VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE
Developer(s): Behavior Interactive
Genre(s): Action Adventure
System(s): Playstation Network, Xbox Live
As a child of the eighties, I was thoroughly excited when Transformers finally got a good game after three disappointing releases. So imagine my surprise when I found out about another of my favorite shows getting its video game debut. Voltron: Defender of the Universe is an action adventure game based on the 1980's series. In the game, you get to control one of the five lions, each with its own attributes. You fight your way through King Zarkon's Drule army decimating vehicles and small inferntry. Each lion is equipped with a multi-directional cannon that is controlled with the right analog stick. Movement is done with the left analog stick. The lions have melee attacks to take out ground enemies while their pounce attack is excellent for taking out airborne attackers. At the end of the level, the lions combine to form Voltron to fight the Robeast. Attacks are coordinated through quick-time events. When playing with two or more players control over the robot is passed to the next player once the previous player's turn is complete. A sequence begins by choosing one of four attacks, after which a quick time event occurs. During the enemy's turn players can defend by performing a similar quick time event. Once the Robeast's health has been depleted, Voltron forms the Blazing Sword and delivers the finishing blow.
PRO: The gameplay is pretty straight forward; blast away enemies as you run freely around the landscape. I liked the Zelda-inspired overhead view that shows your enemies approaching from all sides. The graphics are bright and colorful with detailed enviroments. Remixed music and scenes from the original series move the story along and make you apart of the action. The Drule army attacks your lion en masse with tanks, jets and soldiers. Combat is frantic and fast-paced as you're attacked from all sides. Space combat gives a nod to old school games like Space Invaders and Galaxian. I liked this alot. I remeniced about those arcade days as I guided my lion, taking out Drule ships along the way.
CON: As much as I enjoyed this game, there were a few bad spots that I feel could've been improved upon. Though the overhead view gives a Zelda nod, at times I felt that the camera was too far away. The attacking troops look like ants though they are understandably smaller than the Voltron lions. Aiming with the multi-directional cannon seems a bit choppy. I ended up missing several targets as I moved around; however, standing still was not an option. Doing so made me a sitting duck and forget successfully nailing the foot soldiers. I compensated with melee attacks. I also would've like combat to expanded upon when fighting as the Voltron robot. I really didn't care to much for the sequenced fight as opposed to a Real Steel battle.
OVERALL: Voltron: Defender of the Universe is a fun game if you're a fan, new or old, of the series. I thoroughly relived my childhood with this game much like I did with the latest Transformers game. To me, it was nastolgic to hear Peter Cullen's indomitable voice narrate the game as he did breathing life into Optimus Prime. I took the game for its highs and lows like I did with the series. I have enjoyed Voltron: Defender of the Universe despite its quirks and found it to be entertaining. It's a blast from the past that'll have you relive the past. Voltron: Defender of the Universe gets 3.5 out of 5.
See you on the next level,