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I've watched Death Battle since it debuted in 2010 (anyone else feel really old right now?) and stuck with it because it's mostly all that remains of ScrewAttack, a community that meant a lot to me. But I realised something while I was watching one of their newer episodes; it's been years since I've actually... liked an episode of Death Battle, for one reason. Their research methodology is just garbage.
I know that it's not a big deal to everyone, and there's a lot of positives like the animations and character run-downs and the amazing original music that gets made for battles now, but I am one of those whiny obsessive dorks who for some reason cares which fictional character would win in a fight - it was probably Death Battle that got me into that kind of thing - and what makes Death Battle so annoying is that it wasn't always bad, but that it's gotten much worse.
Look back at older episodes like Batman V Spider-Man, Terminator V Robocop, Iron Man V Lex Luthor, and watch how they determine the winner. They look at the characters' strengths and weaknesses and logically try to deduce who is more likely to win. Not one of those episodes features a trip to the 'Board of Wizdom', which started out as a fun look at some quirky facts and is now a mandatory Game Theory-esque maths wank in which Link is shown rolling to avoid a laser, and Wiz then determines that while this could easily be explained by lasers acting differently in video games, the truth is that Link is actually moving at 10% the speed of light, roughly 18,600 miles per hour. You can also tell when Death Battle have only recently found something out, because they start incorporating it into calculations immediately, like a while back when they kept bringing up that moving faster than the eye can see is more impressive than moving faster than gunfire, because... extremely well-trained eyes can see bullets? And most recently it's how whenever clouds dramatically appear in the sky, that's actually because the character brought them there, which requires gigatons of TNT and god damn it am I tired of hearing about measurements of TNT.
Relying entirely on maths also means that otherwise interesting fights that don't have obvious outcomes are reduced down to freeze-frames of animations that obviously weren't intended to be used to seriously measure a character's abilities, or power-scaling to similar but different characters and concluding "Well, Aquaman fought Wonder Woman, and Namor fought the Hulk, and Wonder Woman is stronger than the Hulk, so... Aquaman wins!" I'm not saying the result is wrong, but what happened to analyzing their weapons, armour and skills, like you say at the beginning of every episode? Tracer V Scout wasn't bad because I wanted the other character to win, it was bad because it was such an interesting fight and I got my hopes up, because one character has a huge advantage, but the other character has lots of smaller but significant advantages, and I'm really hyped to see how they - nope, never mind, they took one feat, put a really big number on it, and just called it a day. While the maths has gotten more complex, it feels like the actual effort going into deciding the winner has sunk to an all-time low.
And the over-reliance on maths wouldn't be so bad if Death Battle weren't so woefully inept at actually applying it. "Superman, Wonder Woman and Marvin the Martian once pulled the Earth around, so assuming Diana was pulling her fair share, that's one third of-" Wha- tch- didn't you previously establish that Superman is infinitely strong? Why should we assume she's pulling her fair share, then? "This character said that a city was destroyed 'instantly', meaning that it must have literally been destroyed in an instant, meaning that the missiles fired at the city must have been moving at 50% the speed of light (so, y'know, five times faster than Link doing a forward roll) which means that stopping the missiles took 27 gigatons of energy, as opposed to the pathetic 5 gigatons of energy someone else used to make it suddenly get cloudy. This is smart because I used maths."
None of this is to say that Death Battle is bad, it just isn't for me. And after a decade of watching, that's just a little bit sad. I'm sorry Death Battle, but I think we should see other people. The Rooster Teeth First Membership just doesn't feel worth it any more, and honestly, if I wanted to know who would win in a fight, I (don't say it) would just watch (c'mon, you're just being mean now) an episode of Cartoon Fight Club instead. Because at least that guy will have put some thought into the result.
Yang VS Tifa is not the worst Death Battle just because they got it wrong, but because they might have gotten it wrong on purpose. It's the only episode you can watch, knowing nothing about either franchise, in which the result still doesn't make sense.
Let's get the boring maths out of the way - apologies to you all - Tifa holds the advantage in strength, skill, experience, and intelligence. However, Yang has the edge in defense (well, maybe, since they never actually calculate Tifa's defense,) so Tifa can't beat her. Yang got knocked through a pillar, which means she can withstand 1,400 tons of force, and Tifa can only dish out 150. Except for her Premium Heart gauntlets (x7.6) and they get stronger as she takes damage (x4) and there's her limit-breaks (x2.625) and if she gets a crit (x2) and... um... that's about 24,000. And this isn't some obscure trivia; this is all stuff they cover in Tifa's run-down in the episode, so it's not like they didn't know about it.
It becomes quite obvious at the end that they're making excuses. They claim 'We couldn't take Tifa's limit-breaks into account, because the strength she shows in them is not shown outside of them!' over footage of Tifa lifting and throwing a 2,000+ ton dragon. Brushing over how stupid that is, even if she can't use that strength outside of limit-breaks... why can't she use that strength in her limit-breaks? No explanation is ever given for this.
The fight itself - decent animation aside - feels like an advert. It starts with a Call Back to a trailer for RWBY, the battle ends when one of Yang's hairs falls out (haha, RWBY inside joke) and after Tifa is killed, the last shot is a banner unfurling, advertising an upcoming tournament in Season 3 of RWBY. It's very RWBY-oriented is what I'm saying, and that's kind of a problem.
Y'see... Rooster Teeth, the company that own RWBY and Yang, merged with ScrewAttack and Death Battle either before or during the production of this episode. Meaning that the people who owned the RWBY character also owned the show that decided whether or not the RWBY character won.
I'm not a big conspiracy guy and I don't want to tell you 'This is 100% why Yang won,' but I would ask you to consider it possible. If Death Battle was purchased by Marvel Comics, and the next fight had Quicksilver illogically beating The Flash, that wouldn't guarantee any shady business, but the possibility would cross your mind, right?
And to be honest, part of why I want to believe this is that despite this negative review, I really do like Death Battle. Ben, Chad, Torrian and the research team are all awesome, and I find it easier to believe they were strong-armed into something than I do to believe that they all spontaneously became really shit at what they have been shown to be really good at.
But at least Rooster Teeth never again used Executive Meddling to adver- what's that?
The next episode is just a fight between two Red VS Blue characters?
