Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review

Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 1:20pm CDT

Categories: Cartoon News, Reviews, Site Articles, Digital Media News, Editorials
Posted by: Bronzewolf   Views: 61,361

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Seibertronians, it's review time! As reported on earlier, Machinima's Combiner Wars series now has a second episode, and it's now online! After a less than satisfactory first episode, this episode will really tell the fate of the series. Yay or Nay? Let's break it down to find out.

We start on Cybertron this time, as apposed to Caminus in the first episode, and we quickly change to a shot from what I'm assuming is Starscream, as it cuts back and we see him flying just a moment later. Starscream is on a reconnaissance mission, to gather information on the state of Cybertron. On his flyover, he witnesses some bombs going off on the surface below.

From this vantage point it almost looks like Starscream was the one that dropped the bombs, but I seriously doubt this is the case.

We pan backwards, as mentioned before, to see the Decepticon fly to a large silver building. Here again we have an issue with the choppy animation. As mentioned previously on the boards, Starscream appears really choppy, while the background moves fluidly with the camera.

Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
Starscream enters the building

Starscream enters the building from a top landing bay, and slowly descends using the thrusters on his feet. He lands and meets with Rodimus and, randomly, the Mistress of Flame. These bots are apart of the "Council" we've been hearing about.

They discuss the state and threat of the combiners, and how word of Computron and Menasor's fight has broken out on Cybertron. This is why there's so much unrest on the planet. Peace has been achieved between the AutoBots and Decepticons - and the council doesn't want to ruin that. They all consider using the "Enigma of Combination" for one reason or another. Rodimus wants to use it to take over an army of combiners, turning a threat into an asset. The Mistress wants to use it to wipe out all the combiners in one felled swoop. Starscream has an objection to this, as the combiners are transformers, too. Wiping them all out would be genocide. Besides, some of the Combiners have been loyal to, even fought for, the council.

Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
Rodimus and the Mistress of Flame are introduced to the series

The Mistress feels it isn't Starscream's place to talk about killing other transformers, given his past. We also learn in this discussion that not only is Optimus Prime in hiding, but Megatron as well.

See, now we're getting somewhere. Now we have a story to work with. One that plays with the original concept that was proposed, and not too terribly I might add. There are still some issues, such as some of the lines delivered are a bit stiff, and the mouth-movement-to-actual-voice-and-words is way off and not ignore-able, but it goes leaps and bounds above episode one. But we're not done yet.

We start to view the council meeting through the scope of a sniper rifle. It targets Rodimus, Starscream, and the Mistress. The council walks over to the Enigma of Combination, and agree they should study all it's powers before making any brash decisions.

Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion Thread
A sniper sets up an attack on the council

The sniper is revealed to be Windblade, set on stopping the council one way or another. She decides to fire at the Enigma, and somehow misses. She hits Starscream in the shoulder, and he falls. Another problem I have is right here. There's such a weird, delayed reaction to Starscream being shot by the rest of the council. There's a good two seconds before they really do anything. The Dialogue and sound effects become a little clunky here, as the Mistress raises the alarm and Rodimus checks on the former Decepticon.

Transformers News: Re: Machinima Transformers Combiner Wars Animated Series Discussion ThreadThe Enigma of Combination

We return to Windblade. She hears a noise behind her and immediately jumps and turns around. It's revealed to be Optimus Prime, now out of exile. He still doesn't say anything, and the episode ends pretty much on the same shot as the previous one.

Overall, episode two is a lot better than episode one. It gives us actual emotions, and actual dilemmas for the characters to face. It still suffers from that 5 minute time constraint, and trying to make people understand a whole new continuity with a new story line in 5 minutes in near-impossible. My only wish is that the past to episodes would have had a bit more of each other in them. Meaning, episode one, the hard-to-follow action-feast that it was, could have definitely used a little more (or, a lot more) story. And, on the flip side, episode two could have used a bit more battles and action. But, all in all, you're starting to win me back Machinima. That Wheeljack name-drop didn't hurt, either.

