Despite Transformers' three-decade history dovetailing almost exactly with the rise of home gaming, it's been a constant source of frustration that Hasbro has only ever managed to commission one decent videogame - and Transformers: Armada was far more successful as a tech demo than an exercise in pushing your nostalgia buttons.
There are certain things you expect from a Final Fantasy game: a reluctant hero with a devil-may-care attitude, a hot feisty love interest, men who look a bit like girls, and a creepy little-sister character you're not sure you're meant to fancy. Something you don't expect in a Final Fantasy game is chasing a ferret through a shopping centre.
It opens, not with a whimper, but with a big bang. After designing your avatar using LEGO Universe's extensive character creator, you're thrust on to the bridge of a starship that's disintegrating in the maw of a gaping black hole. As your hull slowly peels off into the infinite, you have mere minutes to escape your fate, platforming your way around the ship to find enough rocket parts to build your escape vehicle.
Colorado developer NetDevil has been showing off LEGO Universe gameplay for the first time in San Francisco this week, and Eurogamer was there to see it in action.
"On the day we moved into our office, we were really excited," says Sean Murray, one quarter of Guildford's latest gaming microbrewery, Hello Games. "Four lads striking out on their own for the first time. When we got there, the office's previous occupants were moving out. They'd just failed to start their own indie dev team. They offered us their old monitors. That dampened our excitement a bit."
When, back in early 2007, Watchmen director Zack Snyder suggested that any game that tied in to the film would have to be "More than the movie", beardy comic book fans nodded in sage appreciation. After all, the original Watchmen series is the sacred cow of comics - it popularised the term 'graphic novel', and in the process pulled funnybooks kicking and screaming from poly-bagged basement dungeons onto the sun-dappled coffee tables of hipster posers everywhere. So it was a bit of a surprise when the announcement of the Watchmen: The End is Nigh movie tie-in game revealed that 'More than the movie' translated into 'download-only shonky looking beat-'em up' - but there you go.
We love MMOs, but we have to admit they're not for everyone. They're not for people who can't afford subscription fees, people who don't like other people, and people who don't necessarily want to spend 36 straight hours clicking on a complex series of buff spells only for the entire party to get wiped, moments before the Troll King gives up his sweet fungal booty. Thank God, then, for the massively single-player online RPG, a genre that exists solely for the benefit of the cheap, the creepy, and the time-poor.