First and foremost, I am a casual fan of the series since 2012 and still watching them whenever they uploaded a new video everynow and then. Before, they just use a simple method of their fighters before a fight; list down their arsenal, power, strength and weaknesses and their overall achievement. Simple as that.
And then comes season 3, episode 13. That episode for me is the beginning of them starting to use numbers to get comparison of their so-called durability, speed, strength etc. At first, I am okay for that as to get the show more interested. But as the time goes by, starting season 4, it is getting worser and worser.
Everytime I watched them do the calculations, I always asked myself, 'Do they really need to constantly relied on the numbers even though they just pitting two characters to fight one another until only one survived?!'
Look, I am very obscure to most of the fighters. Heck, I am barely knew some of them and the reason why I watched Death Battle is for the sake of entertainment and fun battle. I also understand their need to attract new viewers and maintaining current viewers which also the factor of the videos being much longer than before.
But as time goes on, if their current use of the formula doesn't change, the viewers will lose interest with them.
Please, more fact, less numbers
The first, most common, and most egregious mistake everyone makes when watching Death battle is this: they make the assumption that the Wiz and Boomstick are, in fact, trying to analyze who would win in a death battle.
They are not.
yes, even though they say this at the beginning of the episode: "...it's our job to analyze their weapons, armor, and skills to find out who would win a Death Battle."
That is not their job. Get it out of your head, ignore that line completely.
The point of death battle is to provide an entertaining fight animation. Whether this animation actually makes sense or correlates to the characters depicted is coincidence at best.
Their main priorities are:
1. Having a video long enough for monetization on Youtube.
2. Selecting characters that viewers like to talk about
3. Having a long enough fight animation for people to come back and watch more
4. Show off each character's special moves, because that's what the viewers want to see
5. Time and budget constraints.
6-19. Several other factors
There you have it. With that in mind, especially with points #3 and 4 (both of which are also related to #1), you can see why accuracy is bound to suffer. In a "real" death battle, almost any bloodlusted character who is significantly faster than another character will instantly kill them in a single blow before the other can react. This will never ever happen in Death Battle because of points #3 and 4, no matter how realistic or in-character it is. Characters will also use extremely sub-optimal strategies (for example, inefficiently using moves meant for crowds of weak opponents against strong single opponents) because people want to see each character's signature move(s), regardless of whether they would make sense in a 1v1 fight or not. Again, remember point #3 and 4. If one character simply outclasses another character completely in raw strength or durability, that will simply be ignored (unless it's cinematic/flashy enough - again, see Point #4).
Half of the video, where Wiz and Boomstick are doing their "analysis", as well as the post-fight analysis, all boil down to point #1. It pads the video length out. It has little to nothing to do with the actual fight. More than once, they have contradicted their own reasoning. It doesn't matter. It's cheap on budget (point #5) and helps with point #1.
Now you know why accuracy is down at #20 or so, sit back and enjoy some fun fight animation. You can also save some time by skipping half the video where they do the "analysis" because it's actually completely unrelated to the fight itself.
If you forget this guide and believe Death Battle is about accurate analysis, it is easily a 2/10 show. If you remember this guide and remember it's about wacky pairings and animation ONLY, it's easily 8/10.
I won't lie, the reveal that Ben and Chad had planned for Lucy to face Carnage seriously depresses me. It's such a complete and utter stomp in Carnage's favor that it feels... well, unfair, sure, but the thing is Death Battle has had other stomps before. But this resonates deeper with my in that I deeply love Lucy as a character. I find her Dark and Troubled Past heartbreaking, and while I won't make excuses for her sins, I do, still, feel as if I want to wrap her up in a warm blanket, feed her soup and tea, and just give her all the unwavering love and unconditional support she's craved all her life.
I don't know, I guess I feel Lucy deserves better in her entry to Death Battle, especially since, as seems likely after she loses, my favorite female character in fiction is not likely to return anytime soon, if ever. I was, similarly, also sad that Vader got a stomp battle his time at bat, but Vader is popular enough that you just know he's coming back someday. Will Lucy? It seems doubtful. Not that Death Battle is not totally within their rights to make this. But the criticisms others give that while Ben and Chad are not arrogant pricks, they want to make their alter egos seem infallible, is part of the problem, as some will take this of the Gospel Truth that Lucy loses - and past accepting that she does. I mean worship the outcome like blind fanboys often do.
This battle has got me feeling very emotional, and while I must accept that Lucy is outclassed, I certainly won't complain if she wins. I mean, after all, isn't the research just window-dressing to get to fanfiction-styled battle sequences? That's all Death Battle is. Big-budget fanfiction, and you should probably take it as such. But for me, I think it will be a long time coming for me to recover from the singular horrible trauma of seeing Lucy lose her first battle, and then fade into the ether.
And that isn't Death Battle's fault.
I've written two reviews about Death Battles I didn't like, two about episodes I did like, and then two more about ones I thought were awful because that's just the kind of guy that I am. But I'd like to talk generally about the whole series, because this is a project of love, worked on by a small group of dedicated fans who deserve way more credit than they get from ungrateful asshats like me. Also, it sometimes sucks and is bad.
The crew behind Death Battle get way, way too much shit. Ben and Chad are two of the nicest people I've met on the internet. Chad used to handle the ScrewAttack store, and when I bought something, he recognized me from the site and gave me 30% off for no reason; just because he was a really friendly guy. No part of me wants to write unwarranted mean things about that ruggedly handsome man, nor the rest of the equally really nice (and handsome) crew who put hundreds of hours into each episode of this show only to be instantly dismissed by BigBird3500 on TVTropes because "This is bullshit, Goku should have won!"
And while I think that this ire is completely undeserved, I also think that it was inevitable and that they knew what they were getting into. The VS Battle Community is one of the single most toxic, least-rewarding communities on the internet to pander to, and Death Battle strolled into the arena and shouted "Cooee, come have a look at us!" and was promptly buried forever under a mountain of flaming bile.
Let's look at some of the reasons why characters have won Death Battles. Toph won because of a bonus 'Did you know?' snippet on a DVD. Scorpion won because of a misprint in a Mortal Kombat manual. Scrooge McDuck won because he's a cartoon character. Doctor Fate won because he has a very fast hat. Yang won because ScrewAttack were bought by RoosterTeeth, or because everyone involved spontaneously forgot how to do maths.
