Battlebots Season 2 Finale Prediction

Despite the long break between the two Sweet Sixteen episodes, I heartily enjoyed many of the battles that we saw although there were a few unfortunate duds. Amazingly, we get a season finale this week!!!  We don’t have to wait another week!  This is a nice surprise from ABC given we had to wait quite awhile sometimes between episodes.  Hopefully, this upcoming episode will give us many fantastic battles that we can scream and whoop at!

Battlebots Season 2 Elite Eight


Let’s take a look at the Elite Eight before I dive into my predictions. First off, my guesses in the last round were surprisingly not too bad as five out of the eight matches I envisioned correctly (Biteforce, Nightmare, and Hypershock betray me…). Biteforce’s loss eliminates another high seed from the tournament as only three of the top eight seeds remain while two remain of the top four. Poison Arrow stands out big time from the Elite Eight with its whoppingly low 27 seed. To be fair though, unlike some other bots, Poison Arrow deserves his Elite Eight spot thanks to taking down Whyachi and upsetting the drone-killing bot, Hypershock. The commentators noted how Yeti was the dark horse of this tournament but I honestly lean towards Poison Arrow as the “bot that could.”

Of the eight remaining, three are drum spinners, one is a horizontal spinner, one is a launcher, two are hammerbots, and one is multi-functional. This is definitely the year of the drum spinners as all three drum spinners (Poison Arrow, Minotaur, and Yeti) have survived the Sweet Sixteen with great wins from each of these robots. There’s also a decent chance that all three of these will again progress to the Final Four given their opponent matchup. Notably absent are the vertical spinners which we had six in the Sweet Sixteen and all of them lost. These robots lost due to weapon loss, dismantling, or inability to fight and it’s pretty unlucky that none of them survived.

Before we go to the predictions, I decided to approach things differently and instead did a simple table to see who would win if every robot fought another robot. After going over the scenarios in my head, I then made a list of robots going from most likely to win to least likely to win. Here’s the results.

  1. Bronco 7-0

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My confidence in Bronco has only increased as this season progresses. Out of all the veteran teams, Team Bronco has played it the most safe by modifying (and not outright revamping like Biteforce) their robot to cover their weaknesses without sacrificing their robot’s identity. Bronco’s behind can take hits like a champ and if any robot tries to ride Bronco he just bucks them off! Bronco’s durability will come into play big time against his match against Minotaur. I predict that Bronco’s ass will get a face full of steel but he can withstand it and toss him around the Battlebox. In all honesty, if Bronco wins against Minotaur then he wins the tournament. He will face down his rival Tombstone again in the championship but this time, he will win.

  1. Minotaur 6-1

I wasn’t kidding when I said Minotaur v Bronco is the match to watch out for in the Elite Eight. This match will decide who will be victorious in Battlebots. If Minotaur beats Bronco then any other robot doesn’t stand a chance, including Tombstone. If Minotaur were to face down Tombstone, he can out maneuver this deadly robot and chew up his vulnerable spots. Minotaur’s spinning drum is also likely the strongest drum in the tournament so if he were to collide with Yeti or Poison Arrow, both could explode due to the immense force behind that weapon.

  1. Tombstone 5-2

Tombstone will very likely go to the final round as so many of his strong competitors, mainly Stinger and Biteforce, have been knocked out. I honestly feel that some of his supposed opponents, like Chomp, got to the Elite Eight more out of luck than fighting skill but I could be severely underestimating them again. Regardless, he will chew through whoever he faces, including Yeti and face either Minotaur or Bronco in the championship; either of which he will lose to.

  1. BETA 4-3

Truth be told, I worry about BETA’s chances as his fight against Nightmare looked to do some serious damage to his hammering mechanism. He might be limping into his next fight, Tombstone, and that’s not good. Unlike Chomp (sorry) my respect for this newcomer with a seemingly faulty weapon has gone up. Can BETA deliver another upset against one of the most deadly robots of all time? It’s doubtful but I will say that if he can pull off an upset, he would likely win against either Chomp or Yeti. Rewatching some of BETA’s bouts has brightened my outlook on this robot and his gigantic hammer. I’m pretty sure this hammer’s so powerful that he can smash Chomp and Yeti (and Poison Arrow and Bombshell if he somehow faces them in the final round). Good luck, once again, BETA!

