For millions of years a race of military like robots have been locked in a brutal war. The two opposing factions are the heroic Autobots lead by Optimus Prime, and the evil Decepticons lead by Megatron. After years of fighting, both sides are facing extinction due to low energy reserves. Seeking a new power source, the Autobots plan a recon mission, but their ship is invaded by the Decepticon force, which causes their ship to crash into a volcano on earth. 4 million years later, they awaken from their dormant state to continue the war, with earth's resources being the ultimate prize and deciding factor of the war. -summary
When the Transformers TV show folded in 1987 after a three year run, it definitely left behind a disappointed fan base. Long after the shows departure, the toyline was still being promoted with new characters being introduced. Fans continued holding on to some type of hope that the series would be continued. Eventually out of nowhere, Japan would pick it up and continue the series, and well, the less said about that the better. Transformers Beast Wars would come around and be revealed as the direct sequel. This wasn't exactly what a lot of fans were hoping for though, and later on interest for the show would just fizzle out. To the fans delight, some time in the late 90's, the series would begin to be released on VHS containing somewhere between 2-3 episodes. I'm unsure if this was the first of the 14 tapes to be released, but I was happy to get my hands on some of the episodes of my favorite 80's animated series.
Transformers - Villains: The Ultimate Doom is a three part series that took place deep into the first season. And usually these multi-episode story arcs were among the best Transformers had to offer, with this arc being hailed as the best by some fans. Personally, I don't feel the same way, but they still hold my interest.
This story arc begins with a two point attack on the Autobots to set up Megatron's masterplan. His intent is to use the biggest space bridge created in order to bring their homeworld into the Earth. The Earth's gravational pull will result in numerous natural disasters completely destroying the planet. This will allow the Decepticons to harness the energy released to stock up on millions of Energon Cubes, in order to repower Cybertron and use the extra energy to wipe out the Autobots. This leads to battles taking place on Earth and their home planet.
I can agree that this is among the most interesting arcs, because we not only got a chance to see the Dinobots in light action, who were introduced only a few episodes before this, but one of Megatrons most loyal soldiers, Shockwave, was in action for the first time at this point I believe. He was the only Transformer to keep his original form, and he turns into this gigantic, futuristic looking laser rifle that I always thought was awesome. Plus there's no shortage on the action, and the Decepticon's second in command Starscream keeps things interesting with his possible overthrow of Megatron. The story moves at a good pace, and there are some campy, and even very corny moments like the Autobots actually on surf boards. It's all in good fun though.
Production values have their moments of shining with some decent action-filled moments. At times the movements would seem awkward, while on other occasions they would be just right. The series as a whole always suffered from glaring animation errors, where you will see up to two of the same character on the same screen. The voice acting delivered by Peter Cullen, Chris Latta, Michael Bell, and the always awesome Frank Welker happens to overshadow even the action for me. These guys were into their roles and it shows.
Outside of the animation goofs, the only complaint I have is that this arc isn't truly complete, since the blow over episode that wraps up everything called Countdown to Extinction isn't included. But this really isn't a problem becuase quite frankly, I wouldn't recommend this set to anyone. It would be a far wiser move to invest in Transformers - The Complete First Season released by Shout! Factory; with that collection you can sit back and enjoy everything the first season had to offer.
Pros: -Solid voice acting, action, cool story
Cons: -Animation errors, not truly complete
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