Friday, 27 June 2014

Transformers Marathon: Transformers: Dark of the Moon. And this is why I stopped watching Transformers until recently

There are only a few things in this world I loath, despise, downright hate with a passion, and the movie that is being reviewed today is number 1 on that list. It takes a lot for something to make it onto this list, High School musical for example: thanks to my sister's love for it at one point, I can't stand the films, and they haven't made this list. Toy Time Galaxy's Purple coin challenge in Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, they're brutal and I chewed through more lives then I'd like to admit, and its not on the list. Nor is Sonic '06 and Call of Duty, to those who know me personally, that alone should give you a indication of just how much it takes for something to make it onto this list. Not because its a awful movie, not because it has boring action scenes, not because its recycling the same plot from the last two films but because of how much this destroyed peoples views on the franchise. People have gone on record saying that this killed their childhoods if the last one didn't do it first.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Transformers Marathon: Transformers Revenge of the fallen. First Str wait, didn't we already see this two years ago?

Now we can do Revenge of the Fallen. The first Bay film was a commercial success and the cast (according to the bonus features of the DVD release) was willing to do a second movie. Even though the writer’s strikes, bay was still able to produce this... uh... “gem” of a movie??? Time to review Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Transformers Marathon: Transformers (2007).First Contact

And now to the movies most fans would rather forget. The Michael Bay films, the purpose of this marathon. While the Bay films did bring in a new crowd of Transformers fans, they did lose a lot of the older fans who have been following the series since the beginning. As to what I think of them? It depends on the movie in question. Without wasting any more time, let’s start this miniseries of reviews with Transformers (2007).

Friday, 20 June 2014

Transformers Marathon: Transformers: Cybertron. Why? Because "OUR WORLDS ARE IN DANGER" and we must protect them "Till all are one"

Now to a personal favourite of mine, while Armada might have been my first season of Transformers and this my last because they weren’t shown on Free to air TV here, Transformers Cybertron will always have a place in my heart. But does it still hold up when I look at it as a reviewer? This is my review of Transformers Cybertron. 

Monday, 16 June 2014

The Individual impressions that will be coming

So with E3 finished for 2014, I'm going to be covering some of the individual games shown off that I thought looked interesting. I won't be including games that I already done impressions on (Smash 4 and Arkham Knight) and these will be posted after the Transformers Marathon.

The titles include...
Pokémon Omega Ruby/ Alpha Sapphire, Hyrule Warriors, Splatoon, Fable Legends, Project Spark, Sonic Boom, Yoshi's Woolly World, Code Name S.T.E.A.M, Far Cry 4 ( as I don't think the impressions I have don't during the conferences do it justice), Mario Party 10 and Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. I am willing to provide in depth opinions on requests if anyone would like me to but otherwise these will be the games I cover.

Transformers Maraton: Transformers Energon. Let's mine with Transformers

After the Unicron saga of Transformers Armada, the people at Hasbro, combined with the writers of the show believed that there was more that could be done in this continuity. It’s because of this reason, Transformers Energon is this review. Do note that it’s recommended that you see the finale of Transformers: Armada as this review will contain spoilers.

Friday, 13 June 2014

E3 2014: Ubisoft... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


1.       Far Cry 4: I don’t personally care about Far cry. It looks to be the same as prior instalments

2.       Aisha Tyler: It sounds like she has been given more freedom when it comes to hosting the show and while they are funny in comparison to previous years, to me, the jokes aren’t funny, with a few exceptions. The background image on the screen looks like a lazy desktop background.

3.       Just Dance 2015: More Just Dace... next?

4.       Tom Clancy: The Division: See Microsoft press conference

5.       The Crew: Could you tell us more about the game that you haven’t previously announced?

6.       Assassin’s Creed: Unity: See X-Bone’s conference (this is becoming a pattern...)

7.       Shape Up: Its Ubisoft’s attempt at Wii Fit and it does look interesting, will I play it, probably not. But its the best game so far in this conference because I haven’t seen it before

8.       Valiant Hearts: The Great War: the game looks great (using the same engine as Rayman Legends and Child of Light), the trailer was great, but no gameplay...

