Relive the ’80s with the new Voltron game on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

Posted 8 years ago by Games

Voltron

Voltron is back to defend the universe once again in a new downloadable game Voltron: Defender of the Universe on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network. Children of the ’80s like myself will remember Voltron as the hit animated show about five mechanized lions that combine to form a super robot known as Voltron.

The game captures the old Anime import extraordinarily well. The show’s intro, complete with the voice talents of Peter Cullen (Transformers), leads off the game and has you recalling those afternoons you spent in front of the TV watching the cartoon. Instead of traditional cut scenes, the game uses subtitled footage from the series. It makes for a nice segue between missions and helps give the semblance of a storyline. An nice touch, when you pause the game and then return, you’ll hear Mr. Cullen’s “And now back to Voltron” announcement. It’s the same line he delivered when welcoming kids back from a commercial break on the classic series.

The game puts you in control of one of the mech animals galloping through a variety of scenarios. You use your left thumb stick to maneuver and the right one to fire the back-mounted gun in any direction. You also have the power to do melee swipes with the shoulder buttons and a lunging attack with the right trigger. By far the most efficient and convenient weapon is the gun. Basically, you move around the terrain any which way and use the gun to fire at enemies from all directions. The other moves seem cool but are hardly worth the effort to pull them off reliably.

Voltron

The camera following your movement is a little too distant for my tastes. I’d rather get in close on the action. The opposing foot soldiers and mech warriors are too small to be discerned. Perhaps the producers just wanted to show off the well-designed landscapes and environments they’d created.

Playing alone, you’re just a lone wolf—or lion rather—on your mission. Four players can compete together, each as their own character. At the end of each level, there’s a boss battle that has you forming together to do battle as the massive Voltron. I’ll admit that after a dizzying amount of gameplay as a traipsing mech lion I was ready to finally play as Voltron. However, action as the big guy is rather limited. You’re pitting against the boss in a Pokemon-like series of turn-based actions. You pick your move and then time it perfectly for major damage against the scary opponent. In return, you have to hit the appropriate button at just the right time to defend yourself. After such a big build-up, I was rather let down.

The real key to this game is the co-op play. I didn’t get a chance to experience it myself so I can only imagine a four-player team-up would be lots of fun. If you’re a Voltron fan from days long ago, the game’s $10 price tag is probably worth it to relive your old favorite. If you don’t have any of that nostalgia, it’s best to stay clear of this mediocre game.