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High Score 100

Transformers: Real Gear Robots
by yo go re

Though the Real Gear Robots are supposedly in a 1:1 scale, the credibility of that idea is sometimes stretched. Sure, it's easy to believe an MP3 player is palm-sized, but a pair of binoculars? Not so much. Some of the RGR would be better served at a slightly larger size, like High Score 100.

High Score 100 has been made into a master martial artist High Score 100 by years of watching some of the most dangerous fighters in the known universe try their skill against one another. By careful observation, and copying their moves over and over again, he has reached a level of fighting skill previously unheard of among Transformers. If you are patient, and willing to learn, he will teach what he knows, but be warned: the path to ultimate power is fraught with hazards.

This is actually the second videogame-themed Real Gear: the Decepticons have Power Up VT6, a complete handheld system, like a PSP. Of course, that one was pretty lame - it looked more like the kind of thing that would have candy inside it than electronics. Is the Autobots' soldier any better?

High Score 100 (and really, why do they all have to have numbers in their names?) is a game controller of generic design. It's got the rounded wing design that's been popular ever since the original Playstation introduced it and every other game system copied it. Player One has entered the game. The fact that the controller is white and grey makes it look like an Xbox, but that's all - this one is nowhere near as ugly or unwieldy as that. The controller is 3½" wide, 2¾" tall and only about 1" thick at the most, and thus definitely not the size of a real thing.

The configuration of the controls duplicates the Playstation controller: the d-pad is on the upper left, the four buttons are on the right, and the dual analog sticks are in the middle. The controller even has a pair of shoulder buttons! There are also sculpted Start and Pause buttons, and even the little button that turns the analog controls on or off. None of the buttons are clickable, but there is one cool feature: the analog sticks move on balljoints! How much does that rock?

One oddity, though: the d-pad is a complete cross. "So what," you say? The "+ Control Pad," as it was called, was created by Nintendo, and they held the patent. Go look at your Playstation or Xbox controllers, and you'll see that they don't have a plus-shaped pad: the Playstation has four unconnected arrows while the Xbox has some sort of discus abomination. Nintendo owned the connected + shape, and everybody else had to design their own.

Player One has left the game. Some of the Real Gear Robots have been really kibble-free, but you can't really say that for High Score 100. Other than all the big seams, he looks fine from the front; the back, however, is pretty much all robot. It's designed to blend with the controller's overall shape, but you can see the joints and whatnot. It doesn't look like a game controller, it looks like a robot masquerading as a game controller.

not a Cylon High Score is a rarity among the RGR, because he has an Automorph feature: slide the lever on the front of the controller, and the robot's head raises as the shoulder buttons slide into place. It's nice (and certainly a lot better than the automorph gimmicks on some of the "real" figures), but it does have a problem: when you're sliding the lever, the most natural places to put your fingers are either on top of his head or the shoulder buttons - the two places that need to move. Dumb.

Code Monkey With his long arms and stumpy legs, High Score 100 looks rather ape-like. Not "Ape-Linq," ape-like. And the shoulder buttons have turned into some kind of crazy sports bra, but that doesn't matter right now. He moves at the neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, knees and ankles, which is plenty of articulation to get him into any sort of dynamic fighting pose. The colorscheme, with the white, grey and green, is excellent, and his purple eyeslit stands out well. In this form, our little hero is just 3½" tall.

High Score 100 is a great Transformer: the robot has a great design, the transformation is fun, and the alt mode is nice. It'd be cool if he was a little bit bigger, but this is still one of the best Real Gear Robots, and one you should absolutely add to your collection. Game over, bitches!


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