Welcome back, Seibertronians! If you celebrate it, I hope you had a very Merry Christmas, you had a good time with your friends and loved ones, and that Santa left many robots under your tree. But let's forget about all the happy feelings we've acquired over the past few days and immediately throw them into a pit of despair and agony, because it's time again for Machinima's Titans Return!
Okay, I'm being overdramatic, because this series on the whole is still leagues better than any Transformer content we've gotten out of Machinima previously. It's when you start breaking it down and looking into the individual episodes when things start to fall apart. Let's do exactly that with the new installment, Episode 8: In Good Hands! This Episode of Titans Return sponsored by Allstate
We again find Super Combiner Victorion fighting Trypticon, and it's very Sentai/Classic Mecha inspired, and it's actually pretty cool. The one thing that detracts from this is Victorion's grunts. There's little variation to them, so they end up sounding like a video game character they only recorded one "Pain" sound for. It gets grating and annoying, but the scene changes fast enough so it doesn't get too much. That's really a nitpick, though, on an otherwise fun scene. AGH. AGH. AGH. AGH. AGH. AGH. AGH.
We cut back to Windblade and Fortress Maximus, who are both floating through the sky in a truly Studio Ghibli fashion. They analyse the situation before they arrive, and again it's a very nice scene. Michael Dorn is great as Fort Max, and even with his robotic lines, he packs in a lot of emotion. Some of Windblade's lines here are feel a bit disconnected from the scene, but, like I said a couple reviews ago, it's obvious that not all of these actors recorded at the same time, which makes it hard to match the emotion of a scene and make a conversation sound natural.
At the same time, the Chorus of Banes from the Dark Knight Rises-Sorry, the Chorus of Primes talks to Optimus about the threats currently gripping the city, and he decides to join the fight. The Combiners split from their super-combiner mode, and decide to attack Trypticon individually. There's some scale discrepancies here, but it's not that big of a deal. Energon Mains UNDER the city? They seem to be pretty on the surface to me, hence why your friend just fell in one.
Victorion finds some random energon shard (??) and decides to hurl it at Trypticon to make him fall into an Energon main behind him. Again, we get a weirdly long establishing shot to get across this idea. The shot lasts 9 seconds, when it could have easily been done in 3 and still have done it's job. It's the Cybertronian Olympics! All the way from Caminus comes Victorion, competing for the Gold in Javelin!
The lack of visible damage in this show is really bothering me, as well. Prime is just wailing on Trypticon's neck with his axe, and it's clearly hurting him, as Trypticon recoils and gets angry while he's doing it, but there's no visible damage or wear from the attacks. This is the same case as Metroplex back in the beginning of this show. He was apparently so damaged he couldn't continue to fight, but we didn't see any damage until his entire arm got blown off. Does about the same amount of damage as the actual toys would do to each other.
Victorion throws her spear at Trypticon but - shock! - she misses, instead hitting the Energon line behind him, causing a huge explosion, engulfing everyone around it. I would have loved to have been in the Metroplex City Planning meeting where they just decided to put extremely volatile rivers that explode at the slightest touch flowing through the middle of the city.
Trypticon actually transforms into base mode, and starts using his defense systems to hold his attackers back. He fires directly at Optimus, launching him across the city. Just as he's about to crash into the street, Fort Max comes down from the heavens to save him at the last second. Not sure how that landing was any softer, considering Fort Max is also made out of metal, just like the ground, but what are you going to do? Windblade comes to him and tells him to relax, because he's "In good hands". Roll cred-Hey! they actually did!
Overall, I think this episode is a solid "Okay". I mean, it's certainly not as laughably bad as the previous couple of episodes, but that's a pretty low bar. It is very nice to look at, though. I think they nailed the character models and set pieces. Surprisingly, the art style and animation are quickly becoming my favorite part about this series, when they were one of my biggest issues in Combiner Wars. The subtle improvements they made really did make a difference. Like I said in the previous review, the colors are really aesthetically pleasing, too. Most of the voice acting's okay, at least, if not better. Peter Cullen and Michael Dorn are particular highlights. It just feels like there's no weight to anything that's happening. No consequence. Maybe that's because of that damage issue I touched on above; no one is shown to physically get injured through all of these battles, so there doesn't feel like there's any desperate issues, even though there's a giant robot dinosaur attacking the city.
It'll be interesting to see how all of this wraps up in the coming weeks. Thanks for tuning in once again, and please keep the discussion going in the energon pub forums below. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Please tell me why. See you next week!
