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YMMV / The Transformers: Combiner Wars

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For the 2015 comic:

  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The Collected edition of the event corrects a lot of the errors, giving Blades and Streetwise their correct models, keeping Scoop green, removing Scrapper, etc. Even though some errors remain like Optimus Maximus still switches his colors from panel to panel, it is a marked improvement over the weekly issues.
    • Betatron was a polarizing figure, as many saw him as a Replacement Scrappy for Computron (different name, lackluster color scheme, lack of new tooling on the combiner mode and no other Technobots seeing a release). However just as the line drew to a close, Takara and Hasbro revealed Computron, which gave much more personality to Scattershot and finally gave the Technobots figures. While the sheer differences in each of their Computrons will fuel the HasTak Fandom Rivalry for years to come, everyone agrees that they're a massive step up from Betatron. John Warden, a design manager at Hasbro, credited the fan response in getting them to go the extra mile for Computron.
    "Fans, you asked for it, we listened; here's Computron"
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Opinions on Prowl are split. There are those who take Prowl's actions as a Knight Templar and feel that he's gone to far into villainy at this point, and those who see him as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, providing an additional grey area to the uniting of Caminus and Cybertron, with his more extreme actions being understandable because of the Combiner process messing with his head. In the other camp, people are annoyed at Prowl's decision making being impeded, as it's a convenient excuse in case Prowl does anything too bad, and some feel that the whole "Prowl's Jumping Off the Slippery Slope because of mind alteration" is just retreading ground from RID.
    • Optimus Maximus's toy and story role. Fans debate as to whether or not his toy's proportions suit Prime, or if one should just ignore him and go for the Classics mold. Optimus Maximus is considered to be one of the weakest combiner toys due to its odd proportions (most notably his wide but short torso). Story wise, some really enjoy how his "team" all gather round for character building and sorting out old plots from past series, others dislike that these characters who've never been combiners until now have gotten so much focus instead of the other combiner teams who just end up with little characterization.
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    • Victorion has lead to some divided opinions. Some love her color-scheme: it's bright eye-catching and uniform. Others hate it for being garish, or like the colors, but feel their layout clashes. Her lack of new molds ends up a microcosm of arguments about the CW line as a wholenote . Some like how the original toys were remolded and repainted, it made the Torchbearers visually distinct but not out of place amongst the line, while others wanted to have at least one new mold to break up the sheer quantity of repaints the line became infamous for. The Alpha Bravo mold being used twice has not helped matters. Though the decision to leave the hand-foot gun accessory for more conventional hands and feet was met with approval, especially since she has ankle tilts for better pose-ability.
  • Broken Base:
    • It being a Merchandise-Driven event. Some dislike it because the IDW comics go into weird Depending on the Artist when they have to appeal to Market, the character bodies change for no reason other than product placement, and it can restrict a story when Market puts a leash on the writers. However many others like the Combiner subline, feel it was built up fairly well, and also would like Toys of their favorite comic characters. Seeing as Transformers finds its roots in the Merchandise-Driven mindset this isn't too surprising. Though come series end, quite a few fans feel the need to get the comic out to promote the toyline resulted in a very rushed product.
    • James Roberts and The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye not being involved. One side has his fans happy that their series won't be side tracked (again) for another event, and the plot threads he weaves won't be put on hold for the next big thing. Others want to know how he'd do writing Combiners and harsh grey area political intrigue. Then there's the Barber and Scott's fans (especially those wanting to see her writing Starscream again) who're happy for them to be in the driver's seat and believe they make better fits for both the Cybertronian and Camien drama.