And in all of those cases - except Yang - the only thing Death Battle are guilty of is doing proper, accurate research into sources that are very stupid. It's not their fault that DC made a hat go fast. They're not the ones who put that misprint in the Mortal Kombat manual. But they shoulder the blame. And even when they're unambiguously correct, there will still be people angry at them that their favourite character lost, so why should they even bother trying to please people? Half the fandom demanded Flash VS Quicksilver, while half the fandom bemoaned how obvious and uninteresting the match-up was. They can't win.
Death Battle isn't perfect, or even great most of the time, and it's always grating when they screw something up. But the crew have my eternal respect and admiration for continuing to produce something so incredibly thankless and unrewarding, for free, for one of the most ungrateful fanbases out there.
Also, if I ever win the lottery, I'll pay Torrian to make a version of Tracer VS Scout that isn't rubbish.
Sorry for the lateness but now that season 4 is over and season 5 is here, I think I'll take the time to do a quick review on each of the death battles of this season and rate them on a sale of 10. Let's get to it!
Lara Croft vs. Nathan Drake: 7/10. Not a bad death battle and I did picked Lara to win mainly because of bias (I knew her a lot better than Nathan). I feel like the ending was underwhelming.
Scrooge Mc Duck vs. Shovel Knight: 4/10. A fun db but this match was too one sided on Scrooge's favor to fully enjoy.
Venom vs. Bane: 5/10. An okay battle but it was sorta obivous who the winner was going to be. All Bane had was brute strength and that is not enough to put down Venom.
Power Rangers vs. Voltron: 10/10. Definitely the best DB of season 4! There was so much action and it was real tough to pick who the winner was going to be. This db is also pure nostalgia fuel and I loved every bit of it!
Natsu vs. Ace: 4/10. Pretty much the same reasons as with Scrooge vs. SN. One sided DB and what I mean by that is Ace is a side character of his series. Natsu is THE main character of his series.
Sub-Zero vs. Glacitus: 3/10. I didn't really care too much about the DB to be honest. I love SZ but it's not too much to invest into.
Android 18 vs.Captain Marvel: 6/10. Pretty action-packed DB but, like with the previous DB, I couldn't get myself invested too much into it. There wasn't really any stand-out moments.
Metal Sonic vs. Zero: 8/10. Very nice DB with a unique sprite style to it! There was a lot of action in it with two of my favorite characters of their own series.
Lucario vs. Renamon: 2/10. Beh. I didn't like this DB at all. It was boring and yet another rather one-sided db. As soon I knew Renamon cannot digievolve in this, Lucario was pretty much the victor. A shame considering Lucario is my favorite Fighting type while Renamon is my favorite Digimon period.
Balrog vs. TJ Combo: 10/10. Damn this D B was very good as well! I really liked how it started off as a regular boxing match but then turned into a full on battle to the death. The details in this battle was top notch on par with Power Rangers vs. Voltron.
The Shredder vs. Silver Samurai: 6/10. This D B was okay for the most part but did picked up at the end. I didn't know much about SS so I sided with The Shredder mainly pure of bias.
Smoky the Bear vs. Mc Gruff the Crime Dog: ???/10: Sorry. I usually don't rate joke death battles. I mean, it was funny and had unique animation. But, it's real hard to fully rate death battles that is just for the pure humor.
Thor vs. Wonder Women: 7/10: Another good db but, at this point, I am starting to get tired of Marvel vs. DC D Bs. Also, both Thor and Wonder Women are returning characters in DB. I'd rather it be someone new.
Continued on part 2.
I'm a big-time Goku and Superman fan, which is why it astonishes me to hear people praising DB for the way they handled them. I don't get why some people can't understand why it makes us so mad as Goku fans and Supes fans.
What's wrong with them? Well, GVS 1 was definitely better. Even if it had problems, you could tell they put effort in it - Ben Singer apparently spent a year on it. However, the outcome isn't the issue, it's that they nerfed BOTH characters, and their poor math are why the battle wasn't accurately portraying the characters. For one thing, Supes has better feats, and with proper scaling Goku is at least large star level by the time GT rolled around, and there were other ways to gauge Goku's speed.
But GVS 2 was when I gave up the show forever as it became clear all Ben Singer cared about was creating controversy for cheap views and $$$ and possibly trolling the DBZ fandom in revenge for not accepting his verdict as Gospel. Even if you wanna argue there was fan demand, no one told Ben Singer to make it. And he misled viewers into thinking this would be New 52, a version Goku can beat, but then it was revealed as a bait-and-switch when it was the same version they used before. This really felt like a ploy to toy with their fans' expectations before crushing them.
How can I defend them when they included no research on Goku? DB markets itself as a show that "solves" debates with "soul-crushing" research, but how can you "solve" this when there's no research? The researchers said on the SA forums they weren't involved. You can't blame fans asking for a rematch when they were hyped. Ben Singer was the one who decided on this, but why make a rematch if the outcome isn't gonna change? And it sucks since there's new feats from DBS they could analyze to make a case for Goku even if he lost - which, you know, would be consistent for people who claim to looove DBZ with such yuuuge respect for Goku - and we're not gonna get them since they rushed it for $$$, and they knew DBS was coming. ROF came out on 4/18/15 and the new anime was announced 10 days later. They claim to respect Goku, yet they had Supes walk through his blast, fry his brain, and bury him in a degrading show of pity. They insist they love Goku, but actions talk louder than words. As someone familiar with DC, Supes does NOT have infinite power. He has good feats, but he doesn't have infinite power.
It's just astounding to me people can defend that DB, the lowest point they sunk to, when they went from nerfing Supes to literally wanking him to infinity. I don't like how they misrepresented him and Goku, then claim to belong to my fandom, insist they hate Supes and love Goku, yet screw up the math so bad some people wonder if it's bias. It was then I left DB forever, and seeing stinkers like Yang vs. Tifa and others convinced me it was the right thing. DB is a far cry from the sincere passion they had during season one. And that's sad for a show I once respected.
And following what I thought was the best Death Battle, Dante VS Bayonetta, we immediately have... well, not the worst Death Battle, but the worst match-up for sure.
