Sunday, 31 July 2016

Robot Wars 2016 Review, Episode 2

Seeing how all-over-the-place my last review was, I'm going to try to give a slightly more coherent approach to reviewing the second episode of the new Robot Wars...

Will they have fixed the timer? Will they have fixed the music? Will the fights be just as exciting? Will they resolve what live entertainment was shown during the intervals? Also is there a Shove replacement (see Robot Wars Wikia)?

I like the new trophy, although it still has nothing on the old one. Good to see the variety of intros they can do- last week didn't we didn't really get to grips with the arena weapons!

Oh my goodness, so many returning robots, including Northamptonshire's finest, Thor (heavily rebuilt), and one of the most controversial robots in the old series, Tough As Nails (good to see foreign competition regardless)!!

Wow, I didn't realise how old the crowd is compared to the old series, when it was mostly mostly families! Probably the kids have all just grown up...

What a battle we have here in the first round! Disconstructor spins itself out with some appalling driving, and Tough As Nails being thwarted by Shockwave and Thor (eventually)! That was a close one though, Tough As Nails were very impressive early and could've pitted Thor without Shockwave's interference. That makes me happy but what a shame we're going to miss them... Shockwave one to watch? That timer though, it needs to be a bit more consistent (either have it on all the time or don't have it!)

Second battle: 4 completely new robots, maybe except for Draven, who looks like a mix of Tiberius and S.M.I.D.S.Y.. Chimera looks a bit like Stinger but the team seems to have no connection with the former Nottinghamshire based team. So much for my analysis that nostalgia wouldn't overburden the new series... ok, some of those facts about the teams were directly lifted from the website, but hey, some real nerds in the tournament! Good on them. M.R. Speed Squared did some real damage to Chimera! Bye bye exposed wheels! But where's Dead Metal? Foxic staying wisely out of the way of MR Speed and Draven taking most of the damage. MR Speed Squared looks like a good rival to Carbide, last week's winners. Overall the slowest fight in the series and JP shows he can commentate without losing his marbles! 

I still don't think that 2 hours is strictly necessary to repair a robot but then the complexity of the robots these days probably justifies the repair time...

Head to Head 1: Thor versus MR Speed Squared. Thor's experience shining through here, stopping the spinner easily here and pushing MR Speed Squared around. Disappointing with the overall outcome but a great result for experience over youth... but wait? The floor flipper factor comes into play!!! tohr is flipped upside down! That will count against them if it goes to the judges! And Mr Speed is fighting back here, but with no working weapon! Unfortunately MR Speed eventually fell into the pit after some clever driving from Thor.

Head to Head 2: Foxic and Shockwave. 2 flipper bots here, a first in this series. For all their fighting experience, Foxic may look pretty but their current battle form is not winning many hearts for not getting stuck in. Shockwave the favourite... and it starts with a surprise, the small size of Foxic proving to be an advantage, until they get caught in the flipper of Shockwave! Nice double team on Dead Metal there, but how much damage did they sustain from the saw? Shockwave getting better as the battle goes on and finally proves that size is everything as they pit Foxic while their flipper was stuck upwards. Entertaining battle overall!! The highlights package after each might need a bit of tweaking, they didn't really show the impressive shove on Dead Metal by Foxic. 

Head to Head 3: Shockwave and Thor. Winner v winner, axe versus scoop. Good to see that interchangable weaponry are allowed, so long as we don't have an anti-pit device I'm reasonably happy with interchangable weaponry! Those graphics still need modifying as well. Thor looking stronger early on,even without the axe! Shockwave in all sorts of trouble. Wow! Thor's axe has some power but they did same that it is only made of some plastic piping. Thor looking very strong overall. How are they going to fix that?? Thor getting approval from the crowd. That said, no real damage to the actual body of Shockwave. But, Thor making another mistake here, getting hit by Matilda and losing armour, unlike Shockwave! Judges have got their work cut out now... and Thor should win. Do they? Yes they do! Worthy winners in the end. Nice to see how the judges base their decisions. hove would have his work cut out to get all that rubbish out of the arena...

Head to Head 4: Foxic v MR Speed Squared. Is Foxic low enough to avoid that terrific spinner on M Speed? Looks like that may be a moot point as the spinnger isn't working and Foxic is focused on getting revenge on Dead Metal. Not good for aggression and control for Foxic. Foxic are just way too much into acting like children around their toy if it doesn't work! Angela picking up on their lack of action between the two competitors. Good to see MR Speed Squared win. Foxic is just too focused on trash talking rather than fighting. Where's their experience?

Head to Head 5: Foxic v Thor. Is "bloody" a swearword? Discuss. Pre-watershed so that could lead to complaints. Foxic really not endearing themselves to me with their attitude at all! If they make it through this heat... Evenly matched in terms of pushing power but again Dead Metal getting involved on Foxic! Foxic focusing too much on one tactic here and they are in big trouble! Dead Metal proving he's top dog in this arena. Matilda having the last word after the klaxon, pushing Foxic into the pit! The trash talking is just putting me right off Foxic, happy to see the back of them. Will there be a yellow card for Matilda? I guess there's no refbot, so no rules! Thor looking the favourites here in the final.

Head to Head 6: Shockwave v MR Speed Squared. No expense spared with the commentating here, the cut on the team member's hand being shown off. I shouldn't be so surprised that Shockwave got the scoop fixed. Poor old MR Speed! Taking damage from both house robots but Shockwave in trouble for losing their drive train! Nicely done by Shockwave to tip MR Speed onto their side and almost immobilise them in the process! Eventually pitted, Shockwave advance as finalists.

Final: Thor v Shockwave. Now this is a good fight. Immediately Shockwave went onto the attack without putting the scoop up (this is what Foxic should've done) and by chance knocked out the electrics in Thor, proceeding to push them into the pit! Fantastic shock result, enjoyed by all. Home in time for tea. With such a high score in the head to heads, surely we'll see Thor as the wild cardentry? Sorry Behemoth...

Overall, another entertaining show, lots of action with only one dud fight (even Judge-God Noel Sharkey saying it might have been the worst fight he has ever seen, and he saw 3 Stegs to Heaven taking on Eleven, the slowest walking robot ever known to Robot Wars!) still needs a bit of work on the graphics, some errors in camera control seem to be creeping in (particularly the head to heads, which is surprising) and maybe tell teams to be respectful of their opponents (looking at you, Foxic). I know it was filmed 6 months ago but there is still time to edit the footage! The presenters are really holding their own and the judges telling us more about the world of robotics is actually really interesting. You never saw trash talking (or judges opinions) in the old series, you only saw Plunderbird and Sir Chromalot dancing in the arena. To be fair they had class (as much as I had hated them back then)!!

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