  1. Yeti 3-4

Now, just because I have Yeti so low on the list does not mean I don’t like him, far from it! I love this spunky, dexterous robot! And I’m also willing to bet Yeti’s sponsors (if that’s a thing in Battlebots, I’m not sure) will go up and make sure this battlebot will get the necessary spare parts needed for another run next season. But we have to focus on the here and now and so, Yeti is in a tough situation. How far can Yeti’s luck last? Well, it’s a good thing he’s fighting Chomp as that is a robot Yeti definitely can take on. If Yeti wins, Yeti might then out maneuver Tombstone and deliver some good hits. Unfortunately, I don’t see a rosy future for Yeti after that as I’m sure Bronco or Minotaur will knock him out. We’ll see. Good luck, dark horse!

  1. Poison Arrow 2-5

Poison Arrow is another robot I now respect but had to put him low on the rankings. Poison Arrow will more than likely defeat Bombshell thanks to their crazy spinning drum but after that they’ll have to fight Bronco or Minotaur and that’s reaaaaalllly bad.   I think Bronco could tank PA’s hits while Minotaur will just laugh at this spunky robot and tear him asunder. Sorry.

  1. Chomp 1-6

I’m sorry, Chomp’s win against Biteforce did not gain my appreciation. True, true, true, Chomp hit some good, well-aimed hits but besides that, Chomp’s worse enemy seems to be herself because of her instability. Though in all honesty, what do I know!?! I keep predicting Chomp to lose and she keeps winning! If she wins the tournament I’ll be flabbergasted. The only opponent I think Chomp has a chance against would be Bombshell who has so many open parts that I think Chomp could deliver a winning pierce against it. Besides that, Chomp is fighting Yeti and then, very likely, Tombstone, both of which have a history of dismantling their opponents. If Chomp wins (and an honest-to-good win mind you) perhaps my opinions on her will change.

  1. Bombshell 0-7

Bombshell is perhaps the only robot in the tournament that has lost my respect. His abysmal win against Red Devil was sad, I mean, what was that?? If Bombshell has any hopes to win they should switch to either their axe (against Poison Arrow/Minotaur) or their horizontal spinner. The horizontal spinner seems the most effective weapon they have but I’m not sure if it would be good against Poison Arrow. Bombshell could be this year’s Ghost Raptor so they may reach the Final Four yet, just don’t expect them to go much further than that…




The Many Incarnations of Bane

Throughout the history of entertainment, mankind has seen their favorite characters told again and again through different voices, different media, and different times. Such stories as Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, and Wizard of Oz are great examples of how these characters have been interpreted for more than a century. In particular, Batman, and his gallery of foes, have probably seen the most iterations out of any character in human history.

The irony of it all is that while Batman remains (relatively) unchanged, his foes can vary wildly. In some universes, Poison Ivy is an ordinary person and in others she has supernatural powers. Oswald Cobblepot is a rich underworld boss or a poor thief and Killer Croc’s disease ranges from mild to severe. These changes neatly reflect each incarnation’s universe whether they be realistic (Christopher Nolan), goofy (Adam West), or ridiculous (Gotham).

As such, I wanted to explore these different facets of the same character and understand their transformation throughout the years. What has stayed the same and what has changed. What makes that character who they are and ultimately which is the best incarnation? With so many versions, I decided to just stick to the ones that I could readily access and were featured prominently in their respective media.

For my first character, let’s explore the man that broke the Bat.


Despite being a relatively new foe (~25 years), Bane quickly found himself in Batman’s top rogues gallery since his debut in the infamous comic, Knightfall. In this comic, Bane had systematically broke both Batman’s spirit and spine in a long series of issues that led to a climatic battle in the Batcave. If there was a Top 20 moments in Batman’s history, this would surely be in there.