9.       Tom Clancy: Rainbow Six Siege: I’m not going to make a opinion on a game that’s in alpha where we only saw a multiplayer game

This was boring to be honest. Most of the games shown were already shown off or unveiled and the new games were just bleak. I’m going to be spilling into next week for individual impressions on games and what I can find of the show floor. I will also be continuing the Transformers Marathon with Transformers: Energon so until then...

Thursday, 12 June 2014


EA E3 2014 Press conference

For note, I am skipping any information on the EA sports games

1.       Starwars Battlefront: Well... it was a nice snippet of footage from a documentary...

2.       Dragon Age: Inquisition: Ok, you’ve made a pretty world EA... Now what? The gameplay that was shown struck me as Multi person, third person perspective Skyrim. I haven’t played a Dragon Age so I don’t know if it’s normally like that or not. As I said in the Microsoft impression, it looks interesting

3.       The Sims 4: Because I have never played any form of The Sims, most of the improvements that were said meant nothing to me. The Sims AI has improved and you can now play with their emotions, that all that I retained

4.       EA UFC: The only sports game here because it is a new one (to my knowledge). Its UFC the game

5.       New Criterion IP: Its really early in development according to the trailer, but it looks fun and I’ll pick it up when I can as it has a Need for Speed Underground 2/ Burnout 3 feel about it (both of those are great PS2 games, pick them up when you can)

6.       Dawngate: I’m not a MOBA gamer, but if you like MOBA games like Dota 2, you’ll like this... maybe

7.       Mirror’s Edge: See Starwars Battlefront

8.       Battlefield Hardline: I stand by what I said before

This press conference was dull. Battlefield took up so much of the conference and EA Sports took up even more. I never look forward to EA’s conference every year and its reasons like this conference that’s the reason why. There were more games, but they were EA Sports. The finale of the press conferences is Ubisoft and I’m not liking the sound of it...
Also, just hit 400 page views, thankyou all for keeping up with these reviews and impressions.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The final of the big three:Impressions on the Nintendo Digital Event

 Nintendo Digital Event

1.       Intro Stop motion and filler: the stop motions are comical and shows off the fan opinions of Reggie while also, possibly, highlighting Nintendo’s opinions on franchises the fans want to return

2.       Super Smash bros Mii announcements: It was awsome seeing Iwata fighting Reggie in its intro (the effects were great, purely because they were over the top), then to highlight the Mii use in Smash 4 before Sakurai clarifies. The Mii Fighters themselves look interesting to play as. You can play as a Brawler (fast, but powerful melee combat with little range), a swordfighter (faster, but weaker then the Brawler, but use weapons like swords) and a gunner (great range, sports multiple ranged attacks but they might not have many good melee attacks). (note that this is all speculation). The Mii’s also appear to have customisable special moves, giving players the ability to swap between 36 specials between the three types of fighters. We also have a release day for the 3DS version... October 3rd 2014. I don’t have high hopes for a Christmas with Smash bros WiiU after seeing this one...

3.       Amiibo: Nintendo’s answers to Skylanders and Disney Infinity. During the direct, there wasn’t a lot shown off but they did mention that they would be discussing it more latter on in E3 so expect a post providing more info latter. The Mario figure looks great though. We also know that Smash 4 and Mario Kart 8 will use Amiibo somehow (Captain Falcon in Mario Kart?). Also, I do believe the Mario Kart 8 footage, highlighting Luigi’s death stare was intentional and another great joke in this (unlike the last two, I’ve already watched this once so I can give more info)

4.       Yoshi’s Woolly World: (Try saying that 3x fast). I haven’t played a lot of Yoshi games (I’m yet to finish a single game...) but this new game does interest me. It looks great and like Kirby’s Epic Yarn, the wool motif works well in this and is incorporated well in the puzzles (from what we’ve seen). The plush Yarn Yoshi’s that were shown off look amazing (both in game and the real life ones that were used as a demonstration).

5.       Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker: Are you happy Captain Toad fans. If you’ve played 3D World’s captain toad levels, then you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into with this as that’s all that is in this game. It does look more refined as there are more things to do, but it’s Captain Toad.

6.       Legend of Zelda (WiiU): It looks beautiful, from what we saw, and it sounds like it’s going back to a progression similar to the original Zelda. Apart from that, we still don’t know a lot.

7.       Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire: latter...

8.       Bayonetta 2: The gameplay still looks great from when we saw it at E3 last year, the inclusion of the first game was a good idea as there are people (like myself) who will be getting the game but haven’t played the first. There will alos be Nintendo costumes for Bayonetta like Peach, Link and Samus, each with their own added Nintendo touches. Bayonetta also has a October 2014 release so we finally have a release window.

9.       Hyrule Warriors: Zelda and Midna are playable alongside Link and Impa. It looks great (so good its giving me a excuse to play Dynasty warriors). The character designs for Link, Impa and Zelda look great, they are different but you still know who they are if you’re a Zelda fan. All that we have to do is wait until September 26th, which is its current release day.

10.   Kirby and the Rainbow Cruise: If you have played Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Kirby Canvas curse, then you know what your getting yourself into with this WiiU title. It plays similar to Canvas Curse but also shares a trait with Epic Yarn in the form of form changes like Rocket and Tank. I do like the Clay art style with this but I wasn’t a fan of Canvas Curse, I might pick it up when I get a WiiU but there’s a strong chance I wont

11.   Xenoblade Chronicles X: Another game I haven’t had experience with its predecessor before hand, Xenoblade X does look good, but I’m not sure if it’s a CG trailer or if it’s in game footage. Its supposedly going to becoming in 2015 so I could change my mind between now and its launch.

12.   Mario Maker: Ever wanted to make your own 2D Mario levels? Now you can with this...

13.   Splatoon: A NEW IP FROM NINTENDO!!! Also, “Salty’s Splatoon, how tough are you?” Splatoon is a kid friendly version of Third person shooters. You shoot ink, try and cover the most terrain with your ink to win. You can turn into a squid that can travel fast through your own coloured ink. The concept seems wierd, but I’m curious about it.

14.   Palutena’s reveal: I knew this was coming, Palutena was leaked months ago. But it is a great trailer, not one of my favourites in comparison to the other reveals, but still great. She looks like a great fighter and will all the Kid Icarus Uprising banter that was in it. She is yet another character that I’m going to play as when I get the game. The art style for the trailer is the anime style used in the mini Kid Icarus videos on the, now gone, Nintendo Video app on the 3DS. I’m not too sure what to make of Dark pit at the end of the trailer though...

15.   Miyamoto at the end: On the show floor, I have no idea based on the Digital event.

From what I’ve seen so far of E3, this was better than the last two conferences that I’ve covered. There was a lot of time dedicated to games that needed it and the games that just had a trailer, like Bayonetta 2 and Pokémon Omega Ruby/ Alpha Sapphire didn’t need any more information to be shown off then.  The Stop motion animations were genuinely funny and while it wasn’t a conference. It was still great, even I it was only a portion of the news. I’m going to be doing the last two conferences before I try and collect info on the show floor (which might be limited to Nintendo, but I will try and get more info). The next conference: SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS!!!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Sony at E3 2014. Impressions on the conference (or what i could see when the stream didn't glitch...