With 59 episodes under its belt, it's no surprise that Death Battle have had a few iffy match-ups. Sometimes, you just can't find a good opponent for a character big enough that they demand a turn on the show. And when that happens, you end up with Pikachu VS Blanka (Tiny Electric Mouse VS Gigantic Electric Mutant Powerhouse) and Ryu VS Scorpion (Human Martial Artist VS Teleporting Fire Ninja from Hell. Just sayin', Liu Kang was right there.) But Bowser VS Ganon may be the worst because it's the most obvious result they've ever done. It's literally impossible for one of the combatants to kill the other.
I was tempted to put '(Spoilers?)' with a question mark because I'm not explicitly going to state who won. However, here are two facts about the fighters that are extremely well-known, and used as part of the explanation of the final result.
1) Ganondorf can only be killed by the Master Sword, or Silver Arrows.
2) Bowser does not have the Master Sword, or Silver Arrows.
Can you possibly guess who's going to win this?
Outside of the obviousness of the result, the battle just seems off. It's not like Mario VS Sonic where the combatants have nothing in common, but they at least share a rivalry. There's no connection between them. I mean, they both serve as the traditional Final Boss of their respective series and they both have red hair, but by that logic, it would just as much sense to pair either of them up against Akuma. To be fair, Bowser doesn't exactly match up well against anyone else; he's way too powerful to take on King K. Rool or King Dedede, and Ganondorf is a tough one to analyze too, since he generally spends his time sitting on a throne, waiting for Link to show up and kick his ass.
It's not that there aren't good points. The battle itself is decent - I really liked the nod to Mario Tennis - and while each character's description was shorter than normal, they were still pretty funny and managed to look at both well-established and slightly more obscure facts about the fighters. And the animation is good - not the Visual Effects of Awesome we've come to expect from Death Battle, but still good.
But both the match-up and the battle itself feel very rushed. Bowser and Ganon each get a background explanation of less than 4 minutes, and the battle is over fairly quickly. And that's another thing - we all know that Ganondorf will turn into Ganon at some point in the battle. It's in the name of the fight. But Ganon is only there for maybe 10 seconds before the fight is over, which kind of kills the tension.
But at least it's Ratchet & Clank VS Jak & Daxter next time. Oh, erm, I mean, Ratchet & Clank VS 2 mystery combatants we couldn't possibly know. Right.
Yep. Doing my first review ever and I thought to give my thoughts on the most recent Death Battle episode. I'll try to make this not too long as I wanted to point out several things to why this Death Battle was unfair.
For the record, I don't actually hate any of these guys. I've been a fan of Duck Tales since I was a young kid and I recently played Shovel Knight and it's a nice little nod to other games such as Mega Man, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. However, as soon I saw this match up, I knew who the winner was already.
The main reason this DB was unfair is that it's a cartoon character who has been around for decades vs. a video game character only been around for a few years and only has appeared in one game. Cartoon characters are very wacky and hard to fully kill off while Shovel Knight instantly dies to touching spikes. Scrooge Mc Duck ripping apart metal boats is impressive...but he is a cartoon character. Shovel Knight is a one-shot video game character who's greatest physical strength is holding a shovel...
Also, the DB cast left out something major: Shovel Knight can deflect projectiles with his shovel. It doesn't help he can even deflect magical projectiles meaning he could've deflected Scrooge's "anti-reality guns" back at him and possibly won the match. However, I felt he lost mainly because he was dealing with a wacky cartoon character who has been around for ages...
There it is. It's not my favorite DB in the series. It had good background music but that's about it. The next DB should be good though and hopefully in 3D. I felt this sprite DB fell short especially how Scrooge looked.
I owe you all an apology, and not just because if there's one thing the world doesn't need more of, it's complaints about Death Battles. I've written two reviews of episodes I loved, and two reviews about episodes I didn't love, and I was perfectly content to leave it there. I had bored you all enough.
Then Cammy VS Sonya came out and... this is bad. Really bad. Honestly, a new low in some ways. And once again, this is a Death Battle where I honestly couldn't care less about the characters, I just wanted to be mildly entertained for a few minutes. And for the most part, I was!
Good points; they have a new animator for 2D fights and it's actually really well-done. There are a few too many close-ups, which do not work well at all for heavily-pixelated characters, but it looks good, it really does. And the research is decent too, it goes into the history of both characters well. And I don't even think they got the result wrong. Where things go wrong are the calculations; the worst calculations they've ever done, by far. Worse than pillars and super-lava combined.
See, back in Season 1, when they had a battle like Batman VS Spider-Man, they didn't have to come up with arbitrary numbers to put on feats; they just described the characters, their strengths and weaknesses, and came to a conclusion based on that. But now it seems that every episode demands a mandatory visit to the 'Board of Wizdom', which, in Cammy VS Sonya, utilizes some of the worst Insane Troll Logic Chewbacca Defense I've ever seen. This is where my title starts to make sense, because their reasoning is this.
Regarding Cammy's durability, Cammy has fought Balrog. (The boxer? Okay.)
Balrog once punched an elephant so hard that it died. (So we're talking about Balrog now?)
Some elephants knock down trees with their faces! (... ?)
Some trees require up to 10,000 pounds to be knocked down! (?!?!?)
This means Cammy can withstand 10,000 pounds of force! (What the fucking what?)
I don't have to explain how this is bad, right? Speculations and assumptions all around - did they make this up on the fly? Are they trying to say that Cammy can knock down trees with her face?
Then there's Sonya, and it gets worse. Her entire library of stats comes from the 'Test Your Might' mini-game that any Mortal Kombat character can do - may I remind you that Sonya is the sixth Mortal Kombat character on the show, and they've never used this mini-game for stats before - where she can punch an anvil in half. Not only is it blatantly obvious that this is not canon in any way, but as a mini-game, it depends entirely on player input, something we're repeatedly told they're not allowed to take into account with RPG characters.
I swear, I really do like this show, but... eurgh. This feels beyond rushed, and I can't believe for a second that they thought these were acceptable explanations. It's only irritating because we all know by now that they can do so, so much better than this.
I swear I'm not planning to review every episode of Death Battle, they just keep coming out like this. And Tracer VS Scout is one I was actually really hyped for! And it's a 3D fight animated by Torrian! How could that be bad?
