hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Voltron: Defender of the Universe

Review: Voltron: Defender of the Universe

5:00 PM on 12.12.2011 // Ian Bonds

Nostalgia is a funny thing. Sometimes, what we remember fondly from our youth turns out to not be as enjoyable as we get older. It can cloud our perceptions, and we hope that new things based on cherished memories will hold true to those old feelings, and possibly even expand upon them, validating our love for that thing gone by.

Voltron: Defender of the Universe does nothing to help our nostalgia.

Voltron: Defender of the Universe (PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade [reviewed])
Developer: Behaviour Interactive
Publisher: THQ
Released: November 29, 2011 (PSN) / November 30, 2011 (XBLA)
MSRP: $9.99 / 800 Microsoft Points

At its very core, Voltron should be a cool game; take the five robotic lions, blow shit up, shout 'I'll form the head!', and beat up a boss with a giant robot made of said lions. The nostalgia is fueled right from the start with scenes from the TV series peppering the intros to each level. It's hard to say this, but the show doesn't hold up. However, there is the fleeting feeling that because of the inclusion of the clips, the game would hold true to the series. This is a foolish response.

When you're actually dropped into gameplay, you take control of one of the five lions, each described as having their own advantages, but in actuality, all of them play identically. The game boils down to a twin-stick shooter with the lions while airships, tanks, mechs, and soldiers all appear and attack your craft. The imediate annoyance is that the soldiers are so very small, making detection a nuisance and causing your lion minimal damage until you locate the miniscule foe shooting pellets at you.

Beyond this quibble, the gameplay itself is just so very bland. What should be an exciting cacophony of bullets hailing down and circle strafing while avoiding damage is instead just slow, plodding shooting and enemy fire that never seems as intense at it hopes to be. With the aircraft at least, there's a cool pounce move you can perform to take them out of the air, and finding shards in the environment will aid in a powered-up attack, but for the most part, all you really need to do is aim with the right stick while moving with the left...repeatedly. You standard attack will take everything out with ease, and the game just isn't exciting as a result.

So, what about Voltron itself? Turning into the giant mech should be the high point of the game, yes? Well, considering you only turn into the titular character four times in the entire game (three chapters with four stages each, culminating in a boss battle with Voltron, plus a finale) you don't see him much more than in cut scenes.

And as for the transformation? Yeah, you'll watch the show for that too, occasionally flicking the left stick in a direction to combine the lions into the Voltron mech. When it's time to actually battle, the game reduces the encounter to a turn-based affair, with an attack wheel where you select a move, then wait for a meter to fill à la Hot Shots Golf, and finally perform a quick-time event to deflect your enemy's return attack.

While the game allows for multiplayer on the same console as well as online, it doesn't add much fun to the situation. The levels are still the same "shoot everything until it's over" methodology, and when in Voltron form, players trade off between who times the attack, and who lines up a reticule to determine the effectiveness of the attack.

To say that Voltron: Defender of the Universe is a disappointment is an understatement. What should be blistering action is yawn-inducing and seems more like a chore used to get to the mech sequences, which only serve to disappoint MORE by the sheer mediocrity of them. I'd rather watch the series on Netflix.



Voltron: Defender of the Universe - Reviewed by Ian Bonds
Disappointing - I feel sorry for this one. It came close to being passable, but dropped the ball too many times to prevent itself from being an embarrassment.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Ian Bonds, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Ian is Dtoid's resident review monkey. If there is a game no one else wants to review, it usually goes to Ian. As a reviewer, Ian has been writing for close to ten years for various sites, starti... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
A Nintendo rep gave this to me today because she likes talking to me. I do have lots of the Old AC eReader cards I guess I could put in it... [img][/img]
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I'm still trying to figure out how to do it, but for the most part I like what I've seen of the new blog editor. My first blog post using it should go up tomorrow.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
The demon threat is real.[img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Daily VGM #20 (Bonus) - Valak Mountain Night (Xenoblade Chronicles) [youtube][/youtube] This theme perfectly captures the essence of Valak Mountain. It feel serene and calm, as well as mountain-esque (lol).
Lawman avatarLawman
What does one do when MGS V has lost its luster and Persona 4: DAN is growing stale? Listen to Queens of the Stone Age, of course. And wonder; is Steins;Gate worth the asking price? I want it, but not sure if I $30 - $40 want it...
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Been trying to get Tales Of Phantasia finished before Zestiria comes out... How i'm going to get through that game I have no clue... especially when Exist Archive comes out in December and I have to play that too... also i've still yet to finish Grandia 2
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Been in a bit of a rut this week and as such haven't really been satisfied with any of my games. Therefore, I'm going to start Destiny again on my new PS+ account. Any tips given the amount of updates it's had?
Bardley avatarBardley
Bought a used knockoff game console called the Power Kracker 2013, which claimed to have 76,000 games. The AC adapter was missing and someone had crammed an off-brand GameCube controller inside the box. I don't know what I expected.
Firuzi Gafrindashvili avatarFiruzi Gafrindashvili
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I actually love the quests in Novigrad where you write a play. It's a fun and lighthearted break from the tragedy of Baron and horror of Velen and the Crones.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I preordered Tales of Zestria and Disgaea 5 because they were £10 cheaper that way, WHO WANTS TO FIGHT ME HUH?
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Man, plague of shadows is gooood. It really fleshes out plague knight and the world by extension, and it has some fun story stuff. Plus plague knight plays differently enough to shovel knight to make whats old feel new again. Deep customization too.
nanashi avatarnanashi
You will be missed. 2001 - 2015 ATHF RIP. ... oh and uh, GET OUT OF MY FREAKING POOL!!
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Freezing my ass off at a Penn State football game. Half of the hicks at this stadium probably didn't graduate high school, yet they're rooting for a college football team. I wish I was on my warm den playing MGS V.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
Gosh darn it, she's done it again! That Sapphire's a talented minx. [youtube][/youtube]
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Is renting games still a thing in America? I know there's only one UK company still doing rentals. And does it make you less tolerant of games? I definitely gave games less of a chance when I knew I could sling them back in the envelope and get a new one.
Termadoyle avatarTermadoyle
Probably the most awesome soundtrack in an indie game. And the game isn't so bad either. win/win situation tbqh.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
"I musta dreamed a thousand dreams, been haunted by a millioon screaams, but I can hear the marching of feet, moving into the streeet!!!" Gosh dang this song is stuck in my head something fierce. Plus, puppets!
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
PSA: Today is the last day you can submit characters for the Smash Bros. ballot. Help us nominate Bayonetta! [img][/img]
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Voltron: Defender of the Universe

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -