Ah, DEATH BATTLE. A show that pits two pop culture icons and dukes them out to the death. What a great world it is, with Wiz and Boomstick taking the time to research and pit each other's weaknesses and see what wins out.
...and at this point some of you may be crying foul at that last bit. See, with the latest DEATH BATTLE being released, people are complaining once again about the result. Now, this is normally the case for every DEATH BATTLE, but I think it's high time to buckle down and do what I intend to do. Y'see, DEATH BATTLE claims that it removes biases out of the picture, like not favoring one franchise over another. And that's true. Even if some may seem a bit suspicious when you know Wiz and Boomstick's backgrounds, the same could be said for the counterpart since, despite their biases, some of their favorites still lost. However, what I noticed is that there are STILL some biases that I don't think even they know, and who can blame them? These kind of biases aren't as obvious, and are not as simple as "He favors franchise A over franchise B."
Now, what kind of biases am I talking about, anyhow? Well, if you've been watching DEATH BATTLE for a while now, you may have noticed that the winners tend to share certain traits. By that, I mean that there are certain characteristics that Wiz and Boomstick may favor over the other, and thus may subconsciously choose that winner over the other. It's only a couple, but these traits really do swing the favor. Now, this may or may not be logical, but I don't think the battles would've been different if it had gone either way. Maybe 1 case if any at all, but that's up for debate.
Now, I must point out that the way the winners are chosen is that DEATH BATTLE takes two combatants, looks through their abilities and traits, and see what counters what until they reach a point where one combatant has a certain ability or trait that the other cannot counter. This is pointed out in their first Q&A. It's also worth pointing out that the fight itself DOESN'T CHOOSE THE WINNER. The winner is chosen way in advance, so the fight is merely for rule of cool. This is pointed out in Q&A #2. I'm not sure if you knew this or not, but this is just in case for the uneducated.
Do be warned, though: There will be spoilers regarding the winners of the DEATH BATTLEs, so if you haven't watched at least a good majority of them, I'd advise you stay away. If you want to know a good place to start the DEATH BATTLEs spoiler-wise, the earliest example is from the Ninja Turtles royale.
TREND #1: COMBATANTS THAT WERE EITHER MORE STRATEGIC OR AGILE TEND TO BE THE WINNERS.
When two combatants are of similar strength, it's going to end in a stalemate unless one of them has something that can give them the edge. This can either be a special ability that the other may not have a counter to, or (more likely) the other combatant is simply more agile or strategic in their battle style. The ability to dodge and deliver blows faster than the other one can be a dealbreaker, and the ability to know when, where, and how to strike is very important, as well. Agile winners are slightly more common (at least as of the time of this writing), but there has been 1 or 2 instances where brains were the winning trait.
Now, this may not matter much if the other opponent is so strong even some agility or smarts isn't going to be enough to overcome the other fighter's overwhelming power, but I can't think of a DEATH BATTLE where that was the case. Just throwing it out there.
(Whoops, forgot about Metal Sonic. But that was a tie...sorta...)
Examples of strategic winners: Leonardo, Link, and to a lesser extent, Dig Dug.
EDIT: (Special thanks to LousyTechnician for this)
Counter-examples of brute winners despite brains of other: Thor, Akuma
Examples of agile winners: Sonic, Mei, Rainbow Dash, and to a lesser extent Taokaka.
EDIT: (Special thanks to LousyTechnician for this)
Counter-example of slow winners: Thor
TREND #2: COMBATANTS WHOSE FIGHTING STYLES WERE NON-TRADITIONAL TEND TO BE VICTORIOUS, AS WELL.
When a combatant has skills, traits, or weapons that are fairly typical, like swords, guns, shields, the like, it's going to be pretty easy to know how to combat them unless they're special for some reason. This is especially true if they use said battle traits in traditional, common ways, as well. However, if they have abilities that are...not what you see every day, it gets harder to figure out how to combat it. Even if the effect is common, this may not be immediately apparent to the other fighter, especially if its the first time. (And for those of you who say that said fighter could learn from that mistake, one thing I've noticed is that the skills are more often than not used only once. Of course, this doesn't matter too much, since again, the fight itself doesn't determine the winner.)
Of course, just having non-traditional abilities isn't enough. if you use a fighting style that you're going to use over and over and over, the other fighter is going to learn from it, and figure out how to counter it. If you change it up every now and then, it gets harder to figure out how to counter you as a whole, thus, making you "unpredictable".
Examples of quirky fighters: Peach and Yoshi
Examples of unpredictable fighters: Link (again), and...this one is actually less memorable, so allow me to pick examples of fighters that LOST because they were predictable or traditional: Riptor and Cloud
TREND #3: THE LESS NUMBER AND/OR MORE OBSCURE OF WEAKNESSES, THE BETTER.
