Transformers: Cyberverse

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The new Transformers show is finally upon us! While it may not be off to the greatest start imaginable, it’s a show that should be pretty entertaining. I’m not expecting anything great, but as long as we get some engaging episodes and fights I suppose that I’m all set. Once Bumblebee is back in top form I’m sure we’ll see some rapid improvement. I’ll have a review for this show once it is finished.

Overall 6/10

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Transformers: Titans Return Review

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It’s time for the sequel to the first Transformers Machinima show. The first one had some really cool atmospheric presence and a unique setting, but was held back by the extremely short run time and how much of it was wasted on nothing happening. It was a glimpse at a part in Transformers lore that you wanted to see more of, but couldn’t since it ended so early. With this sequel we’re thrown back in there. There’s less mystery and suspense in this installment since the smoke has cleared and it’s clear who the enemies are again, but we do get more action than the first season and more of a plot as well. I’d say that it’s an improvement over the first although I’m hoping the final season focuses a little more on the core Autobots and Decepticons in favor of the larger bots.

The first season ended with Windblade announcing that the Titans had returned and this season continues that. Trypticon has been awoken and what’s more, Starscream is in the driver’s seat. He doesn’t keep control the whole time and only seems to pop in and out periodically but this is still a serious threat to the heroes. They are all still beat up and bruised from the last season so they haven’t had time to regroup. Metroplex and Windblade lead the offensive against him while the Combiners, Optimus Prime, and Fortress Maximum also prepare to join the fight. Meanwhile, Rodimus Prime has decided that he doesn’t want to be a prime anymore and goes off on his own. Megatron appears to be content to sit on the sidelines for a while and Overlord has popped up to take advantage of the situation. Quite a lot of plot lines are occurring here.

Optimus Prime looks pretty good as always. He’s on top of the situation pretty quickly and does his best to contribute in the fight. He’s a little outranked by the sheer size and power of the Trypticon, but still gets his hits in. He’s definitely portrayed as being the strongest normal size bot with Megatron being his only equal. I’m hoping he gets at least one big fight in the next season. Hot Rod unfortunately looks really bad. This is currently Cybertron’s darkest hour and he decides to get rid of the Matrix now? He doesn’t even tell anybody about it. As Hot Rod he can’t fight that well and is taken down pretty quickly. Maybe he had more fun, but it definitely does come across as incredibly selfish. Not really a cool thing to do.

Megatron seems like he’ll have a really big role in the next season since he is crucial to both the Overlord plot as well as the Megatronus one. They may even be playing him up as a temporary leader to the heroes which is sure to have a lot of the other bots riled up. He’s pretty great as per usual and I’m ready to see him fight on. Overlord hasn’t done a whole lot yet, but the show has portrayed him as a legitimate threat. It’s hard to say how strong he is because both enemies that he took down were either weakened or not really fighters to begin with. I expect he will be quite powerful though and likely you would need Megatron or Prime to take him down. Maybe Windblade could put up a good fight, but it’s hard to see her winning.

Metroplex is the first of the big heroes to take on Trypticon. He seems like a reasonably good robot but is lacking in personality. He also seems like a terrible fighter who completely relies on his size, but that may just be a side effect of the animation. He falls for every single one of Trypticon’s incredibly slow attacks. Now anyone can tell you that I’m not the biggest fan of giant fights and this is why. They’re moving so slow that everything should be dodgeable. Especially since Metroplex is humanoid and should be slightly more agile. Then we have Fortress Maximus who is a really bad character. It’s his duty to fight Trypticon and restore order to the planet but he doesn’t want to do so. He is basically forced into helping out after Windblade nearly dies in the process and still doesn’t fight too well. By this point Trypticon is already pretty exhausted. Of course, win or lose it wasn’t going to help Metroplex with his weak personality. Windblade is still a fun character and this continuity is her best portrayal. She’s less of a mysterious warrior here, but still talks tough to everyone. She doesn’t really get a chance to have a big fight this time around, but I suppose it makes sense since there weren’t many opponents in this season. She is still one of the best characters in the show and has a solid design. She just needs bigger guns when in plane mode since she never seems to deal any damage like that.

Perceptor gets a fairly big role here as Prime chooses him to wield the Matrix. I was never a fan of Perceptor, but I guess he isn’t bad here. He still can’t fight though and can be a little annoying as he isn’t very quick on the uptake. I suppose every franchise needs at least one scientist figure but when you’re one of the only characters in an action show who can’t fight…it doesn’t bode well. He’s probably my least favorite character by default. Meanwhile, Trypticon is a fun villain. He basically spends the entire season fighting opponent after opponent in a nonstop battle with no breaks. It’s a pretty incredible feat of endurance. While his fighting style isn’t elegant, it apparently does get the job done. If anything, the ending to his plot is actually very rushed and anticlimactic. You almost want to root for him by the end since the heroes were just throwing wave after wave at him. If he’s stuck it out for this long then he may as well take the win right? Fans of this character will certainly like how tough he looks here.
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Victorion and the Combiners still get a pretty big role in this season although they are largely ineffective. They actually get a brand new super form as they all merge but are still too small to really be of much use. The scale of the Titans really makes them live up to the title. You’ve got the normal bots, then the combiners who are about 2-3x normal size, then you’ve got the fused form which is probably 1.5x that and then the Titans which are 2-3x that. They’re quite large is what I’m trying to say. The Combiners are just annoying though as none of the members are smart and all they care about is fighting even when they are hopelessly outgunned. They just don’t have any plans in place at all and come across as reckless, but not in a cool way. They’re just cannon fodder.