Credit(s): Go90, Bronzewolf


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Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813668)
Posted by 1984forever on August 9th, 2016 @ 1:25pm CDT
Boring. I don't want to see Autobots and Decepticons talking unless they're talking about breaking each other.

The mistress of Flame is just taking up space. She doesn't look like she can transform into anything, so she shouldn't be in TRANSFORMERS.

The last episode was 10x better than this one.
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813669)
Posted by o.supreme on August 9th, 2016 @ 1:25pm CDT
Bronzewolf wrote:That Wheeljack name-drop didn't hurt, either.


They mentioned Wheeljack?...didn't catch that.
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813670)
Posted by Bronzewolf on August 9th, 2016 @ 1:29pm CDT
o.supreme wrote:
Bronzewolf wrote:That Wheeljack name-drop didn't hurt, either.


They mentioned Wheeljack?...didn't catch that.


Yep. Just before Scream gets shot, when they're all looking at the Enigma. Rodimus says something like "I can have Wheeljack take a look at-"
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813673)
Posted by ricemazter on August 9th, 2016 @ 1:35pm CDT
This episode, I think, was slightly better than the last if only because we understand more about the context of the setting. Again, though the pacing and priorities of the directions are just strange. In a five minute long episode why, again, do we spend almost a minute and a half of the episode, almost a quarter of the run time, on establishing shots and Starscream in an elevator. These shots don't correspond to anything Starscream says about the situation getting worse, and are borderline filler.

Despite having more exposition, there are still too many missing pieces for us to really understand the stakes. Were the current combiners created using the enigma, or were they built during the war? If no one yet understands the enigma, how do they know it can be used to create an army of combiners or destroy them? If the war is over why does the council need more combiners? Is it to take current combiners? Are the combiners being treated as their own faction? If so, why are some loyal to the council and some not? Why would there be a question of wiping all of them out if some of them aren't acting in their own self interest? So far, there are too many unanswered questions.

Also, it seems that someone at some point switched the lines for Hot Rod and Starscream in the scripting process. Especially since at the beginning of the combiner wars comics it was Starscream that wanted to build more of them.

The weirdest thing about this series for me, with all the gravitas surrounding combiners, is that it feels like an advertisement for the toyline, which is already winding down for titans. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the only ones really left to be released Computron and the G2 versions of the others?
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813675)
Posted by Tyrannacon on August 9th, 2016 @ 1:35pm CDT
Honestly for a web series it's not that terrible at least. The length is my only issue, most web series I've seen were like 8 to 15 minutes (at the most). I do think if it were on the television I do think my own opinion of it would be a lot harsher at least. Kinda sucks because this series is meant to be for older fans at least. I just worry that if it does poorly there won't be another attempt to make a series for older fans though. I do hope this series does have some of the goofiness seen in other stuff from around the continuities.
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813681)
Posted by mesh on August 9th, 2016 @ 1:51pm CDT
In total honesty, these episodes are just too short. Too short to provide constructive critics and too short to get pulled into whatever they are talking about. For audiences with short attention spans these webisodes suck.
The animation blows compared to the hype produced at the SDCC Convention. They made the fans believe they were getting something extraordinary and mind blowing.
So far I am unimpressed but I'll give two more episodes to see how it developes.
:HEADHURTS: #-o
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813684)
Posted by Galactic Prime on August 9th, 2016 @ 2:02pm CDT
The voice acting is bad, the animation is sub-par, the story makes no sense, and the episodes are too short.

