Tonight’s Saturday Night Showcase is a bit of an experiment. As the odds improve that I may finally be able to do that let’s play/playthrough/whatever game play series I’ve been wanting to do for years I want to see what would work for the BW audience specifically. Additionally we have one more Transformers Armada continuity to go over and tonight seems like a decent time for it.
In 2004 the then-current incarnation of Atari (a long history and at this point it’s really just a name, not the Atari that kicked home consoles into high gear) licensed a rarity among Transformers video games: a good one. Well, rarity at the time. The stuff put out in recent years not tied to the movies have been pretty good, and War For Cybertron won the fourth slot of the let’s play series. The game, simply titled Transformers, was only released on the Playstation 2 so I have never played it and probably never will. Below you’ll see three videos (unless your on the home page, in which case it’s after the “read more” tag). They’re all the same game but different experiences. The first one is one video but the other two are playlists of videos by the same player that you can watch in one sitting or click to go to the playlist (the first one just goes to the YouTube channel but the longer playthrough names will go to the playlist) and watch as many in a row as you want.
The first is a straight-up movie edited from the gameplay of RandomBlackGamer. It’s the shortest experience but there isn’t a lot of story to this game and you’ll miss a lot of the play. The second is a let’s play hosted and played by Sooo Mungry and is actually a playlist of videos. It is a longer experience but he said right at the outset that he wasn’t going after every Mini-Con. That’s why my experience of choice was the longest playlist. I wanted to see all the different Mini-Cons, although some are just recolors. Each color is its own team, and offers bonus abilities. There’s no host for this one, just the straight playthrough by Forever On The Road Of Playing. This player is hunting every Mini-Con and every unlockable “data-con” that just unlocks bonuses in the galleries. At the end I’ll put a poll so let me know which experience you went with. It will help me decide how to go with my own gameplay series.
RandomBlackGamer: Movie Edit
Sooo Mungry: Hosted Let’s Play
Forever On The Road Of Playing: Full Unhosted Playthrough
Note that a silent playthrough on my part would probably include pop-up trivia or something in the slower parts. This would require the least amount of editing from me. Any game with a story would also show up as a BW Video Review focusing on reviewing the story over the gameplay, and that would be most of the main gameplays. (I may try some shorter playthroughs of like old DOS games or casual games I own while I’m working on the Video Review of the story-based game.) However, I could also work out the let’s play angle but it would mean hearing my voice while I play. I might do a script rather than off-the-cuff because I’m not very good at the latter, but whichever y’all would be more interested in. The movie seems almost unnecessary but maybe my audience isn’t as interested in watching the game part of it and wouldn’t otherwise watch a let’s play. Let me know. Also let me know in the comments if you’d like to see more of other folks’ playthroughs of story-based games in future Saturday Night Showcases.
With all that out of the way I should discuss the game itself, shouldn’t I? The Mini-Cons are a bit closer to how I wish they had been depicted, each Mini-Con giving the larger Transformer more than just a power boost. It’s not perfect. They’re really just upgrades to your weapons, fighting, and shielding while some offer other talents. Come to think of it, having each Mini-Con offer a special power alongside what their alt modes add to the Powerlinx may actually be a good thing when you don’t have time to give them unique personalities. I do wonder why their usual partner Mini-Con drains their Energon though outside of game mechanics. I do like their portrayal of the Mini-Con storage things better than the usual flat panels. It makes more sense to me as a stasis chamber, even with all the weapon storing in the cartoons. I also love the new names for some of the upgrade Mini-Cons. I wonder if Hasbro will use any of them in other Transformers figures of if the names are owned by whomever owns Atari this week?
And of course Decepticlones. When you don’t have enough Decepticons to use as video game cannon fodder, call for some Decepticlones. They’re the Vehicons of the video games.
Interesting that only two voice actors return from the Unicron Trilogy cartoons, Garry Chalk as Optimus Prime and David Kaye as Megatron, although Daran Norris sounded so close to Brian Dobson’s Red Alert I thought he was the same too. (Yes, I looked it up.) I wonder why none of the others came in? Overall it looks like a fun game and it got a positive response from Transformers fans as well as players and critics so they must have done something right.