The Mistress of Flame had some potential, but she really didn’t do much throughout both seasons. She will not be missed and didn’t even put up much of a fight in the end. She’s not bad, but always feels like this character could be interchangeable with anyone else. She is a ruler and that caricature is her only personality. I guess better to have a generic one than none at all right? Finally we have the big boss at the end of the series, Megatronus. He’s always been a really cool character who is even more of a final boss esque character than Megatron. His power is on a completely different level from most of the other bots and he is treated as one of the creators here. He has yet to look bad in any form of media that I have seen him in and this will likely be no exception. The series does have to be careful with the power levels rising so high though as having a finale filled with plot hax would not be a good idea.

The animation will still remind you of the classic PS2 video games, but not in a bad way. This style of CGI works pretty well as it feels like a video game which is preferable to CGI that doesn’t look like one and still isn’t good. The character designs are on point and the energy effects are pretty good. It would be nice if the fighting was a little faster though and I feel like that would improve if we had more of the normal sized bots fighting. That may be an optimistic thought though. I guess the animation just looks better when everyone is standing still, but I’ll still give it a thumbs up in the end. With all of the constant action going on, at least I was able to follow the fight scenes. There isn’t really a great soundtrack here. One or two good themes may show up, but you won’t remember them for very long. That’s unfortunate, but not altogether unexpected. It would have been a nice bonus, but isn’t a negative.

It’s rare to watch a show where a whole season is essentially one long fight. Honestly, this may be the only time. Sure, we’ve had seasons where the whole thing is a long series of fights like DBZ or Bleach, but one long fight? I can’t think of any. Perhaps Goku vs Frieza was one long fight, but I’m not sure. If the animation was a little better and more streamlined then this could have gone down in history as one of the greatest TV shows ever. It was still a good concept though. What helps this title as well is that the writing is engaging. You’ll be interested in what is happening from start to finish. There are also no human characters around to distract from the fights and what is happening on screen which is certainly a good thing.

It’s almost going to be hard to go back to the usual Autobots vs Decepticons plots in the other shows. I suppose they never get old, but I’ve love to see more of an ongoing show tackle the futuristic era. Prime and Megatron should certainly stick around as main characters though. Writing them out isn’t a good idea when they still have a lot more to do. Even in this show, Prime leaves for 5 minutes and the city is in danger again. Considering that Windblade warned them in the last season it also does come across as a little odd that Prime would choose now to leave.

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Overall, Titans Return had quite a lot of action and the season went by quickly. I can see it going down as a cult hit in the future. As the only positive effect of having such short episodes, the pacing was always very quick so nothing actually dragged on. With all of the seeds already sown for the third season it should be interesting to see how it’s handled. If the episodes are the same length as they were for these last two seasons, At first I thought the series was possibly starting more plots than they could finish, but now it seems like it all actually could wrap up. Ideally it just won’t be rushed. I think the Overlord plot will be the subplot once again as Megatronus is the focus but there should still be enough time to satisfactorily complete both plots. Most likely then it’ll end with Cybertron in another rebuilding stage. Well, now the waiting game returns, but long story short, I would recommend watching this season. It’s not as if it’ll take too much time and it’s simply a solid action show. It’s really like watching a short movie or a 3 part adventure if you add up the run time of the episodes.

Overall 7/10

Transformers: The Last Knight Review

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If you ignore the fact that Prime looks obviously evil in the poster…it’s hard to disagree with the message. If one planet is going to die then shouldn’t it be Earth? Those guys are always picking on the Autobots and destroying themselves anyway. Even if the Transformer movies have not been all that good historically they do certainly have great posters and trailers. If nothing else, they always do a good job of drawing you in. On that note, I went to the theaters to watch this latest installment, but could it hold its own against the last few and even surpass them? Time to find out!

Well, the film starts off with a prolonged action scene back in the days of the 12 knights. It’s as boring as you’d expect with very generic bombs being thrown and people stabbing each other. Films like this one keep reminding me why action scenes should all take place in the modern day alongside big buildings and cool effects. The drunk Merlin gets the Autobots to help him so they destroy the other side. Merlin is even given the staff of power which has the ability to destroy and recreate whole planets. He literally takes it to the grave.

We cut away to the present day where a girl by the name of Izabella is saving a few kids who broke into a government protected site with killer machines running around. They shoot to kill and that includes kids, but fortunately Cade and his resistance pals like Bumble Bee show up and finish off the government robots. The kids run off, but Izabella stays with Cade since she wants to fight. The two characters trade sob stories while Cade has a beer (The film made sure to show that it was a Budlight) and then Mr. Edmund shows up to tell the heroes that they have to find the scepter of power and stop the incoming invasion. He has also located and brought in a lady named Viviane who is a descendant of Merlin and the only one who can wield it. Naturally Viviane and Cade don’t get along, but none of the characters do. Can they at least stop the invasion or will their not so subtle insults against each other take top priority? Oh yeah, Megatron’s also around.

This is 100% a Michael Bay film. You can tell because it follows all of the classic tropes. The only good one is that we get a ton of explosions. There’s constantly something catching fire and blowing up. Everyone gets to be in an explosion at some point or other and that was interesting. Well, interesting isn’t the right word, but at least it’s something to catch your attention even if you know that it’s just trying to cover up the lack of a plot.

