The Transformers: Mystery of Convoy (戦え! 超ロボット生命体トランスフォーマー コンボイの謎(ナゾ) Tatakae! Chō Robotto Seimeitai Toransufōmā: Konboi no Nazo, lit. Fight! Super Robot Life-Form Transformers: Mystery of Convoy), is a 1986 Famicom video game developed by ISCO and published by Takara exclusively in Japan. It is based on the popular toyline Transformers. The game was made available on the Virtual Console on June 10, 2008.
A mobile phone remake of the game was eventually released in August 2014 (and once again, exclusively in Japan), titled Q-Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Returns (キュートランスフォーマー 帰ってきたコンボイの謎 Kyūtoransufōmā Kaettekita Konboi no Nazo) as part of the Q-Transtormers toyline. A tie-in anime series was also released in 2015, featuring super-deformed versions of the Age of Extinction incarnations of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Lockdown.
The player controls Ultra Magnus, who must shoot his way through 10 horizontally and vertically scrolling levels consisting of various Decepticon enemies, with a boss fight at the end of each level. He can transform into a car carrier, which makes it easier for him to avoid enemy attacks, drive through narrow entrances and shoot enemies that are flying above him. Along the way, he can also pick up various power-ups which can give him wider ranging firepower or even the ability to fly. There are two Warp Zones within the game; they can be found by rescuing Bumblebee from the Decepticons.
The bosses for each level consist of mostly large Decepticon symbols, along with Megatron and Trypticon (known in Japan as Dinosaurer).
Another playable character in the game is Rodimus Prime, who can be unlocked by collecting the letters that spell Rodimus. One is hidden, sequentially, in levels 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. However, though his vehicle mode has its own graphics, his robot-mode sprite is Ultra Magnus in Rodimus's palette.
Why It Sucks
- One hit and the player dies, also the player only gets three lives.
- None of the levels have checkpoints.
- The same bland very stock 8-second song plays endlessly in each level except for boss fights.
- The enemies have a huge advantage over you. They can camouflage themselves in the background, as well as shoot and pass through solid brick and they can take multiple hits before they die.
- Flashing screens.
- The enemies are small, move very fast and in irregular patterns as well as coming out of nowhere.
- The player's bullets cannot pass through solid brick, making you defenseless.
- The game has poor hit detection. The player can get killed if enemy projectiles get anywhere near your perimeter. In addition, your targeting must be dead center or else your bullet will pass through the enemy.
- The boss fights are too easy as they move up and down and shoot one projectile at a time.
- Extremely lazy boss design. 3 of the bosses are the Decepticon logo with different colours and twice the player must fight a planet that doesn't resemble Unicron.
- In Stage 9, if the player does not collect the key and follow the stage in a certain path, the stage will loop over and over. The game does not explain what you're supposed to do unless you find a guide. In addition, the route that needs to be taken is much more difficult than just advancing through the level normally.
- The difficulty in the game is inconsistent between levels.
- Though you can transform in the game, it is suicide. Despite the fact you can shoot in vehicle mode as well as passing through narrow spots, you're left open for attacks.
- The game has to be completed twice in order to see the ending- once as Ultra Magnus and once you beat the game and collect all the hidden letters that spell "Rodimus", you must play through the whole game again as Rodimus Prime (no difference in gameplay other than your vehicle sprite being different)
- Your reward for beating the whole game twice is a single screen of text with one word: "Congratulation!"
- Extremely lazy stage design. Stages 1 and 7 are the exact same level but palette-swapped and the final level is Stage 6 in reverse.
- To make up for how unfairly hard the game is you have unlimited continues, however you have to use a cheat code at the game over screen in order to continue (hold A+B+Start).
- Incredibly hard. This editor suggests to buy a HoneyBee adapter and a NES Game Genie, attach your copy to the HoneyBee adapter, plug the Game Genie into the HoneyBee adapter and your copy, stick in your NES (NES-001, NES-101, the RetroN famiclones, and the Sharp Nintendo Television included), program codes, and then proceed to play this game.
In a retrospective, 1UP.com called it the "perfect example of a shameless tie-in." They criticized the game for its high level of difficulty, the game's implementation of the transforming ability and how the ninth stage loops infinitely unless a specific pattern is followed.
James Rolfe states that this game is not for Transformers fans and gamers who want a reasonable challenge. He concludes "It disappoints in both ways."