Terrible, Hasbro should shoot these asshats for even making this
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813700)
Posted by partholon on August 9th, 2016 @ 2:53pm CDT
i have to concur .

its just not working.

the format is just all wrong for something as complex as an adult TF tale and the animation/voice acting isnt anything to write home about.

i guess i wouldnt be judgeing it so harshly if i didnt just get through watching a compliation of the cut scenes from war/fall of cybertron on youtube.

i laud the effort and hope they dont give up on giving us a more comics level of maturity animated series. but this is just failing to make the grade of such aims.
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813731)
Posted by SG Roadbuster on August 9th, 2016 @ 4:40pm CDT
This series is gonna fail, And fail hard. and Hasbro is gonna take away the wrong lesson from this. they'll think that older tf fans dont want an animated series/film aimed at them. when the real lesson to be learned here is not to let Machinima make your movie.
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813733)
Posted by Stealth Claw on August 9th, 2016 @ 4:40pm CDT
Kurona wrote:
Stuartmaximus wrote:
o.supreme wrote:
Deadput wrote:I've seriously never been disappointed by Transformers this much before it's strange for me.


it is isn't it. But don't worry I've had my fair share of disappointments (Beast Machines, Armada, Animated). they come and go. If you are patient, while another spectrum of the fandom is being catered to, it will come back around to what you like, just might take a few years. Combiner Wars was definitely not what I was expecting but I am enjoying it whilst all other parts of the medium aren't really "my thing" right now. Prime was amazing, and I don't expect to see another series as great, at least as far as what I'm looking for, for another decade or so. So, while CW is far form perfect, I'll take what little scraps I can get until Transformers decides to do something again mainstream more to my liking.


Btw what's wrong with Armada? if it wasn't for Armada....we finally wouldn't have gotten a Unicron toy! nor a Tidal Wave one either! nor would we have got the Armada videogame that everyone....well....almost everyone....seemed to love at the time....& maybe there's a few that still love it today as well).

It was a terrible show with a terrible toyline. Not much else to say.


hey armada was amazing, it was beast wars and armada that was the reason I grew up liking transformers.
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813742)
Posted by padfoo on August 9th, 2016 @ 5:04pm CDT
SG Roadbuster wrote:This series is gonna fail, And fail hard. and Hasbro is gonna take away the wrong lesson from this. they'll think that older tf fans dont want an animated series/film aimed at them. when the real lesson to be learned here is not to let Machinima make your movie.



Unfortunately your right, you put together a product hastfully and it misses the mark.....
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813744)
Posted by Kurona on August 9th, 2016 @ 5:06pm CDT
SG Roadbuster wrote:This series is gonna fail, And fail hard. and Hasbro is gonna take away the wrong lesson from this. they'll think that older tf fans dont want an animated series/film aimed at them. when the real lesson to be learned here is not to let Machinima make your movie.

I'm cynical enough to agree with you honestly. The whole bad-thing-failing-but-companies-getting-the-wrong-idea-about-why-it-failed-and-removing-all-the-few-things-people-liked-about-it thing happens a lot I feel.
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813749)
Posted by padfoo on August 9th, 2016 @ 5:17pm CDT
Kurona wrote:Also, the council seems to have some... INTERESTING architectural decisions.

Don't want people to know you have the Enigma? Keep it in a massive glass case that according to Windblade's sniper rifle, can be seen by anyone with a decent case of binoculars.

Talking of Windblade's sniper rifle, that's another interesting architectural decision. The place where the Council, the leading party of Cybertron in a time of war, unease and crisis; is a wide-open area with not even glass between them and a bullet from miles away. Like... wow. How has no-one taken out these morons before now?


I hate to be overly critical at the attempt to give us fans a animated series of a different caliber but you are right. I thought it was a fortress locked up like fort Knox based on Starscreams entrance through multiple doors but once he entered the entire center of the structure is open. Did someone forget to close the blinds, no guards, and we are in a one shot/hit one kill universe how is anyone still alive. On a positive note I felt it was better than the last episode......
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813756)
Posted by Mr Skram on August 9th, 2016 @ 5:49pm CDT
Oh man, the mouth shapes and lip syncing really stood out as horrible to me. Did the animation get worse in this episode or was I just paying more attention. I swear the first one was a bit more fluid. I'm of the opposite opinion of most here, I thought the first episode was better. I really wanted to like the series but I don't think I can be on board with this. Even the new prelude spot seemed to be lower quality than before. I'll keep watching to see where this all ends up since it's not much of a time investment, but I'll probably keep snidely chuckling to myself the whole way through.
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813770)
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 9th, 2016 @ 6:42pm CDT
Kurona wrote:
SG Roadbuster wrote:This series is gonna fail, And fail hard. and Hasbro is gonna take away the wrong lesson from this. they'll think that older tf fans dont want an animated series/film aimed at them. when the real lesson to be learned here is not to let Machinima make your movie.

