Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Robot Wars Episode 4 Review

The last aspect of Robot Wars that I have neglected to mention is the Robot Wars arena itself.  This is the stadium where the robot gladiators compete.  Whilst smaller than its previous incarnation, it shares a lot of the same features.  There are flame-pits designed to burn out electricals and floor-spikes to topple robots.   There is also the pit of oblivion where robots can be pushed down and immobilised.  Finally, there is the floor flipper which has changed since the old series.  Before, it was used once in a fight to bring a final humiliation onto defeated robots.  Now it is used to flip any robot fool enough to drive over it.  This is far more entertaining.  The audience are protected by sheets of bulletproof polycarbonate, but this hasn't stopped robots from being flung out of the arena (OOTA.)

Kan Opener Vs Apollo Vs PP3D vs Sweeney Todd

Kan-Opener armed with a pair of crushing claws is the only returning robot in this heat.  Although they always had a poor record in the main competition, they did well in the Robot Wars Extreme annihilators.  Apollo was armed with a full-body flipper.  The Scottish PP3D had a 31kg undercutting spinning disc and Sweeney Todd also had spinning discs.

Apollo and PP3D dominated this fight, although Kan-Opener put up a valiant attempt.  Apollo flipped around Kan-Opener and PP3D, but the latter got their own back by chewing into Apollo's vulnerable underbelly and taking out one of their wheels.  At one point Kan-Opener had PP3D in their claws, but lacked the necessary power to crush them.  This was disappointing to see considering how powerful they've been before.  Even more disappointing was when Kan-Opener was flipped by Apollo and immobilised when their removable link came out.  Meanwhile Sweeney Todd stayed out of trouble by hiding in the corner and conking out.  Apollo and PP3D were the winners in this match.

Eruption Vs Sabretooth Vs Storm 2 Vs Terror Turtle

Eruption were the only new robot in this heat with the rest having competed before.  By far Storm 2 has had the most success, being runners-up int he Seventh Wars and winning the Third World championship.  They are essentially a box on wheels, a rambot, using their speed to batter other robots into submission.  Sabretooth armed with a flipper and spinning disc has always crashed out early, as has the Terror Turtle Team.  Terror Turtle also armed with a spinning disc as well as a smaller cluster bot is, unsurprisingly, modelled on a turtle.  It was armoured with a fibreglass shell and had big exposed wheels.  Meanwhile, Sabretooth's main weakness was its lack of a self-righting mechanism or schrimech.

This proved to be its ultimate downfall, as it was quickly flipped over and immobilised by Eruption.  Eruption continued to impress, as they soon flipped Terror Turtle OOTA.  But not before Storm 2 shunted it around the arena, in a fight where the World Champions did little else.  Whilst Terror Turtle, driven by the Canadian John Frizell have always been a sweet team, their robots have always underperformed.  But when you make a robot out of fibreglass, what do you expect?

Apollo vs PP3D

This was always going to be a good fight.  PP3D's lethal disc against Apollo's flipping power.  But Apollo always had the upper hand, flipping PP3D all over the arena, at one point ripping off one of their exposed wheels.  However, this wasn't the killing blow.  Similarly, to Supernova, a few weeks earlier, PP3D's destructive disc made it difficult to control.  It got a few good whacks onto Apollo, but by doing so, they knocked themselves out.  Apollo were the winners.

Storm 2 Vs Eruption

In their first battle, I think Storm 2 were very quiet.  In the old wars, they sped around the arena at 25mph.  Yet they didn't seem anywhere near as speedy in this fight or in the previous one.  Whilst they did still push around Eruption, they were nowhere near as impressive as they have been.  Eruption still put up a good fight, but their flipper wasn't able to get under Storm 2's low ground clearance.  The fight went to the judges and despite being fairly even, the win was awarded to Storm 2.

Apollo vs Storm 2

Time for the rambot to fight the second flipper.  This battle was one of two halves.  Apollo dominated the first half by flipping over Storm 2, despite initially struggling to get their low ground clearance, and in wonderful style, also flipped over the house robots, Dead Metal and Matilda.  But Storm 2 gained ground in the second half by shoving around Apollo.  It went to the judges, but Apollo's audaciousness at flipping the house robots swung it for them.  Just be careful, Apollo, the house robots don't forgive and they don't forget.

Eruption Vs PP3D

Again this was a battle of two halves.  In this fight, PP3D's disc was at full spinning speed, stopping Eruption from coming close.  PP3D tore chunks out Eruption, as well as its "anti-spinning plates," until one powerful blow led to Eruption losing drive on one side.  However, this blow led to PP3D losing drive on side.  Both robots spun in circles as the clock ticked down.  Whilst the fight started with a bang, it soon fizzled out.  PP3D won on the judge's decision due to how much damage it did to Eruption.

Apollo Vs Eruption

By this point having lost every single fight, Eruption had already been knocked out.  They were only playing for pride.  But by hell they went out with a bang.  Where there are two flippers in the ring, it always comes down to who can use their flipper more aggressively, who can get the more flips in and who's got more CO2.  Eruption won all counts, exposing Apollo's ground clearance and making them waste their CO2, by making them use their flipper defensively.  It was cleeve tactics and they worked Apollo were turned and couldn't self-right.  Eruption went out in a blaze of glory.

Storm 2 Vs PP3D

The final battle before the heat final was against Storm 2 and PP3D.  Like the battles before it, this was one of two halves.  PP3D absolutely battered Storm 2, tearing chunks out of it and buckling its titanium armour.  PP3D looked set to win until they lost drive on one side, thus breaking down nowhere other than the pit of oblivion.  Storm 2 cunningly took advantage of this by hitting the pit release button consigning PP3D to Davy Jones' locker.

Storm 2 Vs Apollo

The heat final was the classic match between underdog and veteran.  And it was a good fight,  Storm 2 were winning at first, ramming around Apollo and avoiding their powerful flipper, but then Apollo managed to flip them over.  Storm 2's ramming scoop now became an easy target for Apollo's flipper.  But again, Apollo couldn't contain themselves and they flipped over another house robot: Shunt.  In the dying seconds of the fight, Apollo had Storm 2 pinned by the edge of the arena.  I was screaming for Apollo to leave Storm 2 there, as they were obviously immobilised.  I thought that in a moment of inexperience, they would inadvertently right Storm 2 when trying to flip them out of the arena.  However, I was wrong and out of the arena Storm 2 went.  Apollo's powerful flipper launches it into the grand final with Carbide, Shockwave and TR2.

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