I find it sad that it's not even unusual any more when an obvious research error comes up in the first few minutes. They gravely miscalculate Tracer's reaction speed by measuring how long it takes her to dodge a bullet, but from the time it is fired, and not from the time she sees that someone is about to shoot her. It's an annoyingly obvious mistake.
Scout's research is odd as well. My favourite Scout moment is when he whacks a bear with the skeletal arm of Amelia Earhart so hard that it dies. Do they analyze this to find out his strength? Nope! They only had time to analyze one thing, so they chose... the amount of sugar that would be in a can of BONK!. And Wiz talks about this like it's genuinely exciting, not a boring, irrelevant tangent from a rejected Game Theory video.
But then, the animation. It is, by far, the worst fight that Torrian has ever animated. Not to say that it's especially bad, it's just that every other 3D fight (Snake VS Sam, Tony VS Lex, Wolverine VS Raiden,) he's done is legions ahead of this rushed out piece of filler. If I didn't know this was done by him, I never would've guessed; it's that far below his (admittedly excellent) regular standard of work. Terminator VS Robocop came out more than 2 years ago and it was better than this. And the reason is this; the choreography.
It's the biggest disappointment, especially for Scout, who puts up less of a fight than Dan fucking Hibiki. Here's everything he does; loses from the start, drinks a can of 'BONK!' to become invincible, lands one good hit while invincible, and then Tracer rewinds it and kills him. What happened to the amazing 3D back-and-forth fights where both characters gained the upper hand for significant amounts of time? What happened to demonstrating each character's strengths and weaknesses? What happened to fights that had more than a minute of actual fighting? If you think they shafted Scout's arsenal in the research, the animation goes even further. All he has is a bat, a shotgun, and a can of drink. No double-jump, no baseballs, no Mad Milk, no effort, no entertainment.
And as much as Scout feels nerfed, Tracer is in full-on God Mode. She moves like the lovechild of Quicksilver and Nightcrawler (have fun with that, fanfic writers,) and the battle is over before either of them have the chance to do anything impressive. Even if you think the battle is one-sided, the animation is supposed to be tense and dramatic and close, and it's not.
The voice-acting is pretty good, but the writing is clunky enough to sour that too. Normally I'd add a disclaimer to say 'I'm only disappointed because I know they can do better', but the longer Season 3 goes on, the more I think that maybe they can't.
DB is by far the biggest versus show on the internet and even if I disagree with them on stuff (and believe me I do) it's pretty easy most of the time to enjoy the episodes at least, so long as the fight animation and humor of the episode are good. Certain episodes I don't like watching because they're just egregiously wrong (as in....this character is by basic empirical standards on a higher scale), the matchup doesn't interest me, or the humor/fight animation wasn't up to snuff. But honestly that's MAYBE a quarter of the episodes. Most of the episodes are a fun way to pass the time, even if some them I think are wrong.
I'm tempted to say that Goku VS Superman is a bad Death Battle, but not for the reasons you might think. I like to complain. I complain a lot. I complain about everything that it is possible to complain about, which it turns out is everything that isn't RollerCoaster Tycoon. But I cannot summon up the energy to go looking for nitpicks in Goku VS Superman. I just can't.
Let's get right to it; it's a special 30 minute episode, the longest fight animation the show has ever done. They got voice actors who actually play Goku and Superman in web series, and they go more in-depth into each character than they've ever done on the show before. It's a real love letter to two of the biggest fictional personalities out there. The battle itself was greatly animated, and although Torrian has outclassed it, it still stands as an entertaining fight that pays homage to so many things from the respective franchises that it's undeniably and undoubtedly a very impressive episode.
As for the outcome, I agree with it, and not even with any sneaky asterisks or niggling doubts of 'Well, technically Goku could have won if-' No. I agree with the outcome. And it's not Ben or Chad's fault that Superman is one of the most ridiculously powerful characters ever created. So please don't yell at them just because they did the research and found that Superman has accomplished the literally impossible. Dude can hear in space.
That may give you a hint as to why I'm tempted to say this is a bad Death Battle. The animation is great, the research is more than sufficient, and the explanation, the music, and the voice acting are all top notch. So what could possibly be bad about it?
Well... the audience. Their reaction, at least.
Goku VS Superman is currently the single most-disliked Death Battle in the series. (Second most-disliked Death Battle: Goku VS Superman Round 2.) Nearly 150,000 people have disliked it. And it just annoys me that a 30 minute, orchestra-backed, 3D animated fight with recognizable voice actors and a clear explanation for the outcome is the one people hate. Death Battle's Magnum Opus is the most-disliked episode.
Even from the point of view of someone who frequently criticizes Death Battle, it annoys me that this is the one that people hated. They make a few mistakes, use some shaky logic? No big deal, forgive and forget. But they decide a Dragon Ball Z character would lose? 40% of their audience are telling them 'You're stupid, you suck, and this is terrible.' What kind of message does that send? What kind of show do these people want Death Battle to be?
For all the flaws the show has, this is the Death Battle that proves to me that when an episode is good, it can be too good for a sizeable chunk of its audience. As in, more than they deserve. It's remarkable and admirable that Ben and Chad are still making them when this is the thanks they get for their biggest episode yet.
While I was watching the Flash Vs. Quicksliver battle, I re-watched one of the last few battles of Season Two: Yang Vs, Tifa.
Now, to get this out of the way so I can talk about what I want to: Yang should have lost. There is no doubt about it. While the RWBY world is superhuman, The FF world is super human, as in One Piece levels of superhuman. There, I said, moving on.
Now, I've seen quite a few arguments against the outcome, one being that Death Battle was promoting RWBY Season 3. I'm not saying they were or not but it did encourage me to watch the series, which has lead it to be one of the best I've seen. ( Anime brought to you by TV Tropes indeed) And when I was looking in the comments (hotter than heaven down there) I saw that many watched RWBY simply because they saw the death battle.
So it occurred to me: Death Battle is an excellent Gateway Show. Because of how much research and effort they put behind the battles, you get a very good rundown of the series just by watching the analysis. It introduced me to the backstory of FF VII and Berserk, both of which are excellent.
Another of their strengths is putting the fantastical feats the characters performed into context for us. My proof is the Quicksliver Vs Flash battle. Watch it and look at the end analysis and be amazed.
So I just wanted to point out that alongside being nerdvaina in the fictional match ups, Death Battle is a great way to introduce someone to a new series and put said series in a way that makes it extremely comprehensible. That's pretty damn amazing.
Also, if you argue the outcome of any death battles on the comments, I'm deleting this review.
I seen Death Battle post questionable wins for characters such as Toph Vs. Gaara and the total not biased Yang Vs. Tifa. (This was before Season 3 of RWBY so if things change to make the verdict more plausable then i'll move on to it)
But this? This is a probably the worst death battle verdict i seen in a long while. So Dante is faster than Bayonetta because he can cut Rain drops? Lol ok, so let's just ignore some of the instances Bayonetta can do that are actually way more impressive in speed.
OH and Bayonetta gets hurt. But let's just ignore the fact that the tons of bosses and all the people she get hurt by and such, would probably provide a challenge or even easily beat Dante. I doubt Dante can beat Jubilius and Asier, And before you mention Mundus, he only made a small pocket of diminsion. Creating something and having the power to destroy it is something different.
Oh and Witch Time < Quick Silver is laughable since Quick Silver runs on a time limited in comparison to Witch Time.
You know, i think at this point they should be calling this thing 5 minute melee, since considering the big errors in the research and the big leaps of logic required to make such a judgement, it is starting to feel that way to me.
As for the actual fight itself? well it is well done as always. The animators never fail to pull off their best stunts and moves. The action is exciting as always, but considering the rather ass-pulling of the winner, i'm highly considering from now on to take Death Battle as a 5 minute melee.
Not sure which is worse. Cutting Rain or Yang surviving slamming into a bridge or something
I complain about Death Battle more than I would like to admit. It's a really good show, and I agree with at least 85% of the outcomes, but for some reason, I'm always drawn to complain about the ones I don't like more than I am to compliment the ones I like. I even wanted to write a review on 'The Worst Death Battle', but decided that in the interests of not being an ungrateful twat, I would not do this until I had written about the the best, which brings me onto the Season 3 premiere, Dante VS Bayonetta.
If I was describing this fight with no preparation, it would just be 'Holy F@#$, Holy F&%£ing F@#$, that was beautiful.' And true, the first thing to notice about Dante VS Bayonetta is that it is undoubtedly, by a large margin, the best-looking Death Battle so far. The animation is absolutely incredible from start to finish and Torrian deserves nothing but the highest praise for outdoing himself yet again. Dante and Bayonetta use loads of different weapons, forms, summons, and Trish and Jeanne even drop by for some tag-team attacks, which, for an unashamed plug for a new Death Battle spin-off, still managed to be a delightful bonus instead of an unwanted interruption.
But the bread and butter of Death Battle is the research, and... well, they did their research. The rundown on both characters is extensive and in-depth, with Bayonetta giving Boomstick many chances to humourously decide whether or not he wants to hit on her, and Wiz gives enough background on both of the characters and how over-the-top ridiculously Crazy Awesome they both are that you really don't know who's going to win. And yet, their explanation for who would win and why (no spoilers) adds up really well.
I feel like it's almost unfair to name this 'The Best Death Battle', since with combatants like Dante and Bayonetta, it couldn't really have not been awesome. Dante effortlessly blocks hits from titanic-sized Demon Gods, and anyone who played Devil May Cry remembers the cutscene where he gets impaled to the floor by a magic electric sword, only to pull himself up through the sword, with nothing more than an expression of mild annoyance akin to 'Heh, Mondays, am I right?' Likewise, Bayonetta kicks military jets out of the air, flings satellites at ridiculous speeds through outer space using only her legs, and has a reaction time of less than a thousandth of a second. There is no way that a fight between these two could not be amazing.
But if anything, the fight deserves credit for not only living up to those expectations, but also shattering them. Everyone involved, Ben, Chad, Torrian, Nick, the g1 research team, the guy who animated DBX who's getting unfairly criticized because his spin-off wasn't as good as the main battle but was still really good... this was a standout performance from everyone.
And in my opinion, it is The Best Death Battle.
Let's be utterly frank here: Death Battle is a controversial show, even on this very wiki. Of course, this is to be expected when a show involves taking two characters from popular series and putting them into a battle to the death: Someone is going to get pissed when their favorite character loses, be it just because their favorite character lost or because something seemingly erred in the research that directly affected the results.
Despite this, I feel that some people just take this show too seriously. So what if your favorite character died? You're entitled to your opinion. So what if research erred? The fact they actually made the effort to research in the first place makes it better than battles that just rely on viewer opinion to win.
Even then, ScrewAttack has never attempted to claim their results are the end-all, be-all decision. These people go out their way to research, animate, and voice-over a series dedicated to answering the fanboy question of "Who would win in a fight to the death?" And they look damn good while doing it.
Sometimes, I feel we just get to caught up with "But Goku can do X", "Toph shouldn't have been able to bend Gaara's X", "Tifa should be able to stomp Yang with X tons of force" to really appreciate the effort the folks at ScrewAttack put into their work, even if it could be wrong. And no, just because my preferred character won each of these fights does not change my opinion.
(And anyone who still believes Yang won her fight because ScrewAttack and Rooster Teeth partnered up, despite Word of God outright stating this was never the case, you're lying to yourselves).
Me, I just love the entire series, regardless if I believe "Character X should have beaten Character Y", because you know what? I've yet to come across a group willing to put so much time and effort into creating such beautiful fights as them, and that's something to be admired whether you agreed with the results or not.
That's why even as I write this, I'm eagerly awaiting to see how Death Battle dazzles me with the next fight. Because I came for entertainment, and they always deliver.
And not just because I disagree with the results. Oh no, it's because the battle left a TERRIBLE taste in my mouth. Yang was portrayed HORRIBLY. She assaults a bouncer for doing his job, vandalizes property, casually tries to order a drink like nothing happened, snaps Tifa's neck for rightfully trying to kick her out, then casually puts on her sunglasses and says 'Nailed it!' like she stuck a landing rather than brutally murdered someone in cold blood. It's up there with Peach saying 'did I wiiiiin?' after blowing up Zelda's head, Blanka abruptly grabbing and eating Pikachu and Deadpool using Deathstroke's decapitated head as a puppet and later a hood ornament in terms of disrespect to your opponent, and even then, at least the other three examples were IN CHARACTER for them: Peach probably doesn't have enough functioning brain cells to process what she just did and probably thinks Zelda is sleeping or something, Blanka is a savage jungle man, so it's reasonable to assume that's just how he deals with his prey, and Deadpool...is Deadpool. There is NO excuse for Yang's behaviour in this episode. She acted like a psychotic brat, and got off scot free for it. I really find myself hoping that she got arrested shortly after the battle ended.
