Back in the day when cartoons were cool, not like today’s efforts, there was one that really had a huge fan base and cult like following. That cartoon was Voltron: Defender of the Universe. The basic premise had five young humans in robot lions, known as the Voltron Force, defending the universe from evil. The cool thing though was that the five robot lions could combine into one giant sword wielding robot. And with over 120 episodes made you would think that there is plenty of substance for a great little XBLA game now wouldn’t you.
So what do we end up with? The basic underlying game is a standard twin-stick shooter with the odd power up and special attack. Each of the five lions has a slightly different make up with regards to armour, power, and attack range, but not enough to make you want to play through the game five times. At the end of each of the three levels you are confronted with boss battle in the form of a Robeast. After softening up the Robeast with in your lion form the rest of Voltron Force show up and you combine into the Voltron robot. The battle now switches into a series of quick time events as you attack and defend against the Robeast.
One massive draw for Voltron fans will be the cut scenes between missions and the sound bites used throughout the game, all of which are straight from the 80’s cartoon. I have to admit that this does make a very average game somewhat more enticing but only for those 80’s kids out there who enjoyed Voltron and love a bit of nostalgia. I’m not sure if the developers wanted you to play through the game five times or not but one play through will only take a couple of hours and leave you with no desire to do it again, although once completed you can access any mission you want to do it again with another lion.
The gameplay is all ok, definitely no groundbreaking tech or ideas involved that’s for sure. A bit of variation in terrain from jungle, to desert, to space, and a bit of a mix in the enemies trying to stop you just isn’t exciting enough for any long term play. To get you to explore a bit more on each level there are pick ups for extra life and civilians to rescue, again a bit of a chore. There is the obvious co-op and multiplayer both of which are completely dead on Live! so no chance to try them out unless you manage to talk some mates into wasting 800MS Points too.
I would have to say of recent times there has started to be a real glut of low grade titles appearing on the XBLA marketplace which is a shame because I really like the platform and ability to play games when I feel like it without the need for a disk. But somewhere in the the back of my head I am reluctant to delete XBLA titles no matter how bad they are, this is starting to cost me in storage space now. But I digress, don’t waste your MS Points here. Voltron is a short, mediocre title with very little going for it. Voltron fans, go buy a DVD instead.
Released on 30/11/2011 for 800 MS Points.