Unfortunately the other cliches are here. Naturally when Viviane is brought to the castle, she decided to bring along a rather inappropriate outfit for business. It’s not as if it would be a huge deal but of course Cade brings it up and they have a pretty sad conversation about it. Keep in mind that these two were enemies at first, but Cade quotes a random philosopher once they’re okay. He shows off his 6 pack once and they are immediately past the friend zone. The flirting and fanservice were pretty sad and while not as bad as in previous films, I had a feeling the film would bring this into the picture.

Then there’s the writing. I don’t want to say it was the worst yet, but there must have been over 50-100 s words in the film. It was used in almost every single sentence. It’s as if the keyboard warriors from reddit and twitch were the main characters in this film. It was incredibly awful and took you out of the film every time. Why does everyone have to use swear words to express every idea that they get? It’s painfully bad and would have doomed the film to a low score even without all of the other negatives.

It’s also hard to know who to root for. The Autobots are anything but likable. They spend the first half of the film doing more damage to each other than the Decepticons possibly could. Bumblebee even destroys one of his fellow Autobots for no good reason. I don’t remember his name but it was one of the minicons, Bumblebee just crushed him without remorse. The others don’t get along either so there’s a ton of threats among them. We get about 20 minutes of the Autobots just yelling at each other and the humans deciding to follow their example. The insults get pretty personal throughout and one guy even brings up the race card to counter Cade. Well, I shouldn’t say “even” that was another guarantee in this film. Viviane doesn’t get along with her parents and relatives either for more drama and they care more about her love life than the alien invasion. Edmund is constantly threatening to destroy his butler and his butler tries to choke Cade to death, but is stopped at the last second. These are our heroes.

Think about that for a second. Our heroes are the ones who keep threatening each other, actually destroy one member, blackmail other members, and basically just live to destroy. They destroy Decepticons not for honor or victory, but just because they like to murder stuff. Optimus Prime isn’t exempt either as his terribly conceived plan to head to Cybertron winds up getting him frozen. Fortunately, he crash lands there and the ice chips off. I think he suffered a severe concussion though because he doesn’t remember that Cybertron was destroyed so he rushes over and attacks the metal lady who’s there because he thinks she destroyed it. She casually beats him in one hit with her lightning and forces him to kneel before her. She then easily mind controls him to turn evil and be her slave. It’s hinted that it’s mind control since he grew a red scar and she did the same to Megatron. Oh yeah, Megatron gets mind controlled so he’s a subordinate yet again.

Prime doesn’t stay evil for long though as a quick “Martha!” sort of line gets him to turn good again. The heroes decide to kick him a few times while he’s down so he learns a lesson though and everyone just stands there and watches it happen. I get the feeling Prime isn’t too popular on Earth sometimes even if the Autobots claim that they look up to him. While Quintessa (The metal lady) was pretty awesome and it was nice to see her wreck everybody, the film forgot about that. Instead of blasting Viviane and ending the film in an instant, she orders Megatron to do it and doesn’t do anything herself. She gets blasted by Bee and that’s basically the end of her story. It’s a sad way to go.

Hot Rod is actually in this film, but you’ll barely care since he’s nothing like his classic self. He’s just a guy with a french accent who likes blasting stuff. His time stop ability is useful, but he rarely ever remembers to use it so he may as well not have it. The Decepticons are all fairly generic. We have a scene inspired by the Suicide Squad where we see him release his favorite cons and they all team up, but half of them die in their first action scene and even Megatron himself isn’t all that impressive. He seems about as durable as your average con and has slightly more firepower. He never really seems like a threat.

Despite the writing being so bad, some of the humans are all right. Izabella is reasonable for a kid. At least she knows what she is doing and managed to survive for so long as the government base. Her robot even looked a lot like Bumblebee and I could have sworn that it was him the whole time. Why do they have the same design? If Bumblebee had died in such a random way like that I’m sure the fanbase would have gone nuts though. I didn’t really care for Viviane much though. She seemed to overreact a lot and the 180 personality shift once she got along with Cade was sad. Cade also wasn’t that great as he drinks too much beer and also takes things too personally. The whole plot with his daughter was made to be way too dramatic.

The government is also bad as always. They decided to turn against all of the Transformers yet again. Sure, they’re all pretty mean, but why pick a fight that you can’t win? Their weapons are finally strong enough….well who are we kidding. Their weapons are always strong enough to beat Transformers. They’ll still lose in the end if they go with a frontal assault so it’s just not a smart move. It’s a rather half baked one. The only good member of the army was the physics guy who kept mocking the heroes for relying on magic. He’d point out that magic wasn’t real and that the team should use physics to win. It didn’t work of course as magic is the whole point of the film, but the guy made some good points and had a lot of excellent burns.

The film relies pretty heavily on being half comedy and action. Unfortunately, the humor doesn’t work very well. The funniest scenes were the unintentional ones like the heroes constantly bickering or Optimus Prime getting frozen just by flying. The actual humor just tends to fall flat like the flirting and all of the characters acting like jerks. I suspect the guy on the telephone trying to be a knight was supposed to be funny as well, but it didn’t really work. Also, how come this guy seems to know everything? I like that he didn’t panic like the others and just decided to hang out at the beach instead of stressing out, but it felt like filler. Of course, over half of the film is basically prolonged to extend the run time. I suppose there could be some charm in seeing the characters all insult each other in a reverse friendship kind of way. Perhaps Bay is going for that as you just enjoy all of the insults, but even that would need better writing. Bad writing holds everything back.

Aside from the opening action sequence, the fight scenes aren’t bad I suppose. They all start to blend together after a while and we don’t really get any prolonged fight though. Most fights end with a few hits. Bumblebee vs Optimus is probably the only really long fight in the movie and that would probably be the best one. The ending was rather anticlimactic though.