I'm cynical enough to agree with you honestly. The whole bad-thing-failing-but-companies-getting-the-wrong-idea-about-why-it-failed-and-removing-all-the-few-things-people-liked-about-it thing happens a lot I feel.

Come on guys and girls, let's not get too hasty with this series. For starters what's hasbro really got to take away from this series anyway? The toy line it's promoting is already at its natural end. They can't lose sales from this, and let's face it, it is just another toy advert. What may happen is that this becomes the only one of this series of it doesn't get enough clicks, so no titans return series or whatever the third part of prime wars is (I'm betting on it actually being called Prime wars).

While I hear and agree that more effort needs to be put in to make these better, it's still just a free-to-watch show at the end of the day, so I doubt that hasbro will walk away thinking the adult fans don't want material for them.

Now if the comics stopped selling completely then you would have something to worry about :-)
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813793)
Posted by King Kuuga on August 9th, 2016 @ 8:41pm CDT
Bronzewolf wrote:The sniper is revealed to be Windblade, set on stopping the council one way or another. She decides to fire at the Enigma, and somehow misses. She hits Starscream in the shoulder, and he falls. Another problem I have is right here. There's such a weird, delayed reaction to Starscream being shot by the rest of the council. There's a good two seconds before they really do anything. The Dialogue and sound effects become a little clunky here, as the Mistress raises the alarm and Rodimus checks on the former Decepticon.

It is pretty clear that she misses because Optimus pushes her at the last second.... before disappearing into the shadows for his dramatic reveal.



I'm getting a feeling from these episodes like I got from the second, third, etc episodes of RWBY volume 1. They're too short and not much is happening, and they're over right when they get interesting. Hopefully, like RWBY vol 1, it gets better as it goes on. I won't be too harsh until it's all out and available for judging, but this is starting off rather lackluster. As someone else said, we don't have enough information about the combiners yet to really understand the situation. They're being treated like titans, rather than larger robots made from their fellow autobots and decepticons. Seriously, not one hint that maybe the Combiners are the sum of parts other than just the name "combiners" and their mishmash appearances. You could currently sub them out with generic giant transformers and have the same story.

I will say, Starscream likes to make an entrance and I'd be more appreciative of that if it hadn't taken up a full fifth of the episode.
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813837)
Posted by HilltopOfKaon on August 9th, 2016 @ 10:32pm CDT
I thought these were pretty good. A nice twist to IDW's story. A little short i must say but it makes me want more.
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813846)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on August 9th, 2016 @ 11:01pm CDT
I'm going against the grain here, but I liked this episode a lot better. I hated being thrown into the story en media res but this episode made me actually like it some. Yes, it's too short, but I like it for what it is.

Now if only Optimus would actually be allowed to speak...
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813851)
Posted by Sabrblade on August 9th, 2016 @ 11:21pm CDT
It's funny seeing people complain about Optimus not talking at all when people were prevously sick of either all his psycho dialogue from the movies or nearly everything he ever said in the Prime cartoon. :P
Re: Machinima's Transformers: Combiner Wars Episode 2 Review (1813860)
Posted by Sunstar on August 10th, 2016 @ 1:20am CDT
that wasn't too bad. better than the last. I had to giggle a little. Starscream sounded a bit like he inhaled helium. Other than that. I felt it was okay.

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