Ho. Ly. Fuck.
I haven't been this excited by a show in ages. I wasn't sitting on the edge of my seat. The matches would start, and I would creep towards the TV, kneeling and peering at the screen as if I was trying to see every last detail.
And what detail it was.
There was a surprising number of vets from the old series there. It was great to see Lisa Winters there again. Lots of familiar faces. And experience didn't help.
The designs of the fighting robots has definitely evolved since the show went off the air. Simply put -- spinners put you at a disadvantage. I saw a lot of bots who put extra density in the fronts so that, when spinners hit, the kinetic energy would rebound back on the attacker and sent them flying. Nowhere was this more evident than Warhead. One of the most feared bots in history, not just Battlebots but other tournaments, and it just couldn't do anything against a reinforced front. Warhead was completely manhandled, even getting bashed by the hazards like the Pulverizers.
The first match demonstrated how crucial strategy was. The first match featured Icewind. The "ice" in the name stood for "internal combustion engine," which means lots and lots of power. Icewind's blade spun at 300 MPH, but it had to get up to speed first, and each hit reset it. Opponents have only a few seconds to get in there before it becomes dangerous. There's your early odds favorite to win the tournament.
Team Wiyachi was back with a multibot going up against Nightmare, coming out of retirement for this fight. Nightmare sent one of the nuiciance bots flying, turning it into a fireball as it streaked across the box. But Nightmare had the same flaw it had in the original series -- flip it, and it's screwed. Nightmare, in an attempt to right itself, drove up to the screws and wound up getting caught between the screws and the lexan walls.
Winters, one of my favs, was back with Plan X. It was here that we saw the new judge's criteria for a TKO. Besides the original gauges of damage, agression, and strategy, controlability is also considered, so unless you actually knock the other bot out, luck won't help you this time. Plan X did fantastic but got stuck on a piece that had been knocked off, giving her opponent thirty seconds to rack up points. Winters still won on all counts, including controlability (interesting way to move the bot, but it was a practical disaster). If she had lost the judges' ruling, I would have quit the show right there.
The old show featured three matches, sometimes four, in a half hour. This was four in one hour. So a bit more fluff in there. But there's a lot of awesome under that fluff. I can't wait to see how this goes.