Videogame Review: Transistor (2014)

by: Matthew J.R. Kohler

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With this game going on sale all the time, the time is now to buy and play Transistor.  I first played it three months ago, and it was one of the best experiences I have had with a video game. Transistor is about a pop star who loses her voice in a crazy accident, in which her husband dies by a magical sword.  You wake up to a sword that talks (it’s your husband) and a machine universe that is taking over the world.  Now it is up to you to stop the world from crumbling, and to seek revenge on the ones who did this to her.

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The game’s narrative is easy to understand.  There is a lot of background on the main character, the sword, and other characters who were turned into machines.  The story is very fast-paced as well.  Not only is the game five hours long, but also most of the main villains…well…die in Act II of the story, except for the final boss.  The game emphasizes the final boss more than the other three.  At first, I was surprised, but once the story started progressing, I knew that this emphasis made sense.

The combat system is awesome.  It reminded me of Dragon Age/ Knights of the Republic.  I always loved that style of RPG—fast but slow.  It’s a mix of real time and base RPG.  The thing that I enjoyed the most is the wide variety of weapons within the game. Remember, the story only takes five hours and you receive about eighteen moves.  I enjoyed every ability.  From gaining the ability to regenerate, to shooting through several minions, there are plenty of way to build your character.  And believe me, I tried every single one.

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A throwback to Playstation-esque graphics was a smart choice.  I loved the universe in how it was presented, and that Super Giant Games utilized their budget effectively.  The graphics aren’t PS4 quality, but nowadays graphics should mean nothing.  It’s about how you use them.  And I enjoyed the backdrop images.  One of my favorite shots was of Red (the main character) going to the main base and in the backdrop is the machine army.  Most of them cannot move, but some do move within the image.  This reminded me of matte paintings in older movies such as Robocop, Terminator, and Aliens.

One of the lasting things about this game is its re-playability.  Most RPG’s today have new game plus modes.  And this game doesn’t disappoint.  With new enemies and new scenarios for battles, Transistor was intriguing enough to one hundred percent, AND beat five times.  This is one of the few games to receive such praise from me.

If you never have played Transistor, buy it now.  This is highly recommended for indie game fans.   Transistor blew me away each time, and I plan to play it five more times.  With its artistic backgrounds and ingenious ways to

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