Video splash for Transformers: War for Cybertron

In case you haven’t been keeping up with the videos for the Transformers War for Cybertron video game coming out June 22, here’s a group of them:

Campaign:

Multiplayer:

Pre-Order Characters (for Escalation mode):

Transformers: War for Cybertron Characters Compared to How They Looked Before in G1

Now that most of the characters have been announced (we think) for High Moon Studios’ Transformers: War for Cybertron video game, let’s take a look at how these new designs compare to how they looked originally.  Most characters are based off of their G1 (Generation 1… as in original 80’s cartoon) counterparts.  The only exceptions (so far?) are Demolishor (based off of Transformers: Armada), Barricade (based off of the 2007 Transformers Live Action Movie), and Slipstream (based off of Transformers: Animated).  The following is a visual display of how the characters look in the new video game compared to what they used to look like.  Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the picture.

Autobots

Optimus Prime

Bumblebee

Ratchet

Ironhide

Jetfire (known as Skyfire in the 80’s cartoon)

Silverbolt

Air Raid

Sideswipe

Warpath

Arcee (female character)

Jazz (*available from Best-Buy pre-order)

Omega Supreme (one of the “big boss” battles)

Decepticons

Megatron

Starscream

Soundwave

Skywarp

Thundercracker

Brawl

Breakdown

Barricade

Slipstream (female character)

Shockwave (*available from Gamestop pre-order)

Demolishor (*available from Amazon.com pre-order)

Trypticon (one of the "big boss" battles)

Items of note: *pre-order characters Jazz, Shockwave, and Demolishor are only playable in Escalaton Mode.  Omega Supreme and Trypticon are not playable characters.  You play against them — against Omega Supreme in the decepticon story and against Trypticon in the autobot story.  Silverbolt and Air Raid were Aerialbots in the original cartoon.  Brawl was a Combaticon and Breakdown was a Stunticon.

So, what do you think?  Did High Moon Studios do a good job on their character designs or are some disappointing in your mind?  Sound off in the comments section below.

Figure Skating: Now I Remember Why I Don’t Watch the Winter Olympics

Just Say NO

Figure Skating… now I remember.  Now I remember why I don’t watch the Winter Olympics on NBC.  Don’t get me wrong, I dig snow boarding, ski-jumps, and stuff like that, but what do I (almost) always find on NBC?  Figure Skating.  Ugh.  I’m sure some people can “appreciate” this “sport”, but not me.  Same thing with Gymnastics in the Summer Olympics:  Both are sports that take skill, but both are judged in a political dumb manner.  I just love it (sarcasm) when the commentators act all surprised by a bad score.  As if that’s new to the “sport”.

My Humble Suggestions:  Why can’t they put an obstacle course on the ice and score the skaters on how many flips they can do while jumping over the stuff?  I don’t care how “pretty” they land the jumps, just a mere landing while flipping and spinning over obstacles would be entertaining.  Another idea:  make a half pipe of ice and have the figure skaters do their flips and spins on that.  Or maybe have themed nights for the music.  One night could be 80’s Metal, another night Gangsta Rap.  And lose these stupid outfits!  Lastly, why not have a few of the judges give their opinions after the skater is done with their routine, like in American Idol or Dancing With the Stars?  (NOTE:  JeBr0nie only watches DWTS when guys like Chuck Liddell are competing… cut me some slack)

I don’t know.  I’m sure I’m being insensitive or whatever, but I just think the “sport” needs an upgrade.

What do you think?  Got better suggestions?  Let your voice be heard below in the comments section.

Character List for Transformers: War for Cybertron video game [update 4]

Update (3):  To see better images of ALL characters in the game, go to this newer blog post.

More and more info has been coming out each month on the upcoming Transformers video game, War for Cybertron.  For starters, the game is set to come out in May of 2010.  As said before, the game centers on the autobot vs. decepticon war on cybertron BEFORE they ever went to earth.  Therefore the characters will not resemble earth vehicles, but rather cybertronian modes.  The characters are greatly inspired by Generation 1 (G1), the original transformers from the 1980’s.  The game will include a separate autobot campaign and decepticon campaign.  Also in the game is multiplayer and online co-op.  It sounds to be the best Transformers game yet (but we’ve heard that before — we’ll see).

The following list of characters is confirmed (and some rumored) to be in the game:

Autobots: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Ironhide, Jetfire, Air Raid, Silverbolt, Warpath, Sideswipe, and Arcee.  Omega Supreme is in the game, but not playable.  Jazz is available for Escalation mode by pre-ordering the game from Best Buy.  Zeta Prime will be another non-playable character in the game.

Decepticons: Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, Brawl, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Breakdown, Barricade, and Slipstream.  Trypticon (the big dinosaur bot you see in the trailer) is in it but non-playable. [Update 4]  Laserbeak, Rumble, and Frenzy show up too, but not playable.  You play against them.   Shockwave will be playable in Escalation mode to those who pre-order the game from Gamestop, and same goes for Demolishor when pre-ordering from Amazon.com.