The thing is, Bane has something that few of Batman’s enemies can bolster, mainly, a high intelligence matched with brute strength and an uncomfortable calmness. And I would be reprimanded if I didn’t talk about Venom. Bane’s Venom probably attracts a lot of fans to this character as it makes him all the more menacing to the point of ridiculous. Even without Venom, Bane is an incredible foe and can (almost) match Batman in hand-to-hand combat.

Unfortunately, after Knightfall, Bane had reached his apogee. From there, Batman recovered, triumphed over Bane and Bane went into hiding, never achieving his former glory again.

Unlike Batman’s other foes, I honestly think the best Bane incarnation is his first one in Knightfall. Everything that makes Bane great was spelled out magnificently in those comic pages. From there, other creators have only tweaked, and sometimes downgraded, Bane into a shadow of his former self. There has yet to be, to my knowledge, a major character upheaval similar to Two-Face or Mr. Freeze. As such, any new interpretation of Bane harkens back to this Knightfall which leaves Bane’s character evolution almost stagnant.

The Tried and True Dance

One overarching theme between the many incarnations of Bane and Batman is the formulaic dance of Bane beating Batman then Batman making a triumphant return and defeating Bane. During these bouts, Bane would comment on breaking Batman’s spirit or back but never succeeding in either of those. These can be seen in the Animated Series (tAS) and The Batman (TB). In the Dark Knight Rises (DKR), Bane actually does succeed in both of his boasts making the DKR version one of the most effective Banes to date.

Some interpretations acknowledge that Bane had once broken the Batman’s back and that he will do it again. This can seen in the Arkham video game series and Justice League: Doom. I like both of these incarnations as they retain Bane’s competence and his fighting skill perfectly. Doom was particularly brutal as he threw Bruce Wayne into his parents’ coffin and buried him beneath it. That’s savage but man that pissed the hell out of Bruce.


Bane, unlike many Batman villains, can successfully pull off a threatening . Although some interpretations drop the ball on this (Batman and Robin mainly), there are a few that outright nail it. The two best ones, not counting Knightfall, would be DKR and tAS. Dark Knight Rises Bane is menacing from the getgo as he hijacks a plane in one of the most awesome heists in film history. He breaks Batman, isolates Gotham from the rest of the U.S., and has his own army. This makes Batman’s victory over him that more triumphant.

The second incarnation of the Animated Series also brought a more menacing Bane, replacing his luchador mask with a gimp mask that strangely works. Truth be told, I don’t know what to think about this Bane as his major appearance in the second Animated Series was in Barbara Gordon’s dream. Nonetheless, this Bane is sooo great as he basically kills Batman and James Gordon even when he’s Venom-deprived. This was one of the best episodes in the series and it doesn’t hurt that his voice is so kickass too.

Defeating Bane

With such a ferocious juggernaut, Batman would have to defeat his opponent through cleverness instead of brute strength. Most of the time, this involves messing with Bane’s Venom system by either overdose or cold turkey. Batman usually solves this with his batarangs (though in Batman and Robin they just simply kick the tubes out). This can be seen in Arkham, tAS, and Doom. The Batman, however, finds a different solution via the Batbot, a giant Batman robot which Bruce pilots. Though Bane has the upperhand for most of the fight, Batman wins by electrocuting Bane’s Venom supply which malfunctions him back to his original state. Since Bane in the DKR doesn’t have Venom tubes, Batman defeats him on sheer dominance rather than strategy.

The Worst Interpretations

I think most of everyone would agree that the worst Bane interpretation is in Batman and Robin. Before I divulge my reasons why, let’s count off the five things that define Knightfall Bane. First off, Bane is a strong, highly skilled fighter which Venom (second) enhances. Third, Bane is intelligent and even cunningly smart. Fourth, he’s from the Caribbean. Fifth, his tranquility focuses his strength and mind to be an effective strategist and fighter.