Thanks to Hasbro Studios, we also have some new details on the other animated series that will accompany Rescue Bots Academy in the year 2018 - Transformers: Cyberverse. Also produced by Hasbro and Boulder Media, the series will see 18 episodes of 11 minutes each (similar to Machinima's current format for Titans Return), and will be aimed at 6 to 11 year old audiences.
We will share more information as soon as it's made available, but for now take a look at the full synopsis below, and let us know what you think in the Energon Pub!
“Bumblebee is on a critical mission where lives are at stake! Only, he can’t remember what it is? It’s a good thing his best friend Windblade has found him to help repair his damaged memory chips. With each recovered memory, Bumblebee rediscovers his past adventures on Cybertron before coming to Earth. He relives fun moments when he played Cybertronian sports with his friends, and even tragic ones that would change his life. His past will shape him into becoming the hero we know today. As each memory is repaired, another clue comes to light that will lead them both to complete their shared mission to save their friends and Earth… however, the Decepticons are hot on their heels and time is running out.”
We have some pretty big news breaking today on the future of Transformers Cartoons on TV! As we all know, the current Rescue Bots TV show came to an end last year. There have been rumors swirling for months of a replacement series, Rescue Bots Academy. We finally have confirmation that this series is indeed coming from the Boulder Media production house.
These screenshots are coming from a user on Twitter by the name of Chevistian Cordova, who attended a Hasbro/Paramount/Boulder Media press conference, where they covered the future in Transformers animation, meaning Machinima's Power Of the Primes, Cyberverse, and our first look at the new Rescue Bots sequel. Check out the screen caps below!
We also have some details about the series from the same source:
"First Look To Hasbro Studios Sequel Series To #Transformers #RescueBots #RescueBotsAcademy produced by @BoulderMediaLtd Debuting This 2019 with a season of 52 episodes aka 26 half hours On Some Network Cross Fingers For @DisneyXD imb4 @DiscoveryFamily"
We have a gift to us all from the TFNation HQ - the biggest UK fan convention for Transformers, taking place in Birmingham once more this August 2018 - in the form of their first guest at the event: Transformers Rescue Bots voice actor (and major source of news about the show) DC Douglas!
Better known in Transformers for his work on Chase, he's covered many many roles in his career; take a look below at the announcement, and let us know if you'll be joining this summer!
Transmission ID: 00003
Operation: First 2018 Guest Acquired!
The first reveal of this new season of TFNation comes from the voice acting world, for fans of all ages: introducing, D.C. Douglas!
Famous in the Transformers franchise for his role as Chase the Police Bot in Rescue Bots, Douglas has been a regular go-to resource for updates about the show itself and is also well known beyond the transforming robot world.
If you're a videogame aficionado, you will recognise him as Legion in the Mass Effect series - a gestalt artificial intelligence unit. Both Chase and Legion were similarly influenced by Leonard Nimoy's approach to Spock, in their respective ways.
He has also appeared in seven Resident Evil games as Albert Wesker, as Kamoshida in Persona 5, Pod 042in Nier: Automata, Azrael in Blazeblue, Zero in Zero Time Dilemma 3, Raven in Tekken 6, and foxy grandpa Gunter in Fire Emblem: Fates.
If cartoons and anime are more your thing, you will have heard him voicing X Drake in One Piece, The Professor in Cyborg 009, Jasley in Mobile Suit Gundam: IBO, Genji Kamogawa in Hajime no ippo, Shori Shibuya in God, Save Our King!, and Colonel Rawls on Regular Show, Superman on Family Guy.
His on camera roles include the seminal cinematographic masterpiece Sharknado 2 (Bud), plus Zepht in Star Trek: Enterprise, Pa Kettle in Z Nation, and Aiden Wexler in SyFy’s Isle of the Dead.
D.C. Douglas will be joining TFNation for the entire duration of the convention, offering autographs, photo opportunities where possible and joining panels over the weekend.
Launch tickets, bedrooms details, further guests and activities will be announced in the coming months. Keep monitoring this frequency.
If you want to ensure all communications are intercepted, join our mailing list at https://tfnation.com
Further transmissions to follow.
Where All Are One
The new Titans Return Animated Series by Machinima has been available for viewing on Go90 for people in the US. It's long been a talking point on both this series and its predecessor, Combiner Wars, how inaccessible the episodes are if you're outside the US. Well, for international fans of the show, we might have some good news. Go90 has thrown the first episode of the new series up on their Go90Saga YouTube channel. It will be interesting to see if the rest of the episodes are also released there, or if it will continue to be primarily on Go90. You can watch the video below, and then read our Seibertron.com review of this episode here!
