Voltron: Defender of the Universe Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Voltron: Defender of the Universe Box Art
System: PS3, Xbox 360
Dev: Behaviour Interactive
Pub: THQ
Release: November 29, 2011
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Fantasy Violence

In contrast to the space levels, though, the relative scarcity of Voltron levels is a blessing in disguise. They start out alright, with the player and his lion of choice taking on a massive Robeast while support rains down from on high. Interestingly, this is probably where you'll experience most of your deaths, since Robeasts do a tremendous amount of damage and survivor mode doesn't exist during these boss battles. Once the boss' health is depleted, however, you form Voltron, watching the entire transformation sequence each time, pressing quick-time inputs for points throughout. These inputs have no impact on the transformation's success.

Voltron: Defender of the Universe Screenshot

So, after you've transformed, you get to go full-on robot all over some Robeast's face, right? Not as such, no. Voltron is a game designed with multiplayer in mind and, since there can only be one Voltron, the battles instead play like a light RPG, with players selecting the robot's attack from four choices on a timer, then performing a short timing test to decide whether the attack hits. Defense is relegated to pressing the correct button when the enemy Robeast prepares to attack. It has exactly no depth and provides only passing visual entertainment. Once you have defeated your foe, you mash a button to form Voltron's sword and he gets to slash through the enemy, culminating in an anemic explosion.

And that's Voltron. Yes, there's multiplayer, but I wasn't able to try it because no one was online playing this game. Either that or the matchmaking is entirely broken. Either way, not good. Further, chosing "custom game" from the online menu works more like quick match, while what they call "quick match" actually tends to create a lobby, in which you wait for minutes with no sign of companionship on the horizon. I can confirm, however, that multiplayer in the Voltron segments boils down to taking turns picking attacks and adds additional little tasks for the other players to do to make each attack successful. This increases the difficulty of landing these attacks, and I imagine that, with a full party of players, it's almost impossible to actually pull off a successful attack.

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Voltron: Defender of the Universe is a poorly designed cash-in on a franchise that hasn't been relevant in years. It's particularly telling when the announcer is your absolute best feature, stating "Voltron will return after these messages" when you pause, then "And now back to Voltron" when you resume play. That's right: the best part of the game only appears when you stop playing. I rest my case.

By Shelby Reiches
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
1.2
Graphics
There is no excuse for performance woes with graphics this poor, but there they are.
2.0
Control
Sluggish on foot, mindless in Voltron, only in space do they come through by being serviceable.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
It does sound like Voltron. And there's the announcer.
0.5
Play Value
When I finished the game, it told me that I'd unlocked a higher difficulty. My only thought in response was: Why
1.3
Overall Rating - Avoid
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Shoot 'Em Up - Lions in space! Take out the evil Zarkon forces as you travel from planet to planet.
  • Form Voltron - Team up with up to four friends online and work cooperatively in epic one-on-one confrontations with massive Robeasts.
  • Team up - Work together with your friends to rescue civilians, gather star power, execute special attacks, and form Voltron!

  • Screenshots / Images
    Voltron: Defender of the Universe Screenshot - click to enlarge Voltron: Defender of the Universe Screenshot - click to enlarge Voltron: Defender of the Universe Screenshot - click to enlarge Voltron: Defender of the Universe Screenshot - click to enlarge Voltron: Defender of the Universe Screenshot - click to enlarge

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