Batman and Robin’s Bane fits just two of those (Venom and Caribbean) while everything else is thrown aside. There’s no intelligence or acumen and he’s just a lackey to Poison Ivy. Hardly a criminal mastermind. All he does is just grunts and moans. Never really contributing the plot and never instilling the same sense of fear that Knightfall Bane imposed.

I would say the second worst interpretation I’ve seen is TB version as although this Bane is from the Caribbean and is a decent fighter without Venom, he lacks the intelligence (again) to take down Gotham once he defeats Batman. All he does after his first fight is smash cars and cause havoc. Bane in this version is also a one-man-show as he basically shows up for one episode (and that’s the second episode of the first season) and that’s pretty much it besides a few cameos.

The Best Interpretations

Obviously besides the Knightfall version, there are two Banes I appreciate. The DKR version is great as it retains all the characteristics of Knightfall with the slight exception to the modified Venom (although it works rather well). I love this Bane, he has a kick ass voice, great style, and actually broke Batman’s back and spirit and that was awesome. He brought Gotham to its knees and ruled the city with an iron fist. This is a fantastic Bane and truth be told, this would be my favorite Bane had it not been for one conversation I had with a friend several years ago. After I praised Bane in DKR, my friend commented how she thought Bane was a rather weak character after it was revealed that he was just serving Taliah Al Ghul. Bane wasn’t the mastermind, she was. After the reveal, and after Batman gets his shit together, Bane becomes a stepping stone to the grand finale and loses all his composure and intimidation. Ooooh, I dislike this. Bane should be an intelligent crime lord yet he’s just a façade in the movie! Regardless, Bane is still a memorable antagonist and one of the best in comic book film history.

I would be remiss if I did not mention Secret Six Bane. Secret Six is canon with Knightfall so we see a Bane that’s both similar, and not, to that version. One thing that I respect about this Bane is him swearing off Venom despite losing his superhuman strength. Unfortunately, this makes Bane a prime punching bag which makes him somewhat of a joke but he does have some badass moments in the comic. This Bane is probably the most chill out of all the Banes as he’s stoic, kind, and can be a source of humor at times.  Probably the best thing about this Bane is his fatherly love and affection for Scandal Savage which at first was played for laughs but then developed into an actual effect on the storyline.

This Bane also shows his obsession for Batman which harkens back to Knightfall. In Knightfall, child Bane develops a fear of bats which soon transforms into a lust to defeat Batman.   After Batman defeats Bane, this lust morphs into an addiction to conquer Batman. In Secret Six, after Bane breaks his vow and temporarily uses Venom to save Scandal, we see from Bane’s Venom view that everyone looks like Batman and that his rage drives him to kill the Dark Knight.

As such, what Secret Six does, which no other interpretation even come close to, is respecting Bane not in the form of strength but in mind. His dual addictions to Venom and Batman are what both fuels and hamper him while his tranquil, intelligent mind is at odds with both. Perhaps future Banes should take note from Secret Six and transform Bane further into a man fighting addiction. To further complex a man that people simplify to his Venom gimmick. This was actually touched on in, of all things, Batman Beyond, where an elderly Bane is confined to a hospital bed where he’s given a steady dose of Venom to keep him alive. His addiction has become an outright necessity that without it he’d be dead. This is what I’m talking about! Someone needs to take this concept and run with it. Bane is on the verge of a rebirth, we just need a push from a Bruce Tim or a Christopher Nolan creator to make that happen.


What about you folks? Which is your favorite Bane interpretation? Any Banes I missed that you think I should check out? Let me know in the comments!

Reaction to Battlebots S2 E7

The first episode of the Sweet Sixteen Season 2 Battlebots is an unfortunate mixture of thrilling and boring fights. You could easily rank each battle in terms of how stellar they are going from Warhead vs. Minotaur to Bombshell vs Red Devil. But, nonetheless, the fights we enjoyed, we enjoyed A LOT so let’s take a look!