Sony Press Conference 2014

Pre show

1.       Killzone DLC: Never cared about Killzone, don’t care now

Actual Show (there were errors on Polaris’s stream so I’ll do a update with whatever I missed)

1.       Destiny: looks a lot like the original Halo trilogy, it looks great and something that I would pick up. The Beta is available July 17th

2.       The Order: Amnesia with Werewolf Zombies?

3.       Entwined: Tempest with Origami... I think. Its pretty at least

4.       Infamous First Light: Its Imfamous

5.       Little Big Planet 3: The new characters look interesting and they look like they could add a lot to the LBP formula. The game itself looks great

6.       Bloodborn:  1800’s Zombies

7.       Farcry 4: The world looks nice, in terms of gameplay: It looks like it plays like any other FPS

8.       Dead Island 2: Getting really sick of Zombies...

9.       Diablo III: Ultimate Evil edition: all the DLC for PS4

10.   Battlefield Hardline: Cops and Robbers. Nuff said

11.   Magika 2: It looks interesting, but I can’t talk much about it from the conference

12.   Grim Fandango remastered: Interesting, but there wasn’t anything to show

13.   Devolver: The games look interesting, and worth playing

14.   Let it Die: Suda51... What drug have you been taking now?

15.   ABZU: Journey, but this time under water

16.   No Man’s Sky: Interesting, but I’m not sold on the art style

17.   Direct Uploads to YouTube and Twitch: it will be helpful for Lets players and Streamers

18.   Making Free to play games best on PS4: JUST AS LONG AS THEY ARE ACTUALLY FREE TO PLAY!!!

19.   PS Now on selected Sony TV’s: Eh...

20.   Playstation TV: Stream lagged so all that I know is that its similar to a Playstation console

21.   Mortal Kombat X: Gore much?

22.   Powers: new graphic novel story/ TV show on the PS4. It looks interesting... from the concept art

23.   Ratchet and Clank the movie: it looks funny but there wasn’t a lot shown off

24.   Last of us Remastered: its Last of us, IN EVEN BETTER HD GRAPHICS!!! WITH THE DLC INCLUDED...

25.    Metal Gear Solid 5 The Phantom Pain: It looks great, even if the trailer was just a CG trailer and no game play

26.   Grand Theft Auto 5 for PS4: its GTA 5...

27.   Batman Arkham Knight: Gotham looks amazing but JESUS CHRIST SCARECROW!!!

28.   Uncharted 4 A thief’s end: Is this the end of Uncharted, because the trailer gave off that impression

Because of other commitments, next will be Nintendo. The Conference itself was ok, but a bit mediocre in comparison to last year's

E3 2014 Impressions. Microsoft and the X-Bone...

Microsoft E3 2014 brief summary of what they showed off in 90 minutes

1.       Stage=mediocre (basic seats closer to the main stage but that could just be because of the venue). The light wrists on all the attendants was a good idea and worked well with some of the game presentations

2.       Intro speech by Phil Spencer = It was a good speech and a good crowd pleaser

3.       Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare= Don’t care, its the same style of trailer from all the other E3 COD news, stand stock gameplay. Took up to much of the conference considering what it was showing off

4.       Dan Greenawalt (Forza Hrizon 2 and Forza 5)= New Free DLC with the iconic racing track. Forza Horizon 2= Nice world, but seen the concept before with the Need for Speed franchise (PS2). Interested to see the definition of Open world freedom

5.       Evolve= Team fortress 2 meets Left 4 dead meets Alien. Looks nice but would have to see other reviews before considering getting it as its a X-Box exclusive for now.

6.       Vincent Pontbiand (Assassins Creed Unity): Assassins Creed in French revolution.  Nothing else new

7.       Dragon Age Inquisition: It looks interesting, pretty and if I had a X-Box One (or if I planned to get one, I would pick it up as it looks interesting).

8.        Sunset Overdrive: Same with Dragon Age Inquisition. Looks good and fun to play, would pick it up if I was going to get the console. It was also a funny trailer showing that there is still some humour left in the games on X-Box One.

9.       Cheesy comical DLC trailer for Dead Rising 3 is cheesy. The DLC looks good and if you like Dead Rising 3, I’d pick it up if I were you.