This film does have an after credits scene by the way so you should stick around for that. It’s the kind of scene that would be hype in a different series but not for this one. The villain that they’re hyping up is not someone I want to see. I was practically wincing there because I assumed that by grabbing the scepter they had hopefully destroyed this person too. Ah well, at least the cool person who is giving out the intel should be a good villain. Perhaps that is all I can ask for.

Overall, Transformers delivers another blunder. It’s just a bad film that is crammed in with every plot imaginable. The plots could have been good except the writing is terrible. The script is so bad it hurts and the characters are all made out to be villains or unlikable. The romance is as rushed as it ever was since the characters have only known each other for around a day or less. The film can be funny at times but for all the wrong reasons. There’s just no reason to have hope for another film, but they’re going to come out anyway. I like to think that the next film will be better, but it’s hard to even think that at this point. I suppose the films deliver on being mindless action blockbusters where you just try to enjoy the experience and keep it moving, but all of the films feel the same in that regard. They’ll hold your attention but never come close to being a good film. If the next film wants to be better, it should finally make the Autobots heroic, Strengthen the Dinobots a bit so they don’t keep losing, strengthen all of the Transformers so humans aren’t constantly beating them, and make the humans more likable. The films may just be doomed though and your best bet is looking at the original animated series again. At least that one was quality.

Overall 3/10

Transformers: Combiner Wars Review

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It’s time to look at the recent online miniseries that came out. Unfortunately, it would be taking the old “5 minute episodes” tactic that rarely ever works out well. The main difference between this one and Pokemon Generations is that the episodes do combine to tell one self contained story. It does have a bit of a cliffhanger to lead into the next part of the trilogy though. It’s a pretty solid mini show that could have certainly benefited from having normal length episodes instead of mini ones, but was fairly decent for its limitations.

The plot takes place in the far future, which is a nice change of pace since most of the shows and movies all take place during the war between the Autobots and Decepticons. The comics have long since passed this part in history, but the shows and movies don’t seem to ever want to leave it. I guess it makes sense since that era had a lot of interesting characters and battles to look at, but the future arcs can be a blast too. Case in point, the plot in this series is actually very interesting and epic. The series itself just fails to completely utilize it.

Both sides are now working together since there aren’t Decepticons and Autobots anymore. Rodimus Prime, Starscream, and The Mistress of Flame are the three rulers now. They use Combiners to take any pockets of villain resistance left. The world still isn’t at peace and it probably never will be, but the situation isn’t half bad at this point. Unfortunately, that’s when the heroes get the bright idea to try and use a super special item to mind control all of the Combiners to have them serve as a personal army. This will take away their autonomy and it’ll serve as the ultimate counter to evil. How can this fail? Rodimus half heartedly advises against it, but is then for it later on. All three of the members go back and forth on the issue until someone ensures that the device is used. It’s like they always say, if you have a weapon, that means you intend to use it at some point.

Windblade knows about what is going on so she recruits Optimus Prime to help her end this. She wants to destroy the device and Prime is in agreement, although he isn’t thrilled about being called back into action. He’s in retirement and nobody likes him even though he fought for peace for many centuries. People blame him for the war and that just goes to show that the average Cybertronian isn’t much smarter than the average human. I can’t believe that Prime of all people would be turned into an outcast after the many sacrifices that he made for justice. It’s pretty unreal. Prime also realizes that the two of them against an army of combiners may be a bit unrealistic so they call in Megatron. Megatron’s enjoying his retirement at a Colosseum, but he’s certainly happy to help if it means messing up Starscream and the others.

Seeing Optimus Prime and Megatron team up was probably the biggest hype moment of the mini series. Unfortunately, there really weren’t any villains for them to fight by that point. They got to shoot at the giant Starscream and at a few Combiners, but I would have liked more of a tangible threat for them to be honest. The back and forth between the two rivals was always good though and we saw their battle experience first hand. You always get the sense that Megatron and Prime are head and shoulders above the rest of the robots. Prime’s retirement was definitely pretty iffy if you ask me and seemed like another hero giving up the Luke Skywalker way. It’s a stretch to imagine Prime just deciding to give up and let others wield the torch, but at least that won’t be a problem for the next two parts of the trilogy. Megatron was definitely in character the whole time though and I can definitely see him being a big villain again someday.

Rodimus Prime didn’t look all that smart though. I don’t know how everyone just decided that it would be a good idea to let Starscream on the tribunal. If you ask me…that’s just not a smart move. Even if he claims that he’s changed….it’s Starscream that we’re talking about. He’s the shadiest Decepticon of them all. Starscream’s definitely pretty solid though. He has a good plan and considered all of the angles. You definitely can’t say that he’s not one of the smartest bots out there.

Windblade was basically the main character and she was really good. It’s nice to see her as a hardcore assassin. Robots in Disguise tried to make her really cool as well and she is decent in that show, but this one goes a little more all out. She’ll remind you of Arcee from the Transformer comics. Windblade gets the job done and while she should not have won her fight against the Combiner, (Get ready for a lot of plot hax, but this show is full of that so you won’t be surprised by the end) Windblade is definitely a character who is easy to root for and I would certainly say that she is one of the better Transformers overall.

As expected, the characters and the plot are good. Now, where did the series fail? Well, the 5 minute episodes really ensure that the show can’t do much. Now only are the episodes only around 5 minutes long, but they really waste time. One episode will have someone flying for about a minute or another will just have people talking about nothing really important for a while. I feel like the show was trying to show off its animation, but since the graphics weren’t really anything to write home about…it didn’t work. Plus, time was a big factor here so the show needed to take it into consideration.

