Do you remember that feeling when Optimus Prime died? I do. A piece of my childhood was crushed the day he gave up the Matrix of Leadership. For many of us that grew up in the 80s, it was our first experience with death. How on Cybertron could someone so strong, so confident and so powerful die?
It was only later in life that we learned the simple answer: marketing and toy sales. Regardless, the impact of that monumental scene sticks with me. The emotions still run strong, which is why every time I play a bad Transformers game, I flash back to Prime’s lifeless shell. Thankfully, things are starting to turn around for the robots in disguise.
Despite the horror of the Michael Bay movies, the film versions did serve to revitalize interest in the property, with two cartoon shows currently on the air. The first is Transformers Rescue Bots, a very kid-friendly take on things. My son not only has the entire set, but runs around the house making “the noise.” You know the one. He’s now also watching episodes of Generation 1 and Transformers: Prime. The latter takes its aesthetic cues in part from the movies, with other character influences from Transformers Animated, which ended its run a couple of years ago.
This latest cartoon takes a much darker approach, akin to Beast Wars and Beast Machines, as punches are rarely pulled and Transformers on both sides of the war have been killed. Oh, and did I mention that both Peter Cullen and Frank Welker (the original voices of Optimus Prime and Megatron) are both on-hand to reprise their roles? Yup. This is G1 Fan Approved!
You’ll be able to get your hands on Transformers: Prime this fall for Nintendo Wii, 3DS and DS. This seems a far better solution than diluting Transformers: Fall of Cybertron for the less powerful systems. Activision has tasked Now Production with the Wii and 3DS versions, with Altron Corporation handling things for the DS. Double the Transformers this fall? Sign me up.