We have an especially cool piece of news for you today, Seibertronians, just in time to get you into the holiday spirit! Coming from a YouTube channel named Candice Santora, we have a brand new video of Beast Wars' Gary Chalk (Optimus Primal) performing a very special version of the classic Christmas song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch", dedicated to his old nemesis Megatron. The performance is quite incredible, and the lyrics are extremely clever. It's definitely worth a watch, so you can find the video mirrored down below.
We faithfully await David Kaye's (who voiced Beast wars Megatron) response, and when that does happen, you'll hear about it here, on Seibertron.com!
So, we've finally reached the seventh episode of Machinima's Titans Return animated series. Last week was miles away from the best episode we've gotten thus far, so does this week's fare any better? Let's find out and dive deep into Episode 8 of Titans Return.
Before we get into the episode we're greeted with a title card that presents the name of this episode. You heard it. We really should.
After that we get a 30 second long establishing shot of the Basilica shooting its laser at Trypticon. 30 seconds for a shot like this wouldn't be awful, except the whole episode is only around 11 minutes long. Take out the intro and title card, you get closer to 10. On top of that, the shot is of something we already know is happening, thanks to it being established in the last episode. This could have easily been cut to half the time at least.
Anyway, moving on. The reason we have this big of an establishing shot is because we're just in time for the arrival of Victorion (or, the super combiner version of her), and the following string of sequences completely baffles me. So first, Victorion materializes right in front of Trypticon, with the basilica's laser passing right over her head. She randomly calls for Overlord, even though there's nothing saying he's even remotely close to her, and somehow doesn't notice the giant robot dinosaur behind her, or the giant laser beam firing at it, and gets launched across the city by Trypticon's fire breath. I didn't think is was possible to get ambushed by a 150-story kaiju, but here we are. He's right behind me, isn't he.
To add some sort of insult to injury, she then comes back with the line that they "almost forgot about" Trypticon. What?! You almost forgot about Trypticon rampaging through the city?! Sure. I don't know if this is just a poorly-executed taunt, but the line isn't delivered that way. It's just confusing. In fact, on my first watch, I couldn't believe this was actually the plot they chose to go with. I'm still in total disbelief.
Victorion then tries to fight Trypticon, taking a huge swing with her sword, slicing through a building, just to find Trypticon casually walking to the complete other side of her. Seriously, in one shot he's directly in front of her, and then in the next he's just waltzing around on her left.
What the f*** is HAPPENING?!?
Also, I'm completely glossing over the fact that somehow a combiner made of combiners just looks like a giant Victorion, because we have bigger fish to fry. She's just a cosmic girl, from another galaxy...
Moving on from the Victorion fight for a moment, we also have Windblade still strapped up to Fort Max. Something is obviously going wrong, as Emissary tries to talk to her, and keeps telling her to disconnect from the system. It doesn't make a lot of sense, as he's the one at the freakin' controls! Seems like he'd be more in a position to help her disconnect. Meanwhile, on the outside she seems to be in pain, she is actually making contact with the titan city. In the brief discussion, he asks, very appropriately, why he should trust her. Why she wouldn't at least mention that Emissary sent her is beyond me, but she apparently convinces him anyway. We interrupt Titans Return to bring you "Contact"
A very sudden transition cut later, we return to the Chorus of Prime's chamber, where Optimus decides to hand the Matrix of leadership over to Perceptor for safe keeping, as he believes that's what Trypticon is there for. He tells Perceptor to just run, and takes him to the outskirts of the city. He accepts, and promises he won't let Prime and Cybertron down. "That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of Metroplex City. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across all of Cybertron."
Back with Windblade and Emissary, the ground starts shaking, and they realize their attempts have worked, and Fort Max is finally waking up again. She transforms and they take off. Fort Max finishes his transformation as well, and they take off, headed to stop Trypticon. He'll save Windblade in a second, first Emissary needs to do his daily aerobics workout.
This episode severely dipped into "So bad it's good" territory. Like, at least I enjoyed myself watching it. I laughed more at the ridiculousness of the entire thing then I have the entire past two shows. I do have to say, though, I'm really enjoying the color palette they chose for this show. The mix of glowing purples, oranges, and then the bright neon blue is very ascetically pleasing. They really did capture that 80's feel. If you slowed these episodes down and replaced the audio with some Vaporwave, it would work 100 times better.
I look forward to seeing Trypticon and Fort Max fight, as it seems the Titan V Titan fighting is when this series is at it's best, at least in the earlier episodes.