10.   Fantasia Music Evolved: (What is this madness, a game for the 360 here?). The Concept sound like it could be clunky

11.   Dance Central Spotlight: Already giving alarm bells for me as its digital only (though that could just be my experiences with bad Australian internet). Both Dance Central and Fantasia didn’t have a any form of gameplay or a trailer so I’m a bit concerned.

12.   David Eckelberry (Fable Legends): Expect a full impression for this one latter

13.   Project Spark: User Generated content: the game, though it does look pretty and since its coming to PC, I might check it out. Plus it has Conker in it...

14.   Ori and the Blind Forest: (Try not to cry, cry a lot...) beautiful orchestral piece in the background, gorgeous graphics and it looks to be a platformer (from the small amount of time there was gameplay shown). But its a X-Box One exclusive...

15.   Bonnie Ross (Halo) Halo 5 Trailer was vague like last year, Halo: Master chief collection= All past Halo games (main games) on X-Box One. Will include Halo Nightfall and Halo 5 Guardians beta

16.   Inside: I have no idea what to say on this

17.   ID@XBOX: Indie games on X-Box via self publishing

18.   Indiegames; You’ll have to look at this one for yourself as there are too many for me to list

19.   Rise of the Tomb Raider: Just a CG Trailer

20.   Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: More Witcher for you witcher fans. I can’t compare it to the last game as I haven’t played it

21.   Phantom Dust: Pure CG, I have no idea of how the game will play

22.   Tom Clancy’s The Division:  Tom Clancy meets post apocalyptic future

23.   Scalebound: Monster Hunter with Skin morph?

24.   Crackdown: Futuristic weaponry with a Saint’s Row style graphics. It looks interesting

25.   The developer videos that separated some of the games were good. I wished there was more of them as I needed a break just so that I could type these brief summaries.

They promised a lot of games, they delivered a lot of games. The conference was good but it needed to be paced better. I don’t think Crackdown should have been the finale for the conference considering what they showed off prior to it and what they showed off of it to begin with. It was good, if your a Microsoft fan then you should be excited for what’s to come. Up next Sony (because I’m trying to play catch up and its starting in 20 minutes)

Monday, 9 June 2014

Transormers Marathon: Transformers Armada. Lets build up a army of robots that are smaller then our enemy to help take down said enemy when they could be crushed. GENIUS!!!

And now it’s time to look at the series that got me into Transformers, Transformers: Armada. This was a “return to roots” series for Transformers as the last English series was Beast Wars and its sequel. The issue it has however is that it retreads old ground with a new concept. I’ll be comparing Generation 1’s four seasons to Armada a lot in this review but not taking the movie into consideration (it’s unfair to compare a movie to a TV season, regardless of the age).

Friday, 6 June 2014

Transformers Marathon: The Transformers Seasons 3 and 4. "THE FACES OF oh wait, wrong franchise..."

Unfortunately, we’re not done yet with Generation one of Transformers as there were more episodes of the TV show based after the events of the movie, so if you haven’t seen the movie, well then you’re going to be lost as to what the hell is happening in this new episodes. Time to look at Transformers: Generation 1, wave 2. This review is going to be short as a lot of the issues I had with the first two seasons are still apparent for the most part with a few exceptions.

The plot follows on from Transformers the Movie, and like the seasons before it, it doesn’t do anything aside from that as each of the episodes are self contained. That being said though, the stories themselves are stupid a lot of the time, as if the writers ran out of ideas. In one episode, the Autobots have to deal with a Zombie Optimus Prime and then, a few episodes latter, Daniel (Spike’s Son) and Grimlock are sent to the Transformers equivalent of Ghosts and Goblins. When the Decepticons (THE MAIN VILLAINS OF TRANSFORMERS) are the villains, most of the time they come off as pathetic or (in Galvatron’s case) outright insane. The reason why I say “When the Decepticons are the villains” is because a new threat is introduced: The Quintasons, the creators of the Transformers (and scrambling the nonexistent cannon of Generation 1). Are they good villains? Well they come up with good plans, but their still not good villains. The Quintasons are the Transformers equivalent of the Terminators, calculating but don’t do much (unlike said terminators). They come up with the plans, but even when they say the odds of sucsess, you know they’re going to fail so there’s no point. On top of that, they had a 5 part intro at the start of Season 3 called “The five faces of Darkness” (hence the joke in the title) which, in terms of story, is boring to no end. I criticised Season’s 1 and 2 for having fast delivery of its story and it’s ironic now that I’m saying that the delivery in those five episodes (six technically) was to slow because of the amount of padding in it.

Another big issue I have with Season 3 and Season 4 is the cast. While the cast from Transformers the Movie was good for the movie, they can’t hold a tv show, let alone two seasons with a combined total of 34 episodes. On top of that, the issues with the cast in the movie are increased here, like Blur and Wheelie (who I didn’t mention in the movie review because he was bearable).Wheelie is almost as annoying as Blur because his voice is so annoying and he says everything in rhyme with Blur becoming almost unbearable. Galvatron on the other hand, what did they do to you? Not only are you insane, but your new voice is awful. Rodimus Prime’s personality is bland and dry (like Ultra Magnus). It’s just awful. Is it sad when Grimlock is the best character in the main cast?

Season 3 and Season 4 are set in space, as the Autobots and Decepticons travel to other planets which, while good in theory, also brings up problems. Setting the fight in space means that the designers can have alot of fun with the design for the other races of other planets. WHEN THE RACE ISN’T MACHINE, THEY LOOK UGLY. It might just be my opinion but most of the alien races in these seasons look ugly and horrible and when their machines, they look almost exactly the same as Transformers, even having similar abilities (aside from the Quintasons) so what was the point? My other issue is their definition of the term “planet”. If by today’s standards Pluto isn’t a planet, then most of these shouldn’t be anything close to the term. For examples, look Up Quintessa, Goo and Junkeon (yes, those are the names of some of the planets).

It sounds like I’m on the attack when it comes to Season 3 and 4 and there are a few reasons to it. While the most likely is because I’ve been marathon’d all of generation 1 in the space of a week when its supposed to be taken at a slower pace and I’m just sick of it. The other, big reason is because they didn’t need to exist. Transformers the Movie was a great way to close the generation as it sorted out almost everything. While Season 4 is a better way because it sorts out everything, the process of getting to it is so bland and bleak that you don’t care by the time it comes. Season 3 and 4 loves to kill off characters; my only wish is that they KILLED OFF THE BLAND CHARACTERS INSTEAD OF THE GOOD ONES. Finally, Season’s 3 and 4 fall under the same category as the seasons prior, they have not aged well and the movie only made them worse as they went back to the style of Seasons 1 and 2 , animation errors and all. They essentially took the bad aspects of the movie, and turned them into two seasons. If you’re going to watch them, you can both watch them before the movie and ruin the movie, or after and have an awful time, you can’t win with them. I will admit though, there are some great scenes in all of generation 1 including the rise of the Dinobots, Tripticon's scenes and seeing Cybertron in its golden age again are just a few that I can come up with off the top of my head. In short, Seasons 3 and 4 didn't need to exist as the movie was the best way to end Generation 1. Up next in the Transformers Marathon, it’s time to leave the 80’s and move into the new millennium with the start of the Unicron Saga, Transformers: Armada.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Transformers Marathon: Transformers the Movie. "You've got the touch, you've got the power!"

With the ongoing success of the first wave, it makes sense for a movie to me made of the series, and before you all panic: no it’s not the first Michael Bay film (that’s coming latter in this marathon). In continuation with this marathon, it’s time to look at Transformers the Movie. Be forewarned, this will make more sense if you read the review of the first wave.

