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Transformers Armada: a 10-year look back.

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Transformers Armada: a 10-year look back.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:12 am

Motto: "...and hell followed with him."
Weapon: Twin Photon Blasters
The following is purely my opinion, with no intention whatsoever to state any of it as fact.

In 2002, Transformers returned to its roots, more or less. The toys looked more like the toys from the 1980s, though not as blocky or simple, they weren't too rounded, complex, or simply weird. The cartoon was also somewhat reminiscent of the G1 cartoon. Somewhat better animation, a somewhat better story, and a good promotion of the toys. (Which, let's not forget, is what all the cartoons are from G1 to Prime.) The comic series, which was my personal favorite of this revival, had a mostly fluent story, which may have started out slow, but revved up about halfway through and ended with a really good story arc. And the game was just pure fun.

The cartoon. First, let me point out that I did not watch the cartoon when it premiered. I watched the entire series for the first time ever over a 2 week period last year. I heard bad things regarding the the animation errors, and they were mostly right. However, that did not prevent me from enjoying the series for what it was. The focus was on the Mini-Cons, small Transformers who could enhance the powers of both the Autobots and Decepticons. They were also the secret weapon against Unicron, who, much like his G1 version, was a giant planet devouring Transformer. In the story, Hotshot was a somewhat important character, who had to learn how to be responsible and make good choices in combat and for the survival of both humans and Mini-Cons in the struggle against the Decepticons. Optimus Prime, to me, seemed like the cookie-cutter Optimus, just like in any other series, except maybe Beast Wars/Machines. But even that wasn't too different. Megatron, on the other hand, seemed to be more menacing that his previous incarnations, even G1. The closest, ironically, would be Beast Wars/Machines Megatron, who was voiced by the same person, and had the same ruthless unstoppable streak ol' Grapeface did. Optimus could combine with his trailer like before, but one more special ability distinguished him from Primes in previous series. He was now able to combine with Jetfire as well, and once combined, use Overload (sometimes referred to as Ultra Magnus) as a shoulder-mounted cannon. Unicron was handled well, and used several episodes to set up his arrival and the subsequent battle against him. The cast of characters wasn't as vast as some previous series, even with Hasbro's need to sell toys. Overall, the series was OK to watch, as long as we kept in mind that it was a 22-minute toy commercial. The final episode, "Mortal Combat" is one of my favorite episodes from any TF series, and it's a fairly good setup for the next series, Energon.

The toys. Personally, I really liked the Mini-Con concept. It was a little bit of a tribute to Head-, Power-, and Targetmasters from G1, but also something new. They combined, which was a feature I really liked, and it also had that Pokemon-like "gotta collect them all!" effect as well, at least on me. I still remember, my very first Armada toy was Starscream, purchased in November 2002. Then I followed it up with Megatron, Jetfire, and Optimus. I still have those pieces, though they have seen better days. I didn't buy a lot of the toys, even if they reminded me a lot of G1. But they did get me back into collecting, as I had gotten away from it the last 10 years. I had Prime, Scourge, Magnus, and Galvatron from RiD, but I never paid much attention to that series, it just didn't appeal to me. Maybe that's why I appreciated Armada even more. Then came Unicron. I wasn't even anticipating him, as I didn't keep up with toy news much back then. Then, one day I happened to be in TRU, and decided to check out Transformers. There he was, on the bottom shelf. $85. Finally, a Unicron toy. I got giddy and bought it. As I said, I hadn't seen the cartoon, and this was before the comics got far enough into the story. I had no idea, even though I had been a member of Seibertron.com since 2001. I considered Unicron the final piece of my collection, though over the years I picked up a few I missed and wished I didn't. Currently, I only have 9 Armada figures. They are Megatron, Starscream, Tidal Wave, Cyclonus, Demolisher, Prime, Jetfire, Red Alert, and Hotshot. I have them because, except Jetfire and Demolisher, they are the cast of the video game, but more on that later. I also have the Star Saber, the Dark Saber, and the Skyboom Shield and its repaint. Overall, I liked the toys. They were colorful and poseable.
Last edited by Rodimus Prime on Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Transformers Armada: a 10-year look back.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:13 am

Motto: "...and hell followed with him."
Weapon: Twin Photon Blasters
The comics. My favorite part of the continuity. I have been a comic fan since G1, it's what got me into Transformers. The comic story of Armada was very good overall, even if it started out slow. I was never a fan of humans in the story, other than peripheral characters. Unfortunately, the first 8 or 9 issues are all about the humans, and the Transformers and Mini-Cons seemed to be supporting characters. Megatron was the most featured TF, I believe, though his hunt for Mini-Cons and conflict with his very own Mini-Con, Leader 1. Unlike the cartoon, the comics gave the little guys their own distinct personalities, and it was revealed that the Decepticons' Mini-Cons despised them, with Leader 1 temporarily able to free himself from Megatron and even using the Decepticons' own base to attack him. However, he failed and paid for it dearly. The comics had a dark tone when it came to the Decepticons and Mini-Cons, much like Beast Machines. Not only was it implied, but clearly showed that Megatron tortured and experimented on the Mini-Cons, in order to break them and make them compliant and also maximize their capabilities. All in the name of ultimate power. The last 5 issues of Armada were the best reads since then end of G1. The Unicron story was amazing, and it took me straight back to G1, without being a blatant ripoff. Overall, I enjoyed the story very much. I never got the TPBs, I still have the individual issues perfectly preserved. I also have the Omnibus which I take on road trips with me sometimes.