Warhead vs. Minotaur

By far the best match of the night as this fight was filled with thrilling hits and a strong, lovable sense of sportsmanship. My level of respect for these guys and their bots has increased majorly as team Warhead loved their loss while team Minotaur was grateful to fight such an iconic legend. Although it was over quick, I’m glad Warhead was able to score a good hit before losing his head. This match has certainly shown that Warhead is a worthy battlebot and that there are big things in store for Minotaur.

Hypershock vs. Poison Arrow

This episode was not a good one for vertical spinners as Hypershock’s primary weapon became quickly useless after one use. However, I still thought Hypershock would win despite his handicap as he was doing a good job controlling the battle. Poison Arrow’s drone still remains useless but the drum spinner was highly efficient. It’s safe to say that Poison Arrow has gained my respect as he could pass out the hits while still going strong. It’s amazing that such a small robot can pack a huge punch. Poison Arrow, unlike Red Devil, has shown he’s not just a one-and-done deal. He can dish it out with anyone.

Bronco vs Razorback

Bronco, to the disappointment of many fans, has been playing it smart these past two battles. Unlike other bots with their makeshift wedges, Bronco’s back wedge has been very effective at stalling and even debilitating his opponent’s weapons. I also love that Bronco’s flipper can still launch opponents even if they are on his back. Now that I think about it, Bronco has earned his namesake! Nobody can ride him without being bucked off! I love that. Also, poor Razorback, it just wasn’t his fight as he unfortunately landed on his side which incapacitated him. Add some spikes to the axles and better luck next year guys.

Bombshell vs Red Devil

By far, the worst battle for this episode. I’m sad they ended the episode on this fight as it was pretty anticlimactic. Bombshell’s weapon became useless after one hit and Red Devil just couldn’t use his saw correctly, like, what happened out there guys? The only time you managed to hit Bombshell was in the last 10 seconds of the fight. Too little, too late. I hope Bombshell can step up his A-game cause I would be disappointed if he made it to the Final Four (and at this point, I’m cheering for the current underdog, Poison Arrow, to beat him).

Predictions for Battlebots S2 Sweet Sixteen

Despite my sorrow and despite my wrong predictions, this has been a great season so far! Upsets galore, vengeful veterans, and wild moments crowd the Round of 32 and it’s so wonderful. Let’s take a look at some general things before we dive into my (very likely wrong) predictions.


First off, only 10 out of the top 16 seeds and 4 out of the top 8 seeds made it to the Sweet Sixteen. I’d figured there’d be upsets but certainly not on this level. Most notable of these upsets were fan favorites, and proven veterans, Witch Doctor, Stinger, Icewave, and Son of Whyachi. The latter three certainly hurt me as I like these robots and their team. Better luck next year guys!

Of the sixteen robots left, two are a horizontal spinner, six are a vertical spinner, two are hammerbots, three are drummers, one is a launcher, one is a clampbot, and one is Warhead. Mind you, some of these robots, like Bombshell, can be different classes so these numbers are based on the preceding fights. Notably absent from this lineup are full-body spinners, lifters, and rambots which got knocked out in the previous rounds like Captain Shrederator, The Ringmaster, Lucky, and Stinger. Also, only Poison Arrow remains with a drone (which have yet to prove their effectiveness). We’ll have to pay attention to this line up and see what remains near the end of the tournament.

Now, one last thing. I honestly think that from here on out, the robots that win will win the hearts of us fans. This is the make or break point for these guys. Some of them, like Red Devil, have to prove that they are not here because of some fluke. They’re here because they deserve it. And if they fail, they’ll sadly be forgotten.


Quadrant 1

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Tombstone will beat Brutus by KO, blah blah blah, the real match is the Nightmare vs BETA battle! Okay, on the one side you got Nightmare who cleanly fits the definition of an awesome but impractical robot. Then on the other side you got the Battlebots-fan-gone-pro BETA. BETA is also an awesome but impractical robot as his hammer is so strong it can destabilize him. So, who to choose??

