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):

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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.

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.

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.

More Details on Transformers: War for Cybertron [update]

Seibertron.com and TFW2005.com bring news from an exclusive conference call with Hasbro and Activision / High Moon Studios, talking about Transformers: War for Cybertron.  Apparently this new Transformers video game is going to be more than just a game… it will be used as “cannon” in the Transformers lore.  The game will tell the story of the civil war on cybertron between the autobots and the decepticons, before they fled for earth.  Hasbro will be working with Activision in the development of this story.

Up til now, most of the story of the cybertron civil war was found in comics and not so much the cartoons.  Only in episodes like “Desertion of the Dinobots, Part 2”, “War Dawn”, “Five Faces of Darkness, Part 4”, and “Forever is a Long Time Coming” from the original G1 cartoon do we get to see back in time to some of the Transformers history from Cybertron.  Of course, Transformers: War for Cybertron may or may not use bits of pieces from these stories and/or from Transformers comics… time will tell.  It seems that the game may be able to fit as pre-hisotry with G1 and/or the Transformers universe in general.  One thing for sure is that it is NOT based on the Transformers Movie-verse, but it will affect where Hasbro takes the Transformers universe in the years ahead.

As far as a toy line, it’s likely coming… we just don’t know any additional details.  As far as characters to expect in the game, Optimus Prime and Megatron are givens, and some screen grabs from the trailer show Ratchet (around 32 seconds into the trailer) and what is almost certainly Omega Supreme at the end of the trailer.  Promotional pics also show Soundwave and Ironhide.  From the conference with Hasbro and Activision, we should also expect other regulars in Transformers lore to show up:  Starscream, Bumblebee, etc…  But we should also expect some characters that may be familiar to hardcore fans that have not been seen as a toy or in a cartoon for quite some time.  The question is who will that include?  The Fallen (but not movie based)?  Alpha Trion?  QuintessonsDevcon (from the G1 episode “The Gambler”)?  Guardian Robots?  (after all, Omega Supreme was a Guardian Robot in G1)  Scrounge

Alpha Trion (from G1)

 

Guardian Robot (from G1)

Other facts:

  • Multiplayer WILL be in the game.  It will not be an afterthought.
  • Hasbro and Activision have been looking at other successful video game franchises that include multiplayer like Halo, Gears of War, and Call of Duty and have been taking “notes”.
  • Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime in G1 and in the Movie-verse, will voice Optimus in the game!
  • The game will come out in 2010.  No month was specified, but sometime in the Fall seems likely (but not confirmed).

UPDATE: Gameinformer interviewed some of the creators of the game from High Moon Studios. View it below:

So, what do you think?  What stories do you want in the game?  The origin of Prime?  Megatron’s creation?  Other characters?  Sound off in the comments below.

Spike TV’s Video Game Awards (VGA) Winners and Trailers

Spike TV’s Video Game Awards 2009 was held Saturday evening, Dec. 12.  Although the winners of each category may be controversial to some, some of the trailers and/or announcements made at the conference were quite exciting.

One of these announcements was that Green Day: Rock Band is in the works for 2010.  The best part is that the entire track list from this stand alone game will be exportable (for a $ fee, we’re sure) to play in Rock Band 2 for xbox 360 or PS3 owners (sorry Wii owners).  Here’s hoping they’ll include their Dookie album in the game…

The new Halo: Reach trailer was revealed, showing off multiple spartans, including female ones, and one spartan with a skull painted on his helmet.  You can view the trailer below:

Some of the winners from SpikeTV’s 2009 VGA’s were as follows:

  • Best Action Adventure:  Assassin’s Creed 2
  • Studio of the Year:  Rocksteady Studios (who did Batman Asylum)
  • Best Team Sports Game:  NHL 10
  • Best Individual Sports Game:  UFC 2009 Undisputed
  • Most Anticipated Game:  God of War 3
  • Best DLC:  Ballad of Gay Tony (for GTA IV)
  • Best Downloadable Game:  Shadow Complex
  • Best RPG:  Dragon Age Origins
  • Best Shooter:  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • Best Mulitplayer:  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • Best Handheld:  GTA China Town Wars
  • Best Fighter:  Street Fighter IV
  • Best Driving Game:  Forza 3
  • Best Original Score:  Halo 3: ODST
  • Best Soundtrack:  DJ Hero
  • Best Music Game:  The Beatles: Rock Band
  • Best PC Game:  Dragon Age Origins
  • Best Wii Game:  Super Mario Bros Wii
  • Best PS3 Game:  Unchartered 2: Among Thieves
  • Best Xbox360 Game:  Left 4 Dead 2
  • Best Graphics:  Unchartered 2: Among Thieves
  • Game of the Year:  Unchartered 2: Among Thieves

We were happy with Marty from Bungie getting recognized for best original score for Halo 3: ODST and happy that CoD: Modern Warfare 2 earned two awards.  They deserved that.  But we have to wonder about the best Xbox 360 game winner.  And where was Trials HD?  Why weren’t they even nominated for Best Downloadable Game???  That’s not right.  Dana White from the UFC must be very happy with his organization’s win.  We can’t help to wonder if the people who vote for the games in a video game awards show on Spike TV would be biased towards voting for a game that has a show on that station (UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter)… hmm.