    • The art work has become a considerable point of consternation amongst fans and haters of the series. Sarah Stone's art and Livio Ramondelli's art are polar opposites with Stone's bright expressionate art contrasting Ramondelli's more dark and moody pieces. Some feel that this clash is annoying when art changes this drastically, others welcome having only two artists on the book (contrasting to the seven that were on Dark Cybertron) and feel consistent art for such a huge event would tax a single artist too much especially seeing as issues come out within weeks of each other instead of a month. As the event continued camps were further divided, as Stone only did one issue while Ramondelli did four. The final issue bringing on two more artists: Marcelo Ferreira and Corin Howell, the latter of whom would be the main artist on Winblade, lead to more debates as to whether or not stone should have returned for the finale, or if those two did a good job in closing out the event.
  • Faux Symbolism: When talking about the holy artifacts of the Primes and how they make one worthy, the glow of the Matrix resembles a cross.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Swindle is shot in the back in the last issue and seemingly bleeds to death on panel. It's not hard to imagine he survived, seeing as such a wound has been recovered from before, and Rattrap could have easily shuffled him off to heal. Though meta-wise it's unlikely to be a permanent "death" because the character's toy was announced (and revealed a week later), Bruticus still has to make his debut, and unlike Slingshot or Wildrider Swindle's toy won't be a replacement.
    • It's revealed in 'Till All Are One that Swindle did survive, but is now brain dead. This didn't stop Onslaught from using his lifeless husk to combine into Bruticus, but Swindle's lack of brainwaves made the gestalt more unstable than he was originally.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Since Hasbro was unable to secure the trademark, Alpha Bravo replaced Slingshot on the Aerialbots. He's drawn some flack for not fitting in with the team's aesthetic- being the only helicopter on a team who's traditionally been composed of fast-moving fighter jets and the like.
    • Betatron was always a Base-Breaking Character between those who felt he was a poor substitute to Computron (being only a red repaint of Superion, with no designated limbs) and those who felt that with the line's constraints he was good enough. Then Hasbro and Takara actually released Computron (complete with all the Technobots), with Takara retooling him, and Hasbro giving him a better color scheme, and Betatron was blown out of the water. Hasbro even said that Betatron was named as such because he was an Obvious Beta.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: With the inevitable release of the Combiners this was bound to happen:
    • Replacement limbs. Some fans dislike how Offroad and Alpha Bravo replaced Wildrider and Slingshot respectively. To a lesser extent, this is the feeling toward Rook for replacing Groove as a limb.
    • Drag Strip being a conventional 4 wheel car rather than a six wheel one.
    • Mixmaster being a front discharging cement mixer rather than the rear discharging one he normally is. It's the most radical design departure of the Constructicons and has drawn criticisms from those who prefer the familiar old design, and others who feel that this change up has resulted in Devastator having an oddly small left foot.
    • Scattershot being a retool of Silverbolt rather than his own character got this from a few fans. Even fans who appreciate all the remolding tend to dislike that the combiner mode (Betatron) is just a repaint of Superion with little mold change.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: Rook's toy has it's peg holes located in his knuckles rather than in between his fingers as they make a fist. The result makes it look like he has two holes instead of hands. To amend this, toy owners just plugged the combiner fists into the ports giving him massive Hulk-hands.
  • What an Idiot!: Despite him saying that attacking Optimus, even in a large mob, was stupid back in Punishment, Acid Storm seems content to attack both Windblade and Optimus with a smaller mob. Windblade kicks him in the face.
  • What Could Have Been: The toyline features a number of characters that don't make it into the comic's storyline, most notably a combiner named "Galvatronus," a combiner created and controlled by Cyclonus and Galvatron.
  • Win Back the Crowd: As the line wore on, many people began to complain about the sheer quantity of repaints and retools; especially as many non-combiner characters were made into combiners whilst other combiner teams couldn't be made due to lack of cost. The Hasbro Takara Fandom Rivalry was more apparent than ever, as Takara's higher price-points allowed them to introduce new molds and do more toolings. Then HasTak dropped Computron to close out the line on a high note, fixing nearly all the complaints with the subpar Betatron. Whilst the Fandom Rivalry won't go away anytime soon, both releases opened to widespread approval (Takara's Technobots receiving some excellent retooling, whilst the more affordable Hasbro Technobots received decent retooling, hands/feet, and Scrounge).

