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11/22/2018 02:38:13 •••

Now that I've watched a couple of episodes, I'm making an early judgement.

While not as great as the peak-of-the-franchise that was Transformers Animated, the new Transformers: Cyberverse comes a close second.

It has a healthy respect for earlier incarnations while being more willing to try new things and not just rely on repetitive nostalgic fanservice (something Transformers Prime was very guilty of) to win over critics.

I am particularly of the opinion that it was a good move NOT to let Peter Cullen and Frank Welker reprise their respective roles. Yes, G1 was a classic, but those two actors get reused to the point of overexposure and boredom from some fans - give other voice talents a chance.

Plus, Optimus and Megatron's personalities would always be shoehorned into a specific niche that usually only Cullen and Welker can fill - which is alright for homages and tributes, but carrying several entire incarnations with little variation in characterization? Too much. The live-action films, along with their game adaptations, and to a certain extent even the Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron games are guilty of this. (Along with Transformers Prime - again.)

The writers seem to have found a nice balance for Bumblebee's personality. I personally hold Animated Bee as my favorite version of the character, though I can see how his early personality might be a turn-off for others. But the overpowered asskicker from TFP and the live-action movies, along with the goody-goody-two-shoes perfect angel from G1 were too unrelatable for my tastes. And making Bee the leader is a big no-no.

But here, Cyberverse Bee blends all of the best traits from previous Bees. He's got a sense of humour and cheekiness, while still being greatly loyal. He can hold his own in a fight, but he's not next to Optimus in terms of ability (thankfully).

Optimus' voice, Jake Tillman Foushee, strikes a nice balance between the young Optimus of TFA and the in-his-prime leader of G1. Youthful candor mixed with bold experience. Despite being only 21 years old, Jake has earned his role and I can't wait to see where he takes his own version of Optimus. The writing for Optimus himself has been stellar too. If you've seen Episode 4 already, Optimus has a sense of humour. He can make critical mistakes. He's not perfect. He's no Robo-God made incarnate for all Cybertronians to bow down and follow him, blah blah blah.

Wheeljack takes a lot of visual cues from his TFA incarnation, which is welcome. He has his classic G1 personality, though it's tempered with more competence on his part this time around. In Episode 4, he both creates and fixes a problem.

Grimlock, though a new spin on the character, retains faithfulness to his G1 physical appearance, but seems to have taken on a more gentle, character-driven arc for himself. In layman's terms, he's like a more evolved version of his TFA incarnation, with a higher-capability processor.

And that concludes my review of the highlights of Cyberverse so far.

If there is one negative that truly bugs me, it's that the acting can seem a little flat and/or forced at times. But thankfully not all the time.

Starting Score = 8/10

10/18/2018 00:00:00

You should put a title on your review so people can more easily access your review.

I don't know about niches for Prime. Megatron and Optimus were both portrayed as much more vulnerable than the symbols they represented. Optimus lashed out in genuine bloodlust toward Megatron at one point, and later admitted to feeling comfortable reliving the identity of Orion Pax. In contrast, Megatron often questioned the role he was trying to serve as leader of the Decepticons and inevitably changed entirely during the Epilogue film. I had more problems with the kids regularly shoving themselves in each episode, whereas Sari always seemed a fluid foil to the Autobots. Also it had an artifact of the week format that got really tiresome for me.

Robots in Disguise was much more guilty of your above tropes. Bumblebee never really felt like himself and the plot felt much more random. Optimus's cameos were much more disconnected from the cast.

I admit I've never liked Grimlock as a good guy. My internal logic short circuits at the thought of why Grimlock gets to be a cool dinosaur while everyone else (including the villains) actually bothers to disguise themselves. However, this series tries to do a little more than make him an idiot dinosaur, so I'm interested to see where they go.

I'm hoping the story is finishing its flashbacks and has more focus on the present. I've never been a big fan of LOST's storytelling.

10/22/2018 00:00:00

"Optimus lashed out in genuine bloodlust toward Megatron at one point, and later admitted to feeling comfortable reliving the identity of Orion Pax."

Very interesting plot threads that ultimately amounted to nothing more than Wasted Potential. Optimus remained pretty static and flat following that.

"In contrast, Megatron often questioned the role he was trying to serve as leader of the Decepticons and inevitably changed entirely during the Epilogue film."

Felt very rushed - and did the Autobots really just let him go after all the crimes he committed?

Other than that, I'm so glad we agree on a lot of things.

10/22/2018 00:00:00

Oh, and I genuinely did try to add a title.

I facepalmed at myself when you pointed out that I forgot my title.

However, it seems that I can't edit the review without being requested to cut down the word count (I don't know how it let me post the review in the first place then), so I'll just leave it as is for now.

Regardless of that, thank you so much any way.


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