Earlier in the week before the VGA’s, a new Transformers game was announced.  The game is called Transformers: War For Cybertron.  The game is based on the war(s) between the Autobots and Decepticons before they traveled to Earth.  So, the vehicle modes will be cybertronian, not Earth-based, and you won’t be seeing any humans.  Will this game be coinciding with the new Transformers cartoon that will eventually be showing up on Discovery-Hasbro’s new channel?  No one really knows but rumors will likely be around the interwebs.  You can see the teaser trailer below:

Are you excited about any of the new trailers?  Any winners from the VGA’s that surprised you?  Let your voice be heard below in the comments section.

What I’ve Learned From Completing the Endless Setlist 2 (in Rock Band 2)

Taking on the Endless Setlist 2 in Rock Band 2 in one night is no small deal.  What I’ve learned from completing this task is as follows:

  • Do I have a life?  I just spent 6 consecutive hours + 10-15 minutes singing to a video game.
  • Doing it on expert vocals.  IF you can sing, this is the way to do it.  Let me just say that when you get to last 10-15 songs, you’ll be thankful you’re singing on expert instead of playing guitar or drums on expert.
  • I should have practiced singing “Shackler’s Revenge” before I started this.  I consider myself a pretty good “Rock Band” vocals guy, but the verses on Guns N’ Roses’ “Shackler’s Revenge” are darn near impossible to figure out, especially without practice.  The chorus and pre-chorus (if you call it that) aren’t that bad, but that first verse is what made me fail — the only song I failed during my 6 + hours of doing the endless setlist 2.  The under-rated 3 star rating Rock Band gives the vocals on that song really means that’s how many stars you’ll end up scoring on the song.  I should mention I 4 or 5 starred every song in the endless setlist 2 except for Shackler’s Revenge.  The song prevented me from getting the “Bladder of Steel” achievement.  By the way, if there are songs you are unfamiliar in singing, you should really try them out in Free Play BEFORE doing the endless setlist 2 on expert vocals.
  • It’s not cheating… It’s called “working smarter, not harder”.  Tricks I learned that worked for me:  First of all, singing the words is unnecessary.  Singing “La La” on the correct notes seemed to be more effective (although annoying if you’re going to do this with someone else playing an instrument).  Holding out a pitch instead of singing the words on songs like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ “Where Did You Go?” was WAY easier.  Another trick is to put the volume of your vocals up and/or the sensitivity of it up and then put the microphone in front of your speakers for the rap/talking/screaming songs.  It actually works.  You’ll get a Gold Star on those songs without having to do it yourself.  Why should you want to do that?  To get a BATHROOM break!  (The songs are “So What’cha Want”, “Give It Away”, “Testify”, and “Visions” — and they’re nicely spaced out between the 84 songs.
  • Cowbell and tamborine parts, where you tap the mic (or hit the “A” button) can be other times to get a food and drink break or hit the bathroom.  Just make sure you choose the times that are long (Hint, if each tap of the mic only gives you 1% or if it takes two taps to get 1%, then you know you can dash off for a minute break — “Bodhisattva” and “The Trees” are a few of these songs).
  • If you’re going for the “Bladder of Steel” acheivement by yourself, then you have to do it on vocals.  I’ll be doing this again on medium next time (to be safe from failing), since “Shacker’s Revenge” cost me from getting it the first time.
  • Don’t do this on vocals the night before or after you have/had to talk or sing a lot.  I could have planned better.  My vocal chords felt like they were swelling.
  • Singing the octave (or 2) lower is key.  Don’t kill your voice.  If you have the skills to do it, drop your singing down an octave (or 2) on the parts that you can.
  • Make sure no one else is wanting to use the TV or xbox for a long time when you plan to do the endless setlist 2, or you’ll make some enemies real quick.
  • Set your profile’s online status to “appear offline”.  Otherwise your friends will wonder why you aren’t responding to their party invites.  You see, your xboxlive status does NOT show them that you’re playing the endless setlist 2.  It just shows them what song you’re playing.
  • “Painkiller” should be renamed “The Song That Shall Never End” (even though you wish it would).  It’s the very last song in the 84 song setlist.  By then you’re tired of singing the songs that you really don’t care for, and you’re ready for the setlist to end.  I must warn you, there are many times you feel Judas Priest’s “Painkiller” is going to end, but it doesn’t.  It’s like an annoying little 8 year old girl who won’t stop singing.  You’ll almost wish you took a few painkillers before doing the song.

The good news is that after you’ve finally beat the endless setlist 2, and see your achievements pop up at the bottom of your screen, you’ll feel like you actually accomplished something… just don’t try convincing your wife that it was worth it.