Thursday, 28 July 2016

Nerdversity Reviews: Transformers Armada Vol 1

Transformers Armada debuted on US TV series in 2003. Rather than being an all new project that was completely original from the ground up like G1 and the Beast Era, Hasbro had simply dubbed over a Transformers cartoon from Japan, called Micron Legend, repackaged it as Armada and released in in the West.

Released in the UK via Universal, who held the rights to Transformers at the time, the DVDs came in these individual volumes which contained about 3-4 episodes each. The first volume comes in this red sleeve with Dreamwave artwork of Optimus Prime and Red Alert on the cover. In some releases, it came with a free minicon toy.

The disc itself is red and comes with the same Dreamwave artwork of Prime and Red Alert. Not much else to say,

Encounter is the pilot episode and shows the Transformers coming to Earth. The aspect ratio is 4:2 and is pretty much exactly the same as the US TV versions, no edits that I can see. Sound and video are fine too.

Metamorphosis deals with the escalating battle of the Autobots vs. Decepticons, as well as Prime's eventual transformation into his super mode. Again, matches the TV version with no noticeable differences or edits.

The final episode on the disc, Base, deals with the Transformers setting up their respective bases on Earth and beginning their hunt for other minicons. Again, nothing different or noticable here. 

The disc does have a small amount of special features. The first is a quiz, where if you get all 20 questions correct, you can win some wallpapers for your computer. Interesting to note, this appears to be either based on the Japanese scripts or pre-production material, as Hot Shot is referred to as Hot Rod throughout the quiz.

Also on the disc, are 2 features called Total Transforms and Battle Mania, which are essentially compilation clips from the above episodes of all the transformation sequences and battle sequences, without any of the story elements. 

Not a bad starter into the world of Armada, especially for the UK. But this is all we got, without having to import from the US. The features on the disc are reasonable, the transfer and sound are great. The set itself is cheap these days, as I paid 50p for it from a second hand store.