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Review: Transformers The Movie (R2 UK) UMD

Written by Big Bot on September 2, 2005 | Reviews |


With the release of Sony’s Playstation Portable in Europe on 1st September, Metrodome sublicensed the rights of Transformers The Movie to Pink Entertainment Ltd, for a release on UMD (Universal Media Disk).

Now to the most important bits; there is no re-mastering, no editing and no reconstructing. The film is presented in exactly the same format that was shown in the UK cinemas back in 1986. This includes the BBFC rating information at the beginning of the film (this is shown for every film at a UK cinema), the Rank Films Distribution logo and the Sunbow/Marvel logo appearing with no sound. The film also has the Star Wars opening, no swearing from Spike and the narrated ending.

The 4:3 aspect ratio means there are black bars on either side of the PSP’s widescreen screen, but this does not distract from watching the movie itself. The image is mostly crisp, not nearly as fuzzy as the Maverick DVD, and the sound is as good as it could possibly be without being edited. The impressive thing is, compared to previous DVD editions of Transformers the Movie, bits of the dialogue and sound effects are a lot clearer. For example, when Unicron first meets Megatron, Unicron says ‘Megatron’ TWICE, but often the first cannot be heard due to the dialogue being too quite. This is not the case here.

There are no extras on the disk, but while on the move, all you want to watch and listen to is the movie itself.

The packaging cover is the same as the first edition of the Prism Movie release, except they have used the proper logo. Also a nice piece of info on the back for customers reads: ‘Due to the original nature of the film source material the publisher has elected to run this film on a 4:3 aspect ratio. This will ensure that the user views the film as the Director intended it to be seen.’ All credit to Metrodome for looking for the ultimate copy of the movie, but editing the original source is never the cleverest. Disappointingly, there is an image from a G1 episode on the back of the packaging, which has little relevance and in the main menu, there is an image of Armada Optimus Prime. There is also the drawing of Optimus Prime from The Ultimate Guide on the PSP main menu preview screen. The scene selection only has 12 chapter points, which is not nearly enough for a movie which needs around 20.

Overall, this is an alright package, but with this game being sold at a discount when bought with other PSP products, it could become quite popular with the general public. A booklet would have been nice, but for the first ever Transformers media on UMD, it’s not exactly needed.

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