The plot of the movie? Unicron (the Transformer’s equivalent of Galactus from Marvel comics but can transform into a planet) is going to eat Cybertron but before it can do so, the Autobot Matrix of Leadership must be destroyed or taken away from the Autobots. Cybertron itself (several years after the end of season 2) is now completely controlled by the Decepticons with the Autobots occupying facilities on the moons of Cybertron and Autobot City on Earth. Optimus Prime sends several Autobots, including Ironhide and Ratchet to Autobot City to try and collect enough Energon so that the Autobots can start a attack on the Decepticons (this movie is not for the newcomers of the franchise or the show) Megatron, Starscream and several iconic Decepticons take over the shuttle, killing all the Autobots onboard (this is a running trend in this movie) and plan to use the shuttle to launch a attack on Autobot City. Optimus Prime is called in to provide back up along with the Dinobots and arrive after the City is almost destroyed. Why am I telling you this? Because of the following: if you watch the credits to the movie, you would notice that Optimus Prime isn’t in the initial, character showcase along with Megatron. The reason? Optimus prime gets killed and Megatron is thrown off of Astrotrain because he was too damaged. Megatron is turned into Galvatron (sporting a new voice actor in the form of Leonard Nimoy) and is sent to destroy Ultra Magnus who now holds the Matrix of Leadership as Prime passed it to him in his dying breath (kinda...).The rest of the movie turns into the survivors of Autobot City trying to return to Cybertron to stop Unicron before Unicron can destroy Cybertron.

The production value in the movie is higher and a lot of effort has gone into the story to give it a better pace then the show. The character reactions feel more genuine then the show could ever do at that point in time and the personalities work well in cinematic form, both older characters and newer ones introduced for the story, such as Hot Rod and Arcee. The cinematography in the movie is also much better than the show, making the once clunky fights from the show look like epic battles. This is the Sherman dam fight from the first season ( compare that to this from the movie ( (credit to original team behind the show and a thanks to the people who uploaded the videos). In fact, the animation itself is on a higher quality compared to the show, granted it’s because it is a movie instead of a 25 minute weekly TV show, but even still. The best examples of this are, in my opinion, Unicron’s Transformation scene and when the Matrix of Leadership is used. The voice acting is much better in the movie as well, with one of the only two exceptions being Starscream but he bites the dust early on so it’s not too bad. The other voice acting problem I have is Blur but it’s mostly because of his dialogue and rushed delivery (big understatement if you see the movie...).

The soundtrack for the movie is better than the show, but it’s still mostly forgettable. Most of the track in the movie are vocal, generic 80’s songs that don’t stand out much better than the instrumental’s in the shows with the exception being “You’ve got the Touch”, but that because it’s used in the pinnacle moments of the movie, but it is still a great song because of how different it is compared to other battle themes such as (insert your own choice here).

Overall. Transformer’s the Movie has aged better then the first two seasons have, and there are reasons why it is regarded as the best Transformers movie to date (but considering most of its competition, that’s not saying much) and I agree to a extent, this is a brilliant movie and one that Transformers fans should watch. We’re up to the final third of the 80’s now, the next review: Transformers: Generation 1, seasons 3 and 4. The aftermath of the battle against Unicron.

Monday, 2 June 2014

The Transformers Marathon. The start of the war: Transformers Generation 1, the first wave

With the release of Transformers 4: Age of Extinction coming soon, I thought it would be fitting to countdown its release (and most likely finish past its release) in cinemas with a marathon of Transformers. What is there to say about Transformers? It’s a series to which its plot has never developed past your basic Good vs. Evil. So why is it still popular to this day? Why do the toys keep selling? I want to say I was around 7-9 (I’m not exactly sure but I do remember the first Transformer I ever got) years old when I got into the series and while I haven’t seen every season of Transformers (such as the Japan exclusives) or played every game, what I’ll be reviewing is still a decent portion of the franchise. With that said, time to start things off with the first ever generation, The Transformers (more commonly referred to as Transformers G1). This review will just be covering the first two seasons (what I will be calling “first wave”) with the last two seasons reviewed latter on in this marathon.