This is pretty self-explanatory: If the fighter has one tiny weakness that isn't easy to exploit, or doesn't really have a straight-forward weakness, it can be difficult to pin him/her down. You'd have to be pretty lucky to do so.
Examples of fighters with said lack of (obvious) weaknesses: Spawn, Luke, and to a lesser extent Vegeta.
Counter-examples of fighters winning despite obvious weakness: Link and Sonic
Now, these are only a couple trends, but they are big ones. However, there are other things I've noticed about DEATH BATTLE as well, that can give clues to the winner beforehand. There's one in particular that I'd like to point out: The battlefield itself. If one of the fighters is from that battlefield, chances are, he or she is going to be the winner. Home-field advantage, much?
Examples of people winning in their home land: Dig Dug, Luke, Yoshi, Peach, Leo, and I guess Mei and Rainbow Dash.
Counter-examples to said clue: Mario and...I guess Shadow? Or Kratos? Some battlefields are more ambiguous than others, unless it's like Starscream V.S. Rainbow Dash, in which it's fairly easy to deduct who would be more likely to live there.
Now, some of you may be wondering how certain fights played out. Well, what I can say is that pay attention to the details of each fighter and their comparisons, especially the comparisons. Now, this is easier to do as of Episode 17 (Starscream V.S. Rainbow Dash) thanks to the ending slides explaining the comparisons back to back without Wiz and Boomstick losing their throats, it's still easy to figure out how the winner...well, won from the vocal part. It would also help to take the fight itself with a grain of salt, since, yet again, it's not the determining factor.
Of course, despite all of the research done, the amount of care and attention to the fights, as well as the examinations of viewers to understand the results, DEATH BATTLE can still be improved. Here's 1 or 2 flaws that I found that can at least be minimized; Not completely gone, but lowered a bit:
FLAW #1: WHEN TAKING ACCOUNT INTO EVERYTHING, USE OR AT LEAST MENTION EVERYTHING.
Often, I see the two combatants leaving out certain skills, which is understandable, since otherwise the fights would last for hours, and although that'd be awesome, it'd be VERY taxing on the creators. However, this can occasionally lead to certain...for a lack of better term, "plotholes" that can leave viewers a little confused. Sure, some can make sense without mentioning them when you think about it, but others...not so much.
The most prominent example I can think of is in Mario V.S. Sonic, where, in fact, Mario did have something to keep up with Sonic's speed: F.L.U.D.D. Specifically, Turbo F.L.U.D.D. Now, to be fair, this is the former kind of "plothole", since the water F.L.U.D.D. carries is finite, and I've yet to see Sonic getting tired from running over and over. But then we have...huh. I did have an example in mind, but I forgot about it. Oh well. If I do remember it, I'll be sure to edit it here.
(Man, that was embarrassing.)
EDIT: I REMEMBER. In the (as of this time) latest DEATH BATTLE, Link V.S. Cloud, due to the way the characters work (specifically how there's multiple Links), they had to put up some scenario criteria in order to fix this. One rule, I think, jeopardized the match, specifically, "Arsenals taken from respective fighting franchises". See what's wrong with that? "Fighting franchises". That means the only moves Link and Cloud have access to are those in Smash Bros and Dissidia (or Ehrgeiz), respectively. Do you realize how limiting that is? This could've made or break either Link or Cloud, and...it certainly did. Look, I can understand not wanting to make the video last so long that it takes the soul out of you, but this wasn't the right path to take. Then again, could I think of a better way...?
FLAW #2: CLEARLY PUT IN COMPARISONS BETWEEN THE TWO FIGHTERS.
Now, this is more of an outdated thing, but a couple fights from the first 16 matches could easily be cleared up a bit if they went and added ending slides for them to give more comparisons as to why each winner won. This is especially true for really close fights, like Felicia V.S. Taokaka (to me, the closest fight to date; heck, if I was in their position, I would've called it a draw).
And that's the end of my DEATH BATTLE analysis. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you didn't, please don't kill me! But more than that, if you already knew all of this, great! You've made me feel a little less lonely. If you didn't, I hope you learned something from this (something positive, now, not snarky or something like that). With that, it concludes...my very first blog. Wow. It took this long? Well, better late than never. Now, if you'll excuse me, IT'S TIME FOR A DEATH BATTLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-
(LousyTechnician: Hold it!)
(Me: Hmm? What is it?)
(Me: Oh...Oh! Okay, okay. I'll see if I can change it a little.)