For the 2016 web series:

  • Anti-Climax Boss: It's hard to find the combiners all that dangerous when Windblade utterly destroys Menasor single-handed (Maxima only gives a brief distraction) in a matter of seconds.
  • Ass Pull: Victorion's appearance in the sixth episode. She just flies into the scene from absolutely nowhere, and that's not an exaggeration; it's as if an entire character was pulled out of Hammerspace the second she's needed.
  • Awesome Art: One of the few praises the show gets is it's gorgeous art style, which manages an impressive balance between stylization and detail.
  • Broken Base: As an adaptation of a divisive comic series, this is to be expected.
    • The Timing. The series was released in 2016, long after the comic had ended and at the very tail end of the toyline. Is the timing an understandable side effect of the time that the animation and production of the series took? Or is it a sign of mismanagement because the series should have entered into production a lot earlier?
    • The Animation. Unlike the art design, which is widely praised, and the voice acting, which is widely panned, the animation splits people down the middle. Some feel that it's fluid and makes the series worth a watch, especially for web animation. Others feel the animation is choppy and ultimately bring the show down. A third group rests somewhere in the middle feeling the animation's quality fluctuates being both good in some parts and poor in others.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: One of the biggest criticisms of the show is that the first half does very little to explain what's going on, leaving viewers without a decent knowledge of Transformers lore (and sometimes even those who do) extremely confused.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The show's depiction of Megatron has received surprising acclaim for being a snarky yet intriguing Boisterous Bruiser who gets some the best lines. Many have cited him as one of its only saving graces. Jason Momocha's performance as the character is also praised, and it's likely the reason why he's one of the few actors to carry over to the The Transformers: Titans Return series while almost everybody else was replaced.
  • Foe Yay: Megatron's interactions with both Optimus Prime and Starscream are dripping with this. At some points he comes off like jilted old friend/lover who hasn't gotten over the break-up as well as he claims.
  • He Really Can Act: Jon Bailey plays a very good Optimus Prime with many fans praising his Peter Cullen impression. While he's famous for his comedic role(s), he does a good job bringing gravitas and world-weariness to Optimus. However, unlike Jason Momocha, he didn't come back for Titans Return.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: This picture showing off Devastator in one of Dio Brando's poses becomes much funnier now that Patrick Seitz, Dio's VA is voicing Devastator in this series.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: A common complaint is that the five minute length of episodes doesn't give the show the time it needs to breath, making it feel like it's been chopped up.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Windblade being shot and crashing in episode 7 elicited this reaction as many doubted that the highly promoted fan-made bot would die, much less so anticlimactically. Sure enough by the next episode she was up and running again.
  • Memetic Mutation: Menasor's incredibly out of character line "What a Nerd." has become a minor one among the fandom, some pointing to it as the exact moment they knew the series wouldn't be very good.
  • Narm:
    • Windblade starts out wearing a faceplate. When she removes it, rather than just pulling or retracting it, the mask falls off her face on its own. It's much goofier looking than it sounds.
    • After all the drama and build-up about how dangerous Combiners are, Menasor and all his components get killed in about two or three slices from Windblade's dinky sword. Truly a threat to all.
    • The hilariously whiny whimpering noises Starscream makes when he gets wounded in the second episode.
    • The voice acting in general is... not very good:
      • Menasor's voice wouldn't be so bad for one of the individual Stunticons, but it's not given any sort of deepening effect when they're combined, making the giant evil robot sound like a punk teenager.
      • The Mistress of Flame sounds like she's hyperconcious of the camera and is reading off a script attached to her hammer. Her voice is more flat than Computron, who's actually supposed to sound monotone.
      • Devastator's voice actor is clearly trying to give the character a fittingly deep voice, but like with Menasor the production team didn't bother adding any vocal effects, so it just sounds off.
    • In episode 5, the Mistress of Flame slams her Staff of Authority down to emphasize her points. The action is punctuated by a very dull sound that makes the staff sound a lot lighter than it should be, and when she does it in rapid succession it sounds more like a child stamping their feet in annoyance.
    • The dramatic arrival of Devastator at the end of the fifth episode is awesome... but his roar/scream goes for a few seconds too long, becoming a little silly sounding.
    • The way Victorion literally flies on-screen from out of nowhere in episode six, as if the show forgot it needed her until the last moment.
    • Starscream's One-Winged Angel form looks very terrifying...but it's ruined by the high-pitched screams he emits. The last scream at the end of episode 7, however, is actually very unnerving to listen to.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Windblade, for being a whiny, unlikable Jerkass and Knight Templar. It doesn't help that she tends to interrupt the dynamic/interactions between Optimus and Megatron, which are widely cited as one of the show's biggest strongpoints. Even those who usually like the character hate this version of her for acting nothing like Windblade usually does.
    • While Starscream has a bit of a Broken Base around him due to the direction of his characterization, his One-Winged Angel form is pretty universally loathed. Many see it absorbing the other combiners as a severe waste of potential, and the beast itself is just a raving monster. Its attempts at being an epic set-piece fall flat due to a clunky execution and many have just called him an uninteresting Generic Doomsday Villain of a Final Boss.
  • Shocking Swerve: Episode six manages to be both this and The Un-Twist at the same time. Starscream betraying everyone and being the real villain, comes so completely out of nowhere that it's a Shocking Swerve but it's done with a character who's infamous for typically being played as an Obvious Judas, so it's an Untwist.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Maxima is introduced as Windblade's sidekick/lancer and looks fairly cool... then gets pathetically killed by Menasor before the first episode is over, just so Windblade can angst over her.
    • The Council as a whole generally shows up and wrings their hands over the Combiner threat, which is a shame considering they all have links to the trio trying to stop them (Mistress of Flame and Windblade are both Camians, Rodimus is Optimus' chosen successor as Prime, and Starscream was Megatron's second-in-command).
    • In his prelude episode and most of the series, Starscream is portrayed as being genuinely contrite and a Reasonable Authority Figure. A genuinely heroic Starscream is rare in the Transformers multiverse (Shattered Glass Starscream being one of the only other examples, while Armada Starscream only allied with the Autobots for selfish reasons). And then he turns out to be the real villain.
    • Victorion's animated debut is described as one of the most anticipated aspects in the behind the scenes features, likely due to her unique fan-created status and notoriety as an all-female Combiner. Getting a prelude video like Optimus, Starscream, and Windblade also pointed to her getting similar, if not equal involvement in the show's events. Not only is there never any explanation for her creation or motivation, her collective screentime in-story is less than a minute in one episode with only three lines.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A frequent criticism of the Combiner Wars series is that the Combiners have very little to do, much less have a war with each other. The series tries to play them off as some new species of Transformers, but even that idea is underdeveloped.
  • Wangst: Windblade's dialogue during her fight with Optimus Prime comes across as this, as she constantly talks about how Caminus was ruined by the Combiners and many of her friends are dead, ignoring the fact that Optimus has been at war for a lot longer and has seen many more of his friends die, and even exiled himself in the belief his presence would interfere with the new peace.


Example of: