If you're reading this blog, you've heard about the Transformers sequel. The first was a critically panned, enormously successful popcorn movie. The second was...well, the exact same thing. Don't get me wrong; I have no problems with the Transformers franchise. They're not my cup of tea, but there's nothing wrong with enjoying them. I love the Ace Ventura movies, so I have absolutely no room to condescend.
Anyway, this review isn't about the movie, or even really the DVD. It's about a special augmented reality game (Ships Today from Amazon) included with the DVD. In order to unlock the game, you'll have to visit this website and present your newly purchased box to a webcam in order to gain access. It may take some doing to get the whole front in, and focused well enough to grant you access.
Once you have access, you'll be able to choose between two games. In one, you play as Optimus Prime. His body is superimposed over the DVD box, and you're told to defend against a Decepticon invasion. Little bitty symbols for Decepticons then fly towards you, and you have to shoot them out of the air with your laser or bash them with your sword.
It's a cool premise. Unfortunately, the control system is very flawed. I tried this on two separate machines, as well as a netbook (the screen of which was not wide enough to capture the box) and had the same issues each time. Only about every one of three attacks would actually 'hit' the enemy. Many times I clicked a foe over and over again in vain, unable to bring him down. If I was doing something wrong to invite such failure, the instructions did not say.
Once I finally beat the first level I was treated to a motivational phrase from Optimus Prime himself and then...more of the same.
I tried the second game. In this one, my job was to assemble three pieces of 'living metal' with runes etched into them into one whole, and then press the space bar to combine them. I never got that far. The blocks would only rotate, and I could not get them close enough or aligned properly in order to pass the level.
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The idea of including AR games with DVD purchases is a cool one. Anything to keep little kids engaged longer is fine with me. Unfortunately, the control issues are enough to make me doubt this game will be much fun for the wee Transformers fans in your family. On the plus side, the movie still looks cool!
You can buy the new Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen movie on Amazon.