Transformers Devastation: Bringing Back Saturday Morning Cartoons

devastation-transIn late 2015, Activision released Transformers Devastation, a brand new Transformers video game. Developed by Platinum Games (Bayonetta, Vanquish), Transformers Devastation did something bold. No, not just creating a decent Transformers game (it is in fact fantastic), but it wasn’t based on any Michael Bay rubbish; instead they went back to the beginning of the franchise: Generation One.

For those not familiar, Generation One was the original Hasbro toy-driven cartoon and comic series that started in 1984. Although it only lasted 3 years, it was a worldwide success that spawned an animated movie that has a huge cult following, and countless now-collectible toys. Although that series ended almost 30 years ago, there have been multiple reimagining’s over the years, and it’s fair to say that the afore-mentioned Michael Bay monstrosities have indeed rekindled the memories of the original (and indeed best) series.

Despite the quite frankly surprising news of a Generation One based video game in the works, I was initially met with mostly scepticism. Transformers videos games largely have a terrible record, as do many series/movie tie-ins, unless Lego appears in the title. The news of Platinum Games as the developers certainly helped alleviate those initial fears; Bayonetta and its sequel are 2 of the best video games to ever grace a television screen, so I became swiftly confident they could deliver. The result is more than meets the eye…..

tf_devastation_teaserPlatinum’s somewhat traditional third-person ‘hack n slash’ formula is adopted well here; incorporating both physical attack combos and artillery-based projectile attacks. There are 5 classic Autobots to choose from, and once you get over the cool factor of being the original Optimus Prime, with his original Peter Cullen voice once again, you soon discover the other characters (Grimlock, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack) have enough variety between them to offer different experiences. Grimlock in particular, in his Dinosaur form, unlike everyone else’s vehicle forms, offers different combos and attacks.

But by far the most amazing factor of Transformers Devastation is the fan service, the nostalgia factor. It is by no means a perfect video game; it doesn’t have the combat depth of Bayonetta, or the consistently flawless backdrops of Vanquish, nor does it try to reinvent the wheel in any other way. But don’t be mistaken into thinking it is a poor game with just great fan service, like many other anime titles.

91BPBIsaxyL._SL1500_The characters and combat style is interspersed with the storyline and boss-ridden levels delightfully, and of course the bosses themselves are recognisable favourites such as Starscream, Soundwave, and of course Megatron. Each and every character even has their own heavy metal theme from the excellent accompanying soundtrack, which surely has to get a release. Believe me, I’ve asked, but it’s a ‘no’ for now.

The perfectly nostalgic cast and characters come together with a plot that easily fits in canon with the series, and plays out much like any typical episode would. It’s the perfect Saturday morning video game derived what was once everyone’s favourite Saturday morning cartoon series. Everything about this package is any Transformers fans’ dream. The beauty of the game is its appeal; it knows why you’re playing it before you’ve even booted the game up: you love the 80’s Transformers, so you are going to love this.

The Untouchable Music of Nintendo Games

Warning: minor spoilers

When it comes to Nintendo, one word springs to mind: Quality. Quality games, quality production, quality entertainment. And of late, of which Nintendo’s recent games have undoubtedly proven, they are now unparalleled in another aspect that has as much fierce competition than ever before: the soundtracks.

Below are my 5 picks of the past 18 months of Nintendo soundtrack picks that are a must for any MP3 player.


Kirby Triple Deluxe (3DS) – Map Screen

Triple Deluxe is the latest Kirby outing, and is a wonderful successor to Kirby’s Adventure on the Wii from a couple of years back. The map screen track is of course an ode to the original Kirby’s Dream Land’s first level from Kirby’s first ever outing. It has never sounded so good.


Nintendoland (Wii U) – Introduction

Wii U’s primary launch titles’ whole premise of a mini game world unfortunately only really manages to expose its one major flaw – it is fun in very limited quantities. It does however sport one of the standout tracks on the platform to date in its introduction tune; a subtle hint of chip tune perfectly blended with a catchy piano number. This was my ringtone for quite a few months.


Super Mario 3D World – Bowser World

Just when you think it’s over, Nintendo pulls out another massive world to conquer in quite possibly the greatest Mario adventure of all time. Bowser World’s theme is catchy, almost infectious, and often pops up in my head even days after last hearing it.


Mario Kart 8 – Raindow Road N64

Needs little explanation. Simply the ultimate rendition of one of the Mario Kart series’ most memorable songs


Link Between Worlds – Lorule Theme

Nintendo’s recent masterpiece features not only the original Link to the Past’s world with a new generation of graphics, but also featured oh so many blissful renditions of LttP’s legendary soundtrack – and made them even more memorable. The Lorule theme (the dark world in LttP) is certainly the most memorable and catchy. Not only the best game on 3DS, but also the best soundtrack to date.

So there are my picks. Of course, music being wonderfully subjective as it is, I’m sure you have your own preferences. Please share within the comments or on Twitter/Facebook with your own picks.