The graphics aren’t bad though and despite getting a lot of heat, I dare say that they even look great. They have the style of a PS2 game, but with modernized graphics. The colors really stand out and since it is night time for most of the series, the contrasts make for really good visuals. The energy attacks all look sharp as well and these are graphics that I grew up with to the extent where the designs look solid. It’s hard to describe, but the robots actually look strong and menacing instead of skinny and more unassuming. It can’t hold its own to a modern hand drawn anime or anything like that, but the CGI is really good. I can’t say that I really remember the soundtrack all that well though. It’s very forgettable and it’s the kind of fare that works well while you’re in the moment, but just barely. It covers its bases and that’s about it.

Combiner Wars does end on a really epic note though. The cliff hanger for part 2 is really intense since aliens may finally be showing up to make a move. That’s one aspect of Transformers that was never handled too well. Aliens showing up could be really awesome, but usually their designs aren’t great or they just don’t get to do much. A proper Transformers vs Aliens plot for the sequel could definitely be really cool. It would certainly make for a better fight than Prime and friends against Cosmic Giant. The final fight is a little underwhelming because the villain can barely move and the heroes can’t hurt him, which leads to an unfortunate stale mate. Some good visuals make it in there, but that’s about all that you can say for it.
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Overall, Transformers: Combiner Wars is a pretty fun little show. Just treat it as a 30 minute OVA and it works well. The animation is solid and the fight scenes are a lot of fun aside from the last one. The plot is very engaging and the main character cast of Windblade, Prime, and Megatron is a good trio. It will also remind you of just how good the show could have been had it been full length though. Despite it being a series about Combiners, we didn’t get to see them do all that much here. There was simply no time since the series had to try and fit everybody in with the limited length. Hopefully the next part will either have more episodes or they will be able to extend the length of each episode. I think that would do wonders for the show. Still, I recommend it if you’re interested in the future timeline of Transformers, which is rarely explored.

Overall 7/10

Transformers Devastation Review

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It’s been a decent while since the last Transformers game although the gap wasn’t incredibly long or anything like that. Devastation got a lot of hype before it came out and I was certainly on board as well since my favorite iteration of the Transformers would be returning. The game lives up to the hype and then some with the only weakness being the game’s short length. Aw well, short games let me really feel the experience in a short burst so I can roll with that.

It starts out like a classic Transformers episode. The Decepticons are causing trouble so the Autobots storm the city to save everyone. The humans have already been evacuated so they don’t need to worry about that, but hundreds of insecticons have flooded the city and Megatron’s plans for conquest are not even close to being finished. He wants to terraform the planet…or cyberform in this case so that Cybertron can virtually live on Earth again. Prime and the other Autobots are a little hesitant to stop him because it may involve destroying the entire history of Cybertron (Kept on a device) but if it’s the only way…then they shall be ready!

Devastation is a very fast paced game. You’re thrown right into the action and are confronted with bosses and enemies at every turn. The game was done by Platinum and I mostly know them for their reputation through Bayonetta as one of the best game developers in the biz. I can certainly see why they are known as such a great company as the gameplay is tight and very exciting. The focus is more on hand to hand than in shooting down your enemies and while Transformers Prime attempted this first, Devastation does it best. You’re essentially in a 3D fighting game while playing. There are numerous combos that you can use with each character and the weapons system allows you to keep crafting bigger and better weapons. You can also level up your characters to really get an edge in the battles.

There’s even a counter/dodge system in place. Essentially, if you dodge right before an opponent attacks, time will slow down and then you can really hand out the pounding. The timing is surprisingly tricky and a nice test for your reflexes. The A.I. is also nice and strong on Normal so I can imagine that they are quite impressive on hard. To an extent, their ability to break any of your combos is a little OP and I did have to retry one or two bosses a few times as they could be OP at times, but the gameplay is really fun so you definitely won’t mind doing the battles again. The combat system is really good and it’s nice to see Platinum really give the game their all.

That’s why it is disappointing that there is no multiplayer mode here. If ever a game needed a multiplayer option other than Mario Maker, it’s this one. Granted, the gameplay may be a little too advanced and intense to incorporate a multiplayer…that’s the argument that I can envision people making. If we can do Super Smash Bros or Dead or Alive, I’m sure that this game could have pulled it off. It would have added some nice replay value and simply would have been a great feature to have at the ready.

The graphics are very good. The faces could be surprisingly cartoony at times as the villains will make all kinds of faces at you, but it’s all in good fun. G1 was a great series in part because of its great character development and action, but also for the camp factor. I also liked the cutscenes where the heroes got to fight, albeit briefly and seeing more of that would have been awesome. The visuals certainly hold up quite well and I dare say that the game looks better than the other Transformer titles. It’s close though since the War for Cybertron series does look quite good.

In terms of music, there’s never been a Transformers game that was more impressive. Just about every musical piece is a guitar strum or some kind of epic rock music. Your blood will be pumping through every fight and the game feels that much more epic. It’s like being in an episode and you can duke it out with all of the classic villains. There are 3-5 bosses per level and that means you will be in store for quite a lot of action. It’s why I recommend saving your signature skill for when they show up.

Due to getting the game through Gamestop, we got Nemesis Prime and the Dark Starsaber unlocked from the get go. I equipped it after the first 3 missions and the weapon is quite useful. The shockwaves that it sends out are huge and deal a considerable amount of damage. You don’t have to worry about it becoming pay to win as you can easily find comparable sword attack-wise within the game, but the visuals are what really makes the weapon a lot of fun to use. You can opt to mainly use guns, but close quarters combat definitely has the edge in this title.