As the next episode won't be out until just after Christmas, happy holidays to all of you, and thanks for reading! Please share your thoughts on the episode down below, and your thoughts on the review/my opinion. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Let me know! See you next week!
We now have some more behind-the-scenes content regarding Machinima's Titans Return series, thanks to a new video posted over on the Transformers official Facebook page, sent to us by Scottimus Prime and his Toy Hunter Productions! The video features former Power Rangers Star Jason David Frank, who talks about his role as Emissary in the new show. The Green Power Ranger talks about what aspects of Emissary's character he likes the most, how he has a lot of personality for such a small bot, and more! Emissary joins the returning cast of Windblade, Optimus Prime, and Megatron with fellow new characters to the Machinima-verse, Overlord, Preceptor, and Trypticon!
Find the full video down below, and continue the discussion in the Energon Pub forums! Remember to keep your optics and audio sensors tuned to Seibertron.com for all the latest Transformers news!
Another Tuesday, another episode of Machinima's Titans Return animated series! We're on to Episode 6 now, which, in complete honesty, is the worst one yet. But let's delve into the new episode and figure out exactly why! Here's Titans Return Episode 6!
We open with a (pretty cool?) shot of Trypticon, who's still raging through the city completely unopposed now with the death of Metroplex in the previous episode. This shot pans out to reveal Optimus Prime returning to the city, driving into the Basilica to meet Perceptor. We very quickly cut to the Combiners back at Fortress Maximus. They've just watched their laser beams disappear in the distance, headed toward "Metroplex City". The redundancy does not escape me. The combiners discuss their next plan, and have I mentioned that I hate Menasor's voice? Yeah, I hate Menasor's voice.
Megatron tells them that Metroplex City is a total loss, and the combiners respond by trying to beat the daylights out of him, calling him a "Betrayer" and a "Vile Traitor", etc. Didn't he help you just a little bit ago? You know, when Starscream took over your bodies? He helped rescue you! All the combiners are just so randomly hostile, it looks really strange. Megatron explains the Mistress of Flame has died, which just aggravates the Combiners more, as they believe he was the one who killed her.
Back at the Basilica, Perceptor and Optimus learn the same macabre fact, stumbling upon the Mistress' body in the Prayer chamber. They don't know who the killer was, as Perceptor gains no new evidence from studying her wounds. They leave her body in the prayer chamber, turning their attention to the more pressing matter of the Titan Dinosaur stomping though the city. They return to the basilica's controls. The dialogue here is clunky, again, as we've come to expect, but it just goes to show that most of the time errors like this aren't the voice actor's fault. A lot of times it's the direction they're given or the editing the tracks receive in post. You can have big celebrities like Wil Wheaton and voice acting legends like Peter Cullen and still have your dialogue be awkward.
Anyway, they finally get the Basilica's defenses up, and they attempt to slow Trypticon down. This is just straight up Godzilla at this point.
They return to the chamber of Primes, where Hot Rod had given up the Matrix of Leadership, and we get more scenes with the Chorus of Primes. Yay. "Asdkfhdlkierjml, jsdkfhguinegnkjfjg, Optimus Prime."
Yes, the Chorus of Primes returns to the series, just as indecipherable and completely non-understandable as the last time. Prime reclaims the Matrix from the chamber, once again truly becoming Optimus Prime.
The Combiners are still fighting with Megatron when Windblade and Emissary come in to save him, breaking up the fight. Brace yourselves, it gets really corny. "What the Headlight are you Junkpiles doing?" Really? Really? You just said damn in the last episode, I don't think Hell is really off limits.
They demand to know who really killed the Mistress, and Megatron pulls up literally just footage from the last episode. Emissary questions why he didn't just show them this footage before, and while he definitely has a point, he and Windblade just arrived seconds ago. There is no way he knew what was happening. Oh, look, Megatron downloaded Go90!
Victorion uses the Enigma of Combination, uniting the combiners again. They disappear, traveling to the city to help stop Trypticon. Then, for whatever reason. Windblade is hooked up to Fort Max. There is nothing mentioned about this leading up to it, if I remember correctly. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but this plan comes out of nowhere! She links with Fortress Maximus, and is appears something has gone wrong. Emissary yells for her to disconnect, but she doesn't hear him. On that cliffhanger, the Episode ends. Oh God, she's regenerating! Who's going to be the next Doctor Windblade?!?
This episode really feels boring and drawn out. It made 11 minutes really feel like 20, and really started to look like a bad Godzilla/Kaiju overdub. Between the mostly-inaccurate mouth movements, bad timing and pacing, and, you know, the actual Kaiju. Don't get me wrong, it is still leagues better that Combiner Wars, but it still leaves much to be desired.
