least suits the sort of fight you go through. A boss fight. Aside from that, the music will drive you insane.
The sound effects are nothing special, just a sliding sound when you jump, a generic 8-bit laser sound when firing and a generic 8-bit explosion sound. There are others, but I don't care to remember them. They're actually kind of forgetable. Not much to say on them really.
This game takes around about an hour to beat, though all in all, it'll probably take a week or a dedicated weekend sitting to actually pick up and beat. Now you think "if I collect these R O D I M U S letters through the levels, I'll play as this super sweet robot after completing it as Ultra Magnus, right". Wrong! Rodimus Prime...is really just a different sprite. Aside from that, gameplay is virtually the exact same. And really, you probably wouldn't even feel like beating this game anyway as its frustratingly hard and not worth it. Trust me, it's not. The ending is just a bunch of text which makes no sense. So yeah, not worth playing through 10 Levels of frustration and pointlessly harsh difficulty.
No, seriously, this game is not fun in the slightest. Way too many times, you'll die. And nothing is really fulfilling or fun about this anyway. I was so frustrated after finishing the game and seeing an unfulfilling ending, I just deleted the game off my computer and kept it the hell away from my harddrive...and my life.
Transformers: Convoy No Nazo should have been an epic release, but instead, it proves to be one of the absolute worst games ever made for the NES, right up there with equally bad games like Deadly Towers and Total Recall. It could've been great! And I thought run and gun games, you couldn't bugger up that easily, but this game does a fantastic job of proving me wrong. If you see this game, just keep moving...
I give this a 0.5/5.0, but since Neoseeker won't let me, I'll just give it a 1/5.