Transistor Review

Written by Rick Lane

June 11, 2014 | 08:59

Tags: #bastion #transistor

Companies: #supergiant-games

Rick#2: Human mouths never say "bespoke" either. And while the powers system is certainly interesting, the menu for it is more confusing than a graphic novelisation of Finnegans Wake illustrated by MC Escher.

Rick#1: Where on Earth did you pull that comparison from?

Rick#2: Second-year English Literature, I think.

Transistor Review (WEDNESDAY) Transistor Review

Rick#1: It is one of the few areas of Transistor that is poorly thought-out, I grant you. Once you get the hang of it though, experimenting with powers is enormous fun. I ended up creating an Area-of-Effect power that turned enemy units to my side while simultaneously draining their health, and combining that with a powerful, lightning-like "Breach" power that bounced damage to other enemies. I then upgraded my cloak ability so I could use it immediately after the planning phase, enabling me to evade enemy attacks while waiting for my offensive powers to recharge. It's fiendishly clever. I don't see how you can have a problem with it.

Rick#2: I don't have a problem with it.

Rick#1: Eh?

Rick#2: Seriously. It's beautifully designed, as are all of Transistor's component parts. It's how they are brought together where Transistor falls down. The structure of the game is depressingly formatted. It goes; combat bit, story bit, combat bit, story bit, repeat for five hours. Systems-wise you've seen everything Transistor has to offer within the first half hour.

At the same time, the combat system which the game almost entirely relies on has one, fatal flaw. It takes a long time for you to acquire enough abilities for it start functioning as it should. Then almost as soon as you've got a nice healthy set of abilities, instead of building to a thundering crescendo, it does the opposite, opting for a weird and far less satisfying final act. The conclusion itself is well done. But the lead up to it is probably the weakest part of the game when it should be the strongest.

Transistor Review (WEDNESDAY) Transistor Review

So although I agree that Transistor has a fantastic combat system, it fails to make the most of it. And since there's nothing else to do apart from wander around the city pressing E on stuff to dispense more story, this is quite a problem.

Rick#1: I see your point. I too enjoyed the earlier stages of the game more than the latter. But you concede that the game is, overall, well made?

Rick#2: In terms of the craftmanship of each component part, yes.

Rick#1: Do you think we might have reached...a conclusion?

Rick#2: If it gets us out of here sooner, absolutely.

Rick#1: Any chance you could allocate Transistor a score?

Rick#2: You want me to dilute the last thirteen-hundred words of criticism into a number?

Rick#1: It appears to be traditional.

Transistor Review (WEDNESDAY) Transistor Review

Rick#2: Tradition is a stupid reason to do anything.

Rick#1: It's your own time you're wasting.

Rick#2: All right all right! Seven out of ten?

Rick#1: Sounds about right to me. Good.

Rick#2: Fine. So...fancy getting a pint?

Rick#1: I thought you didn't like me.

Rick#2: I don't. I just figured you might like to argue some more about a similarly
divisive topic. Like, Scottish Independence.

Rick#1: Hmm. Very well. Take my hand, and let me tell you why we're better together...



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  • Overall
    70 / 100

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October 14 2021 | 15:04