Thanks for reading my review of Episode 6. If you want to watch it yourself, you can find it over on Go90. Do you agree with me? Am I completely off base? Please let me know and share your thoughts down below! I'll see you next Tuesday with the release of episode 7!
Bronzewolf in review 4 wrote:That's right! Somehow we're already half way through the second Machinima Transformers series,
Hate to burst your bubble there Bronzewolf, but there are 10 episodes to this series, your pain is going to have to endure a little longer, were not quite half way there yet.
westjames/notirish. wrote:There are 11 episodes... 4 is not the halfway point, 5 is.
Machinima Transformers Titans Return Episode 5. Let's get it over with.
We open again on the Metroplex/Trypticon fight, as the giant robot Kaiju charges the City Titan. Windblade checks in on the fighting as Hot Rod arrives and we get something new in the series. Something completely revolutionary... Diagonal split frames!
The dialogue in this scene is especially badly paced. It doesn't flow like a normal conversation, and it's so apparent you can't ignore it. Hot Rod and Windblade join the battle, and Hot Rod actually gets a couple cool shots here that flow really nicely thanks to some pretty good animation! Like this! This was awesome! I know, I didn't expect it from this series either.
Hot Rod realizes the spirit of Starscream is within Trypticon as he and Windblade try to assist Metroplex. The city robot is taken down eventually by Trypticon, however, and Trypticon finishes him off with the most ridiculous scene in the series. Hey, guys? Yeah, Godzilla Vs. Gigan called. They want their campiness back.
It appears that Metroplex is defeated as Emissary ejects himself from the Titan's body. As he runs from the battle, Trypticon spots him and eats him, absorbing his Laserblast power. Hot Rod realizes that he must free Emissary as the laser beams fired by the Combiners in the previous episode finally arrive at their target and start falling from the sky. It doesn't phase Trypticon, as he continues to terrorize the city. Yep, singlehandedly destroying the city more than Trypicon and Metroplex combined. Good job, guys.
We cut away from the action for a moment to a tank entering the Mistress of Flame's prayer chamber. It's revealed to be Megatron, who discovers the Mistress' body on the floor. She uses the last of the power in her spark to ask him if the combiners were successful in reactivating Fortress Maximus. He says he doesn't know anything about that. She tells him Overlord has returned, and dies. Finally, the sarcasm of Megatron has come to save us all.
Back in the battle, Hot Rod makes it inside of Trypticon to save Emissary, and launches back out through Trypticon's eye. He throws Emissary to Windblade as Trypticon bats him across the city. Windblade rushes to his aid and promises she'll send Ratchet to help him. Ratchet?? Why can't he be in the show? But...but..
She transforms and takes Emissary away, mentioning that they haven't been properly introduced. Emissary already knows who she is, however, as she's well known amongst the Titan Masters. Windblade laughs and says that she's "Quite the fan favorite".
Yeah. HAHAHA HASBRO YOU'RE VERY FUNNY WE GET IT
Overlord arrives on the scene, and starts threatening the injured Hot Rod. As he talks, he makes the most bizarre movements in both Combiner Wars or Titans Return. He flails around like something out of Food Fight. I shouldn't be reminded of Food Fight when watching your TV show/Movie. Just as kind of a general rule. Can someone put Disco music over this? Please?
Eventually Hot Rod tries to shoot Overlord, but yet again it does nothing. Overlord then says he has something for Hot Rod, bestowing upon him what appears to be an evil matrix, turning him into what is assumed to be Rodimus Unicronus, although we never see that. It's certainly a twist that I didn't see coming, and is actually pretty intriguing. With that, episode 5 is over.
It's certainly one of the more action-packed, interesting episodes out of the lot so far, but I'm not certain that makes it good. There are severe issues with the pacing of the dialogue, but we've come to expect that by now. There are times when Windblade and Hot Rod are talking where you can tell the two voice overs were recorded at separate times, and there's a lot of emotional disconnect because of it. The animation at times, though, is actually really good. It shows how much of an improvement it's had over the previous series. The mouth movements are tighter, closer to the words actually being spoken, and characters are far less jerky. It's so much better that Combiner Wars, and the series is so much more enjoyable because of it.
Well, that's episode 5! Wanna watch it for yourself? You can find it over on Go90. Please share your thoughts below in the Energon Pub forums! Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? I want to hear it! Thanks for reading, and I'll see you all next week! Mmm, yeah. Now THAT'S finger-licking good.
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