So yeah, I HATE this battle completely. It's worse than Gaara vs Toph, Peach vs Zelda, Rogue vs Wonder Woman and Pikachu vs Blanka combined. It's wrong, it's INCREDIBLY mean-spirited, it's disrespectful to both Tifa AND Yang... I actually had to go on DeviantArt and read a few of the battles where Yang lost because I was so mad after this fight was over. I was legitimately angry with Yang. Death Battle should not be making me FURIOUS at a HERO. A hero that I normally LIKE. If Lex Luthor beat Iron Man or Boba Fett beat Samus or Deathstroke beat Deadpool or Buu beat Kirby, I'd be mad at the character, but I'd be more okay with it because hey...you're SUPPOSED to be mad at the bad guys. But Yang...was CLEARLY the villain here the entire time, and this time the bad guy wins.
Wow, it sure took long enough for someone to get this concept right. It's baffling, really. Popular culture icons (and a pony) duking it out in high-octane machinima death matches of no little HSQ. And far from being a popularity contest, the strengths and weaknesses of each combatant are taken heavily into account. The show creators—rather shockingly for fan-created content, I know—tend to keep their biases in check, or at the very least quite subtle, letting logic settle the fights for them. Even when I don't necessarily agree with a fight's outcome (Batman can, and will, beat ANYONE. This is a fact!), I can more often than not respect the end result.
Sometimes though, the animation really isn't up to scruff (especially their early stuff, McGruff). I realize they're working on a limited budget here; the endless sponsor plugs, though often entertaining enough, drive that point home. There are few things as dis-immersive to me as low-grade, Gmod-style animation; I'd rather have fewer fights with better animation than let things be as they are now. Especially considering how short the battles tend to be, oftentimes they could do loads better.
And, alongside the often patchy character voice impressions (Sam Fisher is not supposed to sound like a whiny bitch!), the commentators, though thankfully foregoing play-by-play commentary during the action, are hit-and-miss; literally, one hit and one miss. Boomstick, at least once he dropped the more stereotypical aspects of his Deep South-ish character, has a deliciously Id-laden delivery that tends to make everything he says solid gold. Wizard, however...
Fucking Wizard. Ever the wet blanket, you're not liable to find a more bland, haughty, intellectual posturer this side of Matthew Patrick. When he's not busy acting like a holier-than-thou douche towards his (admittedly, intensely mentally disturbed) co-host, he's boring me to tears with scientific minutiae. This kind of character can be funny if it's done right, but whomever voices him fails to evoke any such entertainment factor.
Once you get past these heavily YMMV dealies though, what remains is a fist-pumpingly cool concept that serves as a bit of a video game history lesson on top of it. It ain't perfect, but once someone shouts "Fight!", it's fucking on like Donkey Kong.
A crowning moment of awesome from the first second of the 30-ish minute running time to the last, Goku vs. Superman is without a doubt the crown jewel of Death Battle. Without spoiling the winner, some highlights include:
I could go on and on about how great it is, but I must bring up the harsh Fridge Horror: While fans of the winner celebrated with ticker-tape parades and fans of the loser cried new oceans into tubs of ice cream, I just simply watched it again, but then realized that the best is now behind us. No match had ever been as requested, as hyped, as well produced, or as long and epic as Gv S, and it is a solid bet no future fight will even come close. Though the fight was really good, I truly feel that only by being a series finale would the Matchup To End All Matchups be done justice (doing so would also buy time to make the great but not perfect animation better). In its place, Master Chief vs. Samus Aran would have been a great Season 1 finale...
I also feared that a drop in fans would ensue, with the fans of the loser quitting due to rage and fans of the winner moving on to other things now that they're satisfied. I don't have the stats to prove or repress that fear, but I take comfort knowing that the current videos get enough views to justify making new ones, and that the quality of the videos is still decent.
The best is behind us, and maybe a year or two or three from now I will view the series finale of Death Battle. While it will no doubt be something truly special, in the end, nothing can top what is the show's best episode. However, even though I think no future fight will be as good, Goku vs. Superman will always be a fond memory to look back on.
Ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny indeed...
Pikachu vs Blanka is quite the weird fight considering the one that came some time before it. Thor vs. Raiden took the oddly specific premise of "Thunder Gods who use electricity in their attacks" and went with it, and Pikachu vs. Blanka is the second "electrical match" of the series (and of Season 1).
Why two electrical matches in the same season, and so close (2 espidoses are between them) as well? And even stranger, the winner is victorious for roughly the same reason (both fighters were immune to each other's electrical attacks, so the deciding factor was physical prowess). Anyway, the fight is quite good with decent animation and flashy maneuvers by both combatants, and while I'm a Street Fighter fan, I have no attachment to Blanka and the same goes for Pikachu, but I can only imagine how fans of the loser felt when they witnessed an embarassing and brutal finishing move that makes Master Chief's tea-bagging look like a friendly gesture. A Mortal Kombatant would have puked; for all the brutality of their finishers, I don't recall any Kombatant eating dead bodies.
This match, while somewhat a repeat of an earlier one, stands out for one big reason: the preview for Goku vs. Superman at the end. At first, there is darkness and silence. Then we hear a very familiar voice chanting the name of his famous attack, and as the Ki beam surges towards the screen, it illuminates the icon of the world's greatest superhero.
But even if the preview had been something different, the episode is still good by itself. You have to love the technical skill put into it all.
Death Battle is the fun alternative to sifting through forum threads to find out which character would beat who in a fight. The animation is often spectacular (By web standards I mean, it's great.) with decent research done on both parties. And some decent commentary from the two hosts. And if they have a personal bias toward a certain character, they don't really let it show.
I can appreciate that the duo don't let fanboyism blind them when it comes to deciding a match, and I can also appreciate when they don't give a character a win just because of popularity power. I mightn't have agreed with every match outcome (I'll always love Doomguy more than MC), but at the same time I know not to get too wrapped up in a show like this.
That all said there are flaws. As if often the problem with web-series, there's no real schedule to the show, so you can go weeks and weeks without hearing a peep about the next episode. In addition, the show has a tendency to match characters up based on similarities they have while ignoring any massive gaps in power between them (e.g Superman vs Goku and He-Man vs Lion-O.)
Also, maybe it's just me, but some of the match-ups seem like weird choices to base entire episodes around. Bomberman vs Dig-Dug? Really? And Ivy vs Black Orchid? Was there really such a demand for that match in particular? Oh yeah, and the comment sections for the videos can be wretched hives.
In the end, if you sit back and try not to get too wrapped up in any personal fanboyism, you can have some real fun with this show.
Death Battle had some things to smooth over when they were first starting out. The health bars made the fights less intense as it was easy to know who was winning. The hosts didn't have their personalities nailed down. The fights were graphically bland.
But that was all fixed. The health bars went away (though the problems of How Much More Can He Take moved in), Wiz and Boomstick firmly established themselves, and the fights began to look like something other than a cheesy arcade game. As season 1 progressed, some really good matches (most notably Goku vs. Superman) were done, but a huge blemish shall always remain on the show: Beiber vs. Black.
I have 3 problems with it: First off, it was really just a huge Take That to the two pop stars for no grater purpose. They dedicated resources away from making "real" episodes to produce what is essentially an elaborate insult to two people who already get so much crap. Imagine all the other possible matchups they could have done...
Second, I hate the fact that they took two real life people and had them fight to the death. I'm not coming from a moral angle, but a legal one. What if one of them sees the video and gets upset? Nothing good can ever come from that. And yes, while MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch got away with it, a web show on a gaming website is very different from one of the most popular channels ever (as far as money and therefore legal defensive power is concerned). And while Death Battle uses all sorts of copyrighted figures, most of whom belong to big companies that would crush Screwattack.com on a whim, that hasn't happened yet, so it's safe to assume the companies are fine with Death Battle's use of their characters (or at least can't do anything to stop them).
Third, it was just a plain bad episode. Most of the characters rundowns were not related to combat at all, the combatants were just headshots of the real life pop stars crappily photoshopped onto sprites, Boomstick implying he wants to commit suicide because of what he thinks is bad music is not funny, and I just found the fight to be boring, focusing on (poorly done) slapstick rather than serious action. I also found the omnicidal ending to be tasteless (I do not find joy in the Jonas Brothers dying in a car explosion, thank you very much).
Worst Death Battle episode ever. No denying that.
I remember watching Deadliest Warrior, which had the interesting premise of pitting two warriors against each other. Knight vs pirate, Samurai vs Viking, you name it. It was cool, or more accurately, the fights themselves during the last 5 minutes.
But no matter how cool the show was, there was something missing: the nerdiness of fictional matchups.
I had always been a scholar of pop culture, and as far as violence and combat centered series and shows were, I had always argued with friends and family with what I called "interesting matchups", and many joyful hours were spent discussing the merits of The Hulk vs Superman or John Mc Clane vs Rambo.
Death Battle was a dream come true when I found it. The dream matches that fanboys worldwide had always argued about were finally done. Wiz and Boomstick not only settle the fanboy debates, but settle them soundly; they are quite scientific about their rationale for the winner. Don't be surprised if they break out the math and declare with good reason that Character A is 43% faster than Character B.
Most episodes are about 5-10 minutes long, so the Death Battles can be watched by a person with little free time. In the first part of each video, the combatants are introduced, and their equipment, skills, and physical abilities are summarized. The show excels here, and I find myself well educated about each fighter even if I had literally never heard of either of them before. During this part Wiz and Boomstick also make jokes and banter back and forth, leading to many moments of hilarity.
When the "Fight!" sound is heard towards the end, you know it's about to get real. The fights are all awesome, but the royal jewel is Goku vs Superman. Two of the greatest fictional warriors of all time fighting to the full extent of their power in a 9+ minute ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny is even more awesome than it sounds. And when each fight ends, you get even more hilarious commentary by Wiz and Boomstick.
However, there are flaws.
For one, I'd like to see more "all star" battles between previous winners, but other than that I just have to say that none of my personal "interesting matchups' have been done. But that's more of a personal complaint than an objective flaw in the show overall, and even still I enjoy the living heck out of Death Battle.
After Deadliest Warrior, people everywhere were clamoring to try and apply the format to pop culture's most recognizable characters. Really, it's understandable—the crossover battle caters to the primal urge of throwing two recognizable powerhouses at each other and watching the sparks fly, if only because the resulting fight would (usually) be fucking awesome.
Death Battle is one of many bandwagon hoppers, specializing in exactly that. Wizard and Boomstick are two commentators who present a vague overview of each character before throwing in an animated fight sequence to the death—a concept easily summed up. The problem in copying the Deadliest Warrior format, however, quickly becomes evident.
The first part of each episode are where the problems lie. Putting a lot of valid criticisms aside, Deadliest Warrior did more than just "who would win in a fight", it also introduced cultures, weapons, and etc that others hadn't even heard of and brought them up. It also (again, a lot of valid criticisms aside) had physical items to measure, test, and compare to the legends surrounding it. At the end of the day, there was something you could tangibly evaluate. Death Battle, on the other hand, often boils down to theory-craft of "He would TOTALLY do this! That means he wins!", picking and choosing bits of canon (and frequently non-canon or fanon) that applies to their arguments while ignoring plenty more.
On the other hand, the second parts of the episodes, the actual fight scenes, is where shit gets real. It's amazing to see these characters brought to life on the battlefield again, bringing their signature moves and abilities and putting them to the test. Jordan Lange's talents as of episode 20 only cemented this even further, and every match since has been simply harder, faster, and greater all around. It's such a shame, then, that only the last three minutes are dedicated to his talents, but what a magnificent three minutes they are.
In the end, Death Battle is best treated like a You Tube meme video. Roll your eyes at the bullshit, skip to the good part, laugh a little and go about your day. Fans of franchises would do best to steer clear, but those who can bite their tongue and just go "Whatever, it's just a video" to more glaring inconsistencies might find some good times anyway.
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