This game would have been an easy 9, but the story mode’s short length is definitely something that needs to be mentioned. There are only 7 levels and while the first two are decently long, they get a lot shorter after that. I beat the game in around 3 hours and did have fun grabbing some collectibles so it’s certainly possible to complete it quicker than t hat. Sure, there is replay scattered throughout the game, but without a multiplayer option either, I feel like deducting a star is worth it. Especially for the current price. Drop it down to 20 and that will help your case.

As for what the replay value entails, there are a lot of collectibles throughout the levels. That will take you some time to grab them all. There’s also a Mission Mode with 50 missions to tackle and they were pretty fun from what I saw. You’ll mainly be replaying parts of the story mode there. Finally, you also want to get all of the trophies to obtain the Platinum. The trophies are fair and don’t seem too hard, just time consuming. In a sense, all Platinums should be this way as you should need dedication without trying a level 1000 times. It’s a fair compromise I’d say.

Don’t forget to stick around for the after credits scene. It sets up the sequel quite well and you can tell that the boss will make for an intense antagonist. I’d be very hyped for a sequel although it’ll hopefully have a multiplayer mode or be a little longer. I feel like Platinum was aiming to make this title feel like an Arcade Game with its dynamic action scenes and quick soundtrack. If this was an Arcade Game, then 3 hours wouldn’t be so bad. I definitely trust that they will continue to make the gameplay 5 star material in a sequel.

Overall, if you’re a big fan of the original Transformers anime, you’re going to love this title. If you like action games where you are constantly fighting, then this is also right up your alley. The game really handled the gameplay perfectly and did justice to the Transformers name. Few franchises can say that they’ve consistently had 8 star games over and over again, but Transformers manages to pull it off. The only game in the franchise that I didn’t care for all that much was Animated and it still wasn’t downright bad. If you picked this up, let me know what you thought of it.

Overall 8/10

Transformers Devastation Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 3h 20m
PS3 Trophies 4/31
Enemies Defeated 664
Bosses Defeated 31
A,pimt Fpcised 215
Head Shots 1
Rush Attacks 102
Vehicle Attacks 432
Reversals 0
Parries 0
Grapples 0
Energy Used 1365
Accuracy 55.6%
Distance Traveled 73.106 km
Chests found 9.4%
Collectibles Found 15.4%
Missions Completed 82.5%
Objects Destroyed 953
Defeats 11

Stage Stats Scout Warrior Commander

Chapter 1 – C –
Chapter 2 – B –
Chapter 3 – C –
Chapter 4 – B –
Chapter 5 – A –
Chapter 6 – A –
Chapter 7 – A –

Challenge Mode

Mission 1 D
Mission 2
Mission 3
Mission 4
Mission 5
Mission 6
Mission 7
Mission 8
Mission 9
Mission 10
Mission 11
Mission 12
Mission 13
Mission 14
Mission 15
Mission 16
Mission 17
Mission 18
Mission 19
Mission 20
Mission 21
Mission 22
Mission 23
Mission 24
Mission 25
Mission 26
Mission 27
Mission 28
Mission 29
Mission 30
Mission 31
Mission 32
Mission 33
Mission 34
Mission 35 C
Mission 36
Mission 37
Mission 38
Mission 39
Mission 40
Mission 41
Mission 42
Mission 43
Mission 44
Mission 45
Mission 46
Mission 47
Mission 48
Mission 49 SS
Mission 50

Transformers Robots in Disguise Review

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Transformers threw in a comic for Free Comic Book day, which is pretty neat since the new TV show airs on Saturdays as well. While it may be less plot oriented than some of the other shows, G1 was like that for a while and look at how much fun it is. Robots in Disguise isn’t ready to take on Prime just yet, but it’s been a very fun show and I don’t see that changing. This comic is really similar in that regard.

A Decepticon bird has appeared in the area and he is trying to get back to Cybertron. The Autobots must now get him away from the amusement park before the humans begin to suspect that something it up. Can Bumblebee and his team defeat this foe in time? The comic really came at a good time since the episode in the TV show today featured a Decepticon bird. Coincidence? I think not!

There are a lot of villains who escaped in episode 1 so it makes sense that some of them should also be captured in the comics unless we’re actually going to have over 100 episodes of just catching Decepticons. Some of them will be off screen so putting them in the comics is a safe bet. The story is fun to read from start to finish and it is one of the main reasons why I liked the comic. Remember what I was saying about Jurassic Strike Force 5 in my earlier review?

Transformers is using the same techniques as that series, but they are doing a better job of it. For starters, the characters are more likable and that’s already a big win in my book. It’s like Sonic Boom or the Sonic Comics. There are action scenes, but the dialogue also flows really well and this results in a complete comic. The Robots in Disguise comic series seems to be off to a very good start and I will definitely be on the lookout for trade paperbacks once the Library orders them.

This comic also did something that most of the issues on Free Comic Book Day did not do. It had a cliffhanger of epic proportions. Let’s just say that the characters of the Prime series are not pleased with Bumblebee’s exploits and now they are going to take matters into their own hands. Unfortunately for Bumblebee, I have to say that his team really has no chance here. Arcee outranks Strong Arm and Grimlock can’t match up to Bulkhead. The only chance for Bumblebee will be to see if he can team up with Sideswipe to beat Ultra Magnus. It will be a stretch though and this could end very badly for the new team.

I can’t even blame the Prime counterparts as the main team is cutting is really close lately. They’re flirting with danger in just about every comic/episode and the humans only haven’t figured anything out because they don’t seem to be as smart as the average joe. With the stakes climbing up and the plot starting, the series has nowhere to go, but up!

As for the art, it is standard TV show cash in stuff. The faces can look pretty off model at times and particularly the characters’ mouths. You should see Strongarm try to do a scowl! On the bright side, the action scenes can still look good and I did like the art on the final page. It’s just going to be constantly uneven and changing so it’s nowhere near the level of art that Marvel and DC possess. Hopefully, experience will help it along as the series goes on.

Overall, Robots in Disguise is really starting to make a name for itself. On the Transformers totem pole, I think that it is safe to say that it beats Beast Wars, Animated and Rescue Bots while losing to G1 and Prime. I don’t really see it passing those two for quite a while if ever, but it just goes to show how good Robots in Disguise can be. The art was not the best, but at least it is rather streamlined and you can chuckle at some of the face expressions. IDW’s next comic is going to have a tough time beating it.

Overall 7/10

Transformers Classified The Complete Mission Review

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It’s time to review the Transformers trilogy that came out a while back. These three books all take place in the film continuity, which can make longtime fans groan. Not to worry, you wouldn’t even notice if not for a few key references. None of the characters are quite as bad as the movie counterparts and the writing is certainly a lot better. This feels like a real Transformers adventure and it was a pretty fun ride from start to finish.

The first book is mostly the set up as we meet the Autobots and get to see them take down a few Decepticons. After that, we shift to Kevin’s point of view. He can’t get any homework done at his friend’s place due to a party that is going on so he heads off. He meets up with an Autobot named Gears who is currently looking for a special location to protect it from Decepticons. It ends up being hidden under a real government base so Kevin agrees to tag along so that he can finally get in on some action. Things get tricky when a Decepticon named Reverb tricks Ratchet into believing that he’s an Autobot and that they have to destroy Gears. This will definitely test the bonds of friendship between Autobots and Kevin will have to move quickly if he wants to survive this!

The second book gives Duane a bigger focus as he realizes that he needs to get closer to the heroes. He plans for his minions to steal some super tanks that a company has developed so he leads the heroes on a wild goose chase onto the next special facility. It actually turns out to be pretty useful and he works on earning Kevin’s trust while Reverb and the Decepticons attack the tanks and the Autobots. Can the heroes save the tanks or will they have to go back and make sure the Kevin and the scientists are okay. Meanwhile…when are they going to find Douglas?

Book 3 concludes the trilogy and I wish that I could say how it ended on a bang, but I really did prefer book 2. Duane places all of his cards on the table as he attacks with his tanks. The Autobots naturally counter, but a scientist decides to destroy all of the Transformers as he launches a satellite that will emit a code that will wipe them all out. Kevin and Gears decide that the satellite is the true priority and Reverb wants to live as well so a race against the clock starts. Meanwhile, we have insect worms that have invaded Earth and they are also attacking Douglas on the other planet. (Which actually gets a decent amount of screentime here as a subplot) One way or another…it all ends here!

Optimus Prime may not get a huge role in this trilogy, but it still may be a little bigger than you may have expected. He is guaranteed to get a fight in each of the three books and that’s always pretty fun. He takes down his the first Decepticon rather easily in book one and he also crushes the worms in the final book of the trilogy. (During the re match anyway) The only fight where Prime is on the losing side is when he faces off against Reverb and it’s mostly due to the fact that none of the Autobots or Decepticons are very athletic or quick, but I shall talk about that more in a bit. This is a pretty accurate depiction of Prime and he’s awarded the respect that he really deserves at this point. He seems to be a little more eager to convert Decepticons into Autobots here than usual, but he does ultimately want the war to be over. He can just be a little too naive in this when a single blast can change the course of a battle. He risks his spark with this decision more than once.

Gears is the main Autobot in this trilogy since he’s always hanging out with Kevin. His personality is pretty similar to Bulkhead’s or the green robot in Rescue Bots. He doesn’t really understand all of the Earth customs and such yet, but he still tries to help Kevin through his many hardships. Gears can be pretty cheesy though and he’s not the greatest fighter. He can definitely fight if he has too, but his leg is almost always injured. He beats Ratchet and Bumble Bee, but he’s not going to stand out after the trilogy ends.

Bumblebee looks pretty bad here. He doesn’t fall into any character holes, but the author must think that he’s the weakest Autobot of all time. Bumblebee doesn’t get to win any fights here and he is constantly crushed by random Decepticons. He always “talks” tough, but Bumblebee is the first one to hit the ground. He’ll charge at the villain, but they always seem to be quicker and stronger than him. It’s true that Bumblebee isn’t the toughest Autobot around, but he’s still a tough warrior and he gets the job done. I at least expect Bumblebee to put up a decent fight. That never happens here and Bumblebee’s role is very small, which doesn’t help either.

The only Autobot who may appear less than Bumblebee is Ratchet. Ratchet doesn’t look very good either since he can be worse than Prime when it comes to falling for Decepticon traps. The odds of Reverb actually being a hero are slim to none and he was very suspicious the entire time. Ratchet should have been prepared for such a course of action and he rarely helps during fight scenes. He has a cool buzzsaw, but you have to actually land attacks with it to make a difference. He gets to take down some of the worms and a Decepticon somewhere down the line, but he could have been a lot better. We need more fighters and less medics for the heroes!

Typically, I don’t like Ironhide, but he was actually pretty good here. He is always bragging or putting up a tough front. That can get old fast, but it’s good to see that at least one Autobot is always ready to fight. Considering how many Decepticons are around, The heroes definitely need more Ironhides. Despite his claims, Ironhide still isn’t that much tougher than the others. He has a lot of weapons, but he still struggles to beat a human tank and he is also quickly shut down by Reverb. He’s not a bad character, but he’s going to have to get stronger if he really wants to earn a rep. I am glad that he didn’t fall for Douglas’ tricks though.

Reverb is the main Decepticon and he’s really the only one to actually get a role here. He’s not ultimately powerful, but he can give Gears’ a good fight. He certainly knows how to get back on his feet though since he appears in all three books. He gets an energy shield, which immediately makes him stronger than the rest of the Autobots. It’s a little sad for the heroes, but it certainly gives Reverb bragging rights. He’s pretty generic, but as far as villains go, Reverb was all right. I should remember his name for a while now and he doesn’t let the humans boss him around.

Kevin is basically what you may expect from your average main character. The book does a good job of keeping him away from the romance angle and he just wants to have a good time. He does come with a tragic backstory though since his parents were taken out by Decepticons. Things get even worse for him after the first book as his brother is also taken away. Kevin manages to be pretty likable when he’s on screen although he can be a little wishy washy sometimes. He talks back to government officials as well as Autobots and Decepticons. Nothing can faze him and it’s pretty intense. He blew up at his friend in book 1 rather quickly though, which may make you doubt whether he makes for a good friend or not. All things considered, he’s a lot better than he could have been.

Duane is the main human villain of the trilogy. It’s not really a spoiler to say this because we find out pretty early on that he’s the main villain. He is rich and he just wants his Dad’s big inventions to fail so that he can prove to his father just how good he is. He’s willing to destroy just about anyone to further these ambitions and he’s very good at controlling technology. He can definitely be a handful for the heroes, but he definitely has the skills to prove why he can be useful to both sides. I think his character development in book 3 is very rushed though since an accident forces him to do a complete 180 on his plans. I don’t know…the whole thing happened without a lot of foreshadowing. It’s just hard to picture him changing so drastically because of the one event. I think the series may have been planned to be longer than 3 books or the author just lost track of time there. Still, Duane may be the best human villain that we’ve seen in Transformers since the Hunter in the original show.

Douglas is Kevin’s brother and he’s a pretty noble character. The author tries to portray him as the ultimate hero. He’s a tough commander, but he still makes time to joke around and become buddies with all of his subordinates. His will to survive never wavers and he’s firmly planted on the side of justice. He can be a little too strict at times though and Douglas tends to be very slow on the uptake. The author really tries to force you to like him, but that’s more or less okay since he’s a solid character. (Of course…that’s the point of the plan…) I wouldn’t have minded a book about his journeys on the planet.

Simon Clay is another villain whose character development goes through a radical change between books 1 and 2. You can even argue that it started towards the end of book 1. He was a capable villain at first and then he is completely used for comic relief in the final two books. He’s terrified of the Decepticons and he’s even scared of a kid. (He doesn’t know that his boss is a kid of course, but it’s still pretty embarrassing) He’s always running away or stuttering when Reverb is around and it’s pretty sad. I liked him a lot in book 1 and after that you can only like him in a comic relief way. I actually don’t mind that form of him, but you simply cannot try to be both serious and comic relief. You have to choose one or the other or you will fail at both. That’s what happens to Clay.

Let’s address the power levels of the Transformers. This is the movie continuity so it explains why they’re so weak, but it can be a little sad to fans who only watch the shows. The government’s tech is already almost up to par with the Transformers’ and it’s heavily implied that it is superior. The 1 on 1 battle between Ironhide and a tank ends with the Autobot’s victory, but Duane was holding back so throw away any suspicions that the heroes may have gotten. The scientist was also able to create a ray that could destroy all of the Autobots, but the heroes admit that it may not have worked anyway. Basically, a simple missile can deal critical damage to a Transformer and the government also has liquid metal that can instantly KO them. The Transformers are in a very dangerous pickle here.

What can also be a little annoying is that all of the Transformers seem to be more or less equal power wise. A good shot from a blade or a gun can KO just about anyone. The Autobots typically win because they attack first or land the opening blow, but the Decepticons really seem to have an even chance if they would only land a blow. I think there should be more of a gap between someone like Prime as opposed to the average Autobot.

One of the great positives about the trilogy is the fact that the books just go very quickly. They are a little on the short side (Around 130-160 pages a book and the print is fairly large) but I’m not really referring to length. The plot is very engaging and the dialogue between the characters is interesting enough to just keep you reading. The very first scene in the trilogy can start off a little too quickly since you’re just picking up the book, but it’s clear sailings from there. I typically finished off large portions of the trilogy in a single batch because of how fun they were. (Maximum Ride still holds the record in that regard as I would read a complete book in one sitting. I read a whole Transformers book in one batch as well, but Maximum Ride is about three times bigger)

Overall, This is a pretty great trilogy. We get some nice fight scenes and the human characters are actually pretty interesting. My only warning is that you should not expect the Transformers to operate under many tiers as mentioned earlier. There isn’t much that separates someone like Optimus Prime from someone like Ratchet. They’re more or less equal when it comes down to a fight, which makes things dicey against Reverb. The second book is actually the highlight of the trilogy, but the third still does have some fun action with Douglas and his party as they try to survive on the blue planet. Drama, Suspense, Action…this trilogy has it all!

Overall 8/10