In all honesty, I would have to give it to Nightmare. Nightmare may be a glass cannon but this is a fight I honestly think he could win at. Nightmare’s thin design is possibly one of the best counters to BETA’s inaccurate swing. Also, I think Nightmare will just rip chunks out of him similar to his glorious victory over Slamjob many years ago. And then Nightmare will probably lose to Tombstone in the following round as Tombstone could topple Nightmare with a good hit to the wheels.

Quadrant 2

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Bronco faces a challenging opponent that can easily right himself and is as nimble as a crazed wrestler. Bronco will have to be aggressive and hope that one of his launches will incapacitate Razorback through fall damage or by knocking him out of the ring. Razorback has it worse probably as I honestly think Bronco’s too big for Razorback. Perhaps Razorback can get underneath Bronco and try to drive him to the screws but it would be hard. I’m giving it to Bronco.

Even more fascinating is the Warhead v Minotaur fight. After Warhead’s stellar performance against Complete Control, this battle is looking a little tough to decide! I really, really, want Warhead to win but I think Minotaur’s spinning drum is just too strong. I think Minotaur will toss him this way and that until Warhead just can’t move anymore. Which means that Minotaur will face Bronco. I’m still confident in Bronco so I think he can deliver a launching knockout though I wouldn’t be surprised if Minotaur pulled an upset here.

Quadrant 3

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This quadrant got hit haaaaaard. Witch Doctor’s gone. Cobalt’s gone. Son of Whyachi’s gone. The only high seed left is Hypershock! This is the quadrant we should all look at as it will really bring in some new stars that will take the mantle of fame. These robots are still fresh or untested so I’m super giddy about it! Red Devil v Bombshell is super tricky as we still know little about them. But, I’m giving it to Bombshell as they have the versatility to win and they won’t be underestimating RD. It’s tough to choose the horizontal blade or axe but I lean towards the blade as it seems effective. Meanwhile, Hypershock and Poison Arrow will be fuuuuun. Will Hypershock bat another drone from the sky? Will Poison Arrow’s furious spinning drum incapacitate Hypershock? For this match, I’m giving it to Hypershock as they seem to have the durability and the strength to take down Poison Arrow.

Hypershock or Bombshell? Again, Hypershock seems reliable so I’m giving it to them on that basis alone. They seem strong, they seem dependable, and I think they can out maneuver Bombshell and win it.

Quadrant 4

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Bite Force has fought, and won, against all manner of opponents and thus I find it unlikely that their first loss would be to a battlebot that has horrible aim and is highly unstable. Bite Force is dependable but the only thing it has going against it is its vertical spinner which has so far proven to be not very effective. By far, the more interesting match is between Yeti and Mega Tento. Who to choose?? Mega Tento seems big enough to engulf Yeti but Yeti is as agile and aggressive as a monkey so Tento could have a hard time trying to pin Yeti down. On the flip side, Yeti’s spinning drum doesn’t seem as powerful as Minotaur’s so he might have a hard time trying to damage Tento’s awkward frame.

Before the Mega Tento v Stinger fight I would’ve given it to Yeti easily but now I have a hard time deciding. After some consideration, I’m giving it to Yeti who I believe can wedge himself under Tento and do some serious underbelly damage. As for Yeti v Bite Force…Bite Force is strong and reliable but I’m throwing in an upset and giving it to Yeti. I believe Yeti has what it takes to finally defeat Bite Force. I like Bite Force but he’s no Biohazard or Hazard, Bite Force will fall this tournament, mark my words.

If not Yeti then to someone else.

Reaction to Battlebots S2 E6

I find it funny how Witch Doctor was treated as the “upset” for the season and yet these last two episodes just delivered so many losses that at this point my bracket is a shell of its former self.

But this was a good episode to end the qualifying round with! The only major fault I had with this episode was showing the Chomp v Capt Shrederator battle instead of the Icewave v Nightmare fight. But that aside, the other three fights were great. I’ll publish another article after this one for my predictions but for now, let’s take a look at the battles!

BETA vs Overhaul

This was definitely the episode for the hammer bots as both BETA and Chomp won despite their faults. I have to say, my friends and I doubted BETA’s credibility as I thought BETA’s hammer looked weak while they thought he was just plain unwieldy. Luckily, we were given a good, dare I say, smashing, battle that delivered strong blow after blow against Overhaul. I think the real highlight of the battle was after it as I was reminded how heart endearing BETA’s builder was. Makes it all the more powerful when the audience started chanting BETA’s name near the end.  Man, I got the feels now!

Hypershock vs Warrior Clan

Okay, so I know I’ve been throwing this a lot these past few articles but this was great battle and probably the best one yet, if not this round then definitely this episode. First off, that rake! I was so sure that rake would be unwieldy and would plain not work. But HOLY SHIT, it did!   Not only was it awesome that he batted it out of the sky but then he blew it up and flew it through the air! Fuck, yes. But I really like the back and forth between Warrior Clan and Hypershock. They were evenly matched which made this match even better. Great battle with great moments.

Mega Tento vs Stinger

Bug vs bug! But for real, I’m sad, like, super sad, that Stinger lost. I love Stinger, I love the team, and I had them going to the final four.   They’re a great robot and team but it just didn’t work out for them in this battle. If it was any other robot then Stinger could’ve won but MT was just too big and heavy. At least Mega Tento got a win under its belt. That’s gotta be one of the few times it won a fight.

Chomp vs Captain Shrederator

You would think ABC would end on a high note for the qualifying rounds but unfortunately that was not the case. I mean, the battle wasn’t bad but it certainly wasn’t thrilling. ABC certainly hyped the tough talk and grudge match between these two so I can’t fault them for riling me up. It’s funny how Chomp looked so ineffective against Capt, I’m not even fully confident Chomp’s blows did much to Captain Shrederator but hey I shouldn’t doubt too much. Chomp won so congrats on them!

Reaction to Battlebots S2 E5

Okay, NOW my bracket is busted.

Episode Five was definitely the upset episode as three out of the four matches had a lower seed beating an upper seed with one of the matches beating a top eight seed! This was a good episode with crazy fights and awesome moves.   Let’s take a look!

Warhead vs Complete Control

This was probably the craziest battle yet this season and I LOVED IT. Flames, collisions, and a break-dancing robot tied everything together nicely. But seriously, the announcers got this right when they compared this fight to Rocky II when the fighters were so badly beaten and just need to move in order to win. Warhead gave possibly the best defeat this season through not only slicing open Complete Control but catching him on fire. It certainly highlights the biggest weakness for flame robots and their vulnerability to their own weapon. But man, Warhead is just nuts with his moves! I love it! And the best part is that Warhead has proven himself worthy after beating a worthy opponent. I hope you go far man, (my bracket is already busted at this point so who cares!).

Razorback vs. Ghost Raptor

Suplex! If Warhead vs CC was the best battle then the suplex was probably the best move for this episode. Razorback has jumped up in favorites for me as I just love how efficiently designed this robot is. Rb is like Complete Control 2.0! Strongly designed, able to right itself easily and very maneuverable, Rb is a great battlebot. Poor GR just didn’t have the power necessary to chew through Rb. That fight against SoW must’ve really hurt him hard. Again, looking forward to seeing RB in the next round!

Tombstone vs Escape Velocity

After this fight, people on reddit called EV “Walmart Bronco” and I’m not surprised. Even though “honeycomb armor” was promised it certainly did not deliver. Tombstone just chewed through him like he was another meal. Tombstone didn’t even break a sweat. Still though, gotta love how the builders of EV dressed up like hardcore nerds.

Poison Arrow vs. Son of Whyachi

Son of Whyachi’s unfortunately losing streak continues this season. It’s a shame that such an iconic robot continues to lose matches. Regardless, at least he went out with a huge BANG and not through some dumb thing like radio trouble. Poison Arrow joins Red Devil in being the underdogs and thanks to the both of them, the third quadrant is now wiiiiiide open. That section of the quadrant is now more interesting as unproven veterans and plucky newcomers will battle it out for the final four. But back to the match. It’s too bad that SoW didn’t give a good hit to Poison Arrow. SoW probably could’ve won this if they tried to go around PA and not full frontal. But they lost so now they’ll have to hope for their family members to avenge them. What such most about this is that I had SoW go to the final four so now my bracket is officially busted thanks to PA. So, bleh on you PA.

Console Wars: 2 Good 2 Be True

For over a dozen years, I’ve been looking for a good book about video games. For such an influential media, it’s surprising that there are very few books that dive into this topic that are seriously good. When I heard about Console Wars, I knew I had to check it out and I finally did this summer.

Console Wars focuses on one of the most exciting years in video game history, namely, the war between the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo. And rather than being a standard nonfiction book (dry and full of references and quotes), author Blake Harris crafts a novel that’s more story than essay yet does not lose the flavor of reality. His book throws you into the early nineties and drops you into the heated moments and settings that shaped the era of videogames. The author’s love and enthusiasm for video games really comes through in this novel and as such, I had a hard time putting this book down.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Console Wars is how big it is. This book is dense but thankfully, does not overload the reader. Even though I knew a lot about video game history, mainly thanks to the internet, before reading this novel, I was surprised at just how little I actually knew, and that was great!

Some of my favorite moments in the book are those that seem like they’re straight out of a movie. I particularly liked the scene involving the recording of the infamous “SEGA!” scream used in commercials. Then there’s the part where the Sega employees were inspired to do a worldwide release of Sonic and Tails on Sonic 2sday. It’s moments like these that really help the book come together nicely.

Now truthfully, this doesn’t mean Console Wars is perfect. There are some problems I have which fortunately didn’t dampen my love for this book. One of which was the many characters. Although the photo section was helpful, I wish there was a simple group shot of the Sega team as I kept losing track of who was who. The biggest problem I had however was one of the big conflicts in the book; the Sega of America vs. Sega of Japan conflict was mainly from the Sega of America point of view. This, unfortunately, paints Sega of Japan as mean, subversive, and unpredictable. I wish we got more scenes from their point of view to understand exactly why there was so conflict between the two. Same thing can be applied to Nintendo as well. Nintendo in this book was like the antagonist in an action movie; we would get scenes of them every now and then and peek into their diabolical plans for their plucky foe. I wish we could see more of them to really help us understand what they were thinking.

But the thing is, that’s not really the point of the book, the point of the book is how Sega, through Tom Kalinske, president and CEO of Sega of America, was able to bring Nintendo to its knees and really shape the video game market. As such, “Console Wars” as a title is a bit off and perhaps a better title would be “the Rise and Fall of Sega” (but then it wouldn’t be catchy).

On another note, I’m pretty sure Blake Harris is a fan of the Angry Video Game Nerd. There are several spots in this book that seem a lot like what AVGN has said before. The casual reference to the porno Atari game, Custer’s Revenge, was too on the nose as nobody knew about this game until after AVGN did an episode on it. Even more obvious was the reference to LJN’s bad video games, I mean, that’s one of AVGN’s gimmicks! He hates LJN games! But I love it and I find it funny to think that Blake is a fan of the Nerd.

I was sad when the novel eventually finished as I would have liked to see the battle between the N64, Playstation, and eventually the Sega Saturn. However, part of me is glad that Blake did not talk about that. This is the story of Tom Kalinske and how he turned Sega from a joke to a star. That era of video games was not under his jurisdiction. As such, Blake Harris should seriously consider writing another novel on video games (whether it be nonfiction or fiction) as his love for the material is fantastic. Perhaps a book about Nintendo’s comeback via the Wii? Or on the Atari era and why it eventually collapsed? Or even why the Playstation 2 was such a huge success? All of these are great topics.

And yet, nothing can ever hold a candle to the Console Wars of the early 90s. So much was happening at that time that it almost seems unreal. New video game franchises were born, records were broken, the media boundaries were pushed, and deep rivalries formed.  I doubt there will ever be a time just like the early 90s for video games.

As for me, I’m glad I was finally able to read a book about video games. Thank you Blake, you kept me up late many times.