Below you’ll find pictures of many of these characters as they’ll be seen in the game:

(but you can find pictures of every character at this newer blog post)

Optimus Prime (about to unleash his axe)

Megatron (with his mace)

Bumblebee

Starscream (concept drawing)

Soundwave

Shockwave

Ironhide

Ratchet

Omega Supreme

Trypticon

Brawl

A Toyline has been confirmed to go along with the game.  Toy pictures for Optimus Prime and Megatron can be viewed here and Bumblebee on the cover of Transformers Collectors Club can be viewed here.

The most recent trailer for the game can be viewed below.

Do you feel a must-have classic Transformers character is missing from the above list?  Are you happy with the current list of names?  Surprised by any?  Sound off in the comments section below.

UPDATE: According to this post on Seibertron.com, Jetfire, SilverboltAir Raid (aerialbots), and Breakdown (stunticon) are characters in the game.  Omega Supreme is also confirmed.

UPDATE 2: New gameplay video trailer at http://www.gametrailers.com/video/exclusive-gameplay-transformers-war/62342 This brings up more rumored characters, such as Laserbeak, a Quintesson, Sideswipe, Scorponok, and Ultra Magnus.  Only time will tell.

Dear UFC,… UFC 109 was good, but maybe these PPV events could be even better?

I must admit, UFC 109 was better than I thought it would be.  Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman was actually not a snooze fest.  The Battle of the Old-Timers actually had a finish!  It’s just that you never know when a Pay Per View UFC event is going to have lots of finishes or lots of decisions.  Can I just say how much I don’t like decisions!  Yes, a few still end up being good fights, but most are sleepers.

In today’s economy, paying $50 for PPV UFC event is not high on the priority list.  Sure you still will budget for some entertainment items, but you want to make sure your money has been well spent.  Here’s my humble suggestion(s) to make these PPV UFC guaranteed buys:

  1. Give a bonus ($) to any fight that finishes in the 1st round.  I don’t care if it’s 2x the money or 1.5x… a fight that finishes in the first round is exciting (not including a disqualification or a kick to the family jewels that stops the fighter from continuing).  Want more guys to “bring it” and not just pace themselves to a paycheck?  Then give a bonus to those who throw caution to the wind and finish in the first round.
  2. Pay fighters only 50-65% of their pay if they go to a decision.  Big names always equal best fights?  Not always.  Title fights equal guaranteed high entertainment?  No… actually quite a few have ended up being 5 round snoozers due to guys being so cautious that they fight to not lose instead of fight to win.  With a 35-50% reduction in pay if your fight ends in a decision, we’d see a considerable decrease of this.
  3. Keep the bonuses for fight of the night, knock-out of the night, and submission of the night.  As in all of these suggestions, MONEY TALKS.  Maybe something else can additionally be rewarded for best knock-out, best submission, etc.  Perhaps a commercial spot for the UFC for that month.  (Am I the only one who thinks the UFC could be advertised more to the general public?)  Maybe a free DLC for xbox and PS3 owners of the UFC: Undisputed video game rematching the fight so the fighters get more exposure.  Maybe the fighter could get a guaranteed 10% increase in pay for their next fight.

What do you think?  Are these suggestions right-on or off-the-mark?  Got others?  Sound off below in the comments section.

Is Downloadable Content the Best Way for the Future for Rock Band?

So, I just bought and downloaded Bulls On Parade by Rage Against The Machine as DLC for Rock Band 2.  This got me thinking:  Is releasing songs through downloadable content the future of music games?  Is it better than releasing a new game on disk with 80 songs or so every year or 2?

The advantage of downloadable content is the user gets to pay for only the songs they want.  They don’t have to download songs from The Pixies if they don’t want to (no offense to The Pixies).  But there are disadvantages.  If you want to play online with friends (up to 3 friends plus you), then each friend has to have downloaded and paid for the same song you did if you want to play it online with them.  Also, in World Tour, downloadable songs are limited to Make a Setlist and Mystery Setlists.  They can possibly show up in the Challenges too or in Battle of the Bands setlists.  They do not show up in Endless Setlists or as single songs in venues in World Tour.

The advantage to releasing new games (on disk) with songs is your friends who are into Rock Band (or Guitar Hero) will buy the game anyway if they want to play online with you.  You don’t have to worry about them downloading the same song(s) as you did and as your other online friends.  If they bought the game, they get those new songs that came on the disk.

I find it rare that the songs I download are downloaded by the friends I play Rock Band with online.  Usually those downloaded songs are limited to being played only in local multiplayer at home.

Maybe I’m overthinking this or overlooking a piece to this discussion.  What do you think?  Sound off below in the comments section.

Optimus Prime was Conan’s lawyer? Pee Wee Herman explains… [update]

With all the controversy about Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show contract debacle, Pee Wee Herman tells the story in the way that only Pee Wee Herman can:

[update (again): nbc has now taken the video off of their site. I found a mirrored/flipped version of it on youtube. Don’t know how long this will stay on.]

Too bad Optimus Prime (Supreme Class, Animated Roll Out and Command toy) wasn’t fully transformed.  The upper body should have been spinned around a couple more times for the head to be fully out.  Funny, still.