The plot of the first half of generation 1? Well for the first season at least: the Decepticons want to steal Earth’s energy to take over the universe (insert stereo typical “OF COURSE!” scene here) and the Autobots have to stop them... Doesn’t seem like a compelling story does it? The writers do however provide interesting stories that fall under this basic, overarching concept, such as multi planet stories, shifting from Earth to Cybertron and back again. The main reason why the story kept people watching was when they introduced new Transformers. Over the course of the seasons, new transformers would join either the Autobots or the Decepticons including Skyfire, the Dinobots, Constructicons, Astrotrain and more. The other aspect of the plot is this, while the overarching plot is bland, the individual episodes were quite interesting. There are times however where the story felt rushed, with one of the worst examples being the pilot episodes. There was a argument between Optimus Prime and Spike and Sparkplug about their help fighting the Decepticons. Spike and Sparkplug say that they know more about the planet then they do and Optimus just agrees then and there, it was poorly written and could have been better.

The animation on the other hand is... dated. The animation is quite nice considering other shows at the time, but doesn’t look good compared to newer animations. The fight scenes are slow and clunky. On top of that, there are several times where the animation and the sound don’t match up and scenes that just don’t make sense to what’s happening. It might be because of the versions I watched but these could be actual issues with the show. There are times where there were animation errors, mainly lack of colour in small portions of the shot, but these are forgivable as they don’t really matter in the long term... most of the time. There are rare cases of obvious miss colours of transformers, including multiple Starscream’s in the same shot. My big complaints with the animation are some of the transformations, with Megatron, Soundwave and Reflector being some of the worst when it comes to this. The sizes of some of the transformations don’t make sense. Megatron shouldn’t be able to transform into a gun that size, Soundwave shouldn’t be able to turn into a tape recorder (did I mention that it was a 80’s cartoon) and the three transformers that make Reflector shouldn’t be able to turn into a camera. A lot of the smaller Autobots also fall into this category but not to the same scale, I’m more likely to believe that Bumblebee, who’s only slightly bigger then a human, can transform into a normal size Volkswagen bug, then I am to believe that three transformers can turn into a standard camera (for the time).

The characters themselves do have distinct personalities, even if they are rushed some times (most of the time...). Optimus and Megatron’s personalities conflict in several ways, giving a subtle reason for the war, the human characters are distinct enough however they don’t really develop during the story (or if they do, it’s so slowly that you don’t notice). I would go into more detail regarding personalities, but because of the sheer number of characters that are in the story, it would be a review in itself. I will say however, the personalities of the characters don’t change from this generation if they appeared in this generation (for the most part).

It’s understandable for something like Transformers’ first season to have these issues; it was a 16 episode season with obviously low budgets, but what about the second season? The animation quality for the second season is better, as there are fewer animation errors (and the ones that are there are far between). The budget also shows a improvement as the backdrops are much bigger in comparison to the first season and the season itself is much longer. The plot still feels a bit rushed but its better then season 1. As for the soundtrack of the two seasons, most of the tracks are really forgettable and repetitive. There wasn’t any standout background track and after a while, they become ear grading as they just become annoying (though that might be because I watched the seasons in a week, with little distractions in terms of other entertainment). I will admit though that the theme song, like a lot of 80’s cartoons, is great with my personal favourite version so far (for generation 1) being the version for season 2. There is a reason why fans wanted the theme to be in the Bay films.

The first two seasons of Transformers did their job’s well. It introduced kids to the concept and it set the stage, standards, and lore of the entire franchise. If you intend to watch it, you have to switch your mind off and acknowledge that the shows are 30-40 years old now. If you’re a fan of the Transformers series, I would recommend watching them, just to see how far the franchise has come. For people new to the franchise, Generation 1 (at least seasons 1 and 2) isn’t the best generation to start in comparison to the latter generations. It’s flawed but the concept itself is still great to this day. But there are aspects to the first generation that I haven’t covered yet so up next: Transformers the Movie.