The video game. What can I say? I am not a gamer, I used to play them when I was youinger, but when I started high school in the late 90s, I got away from them. This game was the reason I even bought a Playstation 2. I did not regret it at all. This game is a lot of fun, I play it even now. I know every corner of every level, all the ins and outs, probably used every combination of Mini-Cons, and on every difficulty level. It's still not boring, and it probably never will be.

The Armada continuity brought me back to Transformers as a serious collector and fan. After 1992, I stopped getting toys, the comics were finished, and there wasn't an original TV series anymore. I missed out on Beast Wars, Beast Machines, and Robots in Disguise. I got the DVD sets of Beast Wars, and now it's my favorite series. I did pick up a couple of the RiD toys when they came out, and I found the original BW Primal figure in the dirt at someone else's house. It was beat up and missing its weapons and some parts, but it had arms, legs, and a head, and I could tell it was Optimus by its face, so I kept it. But it was Armada that got me into collecting again and paying attention to the product as a whole. And I'm glad it did, a lot of good things have come around since.

I apologize if this was a little long, but Armada means a lot to me in terms of reawakening the Transfan in me, and I wanted to express it. The cartoon premiere's 10th anniversary is in 2 weeks, and it seemed the right time.
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Re: Transformers Armada: a 10-year look back.

Postby TulioDude » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:22 pm

Motto: "Never doubt the awesomess."
Weapon: Energo-Sword
No problem, i was just thinking about also doing a Armada 10h Aniiversary post.

The first TF i ever watchted was Beast Wars and remenber liking itr alot.Beast Machines came next and i remenber more of this show.I still liked it though some things were weird.
I watched RID and it was cool,but not what i would have liked and it was kinda confusing.
Then Armada came and man,...it was Awesome! :michaelbay:
It ws my first time seeing Megatron and his crew as full time Decepticons :CON:
First time i saw Starscream(And in my opinion one best uses of him)
The story is pretty good and the charcter are strong.
This show made me become a full time Transformers fan. :BOT: :CON:
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Re: Transformers Armada: a 10-year look back.

Postby BeastProwl » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:06 pm

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They should Re-air Armada on the HUB, that would be boss.

And BTW, next time you play TF Armada on the PS2, equip the triple dash minicon, then slam into one of the stronger decepticlones (Like the ones with swords, this works best near the volcano, as they air drop in, or the ones that turn into balls and roll after you) if done right, they will fly halfway across the level :lol:

Yeah, errors aside, armada's always been a jem IMO. My fondest memories as a kid are all a kind of a blurred together Beastwars/machines/RiD/Armada, I remember bits and pieces of each one. Iv'e since re-watched them though :)

Nice recap though, well written, and nostalgic to the core. :michaelbay:
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Re: Transformers Armada: a 10-year look back.

Postby TulioDude » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:28 pm

Motto: "Never doubt the awesomess."
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More people need to know about this.
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Re: Transformers Armada: a 10-year look back.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:08 pm

Motto: "...and hell followed with him."
Weapon: Twin Photon Blasters
BeastProwl wrote:Nice recap though, well written, and nostalgic to the core. :michaelbay:


:D

I think I'm gonna watch the series again...
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Re: Transformers Armada: a 10-year look back.

Postby Noideaforaname » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:34 pm

I recently watched Armada for the first time and quite enjoyed it, especially after the slow first handful of episodes. Can't say it's a new favorite series, but I can say I have a new favorite scene:

Starscream and Sideways were pretty cool, brought something new to the typical Autobot/Decepticon dynamic. I think Thrust may be my favorite, though his death was brutal.

Not really interested in the "main" toys. They're a bit too gimmick-laden for my tastes, and don't fit into my ideal aesthetic. On the other hand, I like the Mini-Cons.


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Re: Transformers Armada: a 10-year look back.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:58 pm

Motto: "...and hell followed with him."
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That just reminds me how different the comic and cartoon characters were. IIRC, in the comics Cyclonus wasn't a buffoon, but a psychopath. Thrust was an ass-kisser, and Cyclonus ended up beating the ever-loving crap out of him. That was fun to read.
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Re: Transformers Armada: a 10-year look back.

Postby alldarker » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:51 am

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That PS2 game was excellent. Didn't much like the toys, but I spent quite a few hours sniping Decepticons and gliding on top of those flying troop carriers.
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Re: Transformers Armada: a 10-year look back.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:59 am

Motto: "...and hell followed with him."
Weapon: Twin Photon Blasters
alldarker wrote:That PS2 game was excellent. Didn't much like the toys, but I spent quite a few hours sniping Decepticons and gliding on top of those flying troop carriers.


I remember the first time I figured out to do that, I spent all afternoon just flying around on those things an sniping everything in sight. It didn't last too long in Commander mode, due to those flying clones, but it was fun.
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Re: Transformers Armada: a 10-year look back.

Postby BeastProwl » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:03 am

Motto: "Planet Exploder"
Weapon: Razor Tipped Wing Swords
I remember when I figured out how to get INSIDE the carriers. Not much fun once your in there and the doors close, but then you get to blow it up from the inside :twisted:

Also, next time you fight tidal wave, blow up his chest guns.
Do it in commander mode, I dare you.
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